Wadsworth Director Lawrence Sturman Receives Prestigious Honor for Outstanding Service in Public Health

Albany, N.Y. (November 8, 2011) - Dr. Lawrence S. Sturman, M.D., Ph.D., director of the New York State Department of Health's (DOH) Wadsworth Center, has been awarded the Excellence in Public Health Award by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) in recognition of his outstanding service to the public health community.

"Dr. Lawrence Sturman is receiving well-deserved recognition for his outstanding work as a researcher, teacher and advocate in the field of public health," said State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H. "As director of the Wadsworth Center he has worked tirelessly to prevent and treat disease, especially among our most vulnerable populations. Dr. Sturman's leadership of the State's public health laboratory and commitment to incorporating science in public health policy have been critical factors in New York's response to the H1N1 pandemic, HIV/AIDS, and many other public health challenges."

Dr. Sturman has served as the director at the Wadsworth Center since 1992. He joined DOH in 1970 as a research physician in the Center's Laboratory of Virology, and became director of the Division of Clinical Services in 1982.

Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Sturman has led New York's free newborn screening and genetic services program, which identifies congenital diseases in newborns, including sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, endocrine disorders and exposure to HIV. More than 11 million screening tests are performed each year on over a quarter million babies born in New York State. Under Dr. Sturman's direction, the newborn screening program greatly expanded the number of conditions screened after birth.

Dr. Sturman also spearheaded an effort to bring attention to children with genetic disorders, which led to DOH hosting a national conference this year on advancing research and care for children with genetic diseases. This conference attracted more than 500 scientists, health officials, advocates, and families of children affected by genetic disorders.

In addition, Dr. Sturman has also launched an effort to establish a network of specialty centers that will provide comprehensive, coordinated care and medical homes for all patients with rare genetic disorders.

Dr. Sturman earned his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago and his doctorate in virology from The Rockefeller University in New York City. He is also a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University at Albany's School of Public Health.