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2014 Dean’s Honors Day Held at NYU Langone Medical Center

Three Master Scholars Recognized for their Contributions to Medicine and the Medical Center

NYU Langone Medical Center honored three faculty members for lifetime achievements in clinical excellence, education and science at the 13th Annual Dean’s Honors Day Ceremony held yesterday. In addition to those receiving Master Scholars Awards, faculty members were honored for their appointments to endowed chairs, or department chairs, service as chairs, receiving tenure or promotions, and extramural and intramural distinctions. 

“The three individuals honored this year are remarkable examples of those who embody excellence,” said Robert I. Grossman, MD, Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO. “Through their determination, talent, creativity, and commitment our mission comes to life.” 

This year's Master Awards honorees included:

Master Clinician: Steven L. Galetta, MD, Philip K. Moskowitz, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Neurology

Through his clinical practice and his profound research, Steven L. Galetta, MD, has greatly improved the lives of generations of patients. He is a nationally recognized leader in neurology, neuro-ophthalmology, and medical education, with areas of expertise that include the treatment of double vision, multiple sclerosis (MS), concussion, neuro-ophthalmology, and optic nerve disorders.

He is revered for his diagnostic skills, his devotion to patients and his ability to stay ahead of the curve so patients will benefit from the latest treatments. Over the course of his distinguished career, Dr. Galetta has written more than 250 original publications concerning clinical, radiologic, research. He serves on the editorial boards of Neurology and the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology and is co-author of the textbook Neuro-Ophthalmology: Diagnosis and Management.

Often noted for his abilities as an educator and mentor, Dr. Galetta has received nearly 50 teaching awards, including Distinguished Teacher of the Year from both the American Neurological Association’s, and the Association of American Medical Colleges in the same year.

Since joining NYU Langone in 2012 he has been instrumental in the development of our Concussion Center, expanding our Comprehensive Stroke Care Center and launch out neuro-opthalmology program.

Master Educator: Victoria M. Harnick PhD, MS, assistant professor of The Department of Cell Biology and associate dean for Curriculum and a distinguished alumnus of the NYU School of Medicine.

A talented educator and alumnus Victoria M. Harnick, PhD, MS, has a true gift when it comes to bringing the right people and ideas to the table, overcoming logistical and political issues, and keeping diverse teams on track to reach a common goal. To those who have been fortunate enough to work or study with it comes as no surprise that she was instrumental in the rollout of team-based learning across our integrated Curriculum for the 21st Century (C21). She was later appointed director of education in the Basic Sciences and the associate dean for Curriculum.

Dr. Harnick joined the faculty full time in 1990 and was named a Master Scholar mentor in her very first cohort. She received Distinguished Teaching Awards in 2004 and 2009, and the Teacher of the Year awards in 2002, 2005, and 2008. She is co-author of Elsevier’s Integrated Anatomy and Embryology and serves as chair of an executive admissions committee.

Through all of these roles, Dr. Harnick’s enduring strength has been in developing better assessment tools for knowledge testing in the pre-clerkship curriculumand integrating active, experiential learning models, such as team-based learning, the flipped classroom, and hands-on simulation study.

Master Scientist: Gordon J. Fishell, PhD, Julius Raynes Professor of Neuroscience and Physiology

During his 20 years at NYU Langone, Gordon J. Fishell, PhD, has earned a reputation as a fearlessly creative and groundbreaking neuroscientist. His work first gained prominence through a series of papers published in Nature, Science, and Neuron that outlined his discoveries of the varied roles of the signaling proteins Notch and Sonic Hedgehog in brain patterning, stem cell origin, and adult neurogenesis.

Dr. Fishell’s lab has studied the remarkable variety of cells known as interneurons that gate and coordinate brain function. He soon recognized that genetic insults that impair the development of these cells often result in psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia and autism. The work in his lab demonstrates how basic biology informs our understanding of brain disorders, an approach that has led to some key breakthroughs including three recent papers, that directly make a connection between dysfunction in interneurons and affective brain disorders.

Dr. Fishell has earned numerous accolades for his work, including being named a Simon’s Investigator since 2009, a CIRM (California Institute for Regenerative Medicine) fellow, and a Merson Prize recipient in 2013. His laboratory was honored this year by the Society for Neuroscience, where Dr. Fishell will give one of the three presidential lectures.

In addition to the Master Awards, The Valentine Mott Founders Award was conferred on Trustee Bernard L. Schwartz. The award, named for the father of modern surgery and co-founder of NYU School of Medicine, is presented to an individual who has shown exceptional support for the clinical, research, and education missions of the Medical Center.

Bernard L. Schwartz, currently chair and CEO of BLS Investments, LLC, joined the Board of Trustees in 1985, and from that moment forward, he has been a visionary philanthropist and a dear friend of NYU Langone Medical Center. Mr. Schwartz has supported a broad range of research and clinical programs. He began funding biomolecular research in 1993 and today, the Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Research is home to The Bernard Schwartz Program in Structural Biology and the BernardSchwartz Program in Humanistic Medicine.

In 2003, together with his wife, he established the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Neurointerventional Radiology Center, which features state-of-the-art technologies for minimally invasive procedures that help ensure the safety, comfort, and faster recovery times for NYU Langone patients. In 2007, Mr. Schwartz went on to launch the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Center for Biomedical Imaging, one of the world’s premier imaging research centers whose mission it is to discover new applications of high-field magnetic resonance and high-speed CT and train tomorrow’s leaders in biomedical imaging research. Most recently, Mr. Schwartz pledged to establish the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Gastrointestinal Oncology Fellowship Program and the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Professorship in Gastrointestinal Oncology, and the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Venous Thromboembolic Disease Center.

Media Inquiries:

Rob Magyar
Phone: 212-404-3591

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