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In Memoriam: Winter/Spring 2022

In Memoriam: Winter/Spring 2022

Diane L. Belfer, Einstein Board of Trustees Member

The Einstein and Montefiore communities lost a devoted friend on Jan. 2, 2022. Diane L. Belfer, longtime Einstein Board of Trustees member, who led with grace, sincerity, and goodwill, died at her home in Palm Beach, Fla., on her 94th birthday.

In addition to her 32-year service as a Trustee, Mrs. Belfer also served in Einstein’s Women’s Division. Her wide-ranging philanthropic support (see “Belfer Building”) is a testament to her remarkable influence on Einstein and its people.

Teresa DiLorenzo, Ph.D., the Diane Belfer, Cypres & Endelson Families Faculty Scholar in Diabetes Research and a professor of microbiology & immunology and of medicine, recalls Mrs. Belfer’s “hope and kindness” throughout their decade-long partnership. “Her support of research,” adds Dr. DiLorenzo, “has had immeasurable value.” Mrs. Belfer and her family also endowed the Diane and Arthur B. Belfer Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research.

The Einstein family joins Mrs. Belfer’s own—her son, Kenneth Endelson, and his wife, Sherry; her daughter, Kathi Cypres, and her husband, Gary; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and her stepson, Robert A. Belfer—in memorializing Mrs. Belfer’s curious nature, generosity of spirit, and commitment to science.

Visionary Educator Albert Kuperman, Ph.D.

Albert S. Kuperman, Ph.D., who served as the associate dean for educational affairs at Einstein for nearly 40 years and was a professor emeritus of molecular pharmacology, died Dec. 21, 2021, at age 90 in New York City.

Dr. Kuperman shaped many aspects of medical education at Einstein. His legacies include the global health program; the social medicine course he helped medical students establish; and Einstein’s art and literary magazine, Ad Libitum, which he championed as an important creative outlet for all members of the campus community. 

“Dr. Kuperman was one of my Einstein role models,” noted Gordon F. Tomaselli, M.D., the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean at Einstein and a member of the Class of 1982. “He made sure that medical students got to experience clinical medicine on the wards within our first 18 months, which was not the general practice at the time but is now a common aim.”

Born and raised in the Bronx, Dr. Kuperman earned his bachelor’s degree at New York University and his Ph.D. at Cornell University. He was a fellow in nerve-muscle physiology at the U.S. Naval Research Institute and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacology with the U.S. Public Health Service at Cornell Medical College. He was a visiting scholar at Columbia University’s Teachers College before joining the Einstein faculty.

Dr. Kuperman is survived by his daughters Meredith (Chuck) and Laura (John); granddaughters Hayley and Caroline (Paul); and sister Thelma (Gilbert).

Professor of Biochemistry John Blanchard, Ph.D.

John Blanchard, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and the Dan Danciger Chair in Biochemistry at Einstein, died Nov. 5, 2021, at age 67 in Pelham, N.Y. A talented enzymologist, Dr. Blanchard was a dedicated teacher and a mentor to young scientists from all over the world.

In 2009 Dr. Blanchard identified a promising new treatment for extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). He found that a combination of two drugs (clavulanate and meropenem) halted the growth of XDR-TB in laboratory culture. His drug combination has saved the lives of several patients with XDR-TB.

In 2014 the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases awarded Dr. Blanchard a four-year, $2.7 million grant to continue his efforts to find novel therapies for drug-resistant TB. In 2017 Einstein awarded him the Marshall S. Horwitz, M.D., Faculty Prize for Research Excellence.

Dr. Blanchard was born in Connecticut and grew up in Cheshire and New Haven. He graduated from Lake Forest College in Illinois in 1975 and received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1978. He arrived at Einstein in 1979 as a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow and later joined the faculty as an assistant professor, earning full professor status in 1993.

Dr. Blanchard is survived by his wife of 41 years, Kim, children Virginia and Charles (Sarah), and brother W. Scott Blanchard (Jenny).

The Honorable Felice K. Shea, Montefiore Trustee

Justice Felice K. Shea, a member of the board of trustees for Montefiore Health System for 25 years, died Dec. 27, 2021, at age 98 in New York City.

Justice Shea was an inspiring and fierce advocate for equity and social justice and a generous humanitarian. A trailblazer for women in law, Justice Shea opened opportunities for others throughout her lifetime of public service. After working as an attorney with the Legal Aid Society, she served as a judge in the Civil and Family Courts before her election to the New York State Supreme Court, from which she retired at the end of 1999.

When speaking of Montefiore—where her parents also sat on the board—she said, “Healthcare is a human right. And good healthcare, respectfully given and patient-centered, is what Montefiore is all about. To me, that is social justice.” Having done so much for so many, Justice Shea left a legacy that will live on at Montefiore and Einstein.

She is survived by her sister, Paula Oppenheim; her three children, Steven, Katherine, and Andrew Shea; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

 

Frances Cerullo, age 87, a recently retired psychoeducational specialist at the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center at Einstein, whose work with children who had reading disabilities and behavioral problems spanned nearly 45 years, Oct. 27, 2021, Mount Kisco, N.Y.

Ricardo Perez Dulzaides, age 33, a fourth-year Einstein M.D./Ph.D. student who had a passion for clinical investigation and was an advocate for diversity and the underserved, Nov. 12, 2021, Bronx, N.Y.

Babatunde (“Tunde”) A. Eboreime, M.D. ’71, age 77, a native of Nigeria and Princeton University graduate and an obstetrician-gynecologist who served generations of families in California for more than 35 years, Dec. 10, 2021, Pasadena, Calif.

Wendyann Ocasio, age 52, a community representative for the Einstein Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, July 7, 2021, Bronx, N.Y.

Clinton Potter, M.D. ’87, age 61, a family medicine physician, founder of Advanced Individualized Medicine of Naples, Naples Pride Center board member, and advocate for the LGBTQ community, Aug. 18, 2021, Naples, Fla.

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