Einstein Celebrates 64th Commencement

May 31, 2022—(BRONX, N.Y)—Albert Einstein College of Medicine honored the Class of 2022 during a graduation ceremony held on Wednesday, May 25 at the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall in New York City. At the commencement, Einstein conferred 160 M.D. degrees and 21 Ph.D. degrees. In addition, 15 graduates of Einstein’s Medical Scientist Training Program received both an M.D. and a Ph.D. degree.

Philip O. Ozuah, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Montefiore Medicine, delivered the opening address. Noting the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas that killed 31 people, Dr. Ozuah quoted Albert Einstein, who deeply admired the combination of “intellectual keenness, artistic form, and the fervent love of justice.”

Addressing the graduates, Dr. Ozuah added: “We look to you to use your gifts to illume the world, we look to you to use your skills to enrich the world, to touch the lives of others with your excellence and your humanity, to bear our name with pride and nobility, and to lead us to a new horizon with compassion and humility.”

Gordon F. Tomaselli, M.D., the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean at Einstein and executive vice president and chief academic officer at Montefiore Medicine, praised the graduates for their “unflinching response” and willingness to help frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I marvel at your resilience, your fortitude, and your humanity,” said Dr. Tomaselli. “You've demonstrated, time and time again, that you have what it takes to be exemplary physicians and scientists. You represent the positive force that will influence our nation and our world through your work in science and medicine, and in your efforts on behalf of our society and humanity at large. Knowing this gives me great optimism for the future.”

New York State Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett, M.D., M.P.H., presented the keynote address, urging the graduates to be aware of the effects of social determinants of health on their patients. She also recounted Albert Einstein’s history of striving for social justice and speaking out against racism and inequality, noting that such actions can be scary “but the cost of silence is greater.”

She added: “As healers, it is our obligation to look beyond the walls of our hospitals, our laboratories, our clinics, and see what is making our patients sick. We may not, on our own, be able to bridge these racial disparities that brought these patients to us. But we sure can talk about it. We can determine that we will not be silent.”

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

  • Dominick P. Purpura Distinguished Alumna Award: Anne E. Goldfeld, M.D. ’81, professor of medicine and of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School; senior investigator in the program of cellular and molecular medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital; professor of immunology and infectious diseases, Harvard T. C. Chan School of Public Health; infectious disease physician, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston
  • Distinguished Ph.D. Alumna Award: Ruth J. Muschel, M.D., Ph.D. ’78, emeritus professor of molecular pathology in the department of oncology, University of Oxford in the United Kingdom
  • Distinguished Alumna/Clinical Practitioner Award: Nereida C. Correa, M.D. ’85, M.P.H., associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health and of family and social medicine, senior advisor, Hispanic Center of Excellence, and co-director, Summer Undergraduate Mentorship Program, Einstein; attending physician, North Central Bronx Hospital of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Jerry A. Winkelstein, M.D. ’65, emeritus professor of pediatrics, of medicine, and of pathology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; emeritus professor of immunology, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
  • Lifetime Service Award: Janina R. Galler, M.D. ’72, professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; senior researcher, division of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children
  • Einstein Honorary Alumnus Award: E. John Gallagher, M.D., founding chair of emergency medicine, professor emeritus of emergency medicine, of medicine, and of epidemiology & population health, Einstein
  • Rising Star—Clinical Practitioner Award: Adam J. Friedman, M.D. ’06, professor and chair of dermatology, founding residency program director, director of translational research, and director of the Supportive Oncodermatology Program, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Rising Star—Scientific Investigator Award: Dionna W. Williams, Ph.D. ’14, assistant professor of molecular and comparative pathobiology, Johns Hopkins Medical School; assistant professor of molecular microbiology & immunology, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health; co-director of the Central Nervous System Dysfunction Scientific Working Group, Johns Hopkins Center for AIDS Research.

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

  • Samuel M. Rosen Award for Outstanding Teaching (Pre-Clerkship): Adi Pinkas, Ph.D., assistant professor of pathology
  • Samuel M. Rosen Award for Outstanding Teaching (Clinical): Anna Liveris, M.D. ’13, assistant professor of surgery and trauma and acute care surgeon, Jacobi Medical Center
  • Harry Eagle Award for Outstanding Pre-clerkship Teaching: Carol Derby, Ph.D., research professor in the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology and of epidemiology & population health, and the Louis and Gertrude Feil Faculty Scholar in Neurology
  • Harry H. Gordon Award for Outstanding Clinical Teaching: Gabriella Azzarone, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics and attending physician, the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore
  • Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching (Medical Education): Nadine Katz, M.D. ’87, professor of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health; medical director, Jack D. Weiler Hospital; vice president, Montefiore
  • LaDonne H. Schulman Award for Excellence in Teaching (Graduate Division): Teresa Bowman, Ph.D., associate professor of developmental & molecular biology, of oncology, and of medicine
  • Saul R. Korey Award in Translational Science and Medicine: Nikolaos Frangogiannis, M.D., professor of medicine, of microbiology & immunology, and the Edmond J. Safra/Republic National Bank of New York Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine

Photo Gallery

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  • Gordon F. Tomaselli, M.D., The Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean, Einstein; Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, Montefiore Medicine
  • Philip O. Ozuah, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO, Montefiore Medicine
  • Ari Berman, Ph.D., President, Yeshiva University
  • Mary T. Bassett, M.D., M.P.H., New York State Health Commissioner and commence speaker
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