Office of Research Administration

Facts About SUNY Downstate

Updated November, 2014

SUNY Downstate Medical Center, also known as the SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn, is one of the nation's leading urban medical centers. With approximately 8,000 employees, Downstate is the fourth largest employer in Brooklyn. Over 1,700 students are enrolled in its educational programs. Downstate has a distinguished faculty in five colleges and schools: the College of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Health Related Professions, School of Public Health, and School of Graduate Studies. It offers 22 fully accredited fellowship and residency programs.

The medical center's total direct, indirect, and induced economic impact on New York State is in excess of $2 billion. SUNY Downstate Medical Center attracted over $48 million in external research funding in 2013, 85% of which was from federal sources. It ranks fourth among SUNY campuses in grant expenditures, and second among SUNY's academic health centers. Downstate is the only healthcare facility in Brooklyn that holds the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology.

SUNY Downstate is an important research facility where scientists and clinicians explore many urgent health problems. Historically, areas of research strength include cardiovascular biology, neuroscience, and instrumentation. Current strengths include learning and memory mechanisms; pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and cardiomyopathy; HIV/AIDS; immunology; pain and addiction; optical tomography imaging technology; and molecular cell biology.

Downstate's role as the only academic medical center in Brooklyn is central to its powerful role in clinical, translational, and public health research. Downstate's research spans the entire "bench to bedside" spectrum as an integrated entity, bringing together biomedical scientists, clinical researchers, and practitioners with common interests. SUNY Downstate researchers have access to a diverse patient population.

Research performed by SUNY Downstate Medical Center faculty is conducted through the Research Foundation of State University of New York, chartered as a private, non-profit educational corporation in 1951 by the State Board of Regents. The Research Foundation is an organization described in Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c) (3). Its purpose is to assist the State University of New York and SUNY faculty in carrying out research, training and other sponsored activities. SUNY is the largest, most comprehensive system of public higher education in the country.

SUNY Downstate Medical Center includes University Hospital of Brooklyn, an 8-story facility with 8 intensive care and step-down units, 12 operating rooms, an adult and pediatric ER, diagnostic and ambulatory surgery facility, and 75 outpatient clinics. It includes three community-based health centers in the neighborhoods of East New York, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Midwood, plus a freestanding Dialysis Center.

Specialized services include:

  • Comprehensive cardiovascular services, including 24/7 angioplasty services and heart surgery;
  • Comprehensive neurological services, including neurosurgery, diagnosis and treatment for stroke, epilepsy, sleep disorders, and Alzheimer's disease;
  • Adult/pediatric emergency services: the ER receives more than 68,906 patient visits a year [2010 data for University Hospital of Brooklyn location at Downstate Medical Center];
  • Kidney transplantation and dialysis – the only transplant and pediatric dialysis centers in Brooklyn.
  • Sports medicine;
  • HIV/AIDS treatment and support services — Downstate is a designated AIDS treatment center;
  • Maternal and infant health—Downstate is a designated Regional Perinatal Center.

SUNY Downstate at Bay Ridge serves the communities of Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, and Sunset Park. It features a walk-in Urgent Care Center, Ambulatory Surgery Center, Advanced Endoscopy Center, and Laser Vision Correction Center. It has onsite laboratory and radiology diagnostic facilities and medical offices for doctors in many clinical specialties.