Rochester Medicine | 2019 Volume 2

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Women, Unlimited Closing the Gender Gap in Medicine and Science

On the cover The road to gender equity and inclusion in medicine and science is being paved by inspiring women who succeed through ingenuity and perseverance. In this issue, you’ll meet some of the School of Medicine and Dentistry’s trailblazers and new leaders, including (from left) Ania Majewska, PhD; Linda H. Chaudron, MD; Vivian Lewis, MD; Barbara H. Iglewski, PhD; Gina Cuyler MD; Jimena Cubillos, MD; Deborah J. Fowell, PhD; Ruth A. Lawrence, MD; B. Paige Lawrence, PhD; and Erika U. Augustine, MD. Photo by John Myers Myers Creative Imagery

POINT OF VIEW On October 4, more than 2,000 people gathered in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre to celebrate the inauguration of Sarah C. Mangelsdorf as the University of Rochester’s 11th president. The first woman to lead the University, Mangelsdorf told the crowd, “To me, there are few more important and enduring societal institutions than the university, especially those like the University of Rochester, where research, teaching, and engagement—with this city, this region, the nation, and the world—are of primary importance.” Photo by J. Adam Fenster University of Rochester




arly in her seven-decade career, notable alumna Ruth Lawrence recounts living by the old adage: Never let them see you sweat. A trailblazer who went from being Yale’s first female pediatrics intern to world-renowned breastfeeding expert, Ruth came up at a time when many considered it acceptable to believe professional women— especially those married with children—succeeded despite their gender. This was long before the phrase “work-life balance” became part of our lexicon.

Mark B. Taubman, MD CEO, University of Rochester Medical Center Dean, School of Medicine and Dentistry Senior Vice President for Health Sciences

What do you think?

We have come a long way. Today, women are more widely represented in our senior leadership and hold 40 to 60 percent of all dean titles. We exceed the national average for women serving as department chairs. And the University of Rochester is now led by its first woman president. But there’s still much more to be done. The leaky pipeline to leadership for women in medicine and science is not unique to our school, but addressing it head-on is incumbent upon us if we are truly committed to becoming a preferred destination in which to study, learn, practice, and work. To achieve our full potential, our leadership must reflect the diversity of the population we serve. Our cover story explores this challenge, complemented by profiles of noteworthy faculty and alumni, such as Ruth and emeritus professor Barbara Iglewski, whose achievements despite the odds helped pave the way for future generations. We don’t have all the answers, but leaders like Linda Chaudron, senior associate dean for Inclusion and Culture Development, are guiding us in addressing the questions that will cultivate an inclusive environment that values everyone. When it comes to overcoming barriers to success, Ben Lee’s experience also comes to mind. Ben was recruited in 2017 to chair our Department of Psychiatry and is featured in this issue. Just 12 years old when his family emigrated from Korea, Ben worked hard at making connections. In doing so, he gained insight and empathy toward others who felt like outsiders—such as those he saw as marginalized by mental illness. That experience, coupled with an innate appreciation for the link between psychiatry and medicine, underpins the integration that is fundamental to his vision for the department. I hope you will enjoy reading highlights of progress at the Medical Center, achievements of our faculty, and updates from your fellow alumni, as well as a sampling of photos from last month’s memorable Meliora Weekend. As this is our last issue of 2019, please accept my appreciation for your continued support and best wishes for the upcoming holidays. I look forward to all that awaits us in 2020.

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Rochester Medicine welcomes letters from readers. The editor reserves the right to select letters for publication and to edit for style and space. Brief letters are encouraged.



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Cover Story

4 Medical Center Rounds

12 Women, Unlimited: Closing the Gender Gap in Medicine and Science

30 Born to Bridge Psychiatry and Medicine

38 Meliora Weekend Moments

42 Faculty News

45 In Memoriam

48 Philanthropy

50 Alumni News

52 Class Notes





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New Tool Meets Urgent Need in Bladder Cancer Wilmot Cancer Institute scientist Yi-Fen Lee, PhD, has developed a new tool to study how bladder cancer spreads and to investigate potential new treatments for the disease. Lee’s study, funded by the National Cancer Institute, focused on the key biological events that cause certain highly tumorigenic cancer cells to escape the lesion and seed in other areas. Researchers in her laboratory studied these cells in a new mouse model designed in the lab and discovered a subpopulation of cancer stem cells that was more likely to metastasize and colonize elsewhere. In addition, the researchers found two genes active in promoting bladder cancer metastasis to the lungs. The tool, which was described in Scientific Reports, is essential for the field of bladder cancer research, according to Lee, a URMC professor of Urology, Pathology, and Cancer. “Animal models are invaluable for investigating the complex, multi-step process that enables cancer cells to detach from primary tumors and invade other areas, but the availability of these models is limited,” said Lee. “Our approach offers a unique opportunity to pursue research that could translate into better treatments for patients.” Co-first authors for the study were Yu-Ru Liu, PhD, a staff scientist in Lee’s lab, and Peng-Nien Yin, a technical associate in the lab. Christopher Silvers, another technical associate, also contributed to the research.

Yi-Fen Lee, PhD


Researchers Aim to Keep Blood Healthier, Less Prone to Cancer A recent Wilmot Cancer Institute discovery could have implications for all types of blood disorders. The research showed a new way in which blood degrades when inflammation collects in the bone marrow, prompting unwanted changes in blood stem cells. Understanding this cascade of events in the marrow, where blood is made, allows scientists to investigate the best ways to keep blood “young” and to prevent cancer from developing. “If we know the instigating steps in the aging of blood stem cells, we can find



ways to rejuvenate blood and reduce the risk of leukemia,” said Benjamin Frisch, PhD, research assistant professor at Wilmot. The research is specifically directed at acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes, neither of which has a cure. However, the finding could have implications for other types of blood disorders as well as inflammation that occurs with aging. The findings emerged from collaborative work among many scientists in the Cancer Microenvironment program and Wilmot’s Hallmarks of Cancer basic biology research

program. Frisch is co-lead author of the paper, published by JCI Insight, with Corey Hoffman, PhD, a former graduate student in the lab of corresponding author Laura Calvi, MD. Calvi is a professor of Hematology/ Oncology and co-leader of Wilmot’s Cancer Microenvironment research program. Several branches of the National Institutes of Health, including the National Cancer Institute, funded the research, along with seed grants from Wilmot and UR’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) incubator fund.


NCI Funds Novel Pancreatic Cancer Research

Wilmot Cancer Institute researcher Scott Gerber (MS ’01, PhD ’05), received a National Cancer Institute grant for an innovative study combining radiotherapy and immune therapy to attack pancreatic cancer, a disease known for its dismally low survival rate. This study is relevant for most patients, who are typically diagnosed after pancreatic cancer has already begun to spread, making it harder to treat. One of the main problems lies in the microenvironment immediately surrounding the tumor—it consists of toxic proteins that protect cancer cells from being destroyed by the body’s own immune system. The goal is to convert an immune-suppressive tumor microenvironment into one that can fight cancer. Researchers suspect that stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), which delivers high doses of radiation over a short period of time to control tumors, may prime the immune system to kill cancer cells. Used to control many types of cancer, SBRT is emerging as a pancreatic cancer treatment. “Currently we have limited treatment options for individuals diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, even when it is detected early,” said Gerber, an assistant professor in URMC’s Department of Surgery and Microbiology/Immunology and co-director of Wilmot’s Center for Tumor Immunology Research. “There’s a vital need to develop new strategies and improve existing treatments to increase survival of this disease.” The NCI grant is based on earlier pre-clinical studies conducted by the Gerber lab. The current research focuses on how best to galvanize the immune system and to destroy tumors that have metastasized to the liver, a common occurrence in pancreatic cancer.


Major NCI Grant Supports Wilmot Cancer Control Program The National Cancer Institute awarded $28 million to the Cancer Control and Supportive Care research team at the Wilmot Cancer Institute. The grant—which is among the top five largest in recent years at the University of Rochester Medical Center—positions the Cancer Control Program once again as a major research hub in the National Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). Co-principal investigators are Gary Morrow, PhD (MS ’97), Benefactor Distinguished Professor at Wilmot, and Karen Mustian, PhD (MPH ’09), the Wilmot professor whose extensive grant-writing efforts won the six-year award. The Cancer Control program investigates side effects and symptoms (pain, nausea, chemo-brain and peripheral neuropathy, for example) of cancer and cancer treatment, a longstanding research strength at Wilmot and a topic of great concern to patients. The program, under Morrow’s leadership, has been continuously funded for more than 30 years. “It’s always been our mantra to help good people through lousy times,” Morrow said. “This new funding allows us to seamlessly continue our work while extending the mission to reach even more people on a national scale and throughout Rochester and the upstate New York region.”




Electronic Cigarettes Linked to Wheezing in Adults People who use electronic cigarettes are nearly twice as likely to experience wheezing compared to people who didn’t regularly use tobacco products, according to a new study. Wheezing, caused by narrowed or abnormal airways, is often a precursor to other serious health conditions such as emphysema, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, heart failure, lung cancer, and sleep apnea. Electronic cigarettes are extremely popular. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics indicates that close to 13 percent of U.S. adults have tried electronic cigarettes, and nearly 4 percent currently use them. Although electronic cigarettes are marketed as a less-harmful alternative to cigarette smoking, many concerns remain related to the long-term health consequences of vaping. Study author Deborah J. Ossip, PhD, a tobacco-research expert and professor in URMC’s Department of Public Health Sciences, says the findings are consistent with past research that shows emissions from electronic-cigarette aerosols and flavorings damage lung cells by generating harmful free radicals and inflammation in lung tissue. “The take-home message is that electronic cigarettes are not safe when it comes to lung health,” says Ossip. “The changes we’re seeing with vaping, both in laboratory experiments and studies of people who vape, are consistent with early signs of lung damage, which is very worrisome.” The latest research, conducted by lead author Dongmei Li, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Clinical and Translational Research, and senior author Irfan Rahman, PhD, professor of Environmental Medicine, was published in the journal Tobacco Control.




Grant Marks Two Decades of NIH Support for Muscular Dystrophy Research Pioneering Rochester research on muscular dystrophy will continue, with $8 million in additional NIH funding to renew URMC’s Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center. The grant will support ongoing work to investigate the genetic mechanisms and progression of this complex multi-system disease— research that has led scientists to the threshold of potential new therapies for myotonic dystrophy, one of the most common forms of muscular dystrophy. URMC researchers have been studying myotonic dystrophy for more than 30 years, and their work has transformed our understanding of the biological mechanisms of the disease. “The mission of the URMC Wellstone Center is to promote research that leads to effective treatments for muscular dystrophy,” said Charles Thornton, MD (Flw ’90, Flw ’92), Saunders Family Distinguished Professor in Neuromuscular Research and director of the URMC Wellstone Center. “This new funding will enable us to continue a research program that has been forged from a true partnership between bench scientists, clinical researchers, and patients and their families.” URMC is home to one of six NIH-designated Wellstone Centers in the nation. URMC was selected in the first cycle of funding when the program was launched 16 years ago, and it is the only such center to be continuously funded since the program’s inception. Charles Thornton, MD


New Grants to Accelerate Clinical Trials in Rare Neurological Disorders Two National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) grants are paving the way for new treatments for rare neurological disorders. The $10 million in funding is supporting new research programs on neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses and Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) diseases. URMC neurologists Erika Augustine (MD ’03, Flw ’10) Robert J. Joynt Professor in Neurology and David Herrmann, MBBCh, are leading the research, which involves an international team of scientists and clinicians. The Augustine-led research program is focusing on juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (CLN3 disease), the most prevalent form of Batten diseases. Symptoms emerge in early childhood and involve vision loss, seizures, and impaired cognitive and motor function, all of which worsen as the disease progresses; youth typically die of disease complications by their twenties or thirties. Herrmann, who heads the URMC Neuromuscular Disease Program, is leading research on CMT, a family of rare inherited peripheral neuropathies that is characterized by progressive weakness, imbalance, sensory loss, and gait abnormalities. Grant funding comes from the NINDS Clinical Trial Readiness for Rare Neurological and Neuromuscular Diseases program, which was created to support studies that lay the groundwork for the next generation of treatments—including gene replacement therapies—currently under development.

Erika Augustine, MD




URMC Leading Study on Early Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder Thousands of young children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) receive therapy to address deficits in communication, social interaction, and engagement. Commonly referred to as Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI), this approach has been found to be effective for increasing adaptive behaviors and decreasing any challenging behavior a child may exhibit. EIBI generally requires an intensive time commitment. Children often receive services for 20 or more hours per week, and this can be burdensome to children and families. Despite decades of research on this treatment approach, little is known about how to tailor interventions systematically or how to precisely apply different doses of intervention to meet the individual needs and responses of any one child. Recent research suggests that EIBI may be effective when delivered at a lower intensity and with systematic emphasis on developing specific skills for some children. To investigate this, the Department of Defense has provided URMC $7 million in funding to better understand what EIBI dose and components are most effective for which children. This study will advance current knowledge on how to best implement behaviorally based interventions for young children with ASD by examining the impact of interventions on both children and families.

This project is coordinated through URMC by a team of researchers that was led by Tristram Smith, PhD, a long-time investigator of the impact of early behavioral interventions, until his death in 2018.


U.S. News & World Report Recognizes Golisano Children’s Hospital

Golisano Children’s Hospital is among the nation’s best children’s hospitals in two specialty areas, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospital rankings. The 2019–2020 rankings placed 8


the hospital’s neonatology program at No. 38 nationally and the nephrology program at No. 41. The Division of Neonatology treats more than 1,100 infants every year and is staffed by

19 physicians, approximately nine physician trainees, 35 advanced-practice providers, and 300 nurses. The Gosnell Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the only Level IV NICU in the 14-county region. The Division of Pediatric Nephrology provides care for those with kidney disease, reduced renal function, and hypertension, including children requiring a kidney transplant or dialysis. “Every day, our team of pediatric specialists strives to provide the best, most compassionate care to our patients and their families—and this recognition is the result of those efforts,” says Patrick Brophy, MD, the William H. Eilinger Professor and chair of Pediatrics and the physician-in-chief of Golisano Children’s Hospital. “We are proud to be considered among our nation’s best children’s hospitals.” The U.S. News & World Report rankings feature the 50 best children’s hospitals in each of 10 pediatric specialties. Over the past eight years, Golisano Children’s Hospital has appeared in the top 50 in six of the 10 categories.


Eastman School of Music, URMC Collaborate on Performing Arts Medicine Initiative The Eastman School of Music and URMC unveiled a collaborative initiative that’s laying a foundation for clinicians, artists, and researchers to innovate connections between health and the arts. Eastman Performing Arts Medicine (EPAM) unifies and expands existing clinical services, arts integration, and research to transform arts-related health care delivery and scientific understanding of the interactions between the arts and health. The program’s structure comprises four branches: clinical services for artists, music and creative-arts therapies for inpatients, scientific research, and performances in hospital spaces. “We are pleased to partner with the Eastman School of Music to launch the Eastman Performing Arts Medicine initiative,” said Mark Taubman, MD, CEO of URMC and dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “This program is close to my heart. It blends my personal passions for medicine and the performing arts into a program that benefits musicians and general patients alike.” EPAM specialists work closely with performers in many artistic disciplines to develop treatment plans that balance the need for a quick return to performance schedules with the realities of tissue healing and a safe resumption of a productive practice schedule. “Eastman Performing Arts Medicine is a model of the kind of collaboration that takes place across disciplines throughout the university,” says Jamal Rossi, the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music. Current EPAM concert venues include the lobbies and entrances to Strong Memorial Hospital, Wilmot Cancer Institute, and Flaum Atrium. EPAM aims to add performance opportunities throughout URMC and its affiliates. Saxophonist Rahul Shah is a student at Eastman School of Music.




