Nine Univ. at Buffalo Dept. of Neurology Affiliated Physicians Named to 2020 Top Doctors List

The Dept. of Neurology at Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Univ. at Buffalo/SUNY boasts nine physicians who have been named to the Professional Research Services (PRS) Top Doctor list appearing in the January 2020 issue of Buffalo Spree magazine.   This represents an increase of two from last year.  Moreover, the Dept. of Neurology has more physicians named to the list than any other neurology practice group in Western New York.  Top Doctors are the physicians most highly regarded by their peers and are selected solely by a survey conducted by PRS.  In addition, all Top Doctor physicians undergo licensing verification and infraction review through queries to professional boards and agencies.  The Univ. at Buffalo-affiliated neurologists and neuro-ophthalmologists recognized as 2020 Top Docs are:

Adult neurology: Drs. Ajay Abad (Roswell Park) Robert Sawyer, Nicholas Silvestri, Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, and Gil Wolfe

Neuro-ophthalmology:  Dr. Norah Lincoff (Ophthalmology)

Child neurology: Drs. Osman Farooq, Sarah Finnegan, and Arie Weinstock

UB Dept. of Neurology Goes Bowling

Over 25 members of the Department of Neurology at the Univ. at Buffalo/SUNY Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences went bowling on November 5, 2019.  The event is one of several the department holds each year so that physicians, other providers, and staff can assemble outside the workplace.  Bowling Night has proven to be a favorite activity.  In this year’s event, Ralph Benedict, PhD, and division chief of neuropsychology posted a high score of 162.  Dr. Benedict has had aspirations for the Professional Bowlers Association tour for many years, but his dedication to cognitive disorders and the patients who are challenged by them has forced him to put those dreams aside.  In the women’s division, Jodi Berner, who coordinates the neuropsychology program and organizes Bowling Night among other social events, posted a high score of 134.  She is tutored by her husband who is an expert of the lanes.  Many attendees posted their personal highs at the event.  Others were simply embarrassed.

Dept. of Neurology Bowling Night 2019


Elizabeth Ann Thiele, MD, PhD, Delivers 3rd Annual Drs. Cohen & Duffner Lectureship in Neurology

On October 31, 2019, Elizabeth Ann Thiele, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, delivered the third Drs. Michael Cohen and Patricia Duffner Annual Lectureship in Neurology at Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Univ. at Buffalo/SUNY.  Dr. Thiele is Director of the Pediatric Epilepsy Program at Massachusetts General Hospital where she runs the Carol and James Herscot Center for Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, one of her main research interests.  She also directs the Dravet Syndrome comprehensive clinical program at MGH.   Dr. Thiele summarized her work in refractory pediatric epilepsy and also lectured on Sunflower Syndrome, an increasingly recognized childhood refractory epilepsy syndrome that her group is characterizing.  Dr. Arie Weinstock, section chief for epilepsy in the Univ. at Buffalo Dept. of Neurology, hosted Dr. Thiele during her two day visit.  The annual lectureship honors Drs. Cohen and Duffner, child neurologists and professors emeritus in the UB Dept. of Neurology.

Drs. Patricia Duffner, Elizabeth Thiele & Michael Cohen (l to r)

Elizabeth Thiele, MD, PhD, presents on pediatric epilepsy

UBMD Neurology and Oishei Children’s Hospital Foundation Host “Let’s Talk Buffalo Epilepsy” Patient Symposium

UBMD Neurology, the clinical practice arm for the Dept. of Neurology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Univ. at Buffalo/SUNY, hosted a patient symposium on the latest advances in epilepsy on October 20, 2019, held in UB’s Clinical Translational Science Institute space on the 5th floor of the Gates Vascular Institute.  The program was co-hosted by Oishei Children’s Hospital and was supported by the Becker and Fenton families who have a personal connection to the challenges that both children and adult patients with epilepsy face.   Several Dept. of Neurology faculty spoke including Drs. Arie Weinstock, Robert Glover, and Ping Li.  Dr. Jonathan Riley of the Dept. of Neurosurgery, also presented a lecture.  An open forum for questions where patients and families shared their experiences, was also part of the program.  Refractory seizures, stereotactic EEG, epilepsy surgery, vagal nerve stimulation, brain responsive neurostimulation, and deep brain stimulation were some of the topics covered at the symposium.

Robert Glover, MD, presents to the audience at the “Let’s Talk Buffalo Epilepsy” symposium.


