May - June 2012 e-News About and For Alumni

Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons e-News About and For Alumni

May – June 2012


News of Current Students

P&S News

Class Notes

In Memoriam

Upcoming Events

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The P&S Class of 2012 received degrees May 16 and heard a commencement address by Elizabeth Nabel, M.D., president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, professor of medicine at Harvard, and former director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the NIH. Degrees were given to 158 M.D. candidates and 50 Ph.D. candidates. The M.D. recipients included the first P&S student to also receive a master’s degree in narrative medicine. Read about the ceremony and view a video. Four graduates – sculptor Nick Colacchio, Olympic swimmer Valeria Silva Merea, MD/MBA recipient Jason Dukes, and cancer survivor P.J. Lukac – are profiled online.

Three P&S students have created a new gross anatomy manual that has earned rave reviews from fellow students and interest from publishers. An iPad version is being developed this summer. Read more.

The Spring 2012 production by the Bard Hall Players was Neil Simon’s “Rumors.” Jennifer Russo’15, who spent her pre-P&S years in professional theater, directed the play. View a behind-the-scenes video.

New York magazine photographed 39 New York City 2012 medical school graduates, including five P&S graduates. See the slide show here.


Herbert and Florence Irving added to their Columbia University Medical Center legacy by giving an additional $40 million to support the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. Read the announcement.

The ABC News documentary series set at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital premieres July 10 at 10 p.m. Eastern time. The hospital gave ABC cameras access to both campuses of the hospital for a year for the eight-part series, which will be similar to the network’s “Hopkins” and “Boston Med” series. Read the ABC announcement.


A few weeks after Ephraim Engleman’37 turned 101, he received a visit from famed violinist Itzhak Perlman, who was in Dr. Engleman’s neighborhood – San Francisco – for three performances with the San Francisco Symphony. A California newspaper covered the visit.

Harvard Magazine published a cover story on infant development pioneer T. Berry Brazelton’43 and his Touchpoints approach to parent-child interaction. The article in the January-February 2012 issue is accompanied by a Q&A with Dr. Brazelton titled “Interview with the Baby Whisperer.”

J. Howland Auchincloss’45 wrote an essay about his Bellevue Chest Service mentor, Julia Jones. Read it at the online edition of Columbia Medicine.

Paul Marks’49 has been named by the Galien Foundation to the awards committee responsible for awarding the Prix Galien USA Awards for innovation in biopharmaceuticals and medical technologies. Read more.

The 60-year-marriage of Joan and Richard “Dick” Banfield’51 was the subject of an article in the online New Canaan, Conn., news.

P. Roy Vagelos’54 chairs the awards committee for the Galien Foundation’s Prix Galien USA Awards, which recognize innovation in biopharmaceuticals and medical technologies. Read more.

Donald Marcus’55 has published an article, “Consumer Reports and Alternative Therapies,” on Science-Based Medicine, a blog dedicated to evaluating medical treatments and products to promote high standards of science in medicine.

Shu Chien’57 Ph.D. received an honorary Doctor of Science degree at Columbia’s commencement May 16. Read more.

John C.M. Brust’62 received Columbia University’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. He received the award at commencement May 16. Read more. Also, the NIH covered Dr. Brust’s Great Teachers lecture at Clinical Center Grand Rounds earlier this year, when he talked about the loss of musical abilities following brain injury and research that has shed light on disorders of musical literacy and the neurological processes involved. Dr. Brust is a jazz saxophonist. Read more.

An April ribbon-cutting ceremony officially dedicated the Schiff Center for Liver Diseases at the University of Miami, where Eugene Schiff’62 and his father, the late Leon Schiff, spent many years leading clinical research on hepatitis, cirrhosis, and other liver diseases. Dr. Schiff is the Leonard Miller Professor of Medicine and the Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid Chair in the Division of Hepatology/Schiff Center for Liver Diseases at Miami. Read more.

Harold Varmus’66 has been chosen as the 2012 recipient of UCLA’s Glenn T. Seaborg Medal, which honors scientists for their contributions to chemistry and biochemistry. He will receive the award in December. Read more.

