Dr. Mark Stewart was named Interim Provost for SUNY Downstate on August 18, 2016.
Dr. Stewart, who currently serves as dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Vice Dean for Research, is an accomplished academician, researcher, and administrator with proven leadership skills and a deep understanding of both Downstate and SUNY academic strengths and regulations.
Dr. Stewart is widely respected by faculty and leadership from all of the campus’ schools, demonstrated in part by his nomination to SUNY administration as a candidate for officer-in-charge. He is also widely respected by SUNY and Research Foundation leadership, having served in multiple capacities, including as a founding co-champion of the SUNY Networks of Excellence.
As Interim Provost, Mark will work closely with my office and with Downstate’s academic leaders to envision and strategically plan academic programming, as well as maintain excellence in academic services, scholarship, and research. In this position, Mark will also serve as campus liaison with SUNY on academic matters.
Dr. Stewart received his MD and PhD degrees in 1991 from Downstate. His PhD and a postdoctoral fellowship were in neuroscience, and his current research is focused on the systemic consequences of epileptic seizure activity including sudden death. His lab has developed a unique animal model that has permitted arguably the most complete understanding of autonomic, cardiovascular, and respiratory pathophysiology during seizures and suggested the mechanism for sudden death in epilepsy. This work has led to the development of several technologies to prevent death or resuscitate patients, including a vagus nerve stimulation-based cardioverter/defibrillator that received funding from SUNY’s Technology Accelerator Fund.
Dr. Stewart joined the Physiology faculty in 1994 and was promoted through the ranks in Physiology and Physiology & Pharmacology to a tenured professor in 2008. He was appointed Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Vice Dean for Research in 2009. He has played major roles in establishing an MD/PhD Program in Nanomedicine with the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, a PhD Track in Developmental Neuroscience in partnership with the Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities in Staten Island, and numerous other research training and pipeline programs with area universities, including the first major research training grant for CUNY Medgar Evers College.