Francis Gasparini is one of three UB faculty members named SUNY
Distinguished Professors by the SUNY Board of Trustees. UB's L.
Nelson Hopkins and David Kofke also were honored.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Three University at Buffalo faculty
members have been appointed SUNY Distinguished Professors, the
highest faculty rank in the SUNY system.
Named Distinguished Professors in recognition of their national
or international prominence in their fields were Francis M.
Gasparini, UB Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics,
College of Arts and Sciences; L. Nelson Hopkins, professor and
chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine and
Biomedical Sciences; and David A. Kofke, UB Distinguished Professor
in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, School of
Engineering and Applied Sciences.
The trio was among eight SUNY faculty members appointed to the
distinguished professor ranks by the SUNY Board of Trustees at its
Dec. 17 meeting.
“In bestowing its highest faculty honor, SUNY proudly
recognizes the extraordinary achievements of these faculty and the
positive impacts they have had on our great system of higher
education, as well as their colleagues and students," said SUNY
Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Their achievements are highly
commendable and we thank them for their impeccable service to
A Fellow of the American Physical Society, Francis
Gasparini is an international leader in the field of low
temperature physics. A world-renowned scholar who has been at the
forefront of his field for several decades, Gasparini is especially
well-known for his pioneering studies of phase transitions of
liquid helium in confined systems – contributions regarded as
the “gold standard” in the field.
A member of the UB physics faculty for nearly four decades,
Gasparini served for 14 years as the director of graduate studies,
associate chair and chair of the physics department, and has been
instrumental in guiding the department’s unprecedented growth
and rise in stature, leading to international recognition of the
department by the physics community.
His many research and teaching honors include the SUNY
Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. The author of
nearly 100 research papers, his research since 1975 has been funded
nearly continuously by the National Science Foundation, with
overall external funding totaling more than $3.1 million.
A physician scientist who has redefined the field of vascular
neurosurgery in the management of stroke and stenting of vascular
lesions, L. Nelson Hopkins is director and founding member
of the Toshiba Stroke Research Centre, a facility that brings
together physicists, chemists, aerospace engineers, neurosurgeons,
cardiologists and radiologists to study neurovascular circulation
and develop innovative technologies and approaches for the
diagnosis, treatment and prevention of neurovascular diseases.
One of the founding figures of endovascular treatment for
neurovascular disorders, his innovations in the field of
endovascular surgery have been the benchmark for therapeutic
endovascular intervention and have defined the field for
A strong believer and participant in translational medicine, he
also serves as executive officer of the Jacobs Institute –
located in UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center
– which aims to catalyze medical collaboration and innovation
through partnerships between UB, Kaleida Health, community
physicians and industry.
Internationally recognized in the field of molecular simulation,
David Kofke invented the Gibbs-Duhem integration technique
that is now pervasive in the field and in molecular simulation
He has developed intermolecular potentials that permit
prediction of the properties of toxic chemicals like HF, reducing
the need for dangerous experiments. He systematically has examined
biases in molecular simulation methodologies and developed a simple
heuristic that can be applied to detect bias in simulation
He continues to develop methods of calculating virial
coefficients and cluster integrals that previously could not be
computed – an important step toward the goal of
first-principles calculation of fluid-phase properties.
He is one of only five recipients of the John M. Prausnitz Award
for Outstanding Achievement in Applied Chemical Thermodynamics.
Among his other awards are the Jacob F. Schoellkopf Medal, the SUNY
Chancellor’s awards for Excellence in Teaching and in
Research and Creative Activity, and the David Himmelblau Award for
Innovations in Computer-Based Chemical Engineering.