Alumni News

Gerard M. Turino, the John H. Keating Sr. Professor Emeritus of Medicine at P&S, received the P&S Distinguished Service Award for clinical sciences at this year’s graduation ceremony.

See Alumni in Print to read about a book by George M. Burnell, assistant professor of psychiatry at Stanford University and the University of Hawaii. George also is chief emeritus of psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Santa Clara, Calif., and Honolulu. He has lectured on the health effects of nutrition on aging for more than three decades.

Robert Scott submitted a piece for the Scrapbook section of the P&S 250 website, writing about his time at P&S from September 1957 to June 1961. See his submission at the website at

Story Musgrave visited New York City in September to speak at the P&S Alumni Council dinner. He also took time to speak to students in the Space Medicine Club about his 30-year career with NASA as an astronaut. Space Medicine Club co-president Henry Philofsky’20 interviewed Story for a 250th anniversary video series. The video is available here. With the camera rolling, Story also taped an anniversary greeting that was shown at P&S Dean Lee Goldman’s 2017 State of the School presentation. 

Suzanne Oparil received a gold medal for Outstanding Achievements in Medical Research at this year’s alumni reunion. 

James A. Reiffel writes that since retiring from practice and becoming professor emeritus of medicine at P&S in 2015, his professional career has continued to thrive. He advises several medical companies regarding new therapies for cardiac arrhythmias while continuing to do clinical research and to write. In May he presented results of the REVEAL AF trial (as PI and steering committee chair) at the Heart Rhythm Society annual scientific sessions. “Using a tiny implantable cardiac rhythm monitor, we found a substantial incidence of atrial fibrillation in demographically identified patients who never knew they were having it, with implications for stroke prevention and saving lives using this technique.” He has authored or co-authored more than 40 medical publications since retirement and published his second children’s book (again illustrated by his granddaughters). He continues to serve as peer reviewer and member of editorial boards for several cardiology and electrophysiology journals and was recently named section editor for a new section on pharmacological therapy in the Journal of Innovations in Cardiac Rhythm Management. He also serves on steering committees or executive committees of four multicenter trials and periodically appears as guest physician on FOX TV news programs in New York City. He also is co-editor of a textbook, “Cardiac Arrhythmias, Pacing, and Sudden Death,” published this year.

Faye Natanblut Laing was honored in May with a “Women Making History Award” from the National Women’s History Museum. In the photo below, Faye is shown on the left posing with other honorees, including former First Lady Laura Bush. The mission of the museum is to raise awareness and honor women with diverse experiences and achievements. The museum is now a virtual museum, but the future building planned for the National Mall in Washington, D.C., will be the first museum in any nation’s capital to show the full scope of the history of women. Faye was recognized for her 40-year career in academic radiology and for dedicating her life’s work to advancing diagnostic ultrasound.

Thomas P. Sculco was Honorary Dean’s Day Chairman at this year’s alumni reunion.

George M. Lazarus received a gold medal for Meritorious Service to the College of Physicians & Surgeons and its Alumni Association at this year’s alumni reunion.

John W. Lombardo has left the private practice of surgical ophthalmology after 38 years to become president of Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company, the largest medical malpractice insurance company in New York state. The company is being acquired by Berkshire Hathaway. John is also a Columbia College graduate (Class of 1969).

A gold medal for Outstanding Achievements in Medical Research was awarded to Daniel D. Von Hoff at this year’s alumni reunion. 

Yvonne S. Thornton received the Virginia Kneeland Frantz’22 Distinguished Women in Medicine Award at this year’s alumni reunion. Yvonne serves as clinical professor of obstetrics & gynecology at New York Medical College, Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. 

Andrew M. Kaunitz received a University of Florida Term Professorship award from the UF Provost’s Office. The awards recognize individuals for distinguished careers that place them among the leaders in their discipline. He is UF Research Foundation Professor and associate chair of obstetrics & gynecology at UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville and medical director and director of menopause and GYN ultrasound services at UF Health Women’s Specialists-Emerson.

Natalia Kanen was appointed in October to a four-year term as executive director of the United Nations Population Fund. Natalia, U.N. under-secretary-general, has been the fund’s acting executive director since June. She served the Population Fund in other capacities, including as the fund’s representative in Tanzania from 2014 to 2016. She has held senior positions in the Ford Foundation and other organizations. In addition to her MD from P&S, she earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of Washington.

Ron Cohen reprised his role as Samuel Bard at P&S Dean Lee Goldman’s 2017 State of the School presentation in September. He congratulated the faculty and staff on 250 years of success, quoting from the speech Dr. Bard delivered at the first King’s College medical school graduation in 1769.

Michael J. Devlin, professor of psychiatry at P&S, was honored by the Class of 2017 with the Distinguished Teacher Award at this year’s graduation ceremony. 

