SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University Appoints W. Marcus Lambert, Ph.D., as Associate Vice President For Research Strategy and Operations

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Mar 4, 2021

MEDIA CONTACT: Dawn S. Walker | | 917-439-9666

Dr. Marlene Camacho-RiveraBrooklyn, NY - SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University announced W. Marcus Lambert, Ph.D., as Associate Vice President for Research Strategy and Operations. Dr. Lambert will also join the Downstate School of Public Health (SPH) faculty in the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department.

Since 2014, Dr. Lambert has led several institutional efforts at Weill Cornell Medicine. He has served as Assistant Dean of Diversity and Student Life and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine.

A nationally sought-after speaker on diversity in the scientific workforce, he developed and serves as contact PI, a coveted NIH/NIGMS-funded Initiative to Maximize Student Development (IMSD) R25 grant to increase the number and enhance the success of Ph.D. students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Dr. Lambert established a new office devoted to student diversity and building community across the training continuum leading to an increase in the percentage of Ph.D. students from underrepresented backgrounds from 13 percent in the 2014 class to 29 percent of the entering class and increasing annually. He developed mentor training programming for both faculty and students, including a near-peer mentoring program to help first-year students from diverse backgrounds transition into their Ph.D. programs. Dr. Lambert is a member of such national advisory boards as Cell Press’ Rising Black Scientists Award Academic Advisory Board. He will become a standing member of the NIH/NIGMS Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity (TWD-D) Study Section as of July 2021.

“Dr. Lambert will play a critical role in advancing our research infrastructure, strategic research planning, initiatives, and services,” said SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University President, Wayne J. Riley, M.D., MPH, MBA, MACP. “His vast and impressive experience and knowledge in biomedical sciences, mentorship, and health disparity research, as well as in academe, will be invaluable assets to Downstate and our overall mission.”

“I am thrilled to recruit a star of Dr. Lambert’s caliber to the Downstate research team.” said Senior Vice President for Research David Christini, Ph.D. "His vision and expertise will be critical as we work to grow and advance Downstate’s already robust research enterprise. Furthermore, he is simply a great match for Downstate, as our mission dovetails perfectly with his own.”

As Associate Vice President, Dr. Lambert will join Dr. Christini’s group working with the research team and SUNY Downstate Deans, Department Chairs, faculty, trainees, and staff, and will develop strategies and their implementation to grow Downstate’s extramurally funded research portfolio.

A particular focus will be advancing SUNY Downstate’s research in health disparities and public health research and training. Dr. Lambert will work with the Human Research Advisory Committee to develop and implement strategies to strengthen clinical trials efforts; partner with other SUNY campuses to develop SUNY-wide research networks and programs in human and laboratory research; envision and develop interdisciplinary research initiatives to support new research programs; interface with leadership of NIH, NSF, New York State, and other agencies to identify and target new funding opportunities for Downstate and its investigators; and work with leaders of the College of Medicine, School of Public Health, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, and School of Graduate Studies on efforts to strengthen trainee research.

As a faculty member in the School of Public Health, Dr. Lambert will serve as an academic advisor for MPH and DrPH students, teach public health courses to graduate students, and also conduct externally-funded research. His recent research used quantitative and qualitative methodologies to understand determinants for research career success in underrepresented groups—who are more likely to serve in medically-underserved areas —and investigate diseases and conditions disproportionally impacting minority groups. For example, he led and published a recent study quantifying predictors for academic research careers among women and underrepresented minority trainees.

Dr. Lambert has also focused on educational interventions that mitigate implicit bias and racial inequities for health sciences faculty and trainees. He co-developed a course entitled “Sociocultural Barriers to STEM,” designed to give students an introduction to the sociological literature surrounding inequities in science and medicine.

“We are privileged to have Dr. Lambert join us at Downstate and look forward to working with him in the School of Public Health,” said SPH Dean Kitaw Demissie, M.D., Ph.D. “His background in health disparities, clinical epidemiology, and health services research enhances the excitement in our school as we continue to grow enrollment and our programs.”

“I am very excited to join SUNY Downstate in this new role,” said Dr. Lambert. “I am eager to help expand the depth and scope of the research enterprise, especially in areas of health disparities. In the heart of Central Brooklyn, Downstate is uniquely positioned to lead the nation in the fight for health equity. As a Brooklyn resident, my community has always been the driving force for my desire to eliminate health disparities. It is an honor to be in a position to help achieve this goal.”

A resident of Fort Greene, Brooklyn, Dr. Lambert holds a Bachelor of Science, with Institutional Honors, in Biology from Howard University, a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from NYU, and an MS in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research from Weill Cornell Graduate School.

Dr. Lambert will begin his new duties on April 1, 2021.


About SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is the borough’s only academic medical center for health education, research, and patient care, and is a 342-bed facility serving the healthcare needs of New York City, and Brooklyn’s 2.6 million residents. University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB) is Downstate’s teaching hospital, backed by the expertise of an outstanding medical school and the research facilities of a world-class academic center. More than 800 physicians, representing 53 specialties and subspecialties—many of them ranked as tops in their fields—comprise Downstate's staff.

A regional center for cardiac care, neonatal and high-risk infant services, pediatric dialysis, and transplantation, Downstate also houses a major learning center for children with physical ailments or neurological disorders. In addition to UHB, Downstate comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative, including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @sunydownstate.