Benjamin J. Luft, M.D.


Benjamin J. Luft, M.D.

Speaker Year: 2012

Commencement Speech

Benjamin J. Luft, MD, is an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of Lyme disease and AIDS-related conditions, and was named the Edmund D. Pellegrino Professor of Medicine in 1987. Dr. Luft served as Chairman of the Department of Medicine from 1994 to 2006, and is now Director of the Long Island Clinical Center of Excellence (LI-CCE) for the World Trade Center Health Program.

A researcher and educator with diverse interests and achievements, Dr. Luft is a passionate spokesman who seeks to impart a reverence for humanity and a commitment to ethics in the practice of medicine. As a native New Yorker, Dr. Luft was deeply impacted by the 9/11 attacks and was inspired to establish the Long Island World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program, which provides care to more than 6,000 disaster responders.

His work on Lyme disease and toxoplasmosis has helped to develop new and more effective antibiotics, and under his leadership the LI-CCE has become a leader in important research and treatment programs that emphasize both mental and physical well-being. Dr. Luft and his team were awarded a major grant to investigate the role genetics may play after exposure to environmental toxins in the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and respiratory illness.
Throughout his career and with his work with the 9/11 responders, Dr. Luft is helping to extend Pellegrino’s legacy of diverse, expert medical knowledge coupled with dedicated care and compassion.