Univ. at Buffalo Dept. of Neurology Holds Retirement Dinner for Dr. Michael Cohen

The career of Dr. Michael E. Cohen was celebrated at a dinner held at the Saturn Club on September 6, 2019, attended by members of the Department of Neurology, invited guests from the University including the President and Dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and family and friends of Dr. Cohen.  Dr. Cohen, an internationally recognized child neurologist with a subspecialty interest in childhood neuro-oncology, began his faculty career at UB in 1968 after completing training at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Boston Children’s Hospital and serving in the US Army Medical Corps, where he ascended to the rank of Captain.  He was appointed Chairman of the Dept. of Neurology in 1983, serving in this role for 17 years.  During his academic career he published over 100 papers and 40 chapters on a variety of topics in child neurology.  He authored and edited several textbooks, including two editions of Brain Tumors of Children: Principles of Diagnosis and Treatment.  Dr. Cohen has received numerous honors over his career including the Capen Award as a distinguished alumnus and a Career Achievement Award from UB.  He served as President for the Child Neurology Society, Professors of Child Neurology, and the Child Neurology Section of the American Academy of Neurology.   Dr. Cohen’s contributions to the Dept. of Neurology are recognized annually through the Dr. Michael E. Cohen Resident Research Day held every June prior to the housestaff graduation and the Drs. Michael E. Cohen and Patricia K. Duffner Annual Lectureship in Neurology, held every autumn since being established in 2017.

Dr. Michael Cohen Addressing the Dinner Attendees.

UB Dept. of Neurology Holds 2019 Research Day and Graduation Banquet

The UB Dept. of Neurology of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences held its annual Michael E. Cohen, MD, Residents Research Day and Graduation Banquet on June 14, 2019.  All graduating residents presented their research findings, while the PGY-3 level residents presented research plans.  The Research Day was coordinated by Dr. Robert Zivadinov and his Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center staff.

Winners of the Outstanding Resident Presentation Awards for Research Day were Kevin Schmitt, MD, PGY4, and outgoing co-chief resident,  and Edina Komlodi-Pasztor, MD, PhD, PGY3, and Ahmed Sanai, MBBS, PGY3.  A copy of the Research Day program is to be attached shortly.

At the Graduation Dinner banquet, Kevin Schmitt, MD, also received the teaching award from the medical students.  Alise Pham, DO, PGY4 and outgoing co-chief resident, was awarded the Dr. Edward Fogan Prize that recognizes overall clinical excellence.  Daniel Sirica, MD, PGY3, and Saad Hasan, MBBS, PGY2, received the Resident Collegiality awards.  Faculty Drs. Osman Farooq and Robert Glover received the Resident Teaching Award.

Graduating residents were Drs. Evelyn Berman (child neurology), Felix Cheng, Alise Pham, Kevin Schmitt, Evelyn Walsh, and Zilfah Younas.  Incoming chief residents are Drs. Ashley Alex and Daniel Sirica.  Thomas Ballanca, senior administrative assistance for the residency training programs and medical student clerkship, played a key role in organizing the banquet.  Dr. Nick Silvestri, program director for the adult neurology residency training program, served as master of ceremonies.

Univ. at Buffalo Dept. of Neurology Faculty and Housestaff, June 2019

Univ. at Buffalo Dept. of Neurology Presents Over 30 Papers at 2019 AAN meeting

19am_logo_bluesThe Univ. at Buffalo/SUNY Department of Neurology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences once again had a large presence at the 2019 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting held May 4-10 in Philadelphia.  Between scientific and educational sessions, the department had some 35 presentations.  Research topics included multiple sclerosis, neuroimaging, stroke, epilepsy, neuromuscular disorders, cognition, and history of neurology.  Department and affiliated faculty listed as first or co-authors on abstracts include Drs. Ralph Benedict, Marilou Ching, Michael Dwyer, Osman Farooq, Edward Fine, Sarah Finnegan, David Hojnacki, Channa Kolb, Alexis Lizarraga, Murali Ramanathan, Ferdinand Schweser, Nicholas Silvestri, Kinga Szigeti, Caila Vaughn, Arie Weinstock, Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, Gil Wolfe, and Robert Zivadinov.  Neurology residents/fellows and medical students included Svetlana Eckert, Haris Kamal, Nicole Khezri, and Daniela Zambrano among others.  Numerous research associates in the department and the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center were also listed on the abstracts.