Scott Hammer’72 is featured in a New England Journal of Medicine documentary commemorating the journal’s 200th anniversary. Dr. Hammer serves on the NEJM board. In the documentary, he discusses leading a landmark HIV/AIDS study published in the journal. See the video.

Erie County in Ohio inducted Robert Bellamy’73 into its Gallery of Achievers, sponsored by the county Chamber of Commerce to honor the life achievements of graduates of Erie County’s school systems. Dr. Bellamy is a longtime member of the Cleveland-area medical community. Read about it in an Ohio newspaper article.

Fred Southwick’73, whose new book was included in Alumni in Print in the Spring 2012 issue of Columbia Medicine, was interviewed on the IdeaMensch website about his work to improve the coordination of care in hospital systems. Read it here.

A Becker’s Hospital Review series about health care CEOs included a profile of Allen Weiss’73, president and CEO of NCH Healthcare System in Naples, Fla., since 2006. Read the profile.

Sean Palfrey’74, a pediatrician at Boston Medical Center, was one of 39 individuals honored as CDC Childhood Immunization Champions. The new award was given jointly by CDC and the CDC Foundation to honor significant contributions toward improving public health through childhood immunization. Read more.

The COPD Foundation and the New York Mets hosted Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Awareness Night at Citi Field in June to raise awareness about the disease. Byron Thomashow’74 chairs the foundation’s board of directors. Read more.

David Roye’75 was named an Alumni Medalist at Columbia’s commencement May 16. Read more.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness honored 17 doctors in May as “Exemplary Psychiatrists” at the American Psychiatric Association annual conference in Philadelphia. Rosalie Greenberg’76 was among the 17. Read the NAMI announcement and an article at an online New Jersey news site.

Jeffrey Davis’77 has been named a director on the El Camino Hospital District Board in California. Read the newspaper article.

Oheneba Boachie-Adjei’80 was able to fulfill his dream of opening an orthopedic hospital in his native Ghana. Dr. Boachie-Adjei, chief of the scoliosis service at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, announced the grand opening of a 50-bed specialty hospital providing comprehensive orthopedic and rehabilitative services for adults and children in Ghana.

Kira Geraci-Ciardullo’80 was re-elected vice speaker of the Medical Society of the State of New York in April at the society’s annual House of Delegates meeting in Saratoga Springs. Read more.

Ellen M. Gravallese’81 has been named a fellow of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program for Women at Drexel University College of Medicine. Read the University of Massachusetts announcement.

Richard Peress’81 was appointed to the board of directors of Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. Read the announcement.

After working for 24 years in the Bronx, Alexander L. Okun’83 has been appointed associate professor of pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he sees patients at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Read more.

Richard N. “Robin” Pierson III’83 is senior associate dean for academic affairs and interim director of research affairs at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Read the announcement.

Read an article, “Take Two Aspirin and Don’t Call Me in the Morning!” by Paul Spector’85 in the Huffington Post. Dr. Spector also writes about health issues on spectrumfit.blogspot.com/.

Ian Santoro’86 has joined the staff of Saratoga Hospital in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Read the announcement.

The San Francisco Chronicle published an article about Dawn McGuire’87, a San Francisco neurologist who has collected nearly 50 poems inspired by her patients into her third book of poetry. Another online article appears in the Oakland Local.

Jonathan Barasch’87 Ph.D./’88 M.D. received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching at Columbia’s commencement May 16. Read more.

Deborah Cabaniss’88 received the Columbia Alumni Award for her commitment to psychiatry residents and to the educational mission of the Department of Psychiatry at P&S. She received the award during a reception held by Columbia, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and Weill Cornell Medical College in conjunction with the 2012 American Psychiatric Association meeting. Read more.

The Newton, Kan., newspaper published articles about husband-and-wife-medical team Susan Lovelle’88 and Kevin Allen’86 and the transition from their native New York to Newton Medical Center. Part one focuses on Dr. Lovelle’s plastic surgery clinic. Part two focuses on ophthalmologist Dr. Allen, the first eye surgeon based in Newton in more than a decade.

