Downstate Alumni: Supporting a Legacy of Scholarship and Research

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A #GivingTuesday look at programs supported by SUNY Downstate medical alumni, and their effect on the lives of medical students.

Alumni donations cover eight weeks of full-time research for Downstate students in the summer between their first and second years. Another alumni-funded program supports an MD/PhD summer research program, and another a $28,000, full-year research scholarship.

Sun Mei Lui was the 2015-2016 full-year recipient. Her research encompassed, “Targeting complementing C3 to inhibit heart ischemia/reperfusion injury.”

“The Downstate Alumni Research Scholarship allowed me to not only explore a cutting edge field of research, but also to apply the medical knowledge I have to a practical setting to solve a real life problem in medicine, outside the context of a textbook,” Sun Mei Lui said.

The alumni scholarships align with Downstate’s past and future – from research to discovery, tightening ties with the Brooklyn community, New York affiliates and the world.

Eli Friedman, MD, Downstate ’57, famously established the first federally funded dialysis program in 1964, and invented the portable dialysis machine in 1973.  Raymond Damadian, MD, produced the first human images using magnetic resonance imaging with a machine he built at Downstate in 1977.

In the 1880s, Brooklyn’s sole medical college supported George Sternberg, MD, the first immunologist to demonstrate the bacillus of typhoid fever.

The tradition will continue, said Carlos N. Pato, MD, PhD, Dean of the College of Medicine, in a recent address to school leaders. “From basic research to our patients, and their families’ lives.”

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