Adnan Hirad, PhD


Midbrain Region is Key to Assessing the Impact of Repetitive Head Hits, Concussions A brain injury can be difficult to locate, but new research identifies a single region of the brain that can be used to examine the impact of a concussion or repeated hits to the head. Data collected from 38 University of Rochester football players before and after three consecutive football seasons were analyzed for the study. The analysis showed a significant decrease in the integrity of the midbrain white matter after just one season of football as compared to the preseason. While only two players suffered clinically diagnosed concussions during the time they were followed in the study, the comparison of the post- and pre-season MRIs showed more than two-thirds of the players experienced a decrease in the structural integrity of their brains. “This study is important because we found that no matter where the head gets hit, the force is translated into a single region of the



brain known as the midbrain,” said Jeffrey Bazarian (MD ’87, Res ’90, MPH ’96), professor of Emergency Medicine; Neurology; Neurosurgery; and Public Health Sciences at URMC and a co-author of the study. University of Rochester fourth-year medical student Adnan Hirad, PhD, first author of the research, said, “Our findings do not dispute the fact that head-injury effects are distributed throughout the brain, but the midbrain may serve as a ‘canary in a coal mine’ in terms of identifying damage.” The finding also supports the emerging idea that traumatic brain injury is not limited to people who sustain a concussion; it can result from repetitive head hits that are clinically silent—those that do not produce the visible signs or symptoms of a concussion.




New Funding Boosts URMC Biotech Start-Up A new biotechnology company has received the largest-ever investment in a University of Rochester Medical Center start-up company. Oscine Therapeutics, a company based on discoveries made and developed at URMC, is the recipient of a significant multi-year investment to support research and development of cell-based therapies for neurological disorders. The new venture emerged from decades of research in the lab of Steve Goldman, MD, PhD, Dean Zutes Chair in Biology of the Aging Brain and co-director of the URMC Center for Translational Neuromedicine and Oscine’s president. Goldman’s work has focused on understanding the basic biology and molecular function of support cells in the central nervous system, devising new techniques to precisely manipulate and sort these cells, and studying how cell

replacement could impact the course of neurological diseases. “Neurological disorders are complex diseases, but in many instances, it appears that faulty support cells of the brain are driving the disease process,” said Goldman, the URMC Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience and Neurology. “These diseases represent promising targets for cell-replacement therapies because we know a great deal about the role these cells play, how to create them, and how to get them to the areas of the brain where they are needed.” Sana Biotechnology, a new company focused on creating and delivering engineered cells as medicines for patients, is making the investment in Oscine. The University of Rochester and Cornell University have licensed intellectual property to Oscine.


Curriculum Updates Aimed at Preparing Future Clinicians and Scientists In an effort to ensure competence in increasingly important areas such as patient safety, collaborative practice, clinical reasoning, research design, and technology in medicine, the School of Medicine and Dentistry has updated its curriculum. The school’s original Double-Helix Curriculum, considered a national model for modern medical education, is being updated to address areas that are critical to developing physicians of the future, and program changes will better support students and facilitate their transition from accepted applicant to MD graduate to internship. “Meliora in Medicine,” a new content thread, will be present across the four years to emphasize the three pillars of Collaborative Practice, Technology in Medicine, and Professional Identity Formation. Other adjustments include a new Phase 1 course called “Foundations of Biopsychosocial Medicine”; focusing the Primary Care Clerkship in the second year only; beginning Phase 3 sooner to allow for earlier preparation for residency; adding a four-week Family Medicine clerkship; and a new, two-week critical-care requirement. “Our School of Medicine is nationally recognized as a leader in innovating medical education, and so it’s fitting that we continue to evolve our curriculum,” said URMC CEO and School of Medicine and Dentistry Dean Mark Taubman, MD. “These updates will better prepare our medical students for careers in clinical care and scientific investigation, which themselves are undergoing rapid change.”



Cover Story

Closing the Gender Gap in Medicine and Science

By Robin L. Flanigan



From left: Deborah J. Fowell, PhD; Ania Majewska, PhD; B. Paige Lawrence, PhD; Vivian Lewis, MD; Ruth A. Lawrence, MD; Erika U. Augustine, MD; Linda H. Chaudron, MD; Jimena Cubillos, MD; Gina Cuyler MD; and Barbara H. Iglewski, PhD. ROCHESTER MEDICINE | 2019 – V2


Cover Story: Women, Unlimited

“There has been slow and steady progress over time, and we really need to celebrate our wins.” Diana Lautenberger, AAMC




s the quest for gender equity and inclusion at the School of Medicine and Dentistry unfolds on these pages, we celebrate some trailblazers and new leaders who, by example and advocacy,

are driving the advancement of women in medicine and science.

In 2017, for the first time in history, men no longer made up the majority of students entering U.S. medical schools. But a leaky pipeline still exists when it comes to women advancing in clinical and research careers. There are disparities in salaries, promotions, awards, and research funding, as well as underrepresentation in academic leadership positions and scholarly work. The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry— where the percentage of male and female medical students is split down the middle—is not immune to a gender gap at the highest levels, but is working hard to change that. Only 30 percent of deans, department chairs, and executive-level administrators are women. Men hold four times the number of chair positions as women, and are 44 percent more likely to be promoted to full professor. It takes conscious and steady effort to make a dent in such a pervasive, historical imbalance, and the medical school is taking that effort seriously. For one thing, it has increased the number of full-time professors and other leadership positions over the past three years. And numerous resources already are available or being initiated to ensure that women feel their perspectives are noticed— and valued. “The whole picture at the top is changing,” says Linda H. Chaudron (MD ’92), senior associate dean for Inclusion and Culture at the medical school. “The institutional support to assure equity and advance women and other underrepresented groups is not just visible, but authentic.” That support extends to the University of Rochester Medical Center, with administrators becoming more intentional about breaking down institutional, systemic, and structural barriers to gender equality. To achieve its full potential, a world-class academic medical center’s leadership must reflect the diversity of the population it serves. It is a lengthy undertaking, being carried out in Rochester and on a national level. “There has been slow and steady progress over time, and we really need to celebrate our wins,” says Diana Lautenberger, director for Faculty and Staff Research at the Association of American Medical Colleges. “At the same time, by spending too

much time and energy thinking about the progress we’ve made, sometimes that distracts us from how far we still have to go.” According to AAMC, women across the country account for 16 percent of medical school deans and 18 percent of department chairs—each figure rising just 4 percent and 6 percent, respectively, over the past 10 years. The number of female full professors in academic medicine has increased only from 19 to 25 percent in the last decade. “That’s nowhere near where we want it to be,” adds Lautenberger. “We need to move the needle at a much higher and faster rate.” AAMC’s next “The State of Women in Academic Medicine” report, coming out in November, will include a more comprehensive snapshot than usual of female experiences in a male-dominated field—pulling data from engagement and satisfaction surveys, as well as health care surveys, to learn about climate and culture. The medical school and the Medical Center “are creating more ways for women to get together to talk about ways the culture and structure needs to change, and how they can support each other,” says Vivian Lewis, MD, who recently retired as vice provost for Faculty Development and Diversity in the Provost’s Office at the University of Rochester. Aside from helping to launch policies focused on families, harassment, and discrimination, the office researches aspects of climate and faculty satisfaction. In spring 2020, data will be available from a three-year effort with the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, in which anonymous exit interviews will help shed light on why women are leaving their positions. The Office for Inclusion and Culture, meanwhile, offers programs and events supporting the advancement of women in medicine and science throughout their careers. For instance, the annual Tana Grady-Weliky, MD, Lecture on Women and Diversity in Medicine hosts nationally known figures in academic medicine to focus on issues of importance to women and others from underrepresented groups in medicine. In 2020, Deborah German, MD (Res ’79)—an alumna of the internal medicine residency—will be the keynote speaker. ROCHESTER MEDICINE | 2019 2019 – V2 V2


Cover Story: Women, Unlimited

Other examples include the program Developing from Within: Exploring and Enhancing Choices for Mid-Career Women Faculty; a series for junior women faculty titled Strategic Career Advancement: Conversations with a Former Chair; Women’s Wednesday Workshops, led by graduates of Drexel’s ELAM program; half-day career development seminars; and networking events. In addition, affiliations with national organizations such as the American Council on Education’s Women’s Network, which advances and supports women in higher-education careers, offer faculty and staff opportunities for growth.

More men should step up to call out bias and better understand where representation falls short, given that they’re the ones who dominate positions of power, advises John P. Cullen, PhD, director of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Rochester’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute and assistant director of the University of Rochester’s Susan B. Anthony Center. According to research on unconscious bias, male applicants are rated as more competent, hireable, and deserving, than females with identical experience. “In my opinion, it shouldn’t always be up to the group that is oppressed or marginalized to take on the fight by themselves,”

Profiles in Perseverance —­Women Leaders Share Ania Majewska heard a familiar refrain when she announced she was going into neuroscience.

in the visual cortex, found that her family gave her perspective on her work.

It’s going to be so hard. You’ll be working constantly. You won’t have time for a family.

“I used to take every small problem or failure at work to heart, but I no longer have the time or energy to do that,” she explains, adding that the issues tend to resolve themselves even when she doesn’t stress as much about them.

“There was definitely a scare factor to it, and I had to think very seriously about my choices going forward,” she says. “There just wasn’t a clear alternative for what else I would do, because I just love my job. It does require dedication, but not nearly as many sacrifices as people say it does.” One of the main reasons Majewska followed her passion is because, unlike many places around the country at which she interviewed, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry had several senior-level females with families.

Ania Majewska, PhD Professor in the Center for Visual Science and the Department of Neuroscience University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

That doesn’t mean everyone understood where she was coming from. When Majewska first started her lab, she received the same advice from three different senior male scientists—to hold off on hiring anyone for the first year and work 24/7 to set up the lab herself. “I thought this was very interesting, given that they knew I had a 6-week-old infant at home,” she says. Over time, Majewska, whose specific interests lie in understanding how visual activity shapes the structure and function of connections between neurons



Moreover, she has taken multi-tasking to a level she never thought possible. For instance, during a 15-minute lull she is equally liable to be working on a grant or planning an on-the-go menu for a son who has celiac disease and a slew of after-school activities. “Being able to manage everything—most days—has given me more confidence in my abilities,” Majewska says. “The need for that sort of efficiency has also made me much less tolerant of wasting my time. I know to focus on the things I think are really important, both at home and at work.” Majewska’s research with post-doctoral associate Marie-Ève Tremblay, PhD, led to a landmark paper in 2010—a detailed look at how brain cells interact with each other and react to their environment swiftly, reaching out constantly to form new links or abolish connections. That relationship was one of the highlights of her career. “I have three kids, she has three kids,” Majewska says, “and I love the idea that we can be at the forefront of cutting-edge science and still have lives.”

Cullen says. “I use my privilege as a man, and a white man, to advocate for equity. The work is slow, and it’s going to be slow. But we are not going to shift the needle quickly enough until we get men involved. They have a responsibility to do this.” For his perspectives on male allyship and the need to support women in academic biomedical research, AAMC, in November 2017, appointed Cullen to its Group on Women in Medicine and Science Steering Committee—the first man to be selected to join the group. “We often go into a room and see who has a seat at the table, but it’s more important to flip that and see who doesn’t have a seat at the table,” Cullen says. “Maybe there are women in the

room, but are there women of color? Then the next part of this is, even if they have a seat at the table, do they have a voice? Are they being heard?” Chaudron, chair of the AAMC GWIMS Steering Committee, praises Mark B. Taubman, MD, URMC CEO and dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, for his part in helping to answer these questions. “There are always places we can improve,” she says, “but his clear commitment to gender equity and academic advancement has really sent a message to people that this is important and we need to address it head-on.”

Their Stories Vivian Lewis’s class in medical school, at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, was considered quite progressive in the 1970s—about one-third of the students were women. “I was part of a kind of sea change,” she says. “The senior class looked very different.” Although the residency programs she considered had hardly any women faculty, about half her peers in the residency she chose, in obstetrics and gynecology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine of City University, were women. “Honestly, we were the stronger ones,” she says. “We were overachievers. We felt the expectations were greater for us.” By the time Lewis came to the University of Rochester Medical Center in 1991 as an associate professor and to lead the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology, she was enthusiastically helping to advance a field continuously expanding in scope and impact. “Reproductive endocrinology barely existed when I was coming along, so part of what attracted me was that it seemed like an open canvas, with so much to be discovered,” she says. Lewis has been chair of the advisory committee on reproductive health drugs for the Food and Drug Administration since 2014. Aside from reproductive endocrinology, her areas of expertise include infertility,

menopause, in vitro fertilization, and hormone replacement therapy. Being promoted from associate professor to full professor “was an interesting step for me and a turning point,” Lewis says, because she was the only underrepresented minority in that role. “There had been one before me, but that person had moved on, and now it was my turn.” She didn’t understand why. There were few female full professors as it was, though she knew many women who deserved to be moving up the ranks. And she knew other ethnic minorities who’d left their jobs in frustration because they felt they were hitting the glass ceiling. “I thought, ‘I deserve this promotion, and yet I shouldn’t be so unique. This is ridiculous,’” she says. From that promotion in early 2000 until July 2019, Lewis was the only female African American full professor throughout the entire university. Lewis, who retired in September but continues to work for the university part time, is proud of the way science and medicine around women’s health and reproduction have expanded choices available to female practitioners and patients—in large part due to the women’s movement.

Vivian Lewis, MD Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity in the Provost’s Office University of Rochester Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

“You can’t separate the two, and that’s for the better of health care,” she says. “Not to say women are solely responsible. But we’ve made our mark.”



Cover Story: Women, Unlimited

As a high-school student, Erika Augustine was in the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP), a University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry pipeline program aimed at attracting underrepresented minority students into translational research careers. Gender diversity was not a major concern as she made her plans to become a child neurologist. “The university made a commitment to developing that pipeline a long time ago, so I knew this was an environment that valued diversity and actually took actions and steps to try to address it,” she says. “I didn’t have the sense ever that this was a place I didn’t belong from a gender standpoint.”

Erika U. Augustine (MD ’03, Flw ’10) Robert J. Joynt Professor in Neurology Associate Director at the Center for Health + Technology University of Rochester Medical Center

As the years went on, Augustine transitioned from being a fellow at the University of Rochester Medical Center to a faculty member. “I’m much more aware of my gender now,” she says. “There are times when I am the only woman in the room.” Maybe that’s in an advisory committee meeting. Or in a leadership group. But those times seem to be fewer more recently, says Augustine, in large part because of the continued and increased attention on diversity initiatives that impact employment and promotion decisions, student mentoring, and implicit biases that may affect the way colleagues work together.

Augustine, who specializes in the care of children with movement disorders, has been awarded multiple sources of grant support for training, career development, and clinical research. That research focuses on developing novel therapeutics for Batten diseases, a group of rare pediatric neurodegenerative disorders. As diversity officer with a national career development program for child neurologists funded by the National Institutes of Health, Augustine pays close attention, as do her colleagues in the program, to how others perceive those in charge. “We are definitely striving to put forth balanced, representative images of our leadership,” she says. “We are conscious of making sure young researchers resonate with the people they see as leaders.” Just as she was made aware of career-development opportunities outside the university, Augustine encourages others to apply for national programs such as the Association of American Medical Colleges’ leadership-development seminars for women. Literature suggests diverse teams produce better outcomes, and that diversity, Augustine points out, inevitably needs frames of reference from females. “It’s an important component of being and becoming a first-rate, leading-edge institution,” she says. “If we do not fully represent a broad spectrum of origins and perspectives, then based on the science, we have not yet reached our full potential.”

