UB honors medical school alumni in CTSI

Anthony Campagnari and Kinga Szigeti.

Anthony Campagnari, senior associate dean for research and graduate education, and Kinga Szigeti, assoc. professor of neurology

Published May 1, 2017

Four Western New York medical practitioners were honored on April 28 by the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, including two faculty members associated with the UB Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI).

The physicians and researchers were recognized for the outstanding accomplishments and distinction each brings to the school and region. They received the awards during a ceremony at the Hotel Henry in Buffalo.

The honorees include:

2017 Distinguished Biomedical Alumnus Anthony A. Campagnari, PhD, ’84, professor of microbiology and immunology, and medicine, and senior associate dean for research and graduate education, is the recipient of a 2015-16 CTSI Pilot Study Program award to support his ground-breaking research into electrostimulation of metallic prostheses to help eradicate chronic bacterial infections.

Campagnari’s research focuses on bacterial virulence factors, biofilm-associated components and putative vaccine antigens for two gram-negative human pathogens: Moraxella catarrhalis and Acinetobacter baumannii. More recently, he has expanded his research into the area of gram-positive bacteria.

Continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, industry and private foundations for more than 25 years, Campagnari’s research has led to 75 publications, five U.S. patents and over $10 million in extramural funding. He has received numerous awards, including the UB Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award in 2015.

2017 Distinguished Resident Kinga Szigeti, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology, is the founding director of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center and the Translational Genomics Research Laboratory. The Center was recently designated a Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s by the New York State Department of Health. Szigeti is a clinical researcher and member of the CTSI core faculty in the Clinical and Translational Research Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The clinical mission of Szigeti’s team is to provide compassionate, state-of-the-art care for patients and families affected by Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders. Their research mission is to employ genetic tools to identify novel risk factors and potential pathways that can be targeted with medications to prevent or modify the course of disease.

Szigeti is an alumna of the medical school’s neurology residency.

Also receiving awards were:

2017 Distinguished Medical Alumnus: Martin Brecher, MD, '72.

Former chief of pediatric hematology-oncology at UB, Brecher served for more than 25 years as chair of pediatrics at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and chief of pediatric hematology-oncology for Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo.

Thousands of children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer and their families have benefited from Brecher’s care and compassion.

Extensively published, Brecher has numerous research articles, abstracts and book chapters to his credit. He retired from active practice in 2014.

2017 Volunteer of the Year: Rose Berkun, MD, ’92, clinical assistant professor of anesthesiology.

President and founder of Northeast Ambulatory Anesthesia, PLLC, Berkun volunteers her time, energy and expertise to a variety of endeavors in academic medicine, the field of anesthesiology and the community.

Berkun is president the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists. She also serves in a number of leadership capacities with other medical societies, including the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the Medical Society of the State of New York and the American Medical Association.

She is also a co-founder of UB DoctHERS, a network of women physicians, scientists, residents and students that works to promote equal opportunities for future generations of women in medicine and science.

For more information on the awards, visit the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences website.