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SUNY Downstate Medical Center Announces $50k Fellowship from The Lenard And Christine Szarek Fellowship Fund Specifically For School Of Public Health Students

Fellowship will award $50,000 per year to ten outstanding students for training, leadership, and professional development


BROOKLYN, NY—SUNY Downstate Medical Center today announced that the Lenard and Christine Szarek Fellowship Fund has established a fellowship fund for students in SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s School of Public Health. Established by Chair and Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Michael Szarek, PhD., the Lenard and Christine Szarek Fellowship Fund is the first named fellowship established at Downstate expressly for students enrolled in the School of Public Health.

“I applaud Dr. Szarek for his vision in establishing this fund to assist our students,” said SUNY Downstate president Wayne J. Riley, M.D. “The remarkable commitment of our faculty to their students is part what makes a Downstate education unlike any other, and is fundamental to the outstanding success of our academic programs.”

When fully endowed, the Lenard and Christine Szarek Fellowship Fund will award up to $50,000 per year to a maximum of 10 students, at a grant level of $5,000 each for eligible masters and doctoral students. Selection criteria is based on academic merit within the School—applicants must have a minimum 3.75 G.P.A. to qualify.

“My intention is to recognize students who have reached a high level of excellence in their studies, promote professional development, and foster leadership among those training for a career in public health,” said Dr. Szarek. “The Fellowship also pays tribute to my parents, Lenard and Christine Szarek, and is in memory of my late father.  I expect this fund will support the education of public health scientists who will champion the advancement of global health.”

“We are grateful to the Lenard and Christine Szarek Fellowship Fund for this incredibly generous gift in support of students enrolled in our School of Public Health,” said School of Public Health Interim Dean Dr. Judie LaRosa. “In addition to furthering and expanding their education efforts, this grant will allow eligible outstanding students to prepare for leadership roles while working to address health concerns in a global community.”

SUNY Downstate’s School of Public Health is recognized for its innovative program models that promote health equity and leadership in urban and immigrant health. The Lenard and Christine Szarek Fellowship Fund is available to applicants from the School’s four departments: Community Health Sciences, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Epidemiology and Biostatics, and Health Policy and Management.

In addition to serving as Professor and Chair of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Dr. Szarek is also Associate Dean for Research Administration, and serves as an academic member on multiple clinical trial Steering Committees and Data Safety Monitoring Committees. He received his MS degree in biostatistics from the Harvard School of Public Health and his Ph.D. in biostatistics from New York University. Prior to joining Downstate, he was Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs at ImClone Systems, where he was responsible for regulatory strategies of development-stage treatments for cancer, and Director of Biostatistics at Pfizer, where he was the worldwide statistical lead for Lipitor (atorvastatin).



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, College of Health Related 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.