Alumni News


Marianne Wolff’52, Alumni Editor, and Bonita Eaton Enochs, Editor

Sherman Bull is a new member of the board of directors of Staying Put in New Canaan, a Connecticut nonprofit that helps seniors live safely in their homes while remaining actively engaged in the community, even as they age and cope with decreased mobility.

See Return to Bard Hall for a reminiscence by Norbert Hirschhorn.

Harris Berman, dean of the Tufts University School of Medicine for 10 years, has retired. He is now dean emeritus, professor of medicine, and professor of public health and community medicine. He also served Tufts as vice dean of the medical school, dean of public health and professional degree programs, and chair of the Department of Public Health and Family Medicine. Before joining Tufts, he was a pioneer in the development of managed care in New England, serving as CEO of the Tufts Health Plan for 17 years. Harris will continue on a part-time basis with the University Advancement office at Tufts, fundraising for the university and the medical school.

See the 1994 class note about Jonathan Rosand for mention of J. Philip Kistler. 

Tom Delbanco received the John Phillips Memorial Award from the American College of Physicians in April during the college’s convocation ceremony in Los Angeles, where the ACP hosted its annual scientific conference. The award recognizes outstanding lifetime work in clinical medicine that has been innovative and/or had a regional or national impact. Tom is the John F. Keane & Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is one of the founders of the Society of General Internal Medicine, which he also served as president. He created one of the first primary care practice and teaching programs at an academic health center and in 1979 developed and led Harvard Medical School’s Faculty Development and Fellowship Program, which has prepared more than 300 general internists for academic careers. Tom and a colleague created OpenNotes, a movement that urges clinicians to invite patients to read the notes they write and to contribute to their medical records. 

See Alumni in Print to read about a book written by Anthony Horan. Anthony retired in 2018 from a solo private practice of urology in Delano, California. His highest academic rank was associate clinical professor of urology at UCSF at the Fresno VA hospital. He retired from the VA in 2002. He is working on a medical-scientific biography of his grandfather, John Rogers Jr., an 1892 graduate of P&S.

Ronald St. John, who also has an MPH, began his public health career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, followed by 10 years with the World Health Organization, where he was responsible for infectious disease control programs in the Americas. Subsequently, he worked in Canada’s Department of Health and was appointed as the first director-general for the Federal Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response. During his tenure, he was the federal manager of the SARS epidemic in Canada. After retirement, he co-founded Sitata, an internet/web-based company that provides international travelers with accurate up-to-date health and safety information to help them remain healthy and safe while traveling. He consults frequently with the World Health Organization on the management of emergency responses to infectious disease outbreaks.

See Alumni in Print to read about a book written by David C. Aron. Dave, who graduated from Columbia College in 1971, is professor of medicine and epidemiology and biostatistics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and an adjunct professor of organizational behavior at the Weatherhead School of Management. He also is director of clinical program research and evaluation at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center.

Gary A. Shangold has been named chief medical officer of Enteris BioPharma. Gary has held positions in the biopharmaceutical industry for nearly 30 years. He also is CEO of InteguRx Therapeutics, a company he founded to develop transdermal pharmaceutical products, and president of Convivotech, a consultancy to life sciences companies. Gary also served on the faculties of the University of Chicago medical school, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard medical school. He has served as president of the American Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians and chair of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals.

Calvin Roberts has been appointed president and CEO of Lighthouse Guild, effective April 1, 2020. Cal had been senior vice president and chief medical officer for eye care at Bausch Health Companies and clinical professor of ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medical College. Throughout his career as an ophthalmologist, Cal performed more than 10,000 cataract surgeries and 5,000 refractive and other corneal surgeries. He co-founded a specialty pharmaceuticals company, led the development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals, and is a frequent industry lecturer and author. 

See Alumni in Print to read about a book co-written by Angela Diaz, who earned a PhD in 2016. Angela is the Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor in Adolescent Health in pediatrics and environmental medicine and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is also director of the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center.

See Alumni in Print to read about a book written by David S. Younger. David is the author of several medical textbooks and more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and abstracts. He donated copies of his 2015 textbook, “Motor Disorders, 3rd edition,” to the VP&S Alumni Association for distribution to medical students.

