This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Six named SUNY Distinguished Professors

  • Frank Bright

    David Felder

  • Bruce Holm

    William Jusko

    Mulchand Patel

    William Pelham

Published: December 17, 2008

Six UB faculty members have been named SUNY Distinguished Professors, the highest faculty rank in the SUNY system.

Appointed by the SUNY Board of Trustees at its Nov. 18 meeting were Frank V. Bright, UB Distinguished Professor and A. Conger Goodyear Professor in the Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences; David Felder, Birge Cary Chair in the Department of Music, CAS; Bruce A. Holm, professor in the departments of Pediatrics, Gynecology and Obstetrics, and Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; William J. Jusko, UB Distinguished Professor in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Mulchand S. Patel, UB Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biochemistry in the medical school; and William E. Pelham Jr., UB Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology, CAS, and the departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry in the medical school.

The rank of distinguished professor is an order above full professorship and has three co-equal designations: distinguished professor, distinguished service professor and distinguished teaching professor.

The distinguished professorship recognizes and honors individuals who have achieved national or international prominence in their fields.

Frank Bright, a UB faculty member for 21 years and chair of the Department of Chemistry, conducts research in a broad range of areas in analytical and bioanalytical chemistry and optical spectroscopy.

A prolific researcher who has authored or co-authored more than 230 peer-reviewed publications and delivered more than 500 lectures, Bright is a co-founder of the university-funded, multidisciplinary Center for Unified Biometrics and Sensors (CUBS), which aims to provide key enabling technologies to build engineered systems with a focus on human health and homeland security applications.

Bright's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Department of Energy.

He and colleagues have formed several spin-off companies to commercialize the findings of their research.

Bright is a recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society Buck-Whitney Medal, the A.A. Benedetti-Pichler Award in Microchemistry from the American Microchemical Society and the American Chemical Society Akron Section Award, as well as the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the SUNY Outstanding Inventors Award.

Coordinator of the composition program in the Department of Music and artistic director of the annual June in Buffalo festival, David Felder has long been recognized as one of the leading American composers of his generation. His work has been featured at many of the leading international festivals for new music, and he also is known through performance and commissioning programs by such organizations as the New York New Music Ensemble, BBC Orchestra, Arditti Quartet, American Composers Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, American Brass Quintet and Ensemble InterContemporain.

His work is characterized by its highly energetic profile, its frequent use of technological extension and elaboration of musical materials—including his “Crossfire” video series—and its lyricism.

Felder has received numerous grants, awards and commissions from a variety of organizations, among them the National Endowment for the Arts; New York Foundation for the Arts; the Rockefeller Foundation and the Fromm Foundation. He also has received Guggenheim and Koussevitzky fellowships, “Meet the Composer New Residencies” with the Buffalo Philharmonic and two commissions from the Mary Flagler Cary Trust.

In addition, he serves as artistic director of the Robert G. and Carol L. Morris Center for 21st Century Music at UB, and in 1996, founded the Slee Sinfonietta, the university’s professional chamber orchestra, and serves as its artistic director.

As senior vice provost, Bruce Holm serves as UB’s point person on many of its high-technology and life-sciences projects. He was appointed executive director of UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences in 2004, and has been an integral part of the economic and scientific development of the center.

In addition to the numerous administrative positions he has held over the years—Holm has served as associate dean for research and graduate studies in the medical school and as senior associate vice president for health affairs—he has maintained an active research program that has attracted millions of dollars in grant awards to UB.

His research on therapeutics for acute lung disease secured two patents that resulted in the development of Infasurf®, a drug that has helped lower the mortality rate for premature newborns.

He has published more than 200 research papers, book chapters and abstracts, and has received numerous awards for his research, including the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Research and Science, the Technology/Discovery Award from the Health Care Industries Association and a Research Career Development Award from the NIH's Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, William Jusko is a major leader in the field of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, whose work over the past 20 years has led to significant advances in the modeling of the time course of events that follow drug administration.

A UB faculty member since 1972, Jusko also serves as director of the Center of Excellence in Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He has received numerous awards, including a Fulbright Fellowship; the Rawls-Palmer Award from the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics; the Russell R. Miller Award and the Distinguished Service Award, both from the American College of Clinical Pharmacology (ACCP); the Research Achievement Award in Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS); and most recently, a coveted MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) award from the National Institutes of Health.

Jusko is a fellow of AAPS, ACCP and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals. He has more than 420 publications.

A specialist in nutritional biochemistry, Mulchand Patel joined the UB faculty in 1993. He previously spent 15 years at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, leaving as a full professor of biochemistry.

Patel also serves as associate dean for biomedical research and education in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

His research interests include metabolic programming and the development of obesity, and the relationship between the structure and function of components that make up an enzyme group called the human pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. A deficiency of any of the components of the complex results in severe neurological disabilities.

He sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, and is the recipient of a Research and Scholarship Award from the SUNY Research Foundation.

William Pelham, director of UB’s Center for Children and Families, is one of the leading researchers in attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the U.S. In addition to directing UB's ADHD program, he conducts a highly successful behavior-modification summer program at the university for children with ADHD, which has been named by the American Psychological Association as a Model Program in Service Delivery in Child and Family in Mental Health.

Over the years, Pelham has studied many aspects of ADHD, including the nature of cognitive deficit; peer relationships; diagnosis; pharmacological, psychosocial and combined treatments; motivation and persistence; family factors, such as parental alcohol problems; service delivery; and outcome.

He has been a principal or co-principal investigator on multiple clinical trials and research grants from federal agencies such as the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and from numerous foundations and pharmaceutical companies.

He also is the first recipient of the Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence, established last spring by President John B. Simpson to recognize a UB faculty member who has achieved the highest degree of excellence as a scholar, community citizen and educator.