Einstein Celebrates Its 66th Commencement

May 24, 2024—(BRONX, N.Y)—Albert Einstein College of Medicine honored the Class of 2024 on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at its graduation ceremony at David Geffen Hall in Lincoln Center. At the event, Einstein conferred 187 M.D. degrees and 23 Ph.D. degrees. In addition, 13 graduates of Einstein’s Medical Scientist Training Program received both an M.D. and a Ph.D. degree.

Rochelle Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., who served as the 19th director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 2021 to 2023, delivered the keynote address. She noted that many patients face barriers to care, including poverty, poor housing, unsafe environments, and the lack of access to medical treatment.

“So, too, barriers can stand in our way as researchers and physicians,” she said. “I ask you to recognize those barriers, and to use your voice to break them down…to end the practice of marginalizing people, clinically and professionally, based on their identity, and to use your voice to eliminate the structural barriers to opportunity for everyone in this country…and to drive equity in policy change.”

Other speakers included Philip O. Ozuah, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Montefiore Medicine and Yaron Tomer, M.D., the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean at Einstein and chief academic officer at Montefiore Einstein. Amanda Raff, M.D. ‘98, professor of medicine and associate chair of medicine for undergraduate medical education at Einstein, served as grand marshal.

“I’m looking forward to and continuing to grow and to learn and taking care of patients who have entrusted their lives to me. And to putting the skills that I learned from Einstein—and everything that I learned from Einstein—to use and building on that,” said Bianca Ulloa, M.D., Ph.D., who matched to internal medicine/research at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center.

“I’m going into general surgery, and I’m really excited about taking care of patients with various needs. I really want to work with patients from underserved communities,” said Andrew Brook, M.D., who will be a resident at Mass General Brigham-Massachusetts General Hospital. “Einstein has prepared us to care about our patients and focus on social determinants of health. They’ve done a good job of making us not only hard workers, but caring doctors that are going to go on be able to handle any kind of situation that we see.”

At the event, the Einstein Alumni Association honored several alumni with awards:

  • Dominick P. Purpura Lifetime Achievement Award: Esther Eisenberg, M.D. ‘76, professor emerita of obstetrics and gynecology at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • Distinguished Ph.D. Alum Award: Jayanta Chaudhuri, Ph.D. ‘97, tenured professor at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and in the Immunology and Microbiology Pathogenesis Program at the Weill Cornell Graduate School
  • Distinguished Alum Clinical Practitioner Award: Jack Stern, M.D., Ph.D. ’74, associate clinical professor of neurosurgery, New York Medical College
  • Distinguished Alum Humanitarian/Service Award: Harold Alan Pincus, M.D. ’75, professor of psychiatry and of health policy and management and co-director, Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute; senior scientist, the RAND Corporation
  • Distinguished Alum Einstein Service Award: Irene Blanco, M.D. ’04, M.S. ‘10, professor of medicine and director of lupus clinical services, Northwestern Medicine; co-director, Clinical Research Ethics and Equity Consultative Service of Northwestern University’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute
  • Einstein Honorary Alum Award: Miriam Schechter, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics, director of medical student education in the department of pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; pediatrician, Montefiore Health System Comprehensive Family Care Center
  • Rising Star—Clinical Practitioner Award: David Gross, M.D., Ph.D. ’14, interventional cardiologist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the West Roxbury Veterans Affairs Medical Center; instructor of medicine, Harvard  Medical School
  • Rising Star—Scientific Investigator Award: Michelle Antoine, Ph.D. ’13, Earl Stadtman tenure-track investigator and chief of the section on neural circuits, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health

The graduation ceremony also honored several Einstein faculty members for teaching or research excellence:

  • Samuel M. Rosen Award for Outstanding Teaching (Pre-Clerkship): Oladimeji Oki, M.D., assistant professor and assistant director of medical student education, department of family and social medicine; director, Health Systems Science and Health Equity course
  • Samuel M. Rosen Award for Outstanding Teaching (Clinical): Sandhya Mittal, M.B.B.S, assistant professor of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health; obstetrics & gynecology clerkship site leader, Jacobi Medical Center
  • Harry Eagle Award for Outstanding Pre-Clerkship Teaching: Mark Rubin, M.D. ‘77, assistant professor of medicine, director of Gastroenterology and Liver Systems course
  • Harry H. Gordon Award for Outstanding Clinical Teaching: Francis Baccay, M.D., associate professor of surgery and general and acute-care surgeon, Montefiore Health System
  • Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching: Rachel Katz, M.D. ’95, professor of pediatrics; pediatrics clerkship site leader and assistant dean, Jacobi Medical Center
  • Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching: Amanda Raff, M.D. ’98, professor of medicine; director, Renal Systems course and medicine acting internship; associate chair of medicine for undergraduate medical education
  • LaDonne H. Schulman Award for Excellence in Teaching: Ana Maria Cuervo, M.D., Ph.D., distinguished professor of developmental & molecular biology, Robert and Renée Belfer Chair for the Study of Neurodegenerative Diseases; co-director, Einstein Institute for Aging Research
  • Saul R. Korey Award in Translational Science and Medicine: Amit Verma, M.B.B.S., professor of oncology, of medicine, and of developmental and molecular biology; director, division of hemato-oncology in the department of oncology; associate director of translational science, Montefiore Einstein Comprehensive Cancer Center

Photo Gallery

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