2011 Recipients

Dominick P. Purpura Distinguished Alumnus Award - Mark A. Hardy, M.D. '62

Dr. Mark A. Hardy is the Auchincloss Professor of Surgery, former Vice Chair and Residency Program Director of Surgery, and Director Emeritus of the Transplant Center at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and New York (NY) Presbyterian Hospital. The author of more than 330 peer-reviewed publications, he now serves as Director of the NY Islet Resource Center and is an editor of the journal Transplantation. He also is editor of one of the first books on xenotransplantation and another on organ replacement in diabetes mellitus. Dr. Hardy’s scientific career has revolved around transplantation and transplantation biology. His most recent focus has been on cellular transplantation with emphasis on islet transplantation. His clinical interests have been in transplantation and vascular surgery. He is a former Director of Vascular Surgery and Transplantation at Einstein and former Director and founder of transplantation at NY Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. He is the founding Director and former President of the New York Organ Donor Network and former Director and member of the Board of Directors of United Network for Organ Sharing, and has been President of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. He also is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of numerous surgical and scientific societies. In the earlier part of his career, Dr. Hardy made several contributions to the development of prosthetic vascular grafts and the development and studies of biologic function of thymic hormones. He continues to focus on issues in surgical education and global health, and is Director of the annual NY Surgery Board Review Course. His numerous honors include an NIH Scholar Award and Honorary Fellowship in the Polish Surgical Society, as well as Honorary Doctorates at Hallym University, in Korea, and at Warsaw University, in Poland. Dr. Hardy received his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University.

Honorary Alumnus Award - Lawrence Brandt, M.D.

Dr. Lawrence J. Brandt is Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology & Liver Diseases) and Surgery at Einstein, as well as Emeritus Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at Einstein and its University Hospital, Montefiore Medical Center. A member of the Einstein faculty since 1974, Dr. Brandt served as Chief of Gastroenterology for nearly 10 years. Among his many contributions to the field, he performed the first non-operative removal of gastric polyps; he showed that the antibiotic metronidazole can heal perineal Crohn's disease; he categorized ischemic colitis and showed that patients with ischemic colitis had a worse prognosis when the ischemia involved only the right side of the colon; and he is a pioneer in innovative ways to treat recurrent C. difficile infection. The author or editor of more than 350 scientific publications and seven books, Dr. Brandt currently is Associate Editor for the Focal Points section of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and has served on the editorial boards of numerous other journals. He is a Master of the American College of Gastroenterology and has received many awards and honors, including the Distinguished Educator Award from the American Gastroenterological Association and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, as well as the William Dock M.D. Master Teacher Award in Medicine of SUNY Downstate. Dr. Brandt is a member of the Einstein’s Leo M. Davidoff Society and was named the Montefiore Staff and Alumni Association's Honoree in 1999. Since 1994, he has been listed every year in Best Doctors in America. He earned his bachelor’s degree from College of the City College of New York and his medical degree from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine.  


Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award - Louis M. Aledort, M.D. ’59, MACP

Dr. Louis M. Aledort is a member of Einstein’s first graduating class. Currently, he is the Mary Weinfeld Professor of Clinical Research in Hemophilia at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he has been a member of the faculty for 45 years. Considered a pioneer in the field of coagulation disorders, Dr. Aledort has participated in many seminal projects that have advanced scientific standards in research and patient care, most notably with regard to the safety and efficacy of bleeding disorder treatments and bleeding related to anticoagulant therapy. He has been a leader in the design and implementation of several groundbreaking collaborative study groups, including the U.S. Hemophilia Study Group, the Transfusion Safety Study, and the Orthopedic Outcome Study, and has authored more than 400 peer-reviewed articles. He also has served as editor of numerous medical journals, and he has held leadership positions while working with a broad range of governmental, non-profit, and educational organizations. In addition, Dr. Aledort is renowned among his peers as a tireless advocate for the advancement of colleagues and young physicians and investigators, who values education and collaboration. Among his other honors, Dr. Aledort has been elected to Mastership in the American College of Physicians, and he has received the National Hemophelia Foundation Murray Thelin Science Award, the Mount Sinai Nursing Department’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hemophilia and Thrombosis Research Society. A generous supporter of his medical school alma mater, Dr. Aledort is a member of the Century Award Society. He also served the Einstein Alumni Association Board of Governors for decades and was its president from 1969 to 1970. In 2009, he chaired Einstein’s first 50th Reunion Celebration for his class of 1959. Dr. Aledort earned his bachelor’s degree from Queens College of the City of New York.


Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award - Marvin Kirschner, M.D. ‘59

Dr. Marvin Kirschner is a member of Einstein’s history-making Class of 1959. He began his career in endocrinology at the National Institutes of Health, where he spent eight years as an active researcher within the National Cancer Institute and published several landmark papers related to disorders of steroid metabolism. Following the 1967 riots in Newark, he was recruited by the newly formed UMDNJ to become Chief of Medicine at the Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, a position he held for 30 years. He led the transformation of that inner city community hospital into a full-fledged teaching arm of UMDNJ, developing a full-time teaching staff and bringing to New Jersey the first renal dialysis and transplantation center, cardiac electrophysiology, and a heart transplantation program, among other innovations. Through his leadership, Newark Beth Israel became a major clinical training site of UMDNJ, with common house staff and fellowships, and clinical rotations for medical students at each level of training. In 1997, Dr. Kirschner moved to UMDNJ to become Chief of Endocrinology, and to serve as Acting Chief of a developing Cancer Center, and then Vice Chair for clinical programs in the Department of Medicine. In 2003, he became Emeritus Professor of Medicine. Today, he continues to teach endocrinology to fellows and students, remains active in mentoring house staff and fellows, and continues to serve on NIH and other review panels. Since graduating 52 years ago, Dr. Kirschner has maintained his ties with Einstein through its Alumni Association, serving on its Board of Governors from 1980 to 2009, and as its president from 1985 to 1988—during which time the Distinguished Alumnus Award was instituted. In 2009, he became a member of the Einstein Circle.


Alumni Association Lifetime Service Award - Kenneth Schiffer, M.D. ’61, FAAP

Dr. Kenneth Schiffer is marking the 50th anniversary of his graduation from Einstein. Following graduation from the College of Medicine, he remained in the Bronx, completing his internship, residency and chief residency at Bronx Municipal Hospital (now Jacobi Medical Center). He then joined the Einstein faculty and became a member of the Montefiore pediatric staff, with a brief interruption to serve two years in the United States Air Force, as a captain and chief of pediatrics. From 1967 through 1993, he was a member of the Einstein-Montefiore Comprehensive Family Care Center. To this day, he continues to maintain a private practice at Central Avenue Pediatrics, where his daughter, Michelle Schiffer Merer (M.D. ‘90) and his son, Dr. Todd Schiffer (M.D. ‘94), have been practicing with him for more than 15 years. In addition, he is Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Montefiore, as well as Senior Attending in Pediatrics at Lawrence Hospital, in Bronxville, NY. Dr. Schiffer’s ongoing commitment to Einstein has included serving on the medical school’s admission committee, as a member of the Weiler Division Supervising Council, and as a pediatric representative to the joint Weiler-Montefiore Administrative Committee. He also was a member of the Einstein Alumni Association Board of Governors from 1967 to 2010, serving as President of the association from 1970 to 1972 and as Chair of its nominating committee from 1998 to 2010, and is a member of the Einstein Circle. Dr. Schiffer received his bachelor’s degree from New York University.


Alumni Association Lifetime Service Award (for non alumnus) - Stephen H. Lazar, Ed.D.

Dr. Stephen Lazar, formerly Assistant Dean at Einstein, is now Executive Dean of The Sackler School of Medicine New York State/American Program of Tel Aviv University. This year marks a first for both Dr. Lazar and Einstein, as it is the first time in 42 years that he is not the Grand Marshal of the Einstein commencement ceremony. Einstein classes dating back to 1969 can all recall Dr. Lazar officiating over the most monumental event in their young medical careers. And he is well known and beloved by many Einstein alumni and donors, having represented the College of Medicine as an ambassador at philanthropic events and as an invited speaker at institutions worldwide. Dr. Lazar arrived at Einstein in 1968, taking on the role of Assistant Dean – the only role he would hold in more than 42 years at Einstein. In that role he oversaw the non-academic aspects of student life, ensuring that students were properly housed and had a broad range of extracurricular activities to balance out the attention to their studies. He also served in numerous capacities of the medical school experience, including student admissions, financial aid, student health, employment, and minority affairs, among other accomplishments. Because of his devotion to the College of Medicine and its students, for more than four decades, Dr. Lazar was considered the heart and soul of Einstein. He earned his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Fredonia, and his master’s degree and doctorate in education from Syracuse University.


Distinguished Ph.D. Alumnus Award - Charles S. Peskin, Ph.D.& ‘72

Dr. Charles Peskin received his Ph.D. from Einstein, under the direction of Dr. Edward Yellin, in 1972. He then stayed on at Einstein for postdoctoral training in pediatric cardiology and pulmonary medicine, after which he joined the faculty of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, where he remains today. At NYU, he also is the Silver Professor, professor of mathematics and professor of neural science. For four decades, Dr. Peskin has studied the dynamics of the human heart, in particular, the relationship between the blood circulating through its four chambers and the heart’s muscles and valves. The promise of his work was recognized in 1983, with the presentation of a MacArthur Fellowship, also known as a “genius award.” Dr. Peskin’s work involves a broad range of disciplines, including mathematics, physics and neuroscience. His discoveries, using sophisticated computer modeling, have the potential to benefit heart patients by helping physicians plan treatment strategies and by aiding in the design of better replacement valves. He is best known for developing an elegant mathematical model called the immersed boundary method, which simulates fluid flows in coupled systems, such as circulating blood interacting with the elastic boundary of the heart’s valve leaflets and muscle fibers. The computer simulation methodology he developed with colleague David McQueen, Ph.D., has made it possible to apply computational fluid dynamics to cardiology. Although the immersed boundary method was developed primarily for cardiac research, scientists also are applying it to other coupled systems, including the dynamics of the human inner ear and the locomotion of microbes. Dr. Peskin earned his bachelor’s degree, in engineering and applied physics, at Harvard.


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