“ We are definitely striving to put forth balanced, representative images of our leadership.”



Though born in the machismo culture of Colombia, Jimena Cubillos, whose family moved to the U.S. when she was 6, was always told by her parents she could be anything she wanted when she grew up.

that exists. Though to be honest, I’m glad I’ve never had to see a department chairman in his skivvies.”

She would go on to pursue a career in the heavily male-dominated field of urology, becoming the only pediatric surgeon, male or female, to perform robotic procedures at Golisano Children’s Hospital—and one of a minority of urology surgeons to do so nationally. Cubillos, with expertise in minimally invasive, laparoscopic, and robotic pediatric urology, has been at the forefront of social change in academic medicine since studying at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

People in her department have gone out of their way to help her advance in her career, Cubillos says. When she recommended someone in particular for the position of division chief in her department, her chair and division chief both suggested it would be a good idea for her to take on the role—for her, personally, and for the field on a national level, which needed more female division chiefs. At the time she wanted to start focusing on quality efforts instead, so she declined to pursue the opportunity, but she appreciated the confidence in her potential and the continued support that followed. Cubillos had been careful from early on to choose only supportive surroundings. When applying for a residency, for instance, she heard through word-of-mouth she should avoid known “malignant programs for women.”

“Our class was the first year there was an equivalent number of males and females, and the class after us had more women than men for the first time,” she recalls. “It was definitely a point of pride. We felt like we had beaten the gender gap, and the administration talked about it on a regular basis.”

Today, the face of urology is changing. While Cubillos used to be able to count the number of women in urology who attended national meetings, she says that statistic is growing.

In small ways her gender as a female physician comes into play, such as when she’s talking socially with male colleagues after rounds and has to split off from the group when it’s time to change into scrubs in a separate locker room.

“There are definitely a lot more women now, and they’re younger, so a new generation is coming into the field,” she says. “I think the workforce is going to change, and it’s going to become more acceptable to do things like job share and work part-time. I’m hopeful.”

“You’re not privy to that half of the conversation, but it’s not intentional,” she says. “There’s just a reality

Jimena Cubillos (’97, MD ’03) Associate Professor of Clinical Urology Director of Quality in the Department of Urology University of Rochester Medical Center

URSMD Full-time Faculty 2019 Female Faculty Professor: 14.5%

Sr. Instructor/ Instructor: 14.5%

Male Faculty Sr. Instructor/ Instructor: 9.5%

Professor: 29.7%

Assistant Professor: 42.7% Associate Professor: 28.2%

Assistant Professor: 32.4%

Associate Professor: 28.4% ROCHESTER MEDICINE | 2019 2019 – V2 V2


Cover Story: Women, Unlimited

Ruth Lawrence was the first woman ever to be offered an internship in pediatrics at Yale University— but she wasn’t quick to accept, which prompted her summons to the office of George Hoyt Whipple, MD, founding dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He was on the phone with the medical school dean at Yale. Ruth recalls: “He was saying, ‘Hey look, George, we took a risk. We said we’d take a female and she hasn’t answered us.’ With Dr. Whipple looking down at me, I said, ‘Well, I’d love to come to New Haven.’”

Ruth A. Lawrence (MD ’49, Res ’58) Northumberland Trust Professor in Pediatrics Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Founder (1985) and Medical Director of the Breastfeeding and Human Lactation Study Center, Golisano Children’s Hospital

That internship, followed by a residency also at Yale, exposed Ruth—who wore a white coat just like her male peers but was tasked with weaning her first child at 3 months to get back to work—to some of the greatest minds and practices in pediatrics. One of those practices was breastfeeding, common in New Haven even as physicians at the time, in the early ’50s, were urging patients to feed their babies formula. Comfortable around breastfeeding because she’d seen her mother nurse her siblings, Lawrence dug into research in earnest once in her post-doctoral residency in pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where, she says, “if a woman spoke up [for herself] she was apt to be punished for it.” She wrote articles on the benefits of breastfeeding, and word spread. Soon she was being sought out by the wives of doctors who had read her work and wanted help breastfeeding their infants. Attention swelled, and Lawrence went on to become an international expert in the field of breastfeeding medicine. Her book, Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession, continues to be the

preeminent reference for clinicians worldwide since its 1979 publication. Meanwhile, the mother of nine managed responsibilities she knew the men in her life—at home and at work—did not have to consider. “My husband used to say, ‘As long as the house is neat, the children are well dressed and in school and doing well, and dinner is on the table, you can do what you want,” she says, smiling about it now. “Erma Bombeck had a famous saying, ‘Don’t let them see you sweat.’ That’s what I felt.” She had to put the kids to bed, so was unable to attend nightly club meetings with other pediatricians. And she was in charge of the university hospital nursery, a job her male colleagues did not want—but one that ultimately helped her pioneer neonatology as a specialty. Over her seven decades of experience as a pediatrician, clinical toxicologist, and neonatologist—a storied career earning her two lifetime achievement awards— Lawrence has seen women go from “keeping our heads down” to being able to “speak up and challenge leadership.” Given her achievements over the years, she recognizes she has had a role to play in that evolution—a role that led to her accepting the Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal, which recognizes alumni for outstanding achievement and notable service, earlier this year. “I’ve never looked at myself as a disruptor,” she says, “but I hope I have helped a lot of women overcome whatever obstacles are in front of them.”

Personal ‘Herstories’ of Pediatrics in Rochester Fifty years ago, when Elizabeth McAnarney, MD, arrived at the University of Rochester, there were no female professors in the Department of Pediatrics. Now, more than half of the department’s executive cabinet members are female— and more than two dozen females hold the title of professor. A new book, spearheaded by McAnarney, celebrates the women in the department who helped bring about the cultural shift responsible for that progress. Women of Rochester Pediatrics: In Their Own Words, written by Nancy Wharton Bolger, is a rich look at the personal and professional lives of some of the Department of Pediatrics’ most admired leaders. “As each recounts her story, through interviews with the author, one hears similar themes of optimism, hope, and confidence despite many professional 20


As a student at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Linda Chaudron didn’t give much thought to being a woman. More than 40 percent of her class was female. But gender became an issue during her second year in medical school. Chaudron wanted to schedule a conference on women in medicine, but was told by male leadership there wouldn’t be enough interest. “That didn’t sit well with me,” she says. She told a female administrator about the exchange and learned she could go to every department chair and ask for money as a show of support. Chaudron estimates she likely raised four times as much as she would have received otherwise. That money sponsored a half-day conference, at which senior women faculty from different disciplines shared their career stories and where they saw the future of medicine headed for the next generation. “That adversity was a great thing, because it made me learn how things really work when it comes to administration, funding, and persistence,” she says. “It’s probably led me on the path I’m on.” Interestingly, Chaudron came to work at the School of Medicine and Dentistry in part because of support she received while interviewing for her first faculty position. As a new mother who needed to pump breastmilk for her 3-month-old son, she was provided a faculty office and time to pump. She also recalls one male faculty member acknowledging the difficulty in being away from her baby.

“My experiences at other institutions were not as supportive of the challenges of being a breastfeeding mom on the interview trail, and those experiences contributed to my choice of where I wanted to start my career as a faculty member.” Since then Chaudron, whose clinical and research expertise is in women’s mental health, especially on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, has been in several leadership roles to help influence culture, climate, diversity, and inclusion. As senior associate dean for diversity at the medical school, she worked to expand the diversity efforts then focused on faculty to students, residents, and post-docs. When Chaudron took on her current role as vice president for Inclusion and Culture at the medical center and senior associate dean for Inclusion and Culture at the medical school, her reach became even broader. “And this job continues to be an evolution,” she says.

Linda H. Chaudron (MD ’92)

Chaudron’s accomplishments earned her the Susan B. Anthony Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 for her work as a champion of women in science and medicine.

Senior Associate Dean for Inclusion and Culture

As Chaudron moves steadily forward with initiatives to better the work environment for women and for other groups who are historically underrepresented in medicine and science, she keeps close the lessons learned from her conference-planning medical-school days.

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

“That was a pivotal experience for me in terms of my advocacy,” she says. “Now as an administrator, I realize I’m not always in tune with what’s important to students or other trainees. We really have to listen to them.”

Professor of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics and Gynecology

Vice President for Inclusion and Culture in the Office of VP for Health Sciences University of Rochester Medical Center

and personal challenges,” writes McAnarney, distinguished university professor and chair emerita of the Department of Pediatrics, in the book’s preface. The book features 29 physicians, including Rochester alums such as O.J. Sahler (MD ’71, Flw ’77), the George Washington Goler Professor of Pediatrics, whose story is representative of many profiled in the book. As one of only two women in her medical school class of 75 students at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, Sahler’s journey was rife with challenges. But she persevered and went on to have a successful career, first as the medical school’s first female clerkship director, and later, as the leader of the department’s psychosocial oncology research and education program, among many other accomplishments. In addition to sharing their own stories, the featured physicians also offer advice to young women pursuing careers in medicine. Among them, Ruth A. Lawrence (MD ’49, Res ’58), professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology, offers the following piece of wisdom: “If you’re ambitious, be ready to jump through hoops. And don’t let them see you sweat.” Women of Rochester Pediatrics is available online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. ROCHESTER MEDICINE | 2019 2019 – V2 V2


Cover Story: Women, Unlimited

Growing up a member of the working class in the Midlands, in central England, Deborah Fowell pushed up against certain boundaries because of her family’s socioeconomic status. She has found no such hierarchy in her work as an immunologist. “What I find so amazing is that science is a huge leveler,” she says. “You’re respected for your intellect, which really does drive how far you can go. Everything else kind of fades away. “I can’t say I’ve been discriminated against, or not gotten to a position I wanted, because of anything other than not being the best one for the job,” she adds.

Deborah J. Fowell, PhD Dean’s Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology Member of the Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology University of Rochester Medical Center



Fowell believes women could, however, be better at self-promotion, a skill that might remove some of the hurdles they face in moving into leadership positions. “We are often not very good at advocating for ourselves,” she says. “I’ll fight fiercely to advance people in my lab, and for colleagues in my department, but have a tough time doing it for myself.” The University of Rochester Medical Center has done a stellar job recognizing this reality, Fowell explains, by developing a helpful program called “Developing from Within: Exploring and Enhancing Career Choices for Mid-Career Women.” The program is for current or future department or institutional leaders across science and medicine disciplines who want to come together to develop leadership skills.

Despite her hesitations, Fowell, who came to the Medical Center in 2000 as a junior faculty member, has worked her way up through promotions to full professor. Her research focuses on mechanisms of immune regulation at tissue sites of inflammation. “I’ve come to appreciate how special science is—that, for the most part, appearance doesn’t influence people’s opinion of you,” she says. When Fowell has been the only woman in the room, she hasn’t noticed. For example, while reviewing grants with some 15 other scientists at the National Institutes of Health, one of them pointed out—to her surprise—the gender imbalance at the table. Remembers Fowell: “I’d been so excited about discussing which grants had done well and which hadn’t done well. That sort of scientific interchange was so stimulating that I hadn’t paid any attention to the make-up of the room.” Through her own grant from NIH, Fowell organized a group of scientists from within and outside of the immunology field to adapt and develop cutting-edge imaging techniques that could lead to new approaches in manipulating the immune system and improving treatment of infectious diseases. That sort of collaboration transcends the subject of gender, according to Fowell. “It’s more about being smart, being dedicated, and thinking creatively,” she says.

A (Wo)man’s World?

Showered with support. As the only female intern in pediatrics at Yale University in the 1940s, Ruth Lawrence, MD, was given sole use of one of two shower rooms on her dorm floor. “I would get a little rat-atat on my door at night from the men, asking if they could take a shower in my room,” she recalls. “I’d say, ‘If you pick up your towel, yes.’” Those men wound up being extremely supportive, throwing her a baby shower and taking medical calls on her behalf just before the first of her nine children were born.

A sampling of early questions and challenges faced by URMC women faculty in fields traditionally dominated by men.

Name neutrality. When B. Paige Lawrence, PhD, Wright Family Research Professor, arrived at the airport for a meeting in Montreal, the scientist assigned to pick her up was surprised by her appearance. “Oh my God, you’re a woman!” he exclaimed, apparently thrown off by her gender-neutral name. The same thing happened when she traveled to France to give a talk, and it happens occasionally when she attends conferences. “The fact that many people just assume I’m a man says something about our culture as scientists,” she says.

A lesson in leadership. In the late 1980s, while on sabbatical Server scientist? at a Switzerland research institute, While at an international Edith M. Lord, PhD, brought her conference, Deborah J. Fowell, 5-year-old daughter, Kara, to a PhD, found herself chatting with grand affair there. “We were Privacy, please. fellow graduate students and a walking past pictures of Prior to joining the University well-respected scientist who was a people who were in of Rochester, Ania Majewska, leader in his field. Aside from being charge of things,” Lord PhD, experienced male the only female in the group, Fowell says, “and she had colleagues coming into the was passionate and animated as she one question: women’s bathroom to tell her discussed how vaccines work and ways ‘Where are she has a phone call, as well as to improve them. During a pause, the the women, a male advisor who reserved a scientist said, “Oh, dear, can you run along Mom?’” single room for the two of them and get us some drinks?” Fowell obliged, to share at a conference—until his but on her way back with the beers, she wife intervened. “In both cases I admonished herself. “I remember thinking, ‘How was too timid to say anything about stupid. Why am I doing this?’” she says. “This the behavior, which, looking back, is person five minutes earlier had been very gracious sad,” she says. “But, in general, I think in listening to my ideas. It was an odd juxtaposition.” women have a harder time standing up and pointing out behaviors that are unprofessional. Maybe it’s because many of us don’t like to be confrontational, so we put up with it more.” ROCHESTER MEDICINE | 2019 – V2


Cover Story: Women, Unlimited

During Deborah German’s third year of residency in internal medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, her vacation was scheduled to start April 1. Her first child wasn’t due until April 7, however, so she had to be creative. “There were no other arrangements,” she says, “so I figured out how to advance my own labor so I could have my baby on vacation.” After six hours, she gave birth to a healthy, 6-pound, 11-oz. daughter on April 1. German, a specialist trained in the field of rheumatic and genetic diseases, remembers women comprised about 10 percent of her class in medical school and residency. She saw that as a challenge that would make her strong. “I am stronger today because I had to figure out a way,” she says. “I wouldn’t turn the clock back for anything, but like everything else in life, when you expose yourself to great challenges, you learn great lessons.” German took on one of those great challenges when she was selected in 2006 to help launch the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. Despite being called “crazy” for wanting to provide full four-year scholarships, including tuition and living expenses, for the entire 40-member charter class, she did just that, raising $6.4 million at a time when the economy was beginning to tank.

Deborah German, MD (Res ’79) Vice President for Health Affairs and Founding Dean of the College of Medicine University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Her vision was all the more surprising to some because of her size. German stands 5 feet, 2 inches. At a brunch held to introduce her to female leaders in the community, one woman asked, “Can you do this job? You’re so small.” German responded, “I don’t feel small.” Two years later—after she had built a team of more than 500 faculty and staff, appointed more than 2,000 volunteer and affiliated faculty, and overseen construction of a 375,000-square-foot medical campus—the Orlando Sentinel named German its 2008 Central Floridian of the Year. In fact, German has earned recognition for achievements throughout her career, which has included positions as director, associate dean, senior associate dean, national chair, and president and chief executive officer. Step by step, she has continued moving forward by heeding advice she gives her two daughters and professionals around the country. When making a decision, ask yourself whether it is prompted by fear or courage. Always choose courage. The ability to confront pain and uncertainty, which goes back to German’s experience as a soon-to-be mother, is necessary, she says, for anyone to be successful—as is the ability to be honest. These qualities serve both men and women well, she adds, but when seen in women, “it’s even more powerful because it’s unexpected.”

