Find A PhysicianHome  |  Library  |  myDownstate  |  Newsroom  |  A-Z Guide  |  E-mail  |  Contact Us  |  Directions

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Office of Communications & Marketing

SUNY Board of Trustees Names Four Downstate Faculty Members to Distinguished Professor Ranks

Brooklyn, NY – Four members of the SUNY Downstate Medical Center faculty have been appointed to the rank of Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty rank conferred by the State University of New York.

Steven R. Levine, MD, professor of neurology and emergency medicine, and Henri Tiedge, PhD, professor of physiology and pharmacology and of neurology, have been named Distinguished Professors.

Keith Williams, PhD, professor of physiology and pharmacology, has been named a Distinguished Teaching Professor.  Barbara G. Delano, MD, MPH, FACP, chair and professor in the Department of Community Health Services in the School of Public Health, has been appointed a Distinguished Service Professor.

The four appointments to the Distinguished Faculty Rank were among 18 recently approved by the SUNY Board of Trustees.

Of the 18 new appointments system-wide, SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall said, “One of the highest honors we have as a Board of Trustees is to recognize SUNY’s leading faculty with one of our distinguished faculty rankings. These professors are innovators and trailblazers in their chosen field, teaching and mentoring students while advancing groundbreaking research and discovery in New York’s communities as well as world-wide. Congratulations to all of our newest distinguished faculty.”

“The SUNY distinguished faculty bring students the best of SUNY – quality teaching and instruction, innovative research opportunities, and engaging community service,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “We are proud to recognize the leadership of our distinguished faculty and the extraordinary impact they have on SUNY students and campus communities.”

SUNY Downstate President John F. Williams, Jr., MD, EdD, MPH, FCCM, said, “I congratulate Dr. Levine, Dr. Tiedge, Dr. Williams, and Dr. Delano on their well-deserved honors. All of them have made major contributions in their field of endeavor and to the SUNY Downstate community.”

Since the program's inception in 1963, SUNY has appointed 1,023 faculty to the distinguished ranks.

The Distinguished Professorship is conferred upon individuals who have achieved national or international prominence and a distinguished reputation within their chosen field.

SUNY Downstate’s Dr. Steven R. Levine is an internationally-renowned researcher, prominent scholar, major contributor, clinical trialist, and thought leader in the study of cerebrovascular disease. Dr. Levine has been funded continuously for three decades by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with over $13.7 million in direct funding. Since joining Downstate in 2010, he has initiated several SUNY-wide clinical trial networks, including establishing Downstate as a central hub for national clinical trials conducted under the auspices of the NIH’s Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trials (NETT) Network. Dr. Levine has published more than 170 original peer-reviewed papers and made significant distinguished advances in stroke treatment and epidemiology. He co-authored the landmark NIH-funded t-PA stroke study that resulted in the first FDA-approved treatment for stroke. He linked crack cocaine use to stroke and pioneered telemedicine for stroke, creating a new research and clinical field. He has been an invited lecturer on five continents; served on executive committees, editorial boards, and guideline writing committees; mentored over 30 stroke fellows (many academic faculty); received numerous national research awards and honors from major organizations and peers for research and teaching; and consults to NIH (grant reviews), the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, the New York State Department of Health, and industry.

Dr. Henri Tiedge is a world-renowned neuroscientist whose ground-breaking discoveries explain how regulatory RNAs function in the brain. His research has transformed our understanding of RNA regulation in the control of higher brain functions such as memory and cognition. His national and international preeminence and reputation are reflected in the numerous awards and honors that he has received. He has enjoyed substantial and uninterrupted funding from the Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and NIH, among others, for the entirety of his 23-year career. Dr. Tiedge has organized various scientific conferences, including a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Colloquium at the NAS Beckman Center in Irvine, California. He also fosters international scientific exchange as a visiting professor at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. He is president of the Robert F. Furchgott Society, inaugurated in 2005 to honor the late SUNY Downstate Medical Center Nobel Laureate by promoting the research of exceptional junior scientists.

The Distinguished Teaching Professorship recognizes and honors mastery of teaching.

Dr. Keith Williams is an internationally-recognized neuroscientist and scholar who joined SUNY Downstate in 1999. He has developed novel and valuable approaches to teaching that epitomize Downstate’s goal of interactive teaching, student participation, and mastery of complex concepts. Students benefit greatly from his guidance, leadership, and teaching skills in ways that are integral to the development of future physicians. Dr. Williams is a role model for faculty and is consistently ranked by students among the best faculty in the preclinical years. He has received several awards, including Teacher of the Year and Outstanding Educator of the Year of the Preclinical Faculty. Professor Williams played a key role in Downstate’s College of Medicine’s recent curriculum renewal, serving on the Steering Committee and the Executive Steering Committee, and he currently serves as unit director for the first segment of the College of Medicine curriculum.

The Distinguished Service Professorship honors and recognizes extraordinary service.

Dr. Barbara G. Delano’s service covers a range of areas in public health and medicine. Credentialed in internal medicine, nephrology, and public health, Dr. Delano has focused on the prevention and control of end-stage renal disease, especially among underserved populations. A national leader in promoting home dialysis, Dr. Delano was responsible for establishing the first inner-city home hemodialysis unit. She has worked tirelessly with patients, their families, and their healthcare providers to deal with the stresses of the disease and the treatment. Dr. Delano contributed to the development of the School of Public Health at SUNY Downstate and in preparing for the school’s initial accreditation in 2010 and re-accreditation in 2015. Dr. Delano is the author of 83 articles in peer-reviewed scientific medical journals, and has been the recipient of numerous research grants, including one from the federal Health Care Financing Administration for $2.45 million. Dr. Delano’s exceptional service has been recognized by numerous awards and honors. She was inducted into the Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society, and received the Clarence and Mary Dennis Dedicated Service Award, and the Master Teacher Award in Preventive Medicine, both from the Alumni Association, SUNY Downstate College of Medicine.


About SUNY Downstate Medical Center

SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively.

SUNY Downstate ranks twelfth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.