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Motivations: Donors & Alumni

Class Notes: Summer/Fall 2019


Louis M. Aledort, M.D. ’59, has received the 2019 Alumnus Humanitarian Award from the School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester. The award recognizes his lifetime commitment to finding a cure for clotting disorders, especially hemophilia. Dr. Aledort continues to work full time and to teach, travel, and lecture internationally. His granddaughter is a current medical student at George Washington University. Dr. Aledort and his partner, Natasha, have been together for six years.

Mark David Reiss, M.D. ’59, maintains and coordinates the directory for the Class of 1959—Einstein’s first graduating class. There are currently 31 living class members from the original graduating class of 50 (see “A Look Back”). Dr. Reiss retired from his radiology practice at age 56 to pursue musical goals; he is a classical pianist. His wife, Joan Reinhardt Reiss, is a former world-class distance runner. She and Dr. Reiss celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this past June. They married three days before graduation from Einstein. Their son, Craig, is a violinist with both the San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet orchestras. Their daughter, Justine, is an actor and voice-over teacher. Dr. and Mrs. Reiss have four grandchildren, ages 15 to 19.


Noah Lightman, M.D., F.A.C.R. ’69, is a proud member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Throughout his career, Dr. Lightman held various roles around the country, including positions in Einstein’s department of medicine, the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital, and the Johns Hopkins Hospital department of radiology. He has been married “for 51 wonderful years” to Ellen Frank Lightman. He reports that their children and grandchildren bring them great joy.

Helping Childhood Cancer Survivors

After graduating from Einstein, Michael B. Harris, M.D. ’69, traveled to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to complete his pediatric residency and hematology-oncology fellowship. Since finishing his training in 1974, he has served as the chief of the division of pediatric hematology-oncology at both the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and Mount Sinai Hospital, as well as in other positions.

In 1987, Dr. Harris became the founding director of the division of pediatric hematology-oncology at the Children’s Cancer Institute (formerly the Hackensack University Medical Center). After nearly three decades of service to the institute, he stepped down to become the director of Cure and Beyond, a program for childhood cancer survivors at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, Hackensack Meridian Health, and to serve as a professor of pediatrics at both the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

Throughout his career, Dr. Harris says, he has had the privilege of treating many courageous children; they have, he adds, “taught me the importance of living each day to the fullest.” He says his proudest accomplishment is his family. Dr. Harris and his wife, Freida, married the year he graduated from Einstein and now, 50 years later, they have “four wonderful children and 11 grandchildren”—all of whom remind him daily that he is “just an ordinary guy who graduated from Einstein, got married, had great children and grandchildren and, luckily, found a job [he] love[s].”

Peter D. Lowitt, M.D. ’69, currently works part time, concentrating on opioid-dependence treatment using buprenorphine and naloxone (Suboxone).

Laurence J. Marton, M.D. ’69, serves on four nonprofit and eight for-profit boards, mostly focused on cancer. Additionally, he is chair of a scientific advisory board, is an adviser to both Ciitizen and the Precision Medicine World Conference, and serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Precision Medicine. Previously, he held the deanship of the University of Wisconsin Medical School and chaired the department of laboratory medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where he was a professor in the departments of laboratory medicine and neurological surgery.

Ian M. Shivack, M.D. ’69, moved to Tucson, Arizona, in 1996 with his wife, Ina, after a career in psychiatry and neurology. Today, he says, he is enjoying the delights of retirement. Dr. Shivack became involved in resident training at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, teaching a course in psychopharmacology and providing resident supervision at the University Medical Center and its Veterans’ Affairs Hospital affiliate. He and his wife report that they love living in Tucson and feel as if their life is an extended vacation. Dr. Shivack is able to devote more time to his lifelong hobby of garden railroading, and Ina has become a familiar face in Tucson’s community theater scene. Their two elder daughters, Judy and Nadia, followed their father’s lead and moved to Tucson, while the youngest, Michele, lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is a physical therapist.

Ira Sussman, M.D. ’69, and his wife, Nancy Sussman, M.D. ’69, became a hematologist and radiologist, respectively. Today, Dr. Nancy Sussman is fulfilling her lifelong desire to create wheel-thrown pottery. Dr. Ira Sussman has spent most of his circuitous academic career at Einstein and Montefiore, first doing research on von Willebrand disease and eventually becoming the vice chair of pathology. They have three children, none of whom is in medicine, and five grandchildren. The Sussmans are enjoying retirement—babysitting, theater, opera, ballet, concerts, dining, and book clubs. Dr. Ira Sussman has maintained his lifelong love of football and the New York Giants.


Richard I. Hansen, M.D. ’74, retired as an ophthalmologist/retina surgeon in December 2014 after 34 years in private practice in Newton, New Jersey. He has taught full time at the Medical School of the University of Florida and held a volunteer teaching position at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. He and his wife, Lee, he reports, have two wonderful grandchildren.

Richard Hoetzel, M.D. ’74, lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and maintains a private psychiatry practice for the treatment of adults and children. He says that he loved attending the 25th and 40th reunions at Einstein and enjoys seeing old friends and colleagues.

Randall S. Smith, M.D. ’75, currently serves as the medical director of the laboratory at St. Dominic Memorial Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. His wife, Brenda, works with the clinical skills program at the School of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, and consults at local hospitals in the area. Their children and grandchildren live near Jackson, Mississippi, and in Ohio and Texas.