“ I wouldn’t turn the clock back for anything, but like everything else in life, when you expose yourself to great challenges, you learn great lessons.” Deborah German, MD



When Barbara Iglewski and her husband both were hired at the Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine—she as an instructor, he as an assistant professor—her salary was almost 40 percent less than his. Though she received a promotion a year later to assistant professor, her salary boost was minimal. But money has never stopped Iglewski from excelling in her field, in which her landmark research launched an entire field of study into how the system in many types of bacteria works—and led to her 2015 induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She is recognized by the Institute of Scientific Information as a “highly cited” scientist, a designation bestowed on fewer than 0.5 percent of all publishing researchers. Iglewski came to the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1986 as a professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. While salaries weren’t discussed between departments, Iglewski, who served as chair for more than two decades, says she wanted from the start to make them more equitable in her own department. “Several women had vastly inferior salaries to men at comparable stages,” she says. “I said I would only come to the university if I could change that. And I did. That’s one of the things I’m most proud of.” As her reputation in research grew, the climate for women in medicine and science was experiencing an evolution of its own. “I had doors open for me as a woman that would not have necessarily been available for men, and the reason was things were changing,” Iglewski says.

Barbara H. Iglewski, PhD Professor Emeritus of Microbiology and Immunology

The federal government, as an example, was trying to show it had women on their research panels, and in the late 1980s she became president of the American Society for Microbiology.

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

“The reason I wanted that position was that there were still very few women on the editorial boards of the ASM journal who were reviewing,” she says, “and those who were asked to review didn’t have their names on the pages of the journal.”

Director of International Programs University of Rochester Medical Center

After her one-year term as president ended, she became chair of the ASM Publication Board for nine years, where she appointed female editors-in-chief and “lobbied hard” to get male editors-in-chief to appoint women as editors and editorial board members. At the same time, she was working with “truly outstanding” grad students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty collaborators, many of them women. To this day Iglewski is a mentor, adamant that women deserve better start-up packages, including protected time to develop their research projects. For all of her work, which includes also serving as vice provost for Research and Graduate Education at the University of Rochester, Iglewski earlier this year was presented with the Eastman Medal—the university’s highest recognition for outstanding achievement and dedicated service. She continues to spread the word about opportunities that may fly under the radar. “It’s important that women help other women,” she says.



Cover Story: Women, Unlimited

Wanting to know more about concierge medicine, Gina Cuyler, a primary care physician, asked a male colleague about his work in the area, but he shared little information. More recently, after sitting beside a different male colleague for two hours at a lecture, she broached the subject again, but he was no more forthcoming. But when Cuyler approached a female physician on the topic—someone she had just met—their discourse was casual and fluid. “Possibly the shared affinity of being women facilitated the conversation,” she says. “Possibly some unspoken bond of having overcome challenges based on being different than the traditional white male physician prototype made it easier to connect.”

Gina Cuyler (MD ’92, Res ’95) President and Co-founder Black Physicians Network of Greater Rochester, Inc. Owner and Founder Comprehension Internal Medicine

Originally from Panama, Cuyler says she knew firsthand about conscious and unconscious bias—both because of her gender and race—through microagressions during her residency and internship in internal medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “I realized you can work as hard as you possibly can, but somebody else’s opinion can result in an outcome that’s different than it should be,” she says. “There isn’t always a concept of fairness.” Cuyler responded with advocacy work to diversify the face of medicine, work that earned her the University of Rochester Presidential Diversity Award in 2017. She co-founded and serves as president of the



Black Physicians Network of Greater Rochester, Inc., a nonprofit agency that matches engaged role models with underrepresented youth who want to pursue careers in medicine—and she serves as a mentor and collaborator herself. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem,” she notes. With black female physicians representing about 4 percent of doctors in the U.S., and women representing approximately 39 percent of all physicians, “it would be impossible to find all female mentors for female mentees, given these demographics,” says Cuyler, who also owns a medical consulting firm. “It is even more challenging to find mentors along racial lines.” Complicating matters, she continues, is the trend of men in leadership roles becoming increasingly reluctant to mentor women in the age of the #MeToo movement, afraid of being accused of harassment. The answer is not in simply pairing women with women, or one race with the same race, in Cuyler’s opinion. It is about building on shared experiences and shared goals. “We need to create environments where we can give people the knowledge and tools they need not only to thrive, but also to help others be all they can be,” she says. “We need to keep thinking outside the box and encouraging each other.”

Throughout her career, Paige Lawrence, a widely recognized expert on how environmental factors influence the development and function of the immune system, has encountered “many examples of where gender played a role.” For example, when she started graduate school at Cornell University, there were no women’s bathrooms within the research spaces. She had to walk from the lab area to an entirely different floor—and different part of the building, where the secretaries were stationed—to use the restroom, the closest one available for women. She encountered a similar situation in her first faculty position at Washington State University, although this time she led an effort to turn the men’s room into a unisex space. She said that “having to walk far away to use a bathroom may sound trivial, but it is important. It sends a message that you are not welcome.” On two occasions, when she was the only tenure-track woman in her department at Washington State, she had to deal with men who complimented her lab and then announced they were going to set up shop in her space. “It was very stressful,” she says. Lawrence talked with mentors before approaching the men separately to let them know she was bothered by what they’d said—and that the lab spaces were not available to them to take.

“They didn’t push back, but they didn’t apologize either,” she says. Those and other examples, Lawrence emphasizes, pre-date her 2006 arrival at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, where she has felt “incredibly well-supported.” “When I went to my prior department chair to express a need for something, we generally worked together to meet that need,” she says. She also noted that this same collaborative spirit percolates throughout the school and University of Rochester Medical Center, making for “a more positive work environment. While we still have areas to improve upon, I love working here.” With support both at work and from her partner at home, Lawrence has navigated the many pressures of having a career and family. She finds it heartbreaking that women in their 20s continue to approach her with questions about how they can have both. She prefers the term “work/life integration” over “work/life balance,” because she believes it better conveys that being both a professional and caretaker is possible.

B. Paige Lawrence, PhD Wright Family Research Professor Chair of the Department of Environmental Medicine

“I feel like the word ‘balance’ creates this idea there’s some attainable Buddha-like state you’re going to get to, and I’ve never achieved that state,” she says. “A lot of times I’ve thought I was a complete failure because I couldn’t achieve that state. I finally realized that, overall, I can contribute meaningfully to both my family and science without having to make binary choices.”

Director of the Environmental Health Science Center Professor of Environmental Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

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Cover Story: Women, Unlimited

Despite struggling with impostor syndrome, Jennifer Corbelli went after a position as chief resident at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine because of a female mentor, Melissa McNeil, MD.

“I took over the job for three weeks and then had a baby,” she says. “I don’t think I would’ve done it except I had more mid-career and senior women around me who have really rich careers and are fantastic moms.”

“I never would’ve pursued it except that she put the idea out there for me,” says Corbelli, who landed the position. “I wouldn’t have even sought that out myself, but she told me she was going to put my name forward, and that made a huge difference for me.”

Corbelli recently co-authored a systematic review of the mentorship of women in academic medicine. Published in April 2019 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the review shows that mentorship programs designed for women are met with high satisfaction and can facilitate promotion and retention.

While she had several women role models at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry—most importantly Valerie Lang, MD (Res ‘00) —she continues, “at that young age I still thought most of what I had to offer was that I was efficient and worked well with a team. I didn’t see in myself what she saw in me. It would take me years.”

Jennifer A. Corbelli (MD ’07) Associate Professor of Medicine Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

The confidence Corbelli eventually developed spurred her to take on her current role as program director of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Internal Medicine Residency program. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requires program directors to have completed residency at least five years earlier. “I did it in my sixth year so I barely met the requirements,” says Corbelli. She was also about to give birth to her first child.

“In some ways, the more people have in common, the easier the mentoring relationship might be, but our data showed that gender concordance isn’t nearly as important as we’d hypothesized,” she says. “So a lack of enough senior female mentors shouldn’t be a barrier to developing and optimizing mentorship programs for women.” Now a mentor herself, Corbelli helps women reach their individual definitions of success—even when the road gets a bit bumpy. “So many women are not only showing us it can be done, but are also talking about it—and being real about the things that are difficult,” she says. “It’s so important to have role models who give you permission to bring your whole self to work, who can both acknowledge the challenges and help you best shape your career in ways you define as most meaningful and rewarding.”

Leadership Positions in Academic Medicine 100



100 85


75 66





54 46 38


34 25

20% 0%

15 0 Assistant Deans

0 Associate Deans

National Women




16 0

Senior Associate Deans National Men



Deans URSMD Men

When Edith Lord unexpectedly became pregnant in the early 1980s, early on in her career as a scientist, she had to do a lot of soul searching. Balancing demanding work with single parenthood was not going to be easy. “But of course I had no choice whether to continue,” she says. “I was the only breadwinner.” She adds: “I used to say only single mothers should be working in the lab because you had to be really efficient. You had to get a lot of work done because you had to get to daycare.” Lord came to the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry as a faculty member in 1976, at a time when, as she remembers, there were two tenured women faculty out of hundreds. No female chairs, no female deans. Still, she always felt supported by colleagues and others. And it was a step up from her time as a PhD student at the University of California, San Diego, where the faculty was exclusively male. “I must say, however, I didn’t even notice at the time,” she says. “That was the way it was everywhere.” Even now, when Lord often is the only female in the room, she tends not to perceive that fact. Her reasoning: “I think of myself as a scientist, not a woman scientist.” Though recently stepping away as leader of graduate and postdoctoral education, Lord maintains a lab and an NIH grant to continue her research. She focuses on the

immune responses that can control tumor development and also studies the unique microenvironment present within growing tumors. Her administrative efforts standardized salaries and benefits across the board for postdoctoral trainees, created the staff scientist position as an alternative to becoming a research assistant professor, and addressed issues—and advocated—on the behalf of trainees. Once, wanting to see more diversity at the faculty level, Lord nudged leadership to add more women to its search committees. “It got me on some other committees,” she says. “Whether good or bad, if you’re going to complain about things, you have to put some work in. That’s how it goes, right?” Lord is the secretary-treasurer of the American Association of Immunologists, which “does a very good job of promoting women in leadership positions,” she says. That’s a focus not always afforded to females in other scientific circles, she acknowledges: “They’re not always the first people who come to mind, even though they may be as well qualified or better qualified. Things haven’t changed as much as I would’ve thought they would when I was starting graduate school, and it has been almost 50 years now.

Edith M. Lord, PhD Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Oncology Former Leader of the graduate program in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology Former Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

“Women have to speak up more, and hopefully they will be listened to.”



“I have this belief that compassion is a talent.”



Born to Bridge Psychiatry and Medicine

By Sally Parker

How an intrinsic grasp of the biopsychosocial model is shaping Ben Lee’s vision for behavioral medicine. Sitting at a small conference table in his sunlit office, Hochang Benjamin Lee, MD, speaks with confidence in a soft voice. It is easy to believe what he says; his manner is relaxed but attentive—a natural connector, colleagues say. Lee will be the first to say that everyone has a story to tell, and, in sharing his, he leads by example. Shortly after he was recruited from Yale University to chair University of Rochester Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry in late 2017, Lee added “compassion” to the department’s list of a clinician’s essential traits. Department cofounder George Engel, MD, spelled out the others long ago: communication, collaboration, complementarity, and competence. “I went into medicine specifically to become a psychiatrist,” Lee says. “Because of all the stigma attached to people with mental illness, a lot of people—including physicians—are afraid of them. But in my case, I always felt sad for them.” The Psychiatry department has a prestigious reputation, and the move puts Lee further into the spotlight as a national leader in the biopsychosocial model of health care. It was in Rochester that this model, now widely used, came into full bloom midcentury under psychiatrist John Romano, MD, the son of an Italian immigrant who grew up in Milwaukee, and

internist Engel, a pedigreed New Yorker whose uncle was a well-known physician. They met in 1941 at Peter Bent Brigham (now Brigham and Women’s) Hospital in Boston and began working together on delirium research. Like most physicians of his era, Engel believed biological factors alone determined health and disease. He resisted the notion that matters of the mind and the social environment played a role and was skeptical of psychoanalysis and psychosomatic medicine. But as the field developed, he broadened his thinking. “I was introduced not just to the human psychosocial dimensions of medicine, but, even more importantly, to what constituted the primary data of that realm and how to gain access thereto,” Engel later recalled. The two spent four years at the University of Cincinnati, where Romano chaired the Department of Psychiatry, before Romano was recruited to Rochester in 1946 to start the Psychiatry department. Engel joined him, with dual appointments in Psychiatry and Medicine. With full support of the chair of Medicine, William McCann, MD, Engel established a medical psychiatric liaison service staffed largely by internists. McCann also saw to it that the Psychiatry department’s beds, labs, and offices had their own wing in the hospital—a bold and pioneering move.

A framed collection of an artist’s colorful doodles hangs on the wall in the reception area outside Lee’s office. The creatures express a quiet, playful curiosity and a child’s innocence. They are George Engel’s creations, sketched during meetings over the years. ROCHESTER MEDICINE | 2019 – V2


Feature Story: Born to Bridge Psychiatry and Medicine Rochester was well ahead of its peers. By the 1950s, Engel had stepped firmly into the psychosomatic camp as a leading scholar. He and Romano revolutionized teaching in the medical school by incorporating psychiatric training in all four years—at a time that psychiatric issues were deemed out of the realm and interest of physicians and surgeons and best left to the psychiatrist’s couch. Students in most medical schools received little or no psychiatric training.

were on the outside looking in. He saw in people with mental illness and intellectual disabilities fellow aliens—at times invisible, feared, abhorred. He understood why early 20th-century psychiatrists were called alienists.

The Alien Lee was 12 when his family emigrated from Korea to the United States to settle near relatives in the Seattle area. He didn’t speak English, and he spent his teen years in a mighty struggle to connect. Instead of hardening him, the experience opened something inside. He started realizing an empathy for others who

“I am so blessed to be surrounded by remarkable innovators and dedicated leaders.” 60


“You are suddenly—because you don’t speak English—deaf and dumb and misunderstood. So you inherently understand what a patient with severe mental illness feels like,” he says.

In science, Lee found his zone. As a high-school student, he took a summer job in a genetics lab at a residential facility, lining up chromosomes and karyotyping for intellectual disabilities. The biological underpinnings of a socially stigmatized condition fascinated him. But he was far more interested in literature and people’s stories, and he grew curious about a world beyond chromosomes. “The attraction of psychiatry was that you meet people at their lowest point in their life story plot,” he says. “The question is, can you help them steer that plot into more of a happy ending as a psychiatrist? Can you change the arc of the story? That’s what I was interested in.” Lee set his sights on medical school. He took on three majors as an undergraduate at Cornell University: biology (with a neuroscience and behavior concentration, he says, to understand the biological basis of behavior); philosophy (discerning people’s


Ben Lee’s arrival at the Medical Center two years ago marked the start of a remarkable expansion of clinical services in response to the growing mental-health needs of the surrounding area. Last year the department grew by 20 percent. Notably, child psychiatry outpatient volume grew more than 50 percent—and that was before ground was broken for the Golisano Pediatric Behavioral Health and Wellness Center. “I am so blessed to be surrounded by remarkable innovators and dedicated leaders,” Lee says. “Our Strong Recovery program under Patrick Seche, MS, CASAC, spearheaded the recent URMC response to the opioid epidemic. Next we will move our ambulatory clinic—Strong Behavioral Health—to downtown. We will also consolidate our geriatric psychiatry and memory care programs in one building to enhance our clinical and research missions. And our Strong Ties program, Strong Recovery program, and Medicine in Psychiatry primary care clinic at the Brighton Health Campus are going to be a model of integrated care in our field.”

