SUNY Distinguished Professor

The rank of SUNY Distinguished Professor is accorded to faculty who have distinguished their campus and State University communities through outstanding academic contributions, including scholarly publications, national and international research presentations, research findings and the training of students.

2019-20 Honorees

John Crassidis

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

John Crassidis, PhD, the Samuel P. Capen Chair Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is internationally renowned for his work on control, estimation theory and filtering as applied to nonlinear stochastic dynamical systems. He is the director of the Center for Multisource Information Fusion, the only dedicated fusion center in the United States. Dr. Crassidis has made numerous findings that have had a profound impact on space situational awareness, space navigation and space station safety. A fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Astronautical Society, Dr. Crassidis has conducted research that has improved the detection and tracking of man-made objects orbiting the Earth and helped keep astronauts safe during space missions. His discoveries and innovations have been used on the International Space Station, employed on a wide range of weather satellites, and deployed for mission‐critical initiatives by the Air Force, Navy and NASA.

M. Laura Feltri

Department of Biochemistry

Laura Feltri, MD, professor of biochemistry and neurology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, is a world-renowned expert in myelination and Schwann cell biology who has contributed to a series of discoveries related to demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and Krabbe disease. Devoting her career to discovering the cellular, biochemical and molecular basis for these diseases, Dr. Feltri has emerged as an academic and administrative leader in her field. Recipient of UB’s Distinguished Postdoc Mentor Award, she is also renowned as an excellent and inspiring educator and supporter of  younger scientists. Currently, Dr. Feltri is the acting director of the Hunter James Kelly Research Institute. Dr. Feltri’s research has been funded for more than two decades by such sources as the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association.

Jo Freudenheim

Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health

A member of the American Epidemiological Society, Jo Freudenheim, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, is an internationally renowned expert in nutritional epidemiology, molecular epidemiology and cancer. Dr. Freudenheim has focused her research on breast cancer epidemiology and the use of novel epidemiologic tools to understand carcinogenesis at the population, individual, tissue and molecular levels. Her study of dietary factors has provided new insights into breast cancer due to her examination of populations with greater variation in dietary intake. Her innovative research on the epigenetics of breast cancer integrates cutting-edge assessments of methylation profiles in tumors obtained from population studies, and the relationship to exposures such as alcohol. A remarkably prolific author, Dr. Freudenheim has published more than 275 peer-reviewed articles, which have garnered more than 17,500 citations to date. Her work has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Army since 1991.

Amit Goyal

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Amit Goyal, PhD, SUNY Empire Innovation Professor and director of UB’s RENEW Institute, is an internationally recognized materials scientist lauded for his groundbreaking scientific advances and technological innovations. The author or co-author of more than 350 technical publications, Dr. Goyal was ranked by Thompson-Reuters’ Essential Science Indicators as the most cited author worldwide in the field of high-temperature superconductivity from 1999-2009.  He has 88 issued patents, a majority of which have been licensed to industry.  Over the years he has received more than 60 grants exceeding $40M in funding.  He serves on several Scientific Advisory Boards and on several National Academy Review and Advisory Panels.  He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors and a fellow of eight leading professional societies. He has received numerous awards including the E.O. Lawrence Award, bestowed by the U.S. Department of Energy Secretary on behalf of the President. In 2019, he was awarded the UB President’s Medal in recognition of “Outstanding scholarly or artistic achievements, humanitarian acts, contributions of time or treasure, exemplary leadership or any other major contribution to the development of the university and the quality of life in the UB community.”

Elad I. Levy

Department of Neurosurgery

Elad Levy, MD, MBA, professor and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, is an internationally recognized clinical and research expert in neurosurgical intervention in cerebrovascular disease. With an emphasis on the treatment of stroke, intracranial arterial stenosis and aneurysms, Dr. Levy has made seminal contributions to endovascular surgery, stroke prevention and stroke treatment. He has authored well over 400 publications. Currently, he oversees more than a dozen clinical trials for stroke, aneurysms, carotid stenosis and other conditions. A member and fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, Dr. Levy has achieved additional prominence as one of 100 members of the American Academy of Neurosurgery. He serves as secretary of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and director of the American Board of Neurological Surgery.

Krishna Rajan

Department of Materials Design and Innovation

Krishna Rajan, ScD, the Erich Bloch Chair and Empire Innovation Professor in the Department of Materials Design and Innovation (MDI), is a world-renowned expert in the field of materials informatics who has provided extraordinary leadership to his field for more than 30 years. Dr. Rajan has received international acclaim for his seminal research applying information science and data-intensive methodologies to the discovery, quantification and numerical modeling of a range of structural and functional materials. Further, his wealth of expertise has led to the development of innovations in areas ranging from drug delivery to superalloys. The influence of his work has been recognized through numerous international recognitions, including the Alexander von Humboldt Award from Germany, the CSIRO Distinguished Visiting Scientist Award from Australia and the CNRS Visiting Professorship award from France. As the founding chair of MDI, Dr. Rajan has helped place UB and SUNY at the forefront of materials research and innovation.

Stephen Tiffany

Department of Psychology

Stephen Tiffany, PhD, Empire Innovation Professor in the Department of Psychology, is an internationally recognized scholar who has made exceptional contributions in the field of addiction. Described as one of an elite number of clinical scientists whose research spans both animal and human models, Dr. Tiffany takes a multifaceted approach to addiction that includes subjective, behavioral and physiological measures. The clinical scales he developed to measure craving are considered the gold standard in the field of alcohol and drug abuse. His contributions have helped reshape the structure of psychological disorders and how they are applied to those struggling with addiction. An extraordinarily productive researcher, Dr. Tiffany has more than 100 publications in highly prestigious journals and has received numerous grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has served as a standing member of three different NIH review panels and on the editorial boards of multiple journals.