Michael A. Grodin, M.D. ’76, recently published an article in the journal Surgery to unpack the ethics of using medical reference books that include illustrations of Nazi victims, namely Pernkopf’s Atlas: Topographical Anatomy of Man. Dr. Grodin collaborated with Rabbi Joseph A. Polak, a Boston University Hillel House rabbi emeritus, on the project. Dr. Grodin says that his experience working with Holocaust survivors at Einstein sparked his interest in resiliency and survivorship. He has been on the faculty at Boston University School of Medicine for 40 years and currently serves as professor of health law, ethics, and human rights at the Boston University School of Public Health and professor in the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies at Boston University, where he directs a project on medicine and the Holocaust.

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Examining the Health Effects of Space Travel

Before, during, and after Scott’s flight, Dr. Garrett-Bakelman, assistant professor of medicine and of biochemistry and molecular genetics at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and her team evaluated both brothers, assessing the molecular and physiological traits that space travel may affect.

One focus was on possible changes in the length of telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes that get smaller with each cell division and with age. During Scott’s space flight, his telomeres became significantly longer than Mark’s but shortened rapidly to near preflight length upon his return to earth. Adverse effects from space travel included DNA damage and reduced cognitive function.

“Still, most things we looked at did not change during space travel,” Dr. Garrett-Bakelman says. “Or if they did change, they later returned to their preflight state, suggesting that human health can mostly be sustained over a longer spaceflight, which is reassuring.”

Dr. Garrett-Bakelman, a physician-scientist who runs a cancer research lab concentrating on acute myeloid leukemia, says she hopes the NASA study forms the basis “for many more to come.”

Mark Kelly, left, a NASA astronaut, served as the control for Dr. Garrett-Bakelman’s study while his twin brother, Scott, spent a year in space.


Maureen M. Goodenow, Ph.D. ’83, received the 2019 Esperanza Award from the Latino Commission on AIDS in June. Dr. Goodenow has been researching HIV/AIDS for 30 years and currently serves as associate director for AIDS research and director of the Office of AIDS Research at the National Institutes of Health. She also has been awarded the Jefferson Science Fellowship from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and is the Stephany W. Holloway Endowed University Chair for HIV Research at the University of Florida College of Medicine.

Mark Klapholz, M.D. ’86, has served as both chair of medicine at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and, since 2012, chief of medical services at University Hospital, Newark.

Don J. DeCrosta, M.D. ’88, began his new position as the head of anesthesiology at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, New York, part of Northwell Health, in January. Prior to this role, Dr. DeCrosta served as the chair of quality assurance and director of thoracic anesthesia at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Long Island, New York, for many years. He lives in Bay Shore with his wife, four daughters, three grandchildren, and three dogs.


Marcy Goldstein, M.D. ’90, has for the past seven years been chosen as the “Best Dermatologist” in Bergen County, New Jersey, in a reader poll for the Jewish Standard. She and her husband of 36 years have four children, three grandchildren, and one grandchild on the way.

Craig Zalvan, M.D., F.A.C.S. ’95, was lead author in a study published in October 2017 in JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery comparing a plant-based Mediterranean-style diet with alkaline water against proton-pump inhibitor medication to treat laryngopharyngeal reflux. Study participants had as good, if not better, results with the diet.

Dr. Zalvan was again lead author in a study published in January 2019 in Laryngoscope showing that the use of nasal irrigation, topical nasal antihistamines/steroids, and a plant-based Mediterranean-style diet with alkaline water was effective in stopping chronic neurogenic coughing without the use of systemic medication. Dr. Zalvan, from ENT and Allergy Associates, serves as the medical director for the Institute for Voice and Swallowing Disorders at Phelps Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, New York, and professor of otolaryngology at New York Medical College, Valhalla.


Philip Green, M.D. ’06, recently opened an interventional cardiology practice in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, expanding Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s presence. His focus is on complex coronary and peripheral arterial disease. Dr. Green lives in Teaneck, New Jersey, with his wife and children.


Elizabeth Tubridy-Peters, M.D. ’18, married Jonathan “Jono” White Peters Jr. this past summer. Dr. Tubridy-Peters and her husband met while she was studying at Georgetown University. After she completed her third year at Einstein, the two were engaged, and they married two years later in Riverside, Connecticut. Dr. Tubridy-Peters is a second-year obstetrics and gynecology resident at NYU Langone Health in New York City.

In Memoriam

Chester Martin Berschling, M.D. ’59, age 85, psychiatrist, member of Einstein’s first graduating class, Dec. 29, 2018, Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Joan Iris Casey, M.D., age 91, professor emerita, department of medicine (infectious diseases), May 6, 2019, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Brian L. Cowen, M.B.B.S., age 73, professor, department of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health (reproductive endocrinology and infertility), Sept. 12, 2018, White Plains, New York.

Quentin B. “Chip” Deming, M.D., age 99, professor emeritus, department of medicine (general internal medicine), Jan. 21, 2019, Hanover, New Hampshire.

Doris Jane Wolf Escher, M.D., age 101, founder and first director of Montefiore’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and professor, department of medicine (cardiology), April 3, 2019, Larchmont, New York.

Herbert Lukashok, M.S., age 97, clinical associate professor emeritus, department of epidemiology & population health, May 22, 2019, New York City.

Karen Roman, age 67, longtime administrator, department of genetics, April 16, 2019, Yorktown Heights, New York.

Alfred Spiro, M.D., age 88, professor emeritus, the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology (pediatric), and director of Einstein’s Muscular Dystrophy Association Muscle Disease Clinic for more than 30 years, April 17, 2019, Scarsdale, New York.

Felix Wimpfheimer, M.D., age 98, visiting associate professor, department of medicine (endocrinology), June 14, 2019, Riverdale, New York.

Jutta Zankl, age 70, longtime administrator, department of epidemiology & population health, Oct. 19, 2018, Pine Bush, New York.

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