“ H e’s very creative and good at adapting. There were challenges wit h implementing his research at Hopkins and he modified and adapted his research.”

Ben Lee, MD, leads Chair’s Rounds, weekly sessions where residents present cases for consultation and clinically based teaching.

Constantine Lyketsos, MD

thoughts); and psychology (focused on the evolution of human behavior). He graduated magna cum laude with honors in psychology. To his delight, his first rotation in medical school at Jefferson Medical College, now Sidney Kimmel Medical College, in Philadelphia, was psychiatry. He realized right away he loved it, and his first patient did not disappoint. She had a diagnosis of multiple personality disorder and presented all 11 personalities on Lee’s first day of rotation. But instead of major mental illness, he found himself drawn to the intersection of medicine and psychiatry, where mind and body connect. He became a follower of the biopsychosocial model before he knew it. Lee faced a barrier of his own. Well into his third year of medical school, his English pronunciation remained poor. How could he plan a career in psychotherapy, his friends wanted to know, if he couldn’t make himself understood? So during a summer fellowship on addiction at St. Francis Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Lee sat down every day to record himself reading

from Our Daily Bread, a devotional reader. Over and over he played it back and said it again. “When I recorded myself the first time I totally understood why people couldn’t understand me; I couldn’t understand myself either,” he says, laughing. “I did that the whole summer.” Lee’s medical school rotations under Mitchell Cohen, MD, a former Johns Hopkins faculty member, on the psychological effects of pain led to a psychiatry residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he could further train in the inpatient chronic-pain unit in the Department of Psychiatry. There, his interests in pain expanded into

a more general curiosity about the mind-body relationship. James Potash, MD, Director of Psychiatry and Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Johns Hopkins, met Lee at the start of his residency and was his psychotherapy supervisor for a while. “I immediately liked him a lot,” Potash recalls. “He’s very attuned to understanding the subtleties of the disease process. But he’s also very attuned to thinking about issues about the person’s life experience, their cultural background, that have an impact on the nature of their distress.”

A Natural Collaborator Lee’s training at Johns Hopkins was one of the most grueling experiences of his life, with an exhausting on-call schedule. But it was also “the greatest time,” he says. He was right where he wanted to be: He looked forward to seeing his patients. He loved his didactics and seminars. He had access to experts who took the time to answer ROCHESTER MEDICINE | 2019 – V2


Feature Story: Born to Bridge Psychiatry and Medicine

his questions. After the overnight shift in the psychiatric emergency room, he disappeared for hours into the Adolf Meyer Library, where “I could look up any question that I had.” “Learning psychiatry was a pure joy,” he says. “It was probably one of my happiest times because I got to do what I always wanted to do.” His first rotation was in the Neuropsychiatry unit, working with dementia patients and their families. He felt confident he could manage their depression, psychosis, and agitation, but he regretted that clinicians could do nothing about their deteriorating cognition. “The fact that their memory becomes worse over time, regardless of what the clinicians do … that really bothered me. And I just felt sad for them, especially for the family, to suffer the cruelty of watching their beloved ones fade away right in front of them,” he recalls. Research at the time suggested that delay in the onset of dementia by five years could halve the number of dementia incidents in our society. (In this scenario, many patients would die of old age before they developed dementia.) Lee wondered: What if he could identify a reducible risk factor and delay dementia by just two years? That aspiration led him to pursue a combined research fellowship in dementia care and psychiatric epidemiology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a K-grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to study early-to-midlife depression as a risk factor for late-life cognitive decline. This career-development grant was the first of several NIH-funded grants he received to research the relationship between depression and dementia. Lee is a natural collaborator who can pivot when needed, says his mentor at the time, Constantine Lyketsos, MD, who is Elizabeth Plank Althouse Professor and chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. 34


“He’s always got his eye on the prize, where he wants to end up,” Lyketsos says. “He finds ways to get there. Now sometimes people bend the rules to do that. But he inspires with integrity. “One of the first things that strikes anybody when they first meet him is his warmth and his kindness. It invites people to work with him. As well, he’s very creative and good at adapting. There were challenges with implementing his research at Hopkins and he modified and adapted his research.”

“You can’t just treat t he medical issues wit hout addressing t he psychological ones.” Lee decided it would be difficult to determine if treatment for early and midlife depression prevents dementia. Searching for a faster research paradigm, he found it in the cardiovascular realm. Many patients decline cognitively after coronary artery bypass surgery. Lee received an NIMH RO1 grant to study if patients with cerebral vascular disease before CABG surgery have a higher likelihood of cognitive decline and depression. He found evidence of complex interaction among cerebrovascular disease burden, pre-surgical depression, and post-operative cognitive changes. Lee was working more with anesthesiologists and surgeons and got involved in a series of NIH-funded, post-op delirium-prevention clinical trials. At the same time, the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins needed someone to be specialty-boarded in psychosomatic medicine in order to develop a fellowship program in what is now known as consultation liaison, or CL, psychiatry. He

volunteered without giving it much thought, and it led to his recruitment to Yale. Yale-New Haven Hospital needed someone to lead its new service—Lee later named it Psychological Medicine Service—which oversees all psychiatric care for medical and surgical patients. When he interviewed, it was a tiny CL service with roughly three FTEs, low morale, and a poor reputation. Residents were angry about rotation. Four of five fellowship

spots went unfilled. Lee built bridges with other departments, including cardiac surgery, where he continued his research. Key among the improvements the service made was to develop the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) model that changed the paradigm of how psychiatric consultation is provided at Yale. In many academic departments, the consultation liaison service is a career dead-end for faculty because it generates hardly any revenue or research. Typically, psychiatrists are called in to a medical unit only when a behavioral crisis has occurred. But Lee believed the service was the face of the department and sensed a promising opportunity to prove its value to the hospital administration and better serve psychiatric patients in medicine units. The service was staffed with the best, most experienced clinicians in a variety of disciplines: a CL psychiatrist, an advanced practice RN, a clinical nurse specialist, and a psychiatric social worker. Based on the admission notes and the nursing interaction, patients are screened for behavioral and psychiatric issues as soon as they are admitted to the medicine unit. If an intervention is needed or expected during their hospital stay, the BIT team matches the

patient’s behavioral issue to the expertise of a BIT member’s discipline. By assisting the patient and the medical team at the earliest moment, the BIT team prevents a behavioral crisis and avoids further delays in delivery of often life-saving medical treatment. The traditional consultation liaison service typically doesn’t make or save any money. But the BIT program turns that around, shortening the patient’s hospital stay, cutting the cost of care, and reducing the need for 24-hour supervision. “It actually showed that the hospital sees substantial return-on-investment despite the initial cost of employing a larger, multidisciplinary team,” Lee says. The program was a hit at Yale. Lee’s team presented the results at conferences, and word spread; today the model is used in more than a dozen academic medical centers around the country. A large randomized trial based on the BIT model is in place in the United Kingdom. Lee’s work will be recognized with the Don Lipsitt Award at the Academy of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry meeting in November. Under Lee’s guidance, Yale’s consultation liaison service grew into a major academic clinical section, employing 17 faculty members and 50 clinicians. Today it has one of the largest consultation liaison groups in the country, and its fellowships are highly competitive. “Ben showed remarkable diplomatic skills in melding his colleagues in Psychological Medicine into a team and in building bridges with other departments,” says John Krystal, MD, the Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Professor of Translational Research and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Yale. The two met regularly to discuss clinical, research, and training issues. “He is one of those rare people who quietly conveys brilliance, creativity, and vision and kindness and humility.”

The Right Thing to Do

HEALTH IN HARMONY On a wall in the home Ben Lee shares with his wife, Christine, and children Rebecca, 13, and Noah, 16, there is a framed artwork of colorful thumb prints. It was a gift from residents of a dementia residential facility in thanks for the gift of music. Lee’s children have performed more than 80 times on violin, piano, and voice for dementia patients. Sometimes Mom and Dad accompany on guitar and piano. People with dementia love music and love kids—“a home run when kids play music for them,” he says, “as simple as that.” They’ve been performing a 40-minute program for eight years, first in Maryland and then Connecticut, as the Forget-Me-Nots. In Rochester they’ve played for psychiatry patients at Strong Memorial Hospital and for dementia patients in local facilities. At every performance, they watch as the power of music lights up the room. They once played in a church in South Korea for nearly 100 children and teenagers with intellectual and developmental disabilities. When he saw the size of the crowd and the excited energy of the kids, many of whom were behaviorally disturbed and moving about uninhibited, Lee felt intimidated and had second thoughts about asking his kids, 9 and 12 years old at the time, to perform. “But interesting, when the music started everybody sat down. Everybody was quiet,” he says.

“And it was the most receptive crowd we have

had. It was probably

the most moving experience as well. My son still

talks about it.”

As the Forget-Me-Nots, Lee’s children, Noah and Rebecca, share the gift of music with psychiatry and dementia patients.

The average life expectancy of a person with schizophrenia is 53 years. People with severe mental illness of all kinds have similarly shortened lifespans. This is due in part to the obstacles they face in medical care. That makes access to quality care for the mentally ill a moral imperative, Lee says.



Feature Story: Born to Bridge Psychiatry and Medicine

Artwork by patients and community members lines the department’s Bridge Art Gallery walls as a way to express that it’s a safe, accepting environment.

“I go back to this concept of compassion for patients with psychiatric disorders. The fundamental motivation of the Behavioral Intervention Team was to really place psychiatric care providers in a position to advocate for mentally ill patients while assisting our surgeons and medical doctors in their practice, so that the behavioral barriers for the surgical and medical care are removed.” The result is a cost-effective delivery of quality care—but there’s more to it than the bottom line, Lee says. “In reality it’s the moral rationale that really allowed me to justify my effort,” he says of his work at Yale. “Unless you have a moral rationale, it doesn’t matter how much cost-saving there is. A financial argument never inspires your clinicians. Psychiatry by nature is mission-based work. We are a mission-based department. We are not going to inspire our staff by saying we are going to reduce costs. We will inspire each other by doing the right things for our patients.” Lee translates that clinical mission into the financial language of value-based care that administrators understand. Lee was recruited to the Medical Center in part to build on what he had achieved at Yale—integrating mental-health services across the system. Officials hoped he could stitch new connections between 36


psychiatry and other specialties in the hospital and the larger system. In an ironic twist, given its history and reputation as the birthplace of the biopsychosocial model, Rochester’s Psychiatry department has operated somewhat in isolation from other departments, he says. Lee, who, in addition to being the John Romano Professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry, is professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, says this does not reflect the many relationships he quickly established with the other chairs. On the contrary, he has great admiration for the way they have welcomed him. Easy collegiality is a big reason he took the job, and they are eager to work with him. “What convinced me was that when I got to meet the chairs in the other departments, I knew I could really work with each of them and develop close relationships with them,” he says. In his foreword to Lee’s new book, Perioperative Psychiatry, David Linehan, MD, chair of the Department of Surgery, extols the importance of addressing the psychiatric health of surgical patients based on the biopsychosocial model. The connection he and Lee have—as part of the university’s mentoring program for new chairs—fits the DNA of the institution, Linehan says. “You can’t just treat the medical issues without

addressing the psychological ones.” “I don’t have to explain the biopsychosocial approach here,” Lee adds. “That’s what separates URMC from other medical centers. As someone who is always thinking, how can I integrate, this is about as ideal an environment as you can get.” The goal to eliminate boundaries across disciplines, missions, departments, and service lines already is being realized. During a recent psychiatry recruitment, Lee says, five departments in the Medical Center pooled resources for the recruitment package for a pain researcher in psychiatry. “How many medical centers around the country can do recruitment by crowdfunding among the chairs? At one faculty recruitment dinner, we had four chairs and a dean, and I was so proud to be a member of URMC,” Lee says. Rochester is a good fit for Lee in another way. It’s a full-circle story that begins with his father, who took a business trip to Rochester to visit Eastman Kodak Company in 1975. He was so impressed that upon returning, he announced the family would be moving to America. When Lee got the call for an interview at Rochester, he knew he had to come. “By that time my father had passed away,” he says, “but I wanted to see what it is that he really liked about Rochester.” As someone who has struggled to be understood, Lee frames his own work and that

“ I don’t have to explain t he biopsychosocial approach here. That ’s what separates URMC from ot her medical centers. As someone who is always t hinking, how can I integrate, t his is about as ideal an environment as you can get.” of his colleagues in the language of connection. To be understood, and to understand self and others, means building bridges. The department’s Bridge Art Gallery displays artwork by patients and community members along the halls. There is a lot of anxiety associated with psychiatric care. Art is one way the department shows it is a safe and accepting place for people confronting mental illness. “The more humanizing our field is, the better it is for our patients,” Lee says. “We have to make it more approachable. That’s why our hallways are different. Art is another way— and music is another way—to be able to relate to others, to relate to people with mental disorders through a common language.”

Intervention in Practice A recent example to bring mental-health care into the medical and surgical units at Strong Memorial Hospital is PRIME Medicine, which stands for Proactive Integration of Mental Health Care in Medicine. Led by Mark Oldham, MD, it is one of a growing number of collaborative QI projects and programs being fostered in IDEA (Implementation,

Dissemination, Evaluation, and Analysis) Core, a new initiative that helps clinicians and researchers develop pilot research and quality-improvement projects. Lee founded IDEA Core to bolster innovation in clinical care, one of his key aims for the department. Other innovative models of delivery are the Rochester Psychiatric Assessment Officer (PAO) telepsychiatry model, led by Michael Hasselberg (SON MS ’07, PhD ’13), and Jennifer Richman (MD ’05, Res ’09); and the telepsychiatry-enhanced Monroe Mobile Crises Team, led by Yilmaz Yildirim, MD, PhD. Lee is collaborating with several departments in another major researchrelated endeavor: the recruitment of the new George Engel Professor to bolster the research infrastructure to develop translational research with Del Monte Neuroscience Institute. Departments are eager to collaborate. It took less than a few months to start a psycho-oncology program, he says, as well as initiatives in primary care, dental care, and women’s health. The award-winning Medicine in Psychiatry Service provides comprehensive outpatient medical care to

adults who may also be receiving mentalhealth or substance-abuse services through the health system. Within MIPS, Rochester is the only academic psychiatry department to run its own acute medicine unit, the 20-bed Inpatient Medicine in Psychiatry Service, or IMIPS, under director Marsha Wittink, MD. The physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, and nurses on staff work as a team to address the combined physical- and mental-health needs of patients. The challenges of behavioral health integration remain largely financial, and so Lee’s job as a translator continues as he works with administrators encouraged by growing evidence that investing in it ultimately enhances revenue. As long as there are barriers to physical health, there is no mental health, Lee says. “That’s why we are so keen on integrating medicine into psychiatry and vice versa. We have to help them live longer before we improve their lives. That is one of the most paramount goals that we have. And the beauty of URMC is that we have an environment that actually allows us to do that.”

For information about giving to the Department of Psychiatry, contact Brenda Geglia, director of advancement, at or (585) 276-4570. ROCHESTER MEDICINE | 2019 – V2



1 38


2 3 4

1 School of Medicine and Dentistry alums gather for an all-alumni Caption breakfast in the Flaum Atrium.

2 The Alumni Hall of Classes was a popular stop on the Heritage Trail tour.

3 Members of the class of ’54 celebrate their 65th reunion at the Genesee Valley Club.

4 Ruth A. Lawrence (MD ’49, Res ’58),


Distinguished Alumna Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics/ Gynecology and Northumberland Trust Professor in Pediatrics Distinguished Alumna Professor, greets alumni in the Whipple Museum as part of the Heritage Trail tour. Lawrence celebrated her 70th reunion.