See Alumni in Print to read about a book co-authored by John Markowitz. John, a research psychiatrist at New York State Psychiatric Institute and professor of clinical psychiatry at P&S, wrote the book, a manual on interpersonal psychotherapy, with Myrna Weissman, PhD, another member of Columbia’s psychiatry faculty.

Alyssa Dweck has co-authored a women’s health book, which is described in this issue’s Alumni in Print. Alyssa is a gynecologist and gynecological surgeon at CareMount Medical in Westchester County. She also specializes in female sexual health and medical sex therapy. She wrote the book to address topics she has been asked about during her 20-year career. She also has a master’s degree in human nutrition from Columbia.

The latest book of poetry by Dawn McGuire is described in the Alumni in Print section. Dawn, a neurologist, wrote these poems after being inspired by working with post-9/11 veterans who returned from Iraq and Afghanistan facing conditions that include addiction and PTSD.

Paul Auwaerter became president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America in October. The Sherrilyn and Ken Fisher Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins, Paul has studied Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases and clinical decision support using point-of-care information technology. In his role as IDSA president, he will continue the group’s work in advocating for new antimicrobial development, novel diagnostic tools, and recruitment of the best and the brightest to the field of infectious diseases.

Donald Lloyd-Jones, senior associate dean for clinical and translational research and chair of preventive medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, has been selected to receive the 2017 Joseph Stokes III MD Award from the American Society for Preventive Cardiology for his achievements in preventive cardiology. At Northwestern, he is director of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, the Eileen M. Foell Professor, and a professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology.

Daniel S. Schechter received the 2017 Norbert and Charlotte Rieger Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Award from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and gave a presentation at the academy’s 64th annual meeting in October in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes the best paper written by an academy member that uses a psychodynamic framework and presents either clinical material demonstrating the inner life of an infant, child, or adolescent or research material that promotes psychodynamic principles to illustrate the paper’s idea or hypothesis.

Davoren Chick has been named senior vice president of medical education for the American College of Physicians. She will be responsible for the development and publication of ACP’s medical knowledge products and services, among other responsibilities. Board-certified in internal medicine, she has been a Fellow of ACP since 2005. She previously practiced primary care internal medicine at the University of Michigan, where she was associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Department of Learning Health Sciences.

Stuart M. Levine has been named president and chief medical officer of MedStar Harbor Hospital in Baltimore. He also serves as senior vice president of MedStar Health, a network of hospitals that includes MedStar Harbor, a 157-bed waterfront hospital. Stuart joined MedStar Health in 2010 as a board-certified rheumatologist at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital and vice chairman of strategic growth and research in the Department of Medicine at MedStar Good Samaritan and MedStar Union Memorial hospitals. He is credited with conceiving, developing, and implementing several major initiatives, including a health services research program, a new inpatient medical service structure, and a readmissions reduction effort. He was appointed vice president of medical affairs at MedStar Harbor Hospital in 2014 and in 2016 also became vice president of medical affairs at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center. Before joining MedStar Health, Stuart was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he trained and completed a rheumatology fellowship, and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Vasculitis Center. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American College of Rheumatology, American Medical Association, American Association for Physician Leadership, and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

2002 PhD
Ai Yamamoto, assistant professor of neurology and of pathology & cell biology at P&S, received the Doctor Harold and Golden Lamport Research Award for clinical sciences at this year’s graduation ceremony. 

Salila Kurra received the Charles W. Bohmfalk Award for pre-clinical years at this year’s graduation ceremony. Salila is assistant professor of medicine at P&S. 

The latest collection of stories by Jacob M. Appel is described in this issue’s Alumni in Print. The award-winning short story writer is also an attorney and a bioethicist.

Vinay Gupta was named one of 40 Under 40 Leaders in Health by the National Minority Quality Forum and the US Congressional Black Caucus. The award honors influential young minority leaders who are making a difference in health care. Vin just completed a fellowship in pulmonary & critical care medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He is a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps, where he serves as a fully trained critical care air transport physician. His primary research interests are health security and pandemic preparedness, and he serves as director of the Global Health Diplomacy Initiative at the Harvard Global Health Institute. His research has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet Global Health, BMJ, and Health Affairs. He founded two health initiatives to serve the nation’s most vulnerable populations: a latent tuberculosis treatment program to treat homeless patients in Seattle and a mobile food market program in eastern Massachusetts to address food insecurity. The initiatives have reached more than 1,000 patients. Vin also has an MSc degree in international relations from the University of Cambridge, which he attended as a Rotary Global Grant scholar, and in May received an MPA degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government as a Dean’s Fellow.

Abdul El-Sayed, former executive director of the Detroit Health Department, is running for governor of Michigan in 2018.

Ryan England’17 and family

At this year’s alumni reunion, Ryan England received the gold medal given to a graduate in recognition of interest in and devotion to the College of Physicians & Surgeons and its Alumni Association