Newswise — Dr. Mark J. Lema, State University of New York (SUNY) Distinguished Service Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology at SUNY at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, has been selected to receive ASRA’s 2019 Distinguished Service Award. The award will be presented November 14, 2019, at the opening of the 18th Annual Pain Medicine Meeting in New Orleans, LA.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to an individual for his or her outstanding service to ASRA or to the fields of pain medicine or regional anesthesia and acute pain medicine.

Nominator Asokumar Buvanendran, MD, immediate past president, describes Dr. Lema as “a leader in chronic pain and instrumental in the evolution of the practice,” adding that he was also a great mentor.

Dr. Lema has been active in ASRA for many years serving in a variety of roles including as ASRA president in 2004. “From ESRA, to LASRA, to AOSRA formation to the ISRA conferences, ASRA has been the guiding force for innovative procedures and patient safety,” he said. “I was proud to be a small part of its development.”

He is also a past president of both the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists (NYSSA).  He was also a past general chair of the Post Graduate Assembly for NYSSA. Both societies have acknowledged him with distinguished service awards. Dr. Lema also serves as professor of anesthesiology and oncology and chair of anesthesiology at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“Without ASRA, my career would not be where it is today,” Dr. Lema said. “As a junior attending physician, I was surrounded by the educational icons who laid the foundation for what ASRA is today, and I worked alongside their ‘protégé offspring’ to extend and expand ARSA to the worldwide organization it has become.”

Dr. Lema received his medical training at SUNY Downstate Medical Center followed by an internship at Staten Island Hospital, and residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. In addition, Dr. Lema holds a PhD in physiology from the University at Buffalo. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology with added qualifications in Pain Management and Fellow of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

A lecturer at more than 225 academic institutions and hospitals on six continents, Dr. Lema testified before the Subcommittee on Veteran’s Affairs, Health Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, on behalf of the Pain Care Coalition. He has authored or co-authored more than 175 articles in major international scientific and professional journals and has served on 10 editorial boards.

To learn more about the Distinguished Service Award and see a list of past recipients, visit