5 Mark Taubman, MD, CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center and dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, delivers his State of the School address.



1 Richard Locksley (MD ’76) spoke on “Why Do We Have Allergy?” at the Distinguished Alumnus Lecture.

2 School of Medicine and Dentistry alumni gathered for happy hour at the Strathallan Hotel.

3 The Meliora letters welcomed alumni to the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

4 Ahmed Ghazi, MD, associate professor of Urology, discusses the use of realistic, patient-specific organ replicas that allow surgeons to practice complex cases prior to surgery. Ghazi’s was among 21 exhibits featuring students, faculty, and staff as part of the presidential inauguration celebration at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.


5 Lisa A. Beck, MD (Res ’87), Dean’s Professor in Dermatology, delivers her talk, “From the Study of Eczema to Vaccination Delivery by Skin Patch,” at the MED Talks.

6 Louis Aledort, MD (Res ‘64, Flw ‘66), received the Robert G. Newman (MD ‘63) Humanitarian Award presented at the 48th annual George H. Whipple Society Awards at Monroe Golf Club.

3 1 4




5 6


7 The class of ’69 gathered for its 50th reunion dinner at the Genesee Valley Club. 8 President Sarah Mangelsdorf delivers her inaugural address as the 11th president of the University of Rochester in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre on October 4 (photo by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester). ROCHESTER MEDICINE | 2019 – V2



Pediatric Surgery Team Gets New Leader Marjorie Arca, MD, is the new Joseph M. Lobozzo II Professor in Pediatric Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center and surgeon-in-chief of Golisano Children’s Hospital. Formerly a professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Arca is a recognized expert in pediatric minimally invasive surgery, neonatal surgery, pediatric surgical critical care, and surgical education. In addition to her clinical work, Arca holds important leadership roles in several national surgical and pediatric organizations. She is a director of the American Board of Surgery and chairs the Pediatric Surgery Board, and is chair of the Nominating Committee and the Committee on Education at the American Pediatric Surgical Association, the nation’s most prestigious society for pediatric surgery. “Dr. Arca is a nationally known surgeon and an exceptional leader,

mentor, and educator,” said David Linehan, MD, Seymour I. Schwartz Professor and chair of URMC’s Department of Surgery. “She has an outstanding reputation, and her decision to come to URMC reflects upon the strengths of our own institution. I am thrilled she has joined our team.” “Dr. Arca’s accomplishments and her training are incredibly impressive,” said Patrick Brophy, MD, William H. Eilinger Professor and chair of Pediatrics at URMC and the physician-in-chief of Golisano Children’s Hospital. “I am confident that she will be a strong leader and will build upon our legacy of delivering excellent, compassionate care to our children.”

Fogarty Selected as Family Medicine Department Chair Colleen T. Fogarty, MD, MSc, FAAFP (Res ‘96), has been selected as William Rocktaschel Professor and Chair of URMC’s Department of Family Medicine. She is the first woman to chair the department. Previously associate professor of Family Medicine, Fogarty served as associate chair of Clinical Practice and Interprofessional Education, medical director at Highland Family Medicine, assistant residency director, and director of the Faculty Development Fellowship. Under her leadership, the department was recognized nationally for linking health professions, education, and interprofessional practice to transform care delivery, improve health outcomes, and decrease costs.

“Dr. Fogarty’s career is a testament to her dedication to the highest-quality patient care, to ensuring care for the underserved, and to working with physicians, residents, and other health care professionals to successfully advance team-based care,” said Mark B. Taubman, MD, CEO of URMC and dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “She is a natural choice to continue Family Medicine’s commitment to improve the health of our communities, reduce health care disparities, address pressing community issues such as the opioid crisis, and open up more avenues for affordable health care.” “I am delighted for this opportunity to serve the university and the Medical Center, and further develop the mission of the Department of Family Medicine to provide excellent clinical care, education, research, and community service,” Fogarty said. Fogarty succeeds Thomas L. Campbell, MD, who stepped down after serving 16 years as chair.

Paul Levy Stepping Down as Chair of Medicine After a transformative decade as chair of URMC’s Department of Medicine, Paul Levy, MD (Res ’86, Flw ’89), Charles Ayrault Dewey Professor of Medicine, announced he will step down once a successor is found. During his 10 years as chair, Levy guided department faculty through the advent of electronic medical records, the implementation of a new compensation plan, and the growth of regional and population health models of care. “I’ve been privileged to work with the best of the best across our clinical, education, and research missions,” said Levy. “Our institution and this department are full of bright, good-hearted, collegial people, which has made my job a pleasure.” URMC CEO Mark Taubman, MD, credited Levy with helping to expand URMC’s outpatient specialty, hospitalist, and general medicine 42


programs. “Paul is highly respected by faculty and chairs alike, and for good reason,” said Taubman, who preceded Levy as chair. “I think he shares the philosophy of former Dean Bob Joynt, MD, who believed you can’t always be right, but you can always be kind. I have seen Paul time and time again carefully hear all sides of a situation before coming up with fair solutions that are sensitive to all.” Levy will continue to care for patients and to serve as medical director of URMC’s Compliance Program, along with his other non-departmental leadership roles.

Surgical Simulation Program Garners International Recognition The work of the URMC Department of Urology Simulation Innovation Laboratory was honored at the Falling Walls Lab Finale, an international forum for the next generation of innovators and creative thinkers. Urologist Ahmed Ghazi, MD (Flw ’12), was awarded first place for his presentation, “Breaking the Wall of Surgical Errors,” which described the work of the laboratory and its novel approach to building patient-specific replicas of anatomy that allow surgeons to practice complex cases prior to the actual surgeries. Ghazi’s presentation was selected from those of 100 finalists from institutions across the globe who were given the opportunity to pitch breakthrough science ideas to a jury of academic and business

leaders. During his presentation, Ghazi cited the fact that an estimated 1,000 deaths and 10,000 serious complications occur every year from preventable medical errors, half of which are due to poor performance during complex surgeries. “To address the challenge of surgical errors, we used the aviation industry as a source of inspiration,” Ghazi said. “It is one of the few high-stakes industries that have reduced errors to less than 1 percent, due to the widespread use of advanced flight simulators that allow pilots to train in a fully immersive environment.” The surgical simulation program harnesses medical imaging, computer modeling, and 3D-printing systems to fabricate organs that look and feel real—and even bleed when cut. Initially created for medical students and trainees and to help experienced surgeons sharpen their skills, the technology is increasingly being employed by URMC surgeons to rehearse procedures prior to complex cases.

Harvey Selected to Lead Imaging Sciences An international expert in women’s imaging and early detection of breast cancers has been selected to lead URMC’s Imaging Sciences. Jennifer Harvey, MD, FACR, will join URMC on Jan. 1, 2020, after serving on the University of Virginia faculty for 26 years. At the University of Virginia, Harvey led its Division of Breast Imaging and served as vice chair for Education and Faculty Development. She studies mammographic breast density and its influence on breast cancer risk. Her focus is on methods of measuring breast density, changes in density, and integration of breast density into breast cancer risk models. “Dr. Harvey has a clear and comprehensive vision for clinical, research, education, and faculty development programs,” said Michael F. Rotondo, MD, FACS, CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group. “Her leadership skills and style are exactly what the department, Medical Center, and health system need.”

UR Medicine Imaging is the largest diagnostic imaging provider in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions. The team partners with clinicians and researchers throughout the institution and across the region to advance care and discovery. Harvey plans to work with faculty and staff to build teams and systems to improve efficiencies, expand collaborative research and residency training programs, and broaden education and advancement opportunities. She succeeds David L. Waldman (MD ’88, PhD ’88, Res ’93), the longest-seated chair in the history of the department, who will devote his efforts to his new role as associate vice president and chief medical technology-development officer.

American Association of Suicidology Recognizes Van Orden A Department of Psychiatry professor’s outstanding contributions to research in suicidology have been recognized by the American Association of Suicidology. Kimberly A. Van Orden, PhD (Flw ’10), associate professor in URMC’s Department of Psychiatry, was honored with the Shneidman Award, which recognizes a person under 40 years of age, or not more than 10 years past their highest degree earned. It is named in honor of the late Edwin S. Shneidman, a renowned clinical psychologist who founded AAS in 1968.

Van Orden, a clinical psychologist, contributed to the formulation, refinement, and evaluation of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide. She applies this theory’s ideas to develop and test effective strategies for helping individuals connect and contribute in ways that are meaningful for them, in order to prevent the development of suicidal thoughts. She is a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry’s Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide (CSPS), one of only a few research centers around the world that focuses on suicide—the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the second leading cause of death among 15- to 29-year-olds worldwide. Van Orden also is the associate director of the CSPS postdoctoral fellowship in suicide prevention research and directs the HOPE (Helping Older People Engage) Lab, which focuses on developing and testing interventions to increase connectedness. ROCHESTER MEDICINE | 2019 – V2



Lambert Becomes First from University of Rochester to Lead LCME For the first time, a URMC faculty member is leading the national accrediting body for educational programs leading to the MD degree. David R. Lambert, MD, senior associate dean for medical student education, became the first URMC faculty member to chair the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). Prior to Lambert’s appointment, it had been more than 20 years since LCME had representation from Rochester. His active involvement on the committee during the last five years has helped the School of Medicine and Dentistry remain a highly desirable and groundbreaking educational institution. “I think being

involved with LCME has been good for a lot of reasons, helping us be at the forefront in our approach to accreditation,” said Lambert. “It’s been useful for our institution to have a deep understanding of the accreditation process and to stay current on changes and innovations in medical education.” With approximately 150 medical schools in various stages of the accreditation process at any given time, work on the 14-member committee is demanding and fast-paced. Schools may be accredited for up to eight years. Lambert, who was appointed to a position in the medical school administration in 2003, has seen the school through two accreditations and has already begun preparing for its next review, which will come in the 2023–2024 academic year.

Magnuson Receives National Institute on Aging Award A Wilmot Cancer Institute geriatric oncologist was recognized with a $1.2 million award for being “well poised to change theory, practice, and health outcomes related to the health of older individuals.” Allison Magnuson, DO (Flw ’13, Flw ’14), received the award from the National Institute on Aging as part of an effort to support talented physicians and scientists who are expected to lead the next generation in aging research. The NIA’s Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging funds five years of research, which is relevant for the



rapidly growing number of Americans aged 65 and older. The number of “oldest old”—those people who are 85 and older—is expected to triple between 2010 and 2050. This grant highlights investigators with leadership skills who have already received competitive research support at the faculty level. Magnuson plans to use it to adapt an existing memory-and-attention therapy program for use in older breast cancer patients. She will evaluate the program in a pilot study for its feasibility and impact. A dual-trained geriatric oncologist at the Wilmot Cancer Institute and an assistant professor of Medicine at URMC, Magnuson sees patients at the Comprehensive Breast Center. She also is director of Wilmot’s SOCARE clinic (Specialized Oncology Care and Research in the Elderly), one of the few geriatric oncology clinics in the country.


Word has reached us of the passing of the following alumni and friends. The School of Medicine and Dentistry expresses its sympathy to their loved ones. (From August 16, 2018 to July 31, 2019)

Robert H. Ackerman (MD ’64) Theodore H. Andres (’52, MD ’56) Robert William Astarita (MD ’66) David John Barry (Res ’65) Kenneth Berhard (Flw ’89) Alex Braiman (Res ’55) William R. Bronson (MD ’58) Thomas Reed Browne (MD ’69) Justin David Call (Res ’53) John J. Castellot (’50, MD ’54) Frank C. Cegleski (MD ’59, Res ’64) Robert L. Clark (MD ’62, Res ’70) Edmund S. Copeland (MS ’61, PhD ’64) Magdi E. Credi (Res ’76) James D. Cox (MD ’64) Lane S. Dickinson (MD ’49) James A. Durfee (Res ’62) Richard C. Elton (MD ’56) Irvin Emanuel (MD ’60) Deji Femi-Pearse (Flw ’66) Carl Edward Fougerousse (MD ’69) Myra Fougerousse (PDC ’96) Louis Paul Gangarosa (’52, MS ’61, PhD ’65) Gene Max Gilbert (MD ’67) David H. Graham (’68, MD ’73) James Alan Gregg (MD ’54) David C. Grimwood (MD ’52)

Gordon W. Grundy (MD ’70) Troy Harrison (Res ’13) Lance Irv Hellman (MD ’89) Costas Hercules (MD ’69, Res’70) Christopher H. Hodgman (Res ’57) Tania Lee Homonchuk (MD ’79) Thomas A. Huffman (MD ’52) Deane L. Hutchins (MD ’54) Lawrence A. Jacobs (Res ’72) Robert L. Jamison (’48, MD ’50) Christopher Sutton Kent (MD ’89) William Palmer Kirk (MS ’65, PhD ’74) Alma K. Leong (MD ’49) Raymond John Lipicky (Res ’65, Flw ’73) Charlotte (Fitting) Litt (MS ’48, PhD ’50) J. Russel Little (MD ’56) Arvin I. Lovaas (MS ’56) Vibert A. Mahanger (MD ’65) Carolyn J. Male (MS ’64, PhD ’68) Richard J. Martin (MS ’58) James William McCarthy (Res ’71) Theodore Lee Mobley (Res ’67) Martien A. Mulder (MD ’62) Robert E. Nadeau (Res ’72) William Carl Ness (MD ’85) Robert G. Newman (MD ’62) Frederick A. North (Res ’62) Lawrence Pass (Res ’83) Sandra (Morral) Pinkham (MD ’68) James C. Powers (Res ’77) Lawrence Harvey Repsher (MD ’65) Eric A. Richard (Res ’94) James A. Robinson (MD ’51, Res ’66) Fred B. Rothell (’48, MD ’50) Dorothy G. (Lodico) Salamore (’45, MD ’49) Leonard A. Sauer (MD ’60) Ronald Lee Schlitzer (MS ’69) Paul R. Schloerb (MD ’44) Eveline E. Schneeberger (Res ’64) William E. Schneider (MD ’00, Res ’05) Kendrick A. Sears (MD ’59) Wade H. Shuford (MD ’48) John Paul Skalicky (MD ’60) Leonard Smith (Res ’55) Robert Wilson Smith (MD ’72) Howard Sohnen (MD ’79) Carl S. Werner (Res ’57) Paul J. Wiesner (Res ’70) Kimberly Young (PDC ’04) Lionel Wesley Young (Res ’61) Donald N. Zehl (Res ’63)



University of Rochester neuroscience researchers are collaborating in the largest long-term study of child brain development in the United States. Tracking 10,000 growing brains through adolescence into young adulthood, the study looks at how different childhood experiences—music, sports, social media, and video games—affect brain, social, emotional, and cognitive development. Rochester research of this magnitude will impact and enrich educational practices, help doctors predict and prevent developmental problems, and guide parents in raising young adults.

The Rochester Effect.



For childhood ever better.




New Professorships Advance Research in Cancer and Neuromuscular Disease Endowed professorships are the gold standard for recruiting, retaining, and recognizing distinguished faculty. Professorships play a key role in supporting scholarly pursuits, advancing discovery, and, ultimately, moving research from bench to bedside. Thanks to generous gifts from the Wilmot family and from E. Philip and Carole Saunders, two new professorships were recently installed in the Medical Center.

