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Commencement 2016

Commencement 2016

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Commencement 2016

Commencement speaker Susan Band Horwitz, Ph.D., and Dean Allen M. Spiegel, M.D.

Commencement speaker Susan Band Horwitz, Ph.D., and Dean Allen M. Spiegel, M.D.

“It’s a pleasure to see so many happy people in one place at one time,” said Edward R. Burns, M.D. ’76, Einstein’s executive dean, at Einstein’s 58th commencement. The event took place May 25 in New York at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall.

Allen M. Spiegel, M.D., the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean, distributed the alumni and faculty awards and then introduced the commencement speaker—Einstein’s own Susan Band Horwitz, Ph.D., the distinguished professor of molecular pharmacology who discovered the mechanism of action of the anticancer drug paclitaxel (Taxol). Dr. Horwitz shared homespun wisdom with the graduates. “Every morning when I walk through the lobby of the Forchheimer Building, I see the words ‘Science at the Heart of Medicine,’” she said. “That motto sets me up for the day, because I know that progress in treating serious disease will come from a greater understanding of human physiology and chemistry.”

Dr. Horwitz is a fan of the simple question. “The right simple question can often produce meaningful results,” she said. In her case, the question was “How does Taxol kill tumor cells?” Pursuing the answer became her life’s work, and today this extract of the Pacific yew has helped more than a million people with ovarian, breast and lung cancer. She has received many honors for her discovery, including the Rose C. Falkenstein Chair in Cancer Research at Einstein and membership in the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Horwitz concluded her address by reminding the audience not to forget the “heart” part of the Einstein motto. “It’s important to listen to students, patients, colleagues and children with genuine interest and concern,” she said. “Great advances in technology can never replace empathy between humans or within a community.”



M.D 198 8,593
PH.D. 72 1,566

Top, jubilant graduates; bottom, before the ceremony, from left: Einstein’s Dean Spiegel and Edward R. Burns, M.D. ’76, executive dean; Steven M. Safyer, M.D. ’82, president and CEO of Montefiore Medicine; and Philip O. Ozuah, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president and chief operating officer at Montefiore Medicine.


Alfredo A. Sadun, M.D. ’78, Ph.D. ’76
Dominick P. Purpura Distinguished Alumnus Award
Sue Wickner, Ph.D. ’74
Distinguished Ph.D. Alumna Award
Gail Solomon, M.D. ’62
Distinguished Alumnus/Clinical Practitioner Award
Neil Flomenbaum, M.D. ’73
Lifetime Achievement Award
Harris Goldstein, M.D. ’80
Lifetime Service Award
Stephen G. Baum, M.D.
Honorary Alumnus Award


Irene Blanco, M.D. ’04, M.S. ’10
Samuel M. Rosen Award for Outstanding Teaching– Basic Science
Mimoza Meholli, M.D.
Samuel M. Rosen Award for Outstanding Teaching– Clinical
Joshua D. Nosanchuk, M.D.
Harry Eagle Award for Outstanding Basic Science Teaching
Lawrence J. Brandt, M.D.
Harry H. Gordon Award for Outstanding Clinical Teaching
Robert W. Marion, M.D. ’79
Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching
Dianne Cox, Ph.D.
LaDonne H. Schulman Award for Excellence in Teaching
Richard G. Gorlick, M.D.
Saul R. Korey Award in Translational Science and Medicine





Ryan White, Ph.D. ’16. Dr. White, originally from Greensboro, NC, will always appreciate the sense of community he found at Einstein. “When I came to interview, it was clear that the students were all good friends both in and outside the lab, and I had the joy of seeing many ‘beer-hour’ or lunch-break talks turn into fruitful collaborations spanning departments,” he says. Dr. White is bringing this collegiality to his new research position at Rockefeller University, where he studies how replication machinery copes with DNA lesions and how defects in DNA-repair proteins affect replication. Elucidating these basic mechanisms will contribute to a better understanding of genetic defects underlying certain types of bone marrow failure.
Joy Goldstein, M.D. ’16. For Dr. Goldstein, who came to Einstein from nearby West Hempstead, NY, the sense of community at Einstein included support from an Alumni Association scholarship, which freed her to follow her passions and interests. As she begins her residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Dr. Goldstein looks forward to working with her young patients and their families. “I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from some amazing mentors and excited to put the great clinical training that I got at Einstein into practice,” she says.


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