The UMass Chan Medical School community is preparing to officially kick off the academic year with graduation events taking place September 12-16. The annual celebrations build on the back-to-school energy of recent student orientations as well as the ceremonial final beam of the new Teaching and Research Building being constructed on campus.
The events will take place in the Auditorium of the Albert Sherman Center and do not require registration, unless otherwise indicated.
The festivities will begin at 3 p.m. on Monday, September 12 with the 10th Annual LGBT Convocation Welcome Celebration, sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Virtual event features David G. Zelaya, PhD, assistant professor of behavioral and social sciences at Brown University and research fellow at Harvard University. Dr. Zelaya’s research focuses on examining health disparities between Black, Indigenous, and people of color; and sexual and gender minority communities and the links to HIV risk; Mental Health; and substance use. He wants to provide culturally competent behavioral health services to historically underserved communities. Click on here to register for the event.
Also on September 12, Graduate School of Nursing Tan Chingfen students in the Graduate Entry Pathway (GEP) program will ceremoniously receive their nursing pins and be welcomed into the nursing community by campus leaders. The program starts at 6 p.m.
The GEP program, for those with a bachelor’s degree in fields other than nursing, leads first to licensure as a registered nurse and then to advanced nursing specialties. The pinning ceremony symbolizes the completion of the courses required to take the licensing exam.
At 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13, second-year Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students at Tan Graduate School of Nursing entering their clinical years will be presented with their white coats at the Transition to Practice Ceremony. clinical. The white coat is a symbol of humanism, collaboration and scientific excellence in the field of health. The school’s inaugural nursing white coat ceremony was held on June 2, during the scholarship and awards ceremony.
Members of the UMass Chan scientific community will gather at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, September 13, as the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences recognizes the achievements of their future colleagues. This ceremony salutes students who have passed their qualifying exam, which marks an important milestone in the educational and professional development of graduate students in basic sciences and clinical research: the transition from classroom learning to doctoral candidacy.
On Thursday, September 14, beginning at 4 p.m., Chancellor Michael F. Collins will deliver his convocation address to the UMass Chan community at a ceremony celebrating the faculty. The Chancellor’s Medals for Distinguished Teaching, Distinguished Scholarship, Distinguished Service and Distinguished Clinical Excellence will be presented.
The following faculty members will be honored and invested as appointed professors, and donors who endowed the positions will be honored, immediately upon Convocation:
Celia A. Schiffer, PhDChair and Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology, is the new holder of the Arthur F. and Helen P. Koskinas Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology. Dr. Schiffer’s laboratory is a place of activity focused on studying the molecular basis of drug resistance in viruses. Through this research, she has developed a new paradigm for avoiding drug resistance in structure-based drug design that likely results in other diseases.
Alan C. Mullen, MD, PhDProfessor of Medicine and Academic Head of Gastroenterology, is invested as Mary C. DeFeudis Chair in Biomedical Research. Dr. Mullen is a nationally recognized physician-scientist and thought leader in the field of liver disease. His research helps to elucidate therapeutic targets to inhibit the development of liver cancer.
Jeanne B. Lawrence, Ph.D.professor of neurology and pediatrics, is appointed to the Leo P. and Theresa M. LaChance Chair in Medical Research. Dr. Lawrence is an internationally recognized leader in the field of epigenetics, chromosome regulation and non-coding RNA. His work has profoundly advanced research on the developmental pathology of Down syndrome, opening new avenues for translational research.
Roberto Caricchio, MDprofessor of medicine and head of the Division of Rheumatology of the Department of Medicine, is appointed to the Myles J. McDonough Chair in Rheumatology. Dr. Caricchio is a highly regarded academic rheumatologist, newly recruited to UMass Chan, who is nationally recognized as a lupus expert. Additionally, while a core member of the COVID-19 response team at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, he led the development of a new strategic therapeutic approach to treat patients with induced cytokine storm. by COVID-19.
Michelle A. Kelliher, Ph.D.professor of molecular, cellular and cancer biology and co-head of the cancer genetics program, is the first holder of the Our Danny Cancer Fund Chair in Biomedical Research I