Cancer Genomics

CMT Disease

As the inaugural Wilmot Distinguished Professor in Cancer Genomics and Wilmot Cancer Institute’s director of translational research, Paula M. Vertino, PhD, leads and facilitates interactions among scientists and clinicians. Her Paula M. goal: to accelerate Vertino, PhD the development of laboratory discoveries into technologies and treatments for use with patients. Vertino joined URMC in 2018 with more than 20 years of experience conducting and directing research. Her vast knowledge of cancer centers coupled with her international reputation in epigenetics are helping to expand Wilmot’s research strengths. Located at Wilmot Cancer Institute, her lab is designed to encourage collaboration between scientists and clinicians. “Working on common themes and promoting a team science approach will help us bring concepts from bench to bedside and back again,” says Vertino, who also serves as an oncology and biomedical genomics professor at the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

David Herrmann, MBBCh, E. Philip and Carole Saunders Professor in Neuromuscular Research, is principal investigator of a five-year multicenter NIH grant to promote clinical trial readiness and develop targeted therapies for CharcotMarie-Tooth disease (CMT)—the most David Herrmann, common inherited MBBCh form of neuropathy. CMT affects the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms can include pain, tingling, burning sensations, or weakness in the feet, legs, hands, or arms. Many patients remain undiagnosed for years due to a lack of awareness of peripheral neuropathies in the medical community. Herrmann’s collaborative approach, along with that of his colleagues Eric Logigian, MD, and Michael Stanton, MD, will help train the next generation of physicians and researchers and develop new ways to diagnose and treat these neuropathies.

Generous Gift Creates Dermatology Professorship

From left: URMC CEO and Dean Mark Taubman, MD; University President Sarah Mangelsdorf; Carol Goldsmith; Alice Pentland, MD; and Dean Emeritus Lowell Goldsmith, MD.



A lead gift from Lowell A. Goldsmith, MD (MPH ’02), and his wife, Carol, establishes the endowed Carol A. and Lowell A. Goldsmith Professorship in Dermatology at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). The gift will provide permanent support to faculty in the department. In honor of the Goldsmiths’ generosity, the department hosted, on August 3, the Lowell and Carol Goldsmith Symposium, which featured nationally recognized scholars, alumni, and URMC faculty. President Sarah Mangelsdorf, the G. Robert Witmer, Jr., University Professor, also presented the Goldsmiths with University medallions in commemoration of their professorship gift. “Dr. Goldsmith has made such a mark on this department, the Medical Center, and the field of dermatology overall,” said Alice Pentland, MD, the James H. Sterner Chair in Dermatology. “This gift is testimony to that unwavering commitment and the Goldsmiths’ willingness to ‘pay it forward’ to make the department even better in the future. We are incredibly grateful for their support.” Goldsmith joined URMC in 1981 as the first James H. Sterner Chair in Dermatology. He became the founding chair of the dermatology department, which was officially established in 1987. In 1996, Goldsmith was appointed dean of URMC’s School of Medicine and Dentistry and, in 2000, he became dean emeritus.

Class of ’54: Changing the Lives of Medical Students David Kluge (MD ’54) and his classmates

have been getting together regularly since their 30th reunion in 1984. At breakfast following that reunion, Kluge and his peers talked about setting up an endowed scholarship fund for a medical student to attend the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD). This

Supporting Education: Gifts of Fellowship Enhancing Training Opportunities in Pediatric Pathology

A $1 million gift from Milton J. Finegold (MD ’59) will support a new pediatric pathology fellowship, starting in the fall of 2020. The fellowship will enhance the range of training opportunities that the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine provides. It will also facilitate more teaching opportunities in the medical school and in the clinical settings that pediatric pathology serves. Finegold, now professor emeritus of pathology and immunology at Baylor College of Medicine, became interested in learning about childhood diseases during his own training. He notes that pathology is generally low on the list of specialties that medical students want to study. Pediatric pathology is an even rarer program that competes with subspecialties such as forensic pathology or surgical and neuropathology. “In order to get medical students interested in pediatric pathology, you want to generate an opportunity in the area of children’s disease, and you have to do whatever you can to make it attractive,” says Finegold.

Extending the Reach of the School’s Year-Out Program David Kluge (MD ’54), front row left, with his classmates at their 60th reunion in 2014.

scholarship would be their way of thanking the school for the lives and careers it made possible, while also helping a deserving student. The initial class goal was to offer a scholarship by their 35th reunion. They accomplished that goal by raising $50,000, but wanted to do more. Every year since 1989, they have been resetting and increasing their fundraising goals. “It was apparent that by our 50th reunion we might reach $1 million,” says Kluge, a retired Rochester-based surgeon who has been spearheading efforts along the way. “What seemed like a dream became our new goal.” The group’s dedication paid off. At their 50th reunion in 2004, the class presented a check for $1,180,000 to David S. Guzick, MD, who served as the school’s dean from 2002–2009. Today, the Class of 1954 Scholarship fund is the largest of its kind at SMD. Worth more than $1.4 million, it has helped more than 100 medical students.

A $1.5 million gift from Alexander Levitan (MD ’63) and his wife, Lucy, establishes a new fellowship that will make it possible for three medical students to step away from their academic curriculum for one year to pursue mentored clinical, basic science, or health services research. The School of Medicine and Dentistry will begin awarding the Alexander and Lucy Levitan Endowment for Medical Student Research Fellowships in the 2019–20 academic year. The fellowships will support the Year-Out Program, which has served as an educational hallmark since the school’s inception, with 20 percent of students participating. The research experience gained from the Year-Out Program can give students a competitive advantage when applying to residency programs. Students between their third and fourth years of medical school will be eligible for the Levitan Fellowship and will be selected based on financial need and the merit of their research projects. Fellowship recipients will receive a stipend and additional financial support.

To learn more about class reunions, volunteer opportunities, or giving to the Medical Center, contact Melissa Head, executive director of URMC academic programs, at or (585) 273-2890. ROCHESTER MEDICINE | 2019 – V2



The Power of Alumni Alumni networks are perhaps the most powerful human platform to share information and foster engagement. Our alumni serve as the brand ambassadors for the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and provide immense value to the institution. A strong relationship with alumni can foster social, academic, and professional success for current and former students. The SMD Alumni Council aims to contribute to a cycle of success: a continuous evolution from admissions to the student experience, alumni relations and development, and awareness and perception. Robust alumni engagement ensures success across various modalities: fundraising, professional placement,

mentorship and scholarships, career guidance, and networking. The University of Rochester has created the platforms (Meliora Collective, Rochester Medicine, etc.) and sponsored activities (Meliora Weekend, regional alumni events) to help connect and grow our community. We are always looking for creative ways to serve our alumni and hope to inspire your commitment to the continued success of our institution and its past, current, and future community. All the best, Jennifer L. Stripay (M ’14, PhD ’16) President, UR SMD Alumni Council

Contact Info: Alumni Staff Contact:


Alumni Council Members Jennifer L. Stripay (MS ’14, PhD ’16) President

Lauren Kozakiewicz (MD ‘22) Student Member

Ernest Smith (MS ’97, PhD ’99) Bridge Committee

James M. Haley (MD ’85, Res ’88) Vice President

Humberto Mestre (MS ’17) Bridge Committee

Jeffrey A. Stone (’87, MD ’91) Communications Committee

James D. Brodell, Sr., MD (Res ’83) Chair, Awards Committee

Allison Ramsey (MD ’05, Res ’08, Flw ’11) Communications Committee

Thomas Tesoriero (MD ’81) Bridge Committee

Paul H. Fine (’57, MD ’61, Res ’66) Awards Committee

Michael Schneider (’73, MD ’77) Chair, Bridge Committee

Jill Weimer (’97, MS ’04, PhD ’06) Chair, Communications Committee

Edward Fox (’91, MD ’95) Awards Committee

Kurt Schilling (MS ’87, PhD ’91) Communications Committee

AnnaLynn Williams (’08, PhD ’18) Bridge Committee

Get Involved, Stay Engaged! For more information on the Alumni Council, or if you would like to join or nominate someone for membership, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (585) 273-5954 or



2019 Alumni Award Recipients Chosen Distinguished Alumnus Award

Humanitarian Award

Alumni Service Award

Alumni Achievement Award

Richard M. Locksley (MD ’76)

Locksley is currently the Marion and Herbert Sandler Distinguished Professor in Asthma Research at the University of California, San Francisco. Locksley’s research is highly creative and has been instrumental in clarifying and defining the functions of the cells, factors, stimuli, and regulation of the innate immune system, as well as its role in regulation of inflammation and adaptive immunity. His research has identified a rare type of immune cell, Group 2 Innate Lymphoid Cell or ILC2, which normally serves to maintain tissue homeostasis but is also implicated in allergic diseases such as asthma.

George L. (Jeff) Hicks (MD ‘71, Res ‘77, Flw ‘78) A pillar in cardiothoracic surgery, Hicks joined the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Department of Surgery in 1981, has been program director for cardiothoracic surgery since 1990, and served as chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery for 26 years. During this time he trained more than 60 cardiothoracic surgeons and a countless number of medical students and general surgery residents. He is a fully committed teacher and, in 2012, was nationally honored by the Thoracic Surgery Residents Association with the prestigious Socrates Award, in recognition of his commitment to resident education and mentorship at the national level.

Louis M. Aledort, MD (Res ‘64, Flw ‘66) Aledort was a resident in Internal Medicine and fellow in Hematology at the University of Rochester Medical Center from 1963 to 1966. After completion of his fellowship, he joined the Hematology Department of the Mount Sinai Hospital, where he has remained over the last 50 years. In 1993, he was appointed Mary Weinfeld Professor of Clinical Research in Hemophilia. He is a member of the Medical Advisory Board of the World Federation of Hemophilia and of the International Society of Hematology, and is director of the International Hemophilia Training Center at Mount Sinai.

Jeff Goater (’97, MS ’00, MBA ’01, MS ’04)

Goater received an MS in Microbiology and Immunology, an MBA from the Simon School, and an MS in pathology. In 2013, he became CFO of Voyager Therapeutics, where he led the company through multiple strategic collaborations, including an $845 million partnership with Sanofi Genzyme and a $73 million IPO. In 2017, Goater joined Surface Oncology, Inc., a company identifying new immunotherapies for cancer, as its chief business officer. He led a successful $120 million IPO and promptly became the company’s CEO.




MD Alumni If you see any alumni whom you would like to contact, use the Online Directory at to find address information. Submit class notes to your class agent or to RochesterMedicineMagazine@urmc. Note: MD alumni are listed alphabetically by class. Resident and fellow alumni follow in alphabetical order, and graduate alumni are listed separately in alphabetical order.

1957 C. McCollister (“Mac”) Evarts (Res ’59, Res ’64) was recognized as an American Orthopaedic Association Pillar of the Orthopaedic Profession at the June 2019 AOA Annual Leadership Meetings in San Diego. Cited for his outstanding contributions to the profession, the nomination was championed by Kevin P. Black, MD, who said that Evarts “set an incredibly high leadership bar that we will never reach, but whatever we do accomplish and contribute to our profession will be in large part be related to him.”


Hal Kanthor had his collection of Gilbert and Sullivan featured at the University of Rochester Library’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. The exhibition was on view through Meliora Weekend, Oct. 3–6, 2019.

Phillip A. Pizzo (MD ’70)

received the prestigious John Stearns Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Clinical Practice from the New York Academy of Medicine at the organization’s 172nd Anniversary Discourse & Awards in November. The annual awards honor individuals in health policy, public health, clinical practice, and biomedical research. Pizzo, the David and Susan Heckerman Professor and founding director of the Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute at Stanford University, was cited for his dedication to the diagnosis, management, prevention, and treatment of childhood cancers and the infectious complications that occur in children whose immune systems are compromised by cancer and AIDS. A University of Rochester Trustee and chair of the Health Affairs Committee, Pizzo has been a leader in academic medicine, championing programs and policies to improve the future of science, education, and health care. He served as dean of the Stanford School of Medicine from 2001–2012, in addition to being the Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Professor of Pediatrics and of Microbiology and Immunology. Prior to Stanford, he was physician-in-chief of Children’s Hospital in Boston, and the Thomas Morgan Rotch Professor of Pediatrics and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Pizzo’s numerous other honors include the 2012 the John Howland Award, the highest honor for lifetime achievement bestowed by the American Pediatric Society. Among his service to prominent organizations, Pizzo was elected to the American Pediatric Society, and to the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) and its Governing Council. He has chaired the Association of Academic Health Centers and the Council of Deans of the Association of American Medical Colleges. 52


1970 Charles Bernard Rodning was appointed professor emeritus, Department of Surgery, at the University of South Alabama’s College of Medicine and University Hospital. Rodning’s appointment comes after four decades of service as a clinician, educator, and investigator. He will soon begin an Education for Ministry Program, via the School of Theology, University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.


Ruby Belton (Res ’74) was presented the Black Physicians Network of Greater Rochester’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization’s 2019 Starlight Gala on September 14. Belton was the first African American woman to graduate from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Board certified in diagnostic radiology, Belton is a breast cancer imaging specialist with more than 30 years of experience. Prior to joining UR Medicine St. James Hospital, she served as partner, clinician, and breast cancer imaging specialist at Borg and Ide Imaging in Rochester. Belton also is co-founder of the non-profit organization Physicians & Laypersons Educational Associates of Greater Rochester, N.Y., Inc.


Robert T. Brodell (Res ’81) was honored as a Patient Care Hero by the American Academy of Dermatology for his work opening a dermatology clinic in the Delta area of Mississippi, which previously did not have a dermatologist within 100 miles. Brodell and his colleagues at the University of Mississippi collaborated with an existing medical clinic to offer dermatology services once a month, with 12 dermatologists each serving once a year.


Wendy S. Harpham recently published her eighth book, Healing Hope—Through and Beyond Cancer. Harpham is a nationally recognized physician-survivor of nonHodgkin’s lymphoma and an award-winning thought leader in survivorship. Published by Curant House, the book shares Harpham’s insights to encourage patients and their families to think and talk about hope in new ways. To learn more about Harpham’s journey and career, visit


David B. Nash has joined the Strategic Advisory Council for Innovaccer, Inc. Nash is the founding dean of Jefferson College of Population Health and the Dr. Raymond C. and Doris N. Grandon Professor of Health Policy at Thomas Jefferson University. Based in San Francisco, Innovaccer is a leading health care data company focused on delivering more efficient and effective health care by combining pioneering analytics with transparent and accurate data. Bradford C. Berk (PhD ’81) has joined the Board of Directors of Health Care Originals (HCO), a leading health tech and wearable devices company. Berk, a former URMC CEO, is a professor of Medicine, Cardiology, and Pharmacology, and director of the University of Rochester Neurorestoration Institute. HCO was named one of the Top 4 medical IoT (Internet of Things) technologies in the world in 2017. Their current wearable solutions are optimized for respiratory system applications, providing revolutionary insight into illnesses like asthma and COPD.


Mark J. Adams (Res ’84, MBA ’93) was elected treasurer of the Medical Society of the State of New York at its 213th annual House of Delegates meeting in April. A boardcertified radiologist, he is a professor in the Department of Imaging Sciences at URMC. Harold Paz (’77) was named executive vice president and chancellor for health affairs at Ohio State University. Paz previously served as executive vice president and chief medical officer at Aetna, where he provided clinical leadership for the health care company’s domestic and global businesses. This marks

a return to academic medicine for Paz. From 2006 to 2014, he led the health care enterprise at Penn State University, where he served as CEO of the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, senior vice president for health affairs, dean of the College of Medicine, and president/CEO of the Penn State Hershey Health System.