David Skaggs’89, chief of orthopedic surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, is featured in a Los Angeles Times article about LA Lakers forward Pau Gasol’s work at Children’s Hospital. Read the article.

Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn honored David Biro’91 as one of its alumni distinguished achievement awardees. Read more.

New College of Florida named a dock at the school in memory of Joan Marciak Newmark, mother of Christine Hamilton-Hall’91, who graduated from the college. Dr. Hamilton-Hall made a donation to name the dock, which is being rebuilt as part of the Seawall Restoration Project on Sarasota Bay. Read more.

Donald Lloyd-Jones’91, chair of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s medical school, is the new director of Northwestern’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. Read the announcement.

A patient wrote an article about Nina Birnbaum’93, recounting how she helped him overcome mental health problems. The patient saluted Dr. Birnbaum’s focus on context in treating patients and her unique ability to draw pictures with her words. Read the article.

James McKiernan’93 is a member of the scientific advisory board of the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, which was cofounded by a bladder cancer patient. Read more.

Barry Rodstein’93 has joined the medical staff of Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in Ware, Mass. Read the announcement.

Katherine Schneider’95 was named chief medical officer of Medecision Inc., a health care management solutions company that serves health plans, insurers, and provider-based care organizations. Read the announcement.

Read a profile of P&S neurosurgeon Christopher Winfree’96 at the Department of Neurological Surgery website.

James Lee’99 attended the Academy of Achievement, a program that brings students in contact with prominent leaders, in 1991. At a website for academy alumni, Dr. Lee writes about the experiences and career milestones that followed his academy weekend.

Craig S. Radnay’99 has joined the orthopedic surgery department of Long Island’s St. Francis Hospital. The hospital added Dr. Radnay and other members of the Insall Scott Kelly Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. Read more.

Eric David’02 has been appointed chief strategy officer for Organovo Holdings, a biotechnology company focused on three-dimensional bioprinting technology. Dr. David also has a law degree from Columbia. Read the announcement.

Rajiv Singh’02 has been appointed to the medical staff of Nyack Hospital in Nyack, N.Y. Read the announcement.

India West, a weekly newspaper in California, published an article about Sejal M. Patel’03, a Beverly Hills surgeon who co-authored a report about some of the challenges of ethnic rhinoplasty. Read the article.

Vin Ferrara’04, founder and CEO of Xenith, LLC, one of the fastest-growing football helmet makers, was the focus of two recent articles about innovative helmet design. Read the SmartPlanet blog and a Sporting News article.

Charles Perry’04 has joined preventive medicine specialists EHE International in Stamford, Conn. Read the announcement.

Amit Etkin’05 Ph.D./’06 M.D. was featured in the Spring 2012 issue of Stanford Medicine. The issue’s feature package about psychiatry also includes mention of Eric Kandel, Dr. Etkin’s graduate adviser, and an article about Columbia’s Oliver Sacks.

Jenny Shen’06 is now a third-year fellow in nephrology at Stanford University, where she also received a master’s degree in epidemiology. Read more.

The voting results are in, and Jennifer Thompson’06 has been chosen for the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. The 15th class will be inducted in Chicago in July. Read the official announcement and more in an article from her hometown newspaper.

Adam Regelmann’06 Ph.D./’07 M.D. was interviewed in May for the Scientific American blog about his background and development of Quartzy, the lab management system he cofounded. Read the blog.

Jonathan Amiel’07 delivered this year’s Harold Alper, MD, Humanitarian Lecture in Chattanooga, Tenn. Read more.

Shannon Gulliver’09 finishes her psychiatry residency this year. Her final “In Residency” column for Columbia Medicine online can be found here.


Joseph Karas’53

Joseph A. Silverman’56


Orientation for Class of 2016 – August 12-17, 2012

White Coat Ceremony for Class of 2016 – Monday, August 13, 2012

Steven Z. Miller Student Clinician Ceremony for Class of 2015 – Friday, January 4, 2013


The 158 M.D. graduates in the Class of 2012 included students who completed 35 triathlons or marathons.


Check out the latest issue of CUMC Celebrates for news of P&S faculty grants, honors, and news mentions.

See more at the magazine’s online site: www.cumc.columbia.edu/news/journal

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