2010 Dean's Honors Day Held at NYU Langone Medical Center

Three Master Scholars Recognized for their Contributions to Medicine and the Medical Center; Thomas S. Murphy Receives Valentine Mott Founders Award

October 7, 2010 - 4:00am

NYU Langone Medical Center honored three faculty members for lifetime achievements in clinical excellence, education and science in a special convocation ceremony at the Ninth Dean's Honors Day held yesterday. This is the fourth year that Master Awards were conferred on distinguished faculty members to recognize excellence at the institution. In addition to those receiving Master 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 people honored this year have woven together powerful intellect...sustained effort...steadfast achievement...and greatness of spirit. They remind us that in our profession, excellence represents the highest form of service," said Dr. Robert I Grossman, Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO.

This year's Master Awards honorees included:

Master Clinician: Joseph G. McCarthy, MD, The Lawrence Bell Professor of Plastic Surgery, director of the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and a member of the faculty since 1973, was honored for his trailblazing work in translational research efforts that have revolutionized craniofacial surgery. He is a prolific author, an educator overseeing one of the nation's largest educational programs in plastic surgery and a world leader who has served on editorial boards of major journals and presided over every major professional organization in his field.

The achievement that may best capture the essence of Dr. McCarthy is his role as founding chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of Smile Train, which to date has provided pro bono surgery around the world to over 400,000 children with cleft lip/palate. Smile Train has created an annual McCarthy Award to honor its outstanding international partners. Through his example, his discoveries, and his passionate devotion to patients with facial deformities, Dr. McCarthy has given thousands of children, adolescents and adults not just better health, but fuller lives, and in many cases, access to their very selves.

Master Educator: Benard Dreyer, MD professor of pediatrics and a distinguished alumnus of the NYU School of Medicine, has an unbroken, multi-decade record of outstanding service-to his department, to Bellevue Hospital Center, to the Medical Center as a whole, and to his profession.

Dr. Dreyer's renown as a teacher is anchored in the excellence of his own research and clinical practice. A physician/scientist who has remained at the forefront of societal issues that affect the health of children, he is recognized as one of the nation's premier experts in health literacy, a cause he has championed as author, editor, lecturer, and policy advisor to the Institute of Medicine and National Institutes of Health.

He is perhaps especially revered as a mentor-a role he has filled with wisdom and generosity on every imaginable front. Though he has undoubtedly long since lost count of all the careers he has helped shape over the years, even the list of those who have benefited from his guidance is staggering. Dr. Dreyer's wellspring of compassion and deep humanity has nurtured present and future luminaries in pediatrics-adding simultaneously to their own fulfillment and their ability to give the best of themselves to the children and families they serve. He is the essence of "doctor" in its root meaning-teacher.

Master Scientist: Rochelle Hirschhorn MD, professor emerita of medicine, cell biology and pediatrics, has been an illustrious member of the NYU faculty for 47 years. An immunologist by training, she became a pioneer in genetics, conducting seminal work on enzyme deficiencies and gene mutation, laying the groundwork for enzyme replacement, and subsequently, gene therapy. The answers she unearthed for conditions like ada deficiency or Pompe's disease have since been found to apply to a broad spectrum of genetic diseases. Her uncanny ability to see straight to the heart of the matter, through the most intricate of complexities, has distinguished her ground-breaking science, right from the start. 

As one of the early "grandes dames" of medicine, Dr. Hirschhorn has maintained extraordinarily fruitful collaborations with her colleagues. Premier professional associations in clinical investigation, human genetics, immunology, and rheumatology, along with the Institute of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health have all, in varying ways, acknowledged Dr. Hirschhorn's extraordinary accomplishments in advancing the understanding and treatment of hereditary disease. She is a truly exceptional alumna of the School as our Master Scientist and is a powerful link in the finest tradition of transmitting a passion for excellence from one generation to the next.


In addition to the Master Awards, The Valentine Mott Founders Award was conferred on Thomas S. Murphy, Sr., chairman & CEO (retired), Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. , who served as chair of the Medical Center Board for 13 years, and has been a trustee of the Medical Center for nearly 40 years. 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. He's made an indelible imprint on who we are and who we strive to be; and has served as a guiding light to our Medical Center.

Mr. Murphy has a profound sense of fairness and unswerving integrity. He spent his career in radio, TV, and movies...making everyone else a star. He himself never sought the limelight and never let his prodigious success make the slightest dent in his humility. His quintessential business, his son Thomas Murphy, Jr. says, has always been hope. The causes he has served-education, children, and medicine-all share that same, vital trait: creating chances for disadvantaged, vulnerable people who otherwise wouldn't have any. He has stoked the fires of hope for us and those we serve.

Media Inquiries:

Lorinda Klein
212-404-3555 | lorindaann.klein@nyumc.org