First Della Pietra Chair of Biomedical Imaging Installed

Highlighting Stony Brook University’s commitment to path-breaking research, Professor Ramin Parsey, MD, PhD, was formally installed as the inaugural holder of the Della Pietra Chair of Biomedical Imaging during an Investiture Ceremony at the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics.


Dr. Ramin Parsey, center, at the ceremony installing him as Stony Brook University’s first Della Pietra Chair of Biomedical Imaging. Also pictured are: Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr., President of Stony Brook University (far right); Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences and Dean, Stony Brook University School of Medicine (far left); along with members of the Della Pietra family, from left: Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, Stephen Della Pietra, Vincent Della Pietra, and Barbara Amonson.

The Della Pietra Chair was established in 2013 through the generosity of the Della Pietra family – Barbara Amonson and her husband Vincent Della Pietra, and Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra and her husband Stephen Della Pietra – along with a matching contribution by the Simons Foundation.

The appointment underscores Stony Brook’s fostering of scientific discovery and real-world innovation, bolstered by the recruitment distinguished and energetic faculty.

“Endowed chairs are lasting tributes to the generous donors who establish them and are a time-honored means of attracting eminent scholars and retaining outstanding faculty at a university,” said Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, President, Stony Brook University. “I am extremely grateful to the Della Pietra family for their significant philanthropic support to Stony Brook to establish this Chair. Dr. Ramin Parsey is a leading scholar in the field of biomedical imaging, adding to Stony Brook’s storied legacy of excellence in imaging research. His dynamic research is advancing biomedical imaging technology, and we are so proud to have him as a member of our faculty.”

Growth of Endowed Faculty Positions
One of the primary goals of Stony Brook University’s current $600 million Campaign is to create a total of 100 endowed faculty positions by 2018 to attract more eminent scholars and researchers and retain outstanding faculty across a wide range of disciplines. 

Over the past six years, the number of endowed chairs and professorships at Stony Brook has increased more than seven-fold, to a total of 42 endowed chairs and professorships, Dr. Stanley said.

 “This is an interdisciplinary field that requires collaboration among researchers and clinicians of all specialties,” said Dr. Parsey, Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and a Professor of Radiology. “Biomedical imaging will continue to transform medicine, paving the way for improved patient care. It is an incredible honor to be the first Della Pietra Chair of Biomedical Imaging,” added Dr. Parsey, who is also Director of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) research and Co-Director of the Neurosciences Institute at Stony Brook Medicine.

“Biomedical imaging is an exciting synthesis of mathematics, physics, and medicine,” said Stephen Dell Pietra, PhD, who manages a research group at Renaissance Technologies. “We are proud to help Stony Brook University become a leader in this new frontier in healthcare. We admire Dr. Parsey’s groundbreaking work and are delighted that he is the Inaugural holder of the chair.”

Vincent Della Pietra, PhD, who also manages a research group at Renaissance, added, “Biomedical imaging is set to evolve quickly in the future. Computing power and algorithms are improving and hardware construction is becoming more efficient, so now is a great time to support the field.”

“We express our profound thanks to the Della Pietra family for their generosity and for sharing our vision on the importance of imaging to advance biomedicine,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences and Dean, Stony Brook University School of Medicine. “We also congratulate Dr. Parsey on this well-deserved honor. In just three years, he has transformed the clinical, educational, and research missions of Psychiatry at Stony Brook Medicine.

Dr. Kaushansky added that with Dr. Parsey’s leadership, knowledge, and experience as a ‘biological psychiatrist,’ he and colleagues will use advanced imaging tools to help scientists and physicians better understand the origins of devastating diseases, such as dementia and depression, and help develop novel treatments against these and other diseases.

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