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Nystar Executive Director Dr. Russell Bessette Awarded Honorary Degree

[A photo for media use is available at]

New York State Office of Science, Technology & Academic Research (NYSTAR) Executive Director Dr. Russell W. Bessette M.D. received an honorary doctor of science degree at Clarkson University's 110th Commencement on Sunday, May 11.

The degree was awarded "for his pioneering research in medical science and technology, and for his extraordinary leadership in expanding the economic impact of university academic centers and in facilitating technology transfer."Dr. Russell W. Bessette M.D.

Bessette advised the class of 2003 that as Clarkson graduates they would be recognized around the nation as individuals who can solve real world problems. "It is this very capacity of each of you to make reality better for us that will serve society and our nation so well."

Russell W. Bessette was appointed executive director of the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR) by Governor George E. Pataki and unanimously confirmed by the State Senate on January 31, 2000.

Bessette's mandate is to grow New York State's leadership position in high technology research and economic development. A critical element of NYSTAR's mission is the recognition that New York's world-class public and private research universities and academic centers are powerful economic development engines that can create new high-tech jobs and opportunity for New Yorkers.

Bessette was the director of the Instrument and Devices Clinical Laboratory at the Center of Advanced Technology (CAT) at Buffalo from 1985-1989. A leader in science and technology research, he has authored or co-authored more than 55 peer-reviewed academic publications, reports and research papers and has authored eight textbook chapters on reconstructive surgery. He has also served as the executive director of the Buffalo Technology Transfer Center at Sister's Hospital.

Bessette has held numerous leadership roles in organized medicine at the local, state, and national level. He is a past president of the Erie County Medical Society, the American Society of Temporomandibular Joint Surgeons, and the University at Buffalo Medical Alumni Association. He is a past member of the Association of Academic Chairmen of Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Bessette served as a member of President George W. Bush's Transition Team for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He was asked by the Bush-Cheney Transition Committee to offer input on the NIH. The NIH, which had a budget of $17.8 billion in 2000, is one of the world's foremost medical research centers, and the federal focal point for medical research in the U.S.

He holds a bachelor of science degree from Manhattan College, a doctor of dental surgery degree from the SUNY Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, and a doctor of medicine degree from the SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine. He was trained in general surgery and plastic and reconstructive surgery and is a Board Certified plastic (reconstructive) surgeon. He is also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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