1983 Webster H. Pilcher (PhD ’83, Res ’89) was interviewed by PBS affiliate WXXI in October 2018 for the unveiling of URMC’s mobile stroke unit—the first of its kind in upstate New York. The goal of the mobile unit, which includes a portable CT scanner, is to bring specialized care to stroke victims quickly. Rochester is just one of 12 communities in the U.S. to have a mobile stroke unit. Pilcher is chair of URMC’s Department of Neurosurgery.


Lewis C. Zulick joined Carthage Area Hospital in Carthage, N.Y., as a general surgeon. Previously president and CEO of Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic, Zulick is currently the chief of surgery at Rochester Regional Health. He specializes in minimally invasive surgery and laparoscopic general surgery, including breast surgery.


Mark J. Eisenberg recently published Cardiology Board Review and SelfAssessment: A Companion to Hurst’s The Heart, an all-inclusive study guide containing more than 1,100 questions and detailed answers. Available through Amazon, the book was written to complement the 14th edition of Hurst’s The Heart, a comprehensive review of the entire field of cardiovascular medicine. He also published an e-book, Case Studies in Interventional Cardiology. It includes first-hand accounts of 50 cardiac catheterization cases featuring coronary anomalies and severe complications that may occur during coronary

angioplasty. The e-book can be accessed at the McGraw-Hill website. Eisenberg is currently director of the MD-PhD Program at McGill University. Karl D. Kieburtz (MPH ’85) was appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board of Inhibikase Therapeutics, Inc. Headquartered in Atlanta with additional offices in Boston, Inhibikase is a pharmaceutical company focused on the development of protein kinase inhibitors for treatment of neurological infections and neurodegenerative diseases. Kieburtz is a professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and president of CLINTREX.


Carl Szot, Jr. (Res ’93, Res ’93) joined the staff at Battleboro Memorial Hospital’s Center for Cardiovascular Health in Battleboro, Vt. Szot’s appointment comes as part of an ongoing collaboration between BMH and Cheshire Medical Center N.H., where Szot is also a member. He splits his time as a cardiologist at BHM, while serving as a hospitalist at Cheshire.


Nicole Maronian (Res ’98) was named chair of the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. Maronian, the first female surgical department Chair for UH, previously served as director of the Voice and Swallowing Center at UH Cleveland Medical Center, as well as the ENT vice chair for Education and Quality, and the Residency Program director, Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery.





Yu-Waye Chu joined Fate Therapeutics as the company’s vice president of Clinical Development. Headquartered in San Diego, Fate is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of first-inclass cellular immunotherapies for cancer and immune disorders. Chu previously worked at Genentech, where he led early clinical development of several novel cancer immunotherapy programs. He earned his University of Rochester Medical Degree with Distinction in Research.


Kelli Harding (MD ‘02), MPH, and her book, The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier with the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness, were highlighted in a Sept. 8 article in The Washington Post. Harding, who was a student of George Engel, praised Engle’s holistic approach to patient care and its influence on her career. An assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, Harding is a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is boarded in psychosomatic medicine. She has also appeared on Today, Good Morning America, NPR, and in The New York Times, Medscape, and US News & World Report.



Christopher R. Good (’98) was featured in Becker’s Spine Review as a Spine Surgeon to Know. Good is a board-certified orthopaedic spine surgeon and president of the Virginia Spine Institute in Reston, Va. He is also director of scoliosis and spinal deformity at the Institute, specializing in minimally invasive spinal surgery, spinal regenerative therapy, robotic-assisted spine surgery, revision spine surgery, and spinal deformity and scoliosis reconstruction.


Erika Augustine (MS ’14) was appointed as the Robert J. Joynt Professor in Neurology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and retains her previous appointments as associate professor of Pediatrics and associate professor in the Center for Health + Technology. Specializing in child neurology, Augustine’s research focuses on clinical phenotyping and advancing therapeutic development for rare pediatric neurological disorders. Rajeev S. Ramchandran (MBA ’13) has been elected to the board of directors of Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety organization. Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness aims to eliminate preventable blindness in America through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs, and research. Ramchandran is an associate professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, a vitreoretinal surgeon, and director of Population Eye Health at the Flaum Eye Institute.


Jennifer Ann Corbelli was named to the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s Top Physicians Under 40 list. Corbelli is an internist at UPMC Montefiore and an associate professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. She also serves as program director for the UPMC Internal Medicine Residency Program, where she leads the program’s resident recruitment process. In her first year as program director, she was responsible for the best match in the program’s history. Through her work with medical students, Corbelli mentors individuals interested in primary care for underserved populations.


Deanna Mraz Robinson (’03), co-founder of Modern Dermatology, recently cut the ribbon on a new practice in Westport, Conn. Modern Dermatology opened in 2018 and provides advanced and effective medical, surgical, and cosmetic treatments in a comfortable setting. The practice is a pet project for Robinson and co-founder Rhonda Klein, MD. The two met during their dermatology residencies at YaleNew Haven Hospital.


Jennifer R. Abrams is chairperson for Doctors of Global Health (DGH), a not-for-profit organization promoting health, education, art, and other human rights throughout the world. Abrams is a family medicine physician in Seattle. Her work with DGH, which began with a volunteer trip to rural El Salvador in 2011, inspired fellow alumni Calla Brown (MD ’11) and her husband Bela Denes (MD ’11) to also volunteer with the organization. Kerry-Ann McDonald joined the medical staff of the Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Institute in Boca Raton, Fla., specializing in benign and malignant breast disease. McDonald is also part of the BocaCare Physician Network. She is boardeligible, and is a member of the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Breast Surgeons, Association of Academic Surgery, Association of Women’s Surgeons, and the Society of Surgical Oncology.


Reija M. Rawle has joined Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and DartmouthHitchcock Putnam Physicians. Rawle previously worked as a clinical instructor and primary care physician at Stanford University’s Primary Care in Santa Clara, Calif.

Resident & Fellow Alumni 1980s James Kupiec (Res ’81) was named chief medical officer for ProMIS Neurosciences, Inc., a biotech company focused on the discovery and development of antibody therapeutics selectively targeting toxic oligometers implicated in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Kupiec was previously vice president, global clinical leader for Parkinson’s Disease, and clinical head of the Neuroscience Research Institute Unit in Cambridge for Pfizer, Inc.

oncology. Co-authored by Cleveland Shields, professor in Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences, the study documented that historically black patients report greater pain, mostly due to under treatment, and are less likely to receive adequate pain management. Howard Fritz (Res ’87) was named chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs at Glens Falls Hospital. Previously, Fritz was a partner at Gastroenterology Associates of Northern New York. After 29 years, he retired from the practice in September 2018. In his new role, Fritz oversees all clinical operations at the hospital, including observance of best practices and ensuring overall quality of care. He is also a liaison between medical staff and administration, and assists in physician recruitment and strategic planning. Ghinwah Khalid Dumyati (Res ’89, Flw ’93) spoke to NBC News about a recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that revealed a decrease in health careassociated infections. In 2011, the CDC found that 4 percent of patients got an infection in the hospital; that number has since dropped to 3.2 percent. Dumyati is a professor of Infectious Disease at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Marc D. Brown (Res ’82, Flw ’82) was elected vice president of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) at its annual meeting in October 2018. Brown serves as director of the Division of Mohs Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology and professor of Dermatology and Oncology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He will ascend to president-elect of ASDS in 2019, and serve as president in 2020–21.

Mark Klier (Res ’89) was named head coach of the Hilton Area Swim Team. Board certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Klier is a pediatrician in North Chili, as well as a clinical instructor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Stephen H. Cohen (Res ’85, Flw ’85) was named vice president and corporate medical director for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. He formerly served as the company’s medical director, as well as president of Lifetime Care Home Health Care and Hospice and of Lifetime Health Medical Group. Cohen previously held a leadership role at the URMC’s Center for Primary Care.

Elizabeth O’Neill (Res ’94) recently joined Trinity Medical WNY’s new primary care practice in Amherst, N.Y. O’Neil received her medical degree from the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine and completed her residency in internal medicine in Rochester.

Ronald Epstein (Res ’87) was co-principal investigator of a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine that found race may be a contributing factor in physician and patient relations and may affect a patient’s access to pain treatment in

1990s Ghinwah Khalid Dumyati (Res ’89, Flw ’93) see Resident & Fellow Alumni 1980s.

Karl A. Illig (Res ’95, Flw ’97) recently joined Regional Medical Center’s Dialysis Access Institute in Orangeburg, S.C. Illig was previously the chief of vascular surgery and associate chair for faculty development at the University of South Florida. A senior board examiner for the Vascular Surgery Board/American Board of Surgery, Illig specializes in complex dialysis access and thoracic outlet syndrome.

Brett W. Robbins (Res ’97) received the Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The award is given to program directors who have fostered innovation and improvement in their residency programs and served as exemplary role models for residents. Robbins serves as program director for the Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency at URMC.

2000s Thomas Caprio (Res ’03, Flw ’04, MPH ’10) is partnering in a study examining how much respite family caregivers need. Funded by a grant from the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York, the research team will conduct telephone surveys with about 80 caregivers to see how often they are using respite services, and examine whether their social support networks, among other factors, relate to their access to and desire for respite care. Caprio is an associate professor in the departments of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health Sciences at URMC. Michael A. Scharf (Res ’03) was interviewed by WHEC-TV in Rochester on the shortage of child psychiatrists in Western New York. Scharf is chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at URMC. According to a report by the Greater Rochester Health Foundation, 1 3 to 20 percent of children have a mental disorder; however, only one in five gets treatment. The Foundation has formed a task force of teachers, physicians, and parents to develop solutions to the problem. URMC is building a Pediatric Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, with completion scheduled for 2019. Brain Herrick (Res ’04) was named chief information officer for Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), an academic community health system serving Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’s metro-north region. Herrick has held various IT leadership roles at CHA since 2010, most recently as its chief medical information officer. He received his medical degree at Dartmouth Medical School, and completed his residency in family medicine at the University of Rochester. ROCHESTER MEDICINE | 2019 – V2




Elizabeth Murray (Flw ’10) was interviewed by People magazine about the safety of “chickenpox parties,” where parents attempt to get many children to contract the illness at the same time, in order to get it over with. Murray says, “There is no way to know if your child will get a mild case of chickenpox, flu, measles, or any other vaccine-preventable disease. So why take the risk?” She is currently an assistant professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine and Clinical Pediatrics at the URMC. Tessa Reisinger (Res ’17) recently joined the new UR Medicine Thompson Health Gynecology and Obstetrics office in Victor, N.Y. She graduated from the Emory University School of Medicine in 2013. She is trained in both laparoscopic and robotic surgery, and is a resident member of both the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists and Physicians for Reproductive Health. Benjamin Meyer (Res ’18) joined the Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic in Duluth, Minn. Meyer earned his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis. His residency training was in internal medicine and pediatrics. Katherine Munck (Res ’18) joined the Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic. She earned her medical degree from the University of Wisconsin and completed her residency in internal medicine and pediatrics. Adriane Argenio (Res ’18) joined Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare—Iowa at Covenant Clinic general surgery. Argenio received her medical degree from New York Medical College in Valhalla. Her Rochester residency was in general surgery. Michael R. Morris (Flw ’18) accepted a position at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, Mich. Morris is an orthopaedic and hand specialist, practicing at Hand Surgery of Northern Michigan. He graduated from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and completed residency 15 16 17 13 14at Detroit training in orthopaedic surgery FISCALUniversity, YEAR Medical Center/Wayne State prior to his fellowship in hand and microsurgery. 56


PhD Alumni

Bradford C. Berk (PhD ’81) see MD Alumni. Webster H. Pilcher (PhD ’83, Res ’89) see MD Alumni. James P. Herman (MS ’84, PhD ’87) was named chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Systems Physiology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He was previously the Donald C. Harrison Endowed Chair in Medicine. Herman continues his role as director of Neurobiology Research within the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute. Herman received his master’s in neuroscience at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and his doctorate in neurobiology and anatomy. Heather Gold (PhD ’02) was promoted to full professor at NYU Langone Health in the departments of Population Health and Orthopaedic Surgery. Gold was also selected to serve as president of the Society for Medical Decision Making. Samson Tom (MS ’00, PhD ’02) was appointed president and chief executive officer of Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. Based in Columbia, Md., Osiris is a regenerative medicine company focused on developing and marketing products for wound care, orthopaedics, and sports medicine. Tom earned his MS and PhD in biochemistry. He previously served as vice president, Research & Development, for Surgical Orthobiologics at Bioventus, LLC. Kimberly J. Arcoleo (MPH ’96, PhD ’06) was interviewed by MD Magazine on a recent study that found that Puerto Rican children with asthma are more likely than Mexican American children to report poor or worsened rates of inhaler medication adherence. The one-year study, which comprised 123 children aged 5 to 12 years old living in either Phoenix or the Bronx, came from a desire to better specify national asthma and treatment prevalence rates among different ethnicities. Arcoleo is an associate professor at the University of Rochester School of Nursing. Her program of research is to optimize children’s asthma health outcomes through evidence-based interventions at the child, family, school, and health care system levels, with a focus on the role of culture in health care, mental health co-morbidities, 18 19 20 21 22asthma education, and medication adherence, case management.

Michelle Janelsins (MS ’05, PhD ’08, MPH ’13) appeared on WHEC-TV in Rochester, discussing the effects of chemotherapy on the brain. Janelsins is director of the Psychoneuroimmunology Laboratory at URMC. Her lab’s researchers are studying blood samples of thousands of cancer patients, finding that chemotherapy elevates proteins in the blood. The elevations of those essential proteins can affect how well a person thinks. While most patients do improve, some studies show that 20 to 35 percent report cognitive problems years after treatment.

Graduate Alumni

James P. Herman (MS ’84, PhD ’87) see PhD Alumni. Karl D. Kieburtz (MPH ’85) see MD Alumni. Maria Elizabeth Cristalli (MPH ’91) was named interim CEO of Hillside Family of Agencies. Cristalli joined the organization in 1991, and most recently served as its chief operating officer. Founded in 1837, Hillside is one of the oldest family and youth non-profit human services organization in the country. Offering an array of services, including primary preventive care and residential treatment, Hillside Agencies served more than 14,000 children and families in 2018. Kimberly J. Arcoleo (MPH ’96, PhD ’06) see Resident & Fellow Alumni. Gregory Conners (MPH ’98, MBA ’03) was named executive director of Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse. He also serves as chair of the medical school’s Department of Pediatrics. Conners previously served as associate chair at Children’s Mercy Hospital and Clinics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Medicine. Before joining Children’s Mercy in 2009, Conners held faculty and teaching positions at the University of Rochester and George Washington University. Samson Tom (MS ’00, PhD ’02) see PhD Alumni. Thomas Caprio (Res ’03, Flw ’04, MPH ’10) see Resident & Fellow Alumni. Michelle Janelsins (MS ’05, PhD ’08, MPH ’13) see PhD Alumni.

A genius gift. “I am a collector of Albert Einstein’s writings. A few years ago, I acquired a manuscript of more than 100 pages of his private working papers that had never been seen by the public before. After considerable thought, I decided to sell these pages and several letters of historical importance. I take comfort knowing that the materials are now in an important archive and available to Einstein scholars. In part, because of the source of these funds, my wife and I gifted the proceeds to the University of Rochester to fund a flexible deferred charitable gift annuity designated for an endowed professorship in medical education. This legacy gift is an expression of my gratitude for the lifechanging education I benefited from as a medical student at Rochester.”

—GARY B ERG ER ’ 6 9 M ( M D)

To learn more about income for life from charitable gift annuities and other planned giving methods, visit Office of Trusts, Estates & Gift Planning (800) MELIORA (800-635-4672) •

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