He receives Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest award given to civilians
Donald Landry ’75 was among 23 people honored in December 2008 by President George W. Bush with the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest award that the President can confer upon a civilian. It was established in 1969 to recognize U.S. citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service for the nation.The announcement from the White House states, “As a physician, organic chemist, and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Columbia University, Dr. Donald Landry has applied his passion for discovery to expanding human knowledge and improving patient treatment. A man of science and a man of faith, he has demonstrated that there are responsible and ethical ways to advance stem cell research. The United States honors Donald Landry for his diverse and pioneering research and his efforts to improve the well-being of his fellow man.”
Landry received a $1 million grant from the state of New York in 2007 to conduct research on harvesting viable stem cell lines from embryos that did not survive the process of in vitro fertilization. The approach sidesteps the controversial process of destroying human embryos to obtain viable stem cell lines. He has presented his ideas to the President’s Council on Bioethics and at the Stem Cell Bioethics conference at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome.
He is a leader in developing organic-chemical solutions to problems involved with kidney disease, addiction, and critical care. In his position at Columbia’s department of medicine, Landry oversees 13 divisions, 1,300 physicians and scientists, 200 residents and research fellows, and a support staff of 350. He also is chief of medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.