George D. Yancopoulos, who also earned a PhD in 1986, received the Alexander Hamilton Medal, the highest honor given to a member of the Columbia College community for distinguished service and accomplishment. George, a 1980 Columbia College graduate, received the honor in November at the 72nd annual Alexander Hamilton Award Dinner held in the rotunda of Low Library. George, co-founder, president, and chief scientific officer of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, was recognized for his biotech leadership. He is the principal inventor of several important new medicines, including the leading treatment for age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease as well as the leading biologic treatment for asthma and other atopic/allergic conditions, and he is also the principal inventor of the VelocImmune “genetically humanized immune system” mouse that was used to develop a treatment for Ebola and is now being used to develop a treatment for the COVID-19 coronavirus. At the dinner in November, George pledged $10 million to create a Beginner’s Mind Institute at Columbia, with the goal of fighting back against increasing polarization and divisiveness in society by inspiring students to approach new people as well as new challenges with a Beginner’s Mind—lacking in preconceptions and biases.

Judith Hellman received the 2019 Excellence in Research Award from the American Society of Anesthesiologists. She was recognized for her research developments regarding sepsis and other forms of inflammatory critical illness. Judith is the William L. Young, MD, professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care at the University of California San Francisco.

Jose A. Rodriguez was among 96 fellows inducted into the New York Academy of Medicine at its annual meeting in November. Jose is an attending orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. He also maintains an active research program.

Brian Toolan joined DuPage Medical Group in Illinois as an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon. He also is on the medical staff of Silver Cross Hospital, Edward Hospital, and Advocate Christ Medical Center.

1990 + 1991
Joseph Morelli’90 and Barbara Wirostko’91 completed residencies at Columbia, he in anesthesiology, she in ophthalmology. After the loss of their oldest son in a car accident in 2014, they started a nonprofit that awards scholarships to young adults with learning challenges, such as dyslexia. Since 2014 they have received hundreds of applications from around the country and have awarded over $150,000 to 77 students in 23 states. The nonprofit’s scholarship is recognized by many organizations as one of only a few scholarships that support young adults who have learning challenges. Barbara writes: “Upwards of 20% of the population can struggle with dyslexia and often it can go undiagnosed. It is a very common cause of anxiety and depression and also for young people failing out of school.” Barbara was invited to give a TedX talk in Montana last year about her son Joseph’s story and struggle. Learn more about the project at

Dineo Khabele has been named head of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “Her research on the pathobiology of ovarian cancer and molecular targets for novel therapies has the potential to help many women with this devastating disease,” says David Perlmutter, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs. Dineo has been an active mentor and teacher for young physician-scientists, recently starting the first gynecologic oncology fellowship in the state of Kansas.

Jonathan Rosand has been elected to the Columbia University Board of Trustees. Jonathan holds the J.P. Kistler Endowed Chair in Neurology and is a faculty member in the Center for Genomic Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he is appointed professor of neurology at Harvard, and associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. (His endowed chair honors J. Philip Kistler, a 1964 VP&S graduate who was director of the Mass General stroke service from 1978 to 2004 and is now professor of neurology, emeritus, at Harvard.) Jonathan is a critical care and vascular neurologist with expertise in the genetics of complex diseases. The focus of his research is discovering the role of genetics in cerebrovascular disease and using those discoveries to speed up the development of new treatments. Jonathan has served as program director for Harvard’s clinical training programs in stroke and neurocritical care and is principal investigator of the NIH investigator training program Recovery and Restoration of Central Nervous System Health and Function After Injury. He founded the International Stroke Genetics Consortium and launched the NIH-funded Platform for Accelerating Genetic Discovery for Cerebrovascular Disease. After establishing Mass General’s Division of Neurocritical Care, Jonathan stepped down as chief to establish the Henry and Allison McCance Center for Brain Health. The mission of the center is to identify and study the indicators of brain health, discover and develop the interventions that can prevent brain disease, and convene a borderless community of knowledge and tools essential for implementing and integrating these indicators and interventions into primary care.

See Alumni in Print to read about a book written by Jacob M. Appel. Jacob teaches bioethics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he is director of ethics education in psychiatry and a member of the Institutional Review Board. He is also an attending psychiatrist in the Mount Sinai Healthcare System. Jacob is the subject of a 46-minute documentary titled “Jacob” that is streaming on Amazon Prime.