Shout Outs

By Office of the President | Apr 30, 2024

Brian McNeil, M.D., MBA, FACS Wins Diversity Award

Brian McNeil, M.D.Congratulations to Clinical Affairs Associate Dean and Department of Urology Vice-Chair Brian McNeil, M.D., MBA, FACS, on his recent American Urology Association Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award. Dr. McNeill and Urology Chair Jeffrey P. Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., FACS, subsequently contribute to an article discussing their journeys and the importance of diversity in practice. Read this honest, timely, and thought-provoking piece here.


Downstate student Samuel Omesi Receives Best Poster Award in Pediatrics

Congratulations to Pediatrics student Samuel Omesi, who was awarded the Best Poster Award at a recent New York Perinatal Society Meeting. 

Early Career Advisors (ECAs) Host Career Advising for COM MS1s

On April 17, 2024, the College of Medicine organized an informal in-person event, Talk & Tacos, with ECAs. This gathering, a component of the year-long Early Career Advising (ECA) program, provided students with the chance to reflect on their first year of medical school, inquire about different medical specialties, explore leadership prospects, and discuss their summer plans.

Despite the scheduled end time, students continued their conversations beyond the designated period, indicating their enthusiasm for the opportunity to interact with physicians from diverse specialties. Overall, the event provided a refreshing conclusion to the program, leaving attendees invigorated by the insightful discussions and connections made.

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L-R: Sophie Christoforou, Dawn Froome, Dionne Davis, and Jason M. Lazar

Congratulations to the Early Career Advisors for dedicating their time and making the ECA program a success. Their mentorship and advice have had a significant impact on the students at this early stage of their career journey. Thank you to the Career Advising Team (Taryn Toval, Sophie Christoforou, Dawn Froome, and Dionne Davis) for their outstanding support, wisdom, insight, and willingness. Thanks also to Jason M. Lazar, M.D., MPH, FACC, FACP, who serves as the Vice Dean of Education at the College of Medicine and Chair in the Department of Medical Education for his vision for this redesign, support throughout the year and ability to redirect the program as needed. 

Caroline Rochon Celebrated at the Felix A. Fishman Awards

group photoSince its establishment in 2003, the Felix A. Fishman Awards for Extraordinary Advocacy have been bestowed annually by NYLPI to honor the efforts of community lawyers and advocates dedicated to enhancing access to justice. Congratulations to Transplantation Surgery Chief Caroline Rochon, M.D., FACS, who was recognized for her pivotal contributions in facilitating access to critical medical treatment for New York’s immigrant population. Celebrating with her were Tracey Braithwaite, Ph.D., LMSW, Felicia Thompson, LMSW, MPA, and Elsie Cherry, LMSW.


Upcoming Diabetes and Prediabetes Conference

The Office of the President is pleased to provide support for the upcoming conference, “Lifestyle Interventions for Optimal Outcomes in Diabetes and Prediabetes.”

First-Year Medical Student Moderates Webinar on Postpartum Health Challenges

posterOur first-year students are off to a phenomenal start! In a recent webinar sponsored by the Jewish Orthodox Women’s Medical Association, first-year medical student Vivian Durzieh took on the role of moderator for a discussion, “Life After Birth: A Postpartum Guide.” Fellow first-year student Elana Eisenreich Lorber assisted in event coordination and planning. The webinar covered topics such as mental health and musculoskeletal conditions during the postpartum period. You can listen to the discussion here.

‘Sugar Signature’ in Blood Predicts Increased Aging Speed in HIV

Jason LazarCongratulations on this important collaborative effort led by researchers from the Wistar Institute on a study involving Vice Dean for Education and Chair of Medical Education Jason Lazar, M.D., MPH, which identified a distinctive “sugar signature” in the blood associated with accelerated aging and heightened inflammation in individuals living with HIV (PLWH).

Published in Nature Communications, the study explores how persistent viral infections such as HIV may hasten biological aging by fostering inflammation. Employing a machine-learning model, the team successfully forecasted the biological age and rate of aging in PLWH, offering potential early insights into severe and various health conditions like cancer.

This research highlights a prospective biomarker for aging in HIV and also unveils new avenues for tailored treatment strategies and proactive healthcare initiatives. To read the complete study, click here.

Exploring Brain Aging: Rena Orman, Ph.D., Investigates Neuroanatomy in Short-Tailed Fruit Bats

Rena OrmanCongratulations to Research Associate Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology Rena Orman, Ph.D., for being featured on the SUNY Research Foundation website. Dr. Orman leverages the unique neuroanatomy of short-tailed fruit bats to explore critical brain areas affected by aging, like the claustrum and hippocampus. The full article, A Small Bat with Enormous Potential for Aging Studies, can be read here.

Harnessing Reddit to Unveil Patient Perspectives on Keloids

Jennifer WangJared Jagdeo

In the digital age, social media platforms such as Reddit have become more than just spaces for social interaction. They now serve as valuable sources of real-time, unfiltered patient data. A recent study conducted by College of Medicine student Jennifer Wang and Associate Professor of Dermatology and Director of the Center for Photomedicine Jared Jagdeo, M.D. illustrates this point. Their research analyzing Reddit discussions relative to keloids revealed significant knowledge gaps regarding the management of these thick, raised scars.

This study highlights the potential of social media as a research tool, offering insights that could lead to more patient-centric education and treatment approaches. Click here for more information.

Amy Jeng, M.D., Wins Early Career Poster Award at Miami Breast Conference

Amy JengCongratulations to Chief Resident of Surgery Amy Jeng, M.D., for her achievement at this year’s annual Miami Breast Conference. Dr. Jeng received the Early Career Poster Award for her exceptional research on ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Her poster provided a detailed comparison between palpable and nonpalpable forms of DCIS, a noninvasive condition affecting the cells in the milk ducts and a known precursor to breast cancer.

In a healthcare facility catering primarily to Black patients, a considerable portion of the patient population exhibits palpable DCIS. Dr. Jeng’s research revealed that palpable DCIS demonstrates a more aggressive genetic profile compared to screening-detected DCIS. These results emphasize the urgency of exploring innovative treatment strategies for individuals affected by this specific form of breast cancer.