Mildred "Barry" Friedman Lectureship


In 1997, the Department of Medicine established a lectureship honoring the accomplishments of Mildred "Barry" Friedman on behalf of patients with kidney failure.

Each Mildred "Barry" Friedman guest lecturer has made substantial contributions to medicine's understanding of the metabolic perturbations and clinical expression of diabetes and its complications, and all share the outlook that an initiating curative intervention for diabetes is close at hand. 

Mildred "Barry" Friedman: 1935-1997

Mildred "Barry" Friedman sitting at her desk.

Mildred "Barry" Barrett-Lennard was born 1935 in North Tonawanda, New York, the daughter of Harding and Leontine, and was recorded as British Aristocracy in Debrett's Peerage & Baronetage. A biology major at Brooklyn College, with a Masters degree in Education, Barry married Dr. Eli A. Friedman upon his graduation from Downstate Medical Center in 1957.

During Dr. Friedman's residency and nephrology training at Harvard's Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Barry served as a laboratory technician. Following the birth of her third daughter, Barry developed type 1 diabetes.

Upon return to New York City, Barry qualified as an elementary school teacher but sustained progressive debility from diabetic kidney and eye disease. She then became both a patient advocate and medical writer devoted to improving the lot of those afflicted with diabetes.

Barry and Eli Friedman together

Following a life-sustaining kidney transplant from her sister Joan, Barry established the Diabetic Kidney Transplant Self-Help Group now incorporated into Downstate's local chapter of the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP).

When Barry died, 18 years after kidney transplantation for renal failure attributed to diabetic nephropathy, the Department of Medicine established a lectureship honoring her accomplishments on behalf of patients with kidney failure.