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SUNY Downstate Alumni Honored at Celebrate Downstate

Annually, Celebrate Downstate honors select leaders in the medical, political, media, philanthropic and business worlds whose achievements and humanitarian service have transformed medicine, and improved lives locally and globally — reflecting SUNY Downstate’s core missions of education, research and patient care.

The gala was held Saturday, April 9, at the Plaza Hotel, New York City. All of the proceeds go to fund medical research.


Downstate President John Williams, Dr. Douglas Lazzaro, Senator Marty Golden and host Natalie Pasquarella, co-anchor for the weekend edition of NBC 4 New York. Photo courtesy of SUNY Downstate Biomedical Communications.



Eli Friedman, MD ’57 SUNY Downstate faculty member with a prolific career in renal disease.

Dr. Eli Friedman is a native of Brooklyn whose career-long contributions to the field of nephrology have advanced the quality of renal medicine within our city as well as throughout the nation. Dr.Friedman established the first hemodialysis facility in New York city here at Downstate in 1963 and his work in the field of kidney disease is internationally recognized.

“Dr. Eli Friedman, our faculty honoree, has had a legendary career in medicine and has made all of us at Downstate very proud. His work in renal medicine spans not only the US but the world,” according to Douglas R. Lazzaro, who founded Celebrate Downstate in 2008.

Jeffrey S. Kahn, MD, PhD received his Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and Immunology from McGill University. He received his MD and a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn. Dr. Kahn completed his internship, residency and chief residency in Pediatrics at Yale University and the Children’s Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Dr. Kahn stayed at Yale University to complete training in Pediatric Infectious Diseases. Thereafter, he joined the faculty at Yale University in the Department of Pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases. He joined the faculty of UT Southwestern Medical Center in 2009.

Dr. Kahn’s research efforts have been focused human respiratory viruses, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and new emerging human viruses. His laboratory was the first or among the first laboratories in the United States to describe the epidemiology and clinical manifestations of several newly identified viruses including human metapneumovirus, coronaviruses NL63 and HKU1, human bocavirus and polyomavirus WUV.  His laboratory has described the molecular epidemiology of RSV and has characterized the glycoprotein sequences, completed phylogenetic analyses and defined the biological properties (e.g. induction of cytokines and chemokines) and induced gene expression profiles (using RNA-SEQ) of many of these RSV strains in primary human cells. Dr. Kahn’s current research efforts are focuses on mapping RSV phenotypes in the viral genome.

Dr. Kahn is the Director of the Pediatric Infectious Disease and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center and the Director of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Kahn is the Medical Director of Research at Children’s Medical Center.

With an extensive background in health care management, policy, and public health, Dr. Siegel is leading America’s Essential Hospitals and its members through the changing healthcare landscape to a sustainable future. America’s Essential Hospitals (formerly the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems) is the only national organization representing hospitals committed to caring for the uninsured and other vulnerable people. The association works to preserve and protect these organizations, which form the foundation of a strong, vibrant health system for all members of society.

Dr. Siegel previously served as president and CEO of two member systems: New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation and Tampa General Healthcare. His hands-on member experience provided a lens through which to view his research and policy work as director of the Center for Health Care Quality and professor of health policy at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, where he served just before joining America’s Essential Hospitals. Dr. Siegel also served as New Jersey’s commissioner of health.

Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Siegel led groundbreaking work on quality and equity for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as well as projects for the Commonwealth Fund, the California Endowment, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. He is current chair of the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality, and a member of the National Quality Forum boardModern Healthcare named him one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” in 2011, 2012, and 2013, and one of the “50 Most Influential Physician Executives” in 2012 and 2013. He also was named one of the “50 Most Powerful People in Healthcare” by Becker’s Hospital Review in 2013.

Dr. Siegel earned an AB from Princeton University, a doctor of medicine from Cornell University Medical College, and a master of public health from The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health.

—America’s Essential Hospitals

Senator Marty Golden, State Senator, 22nd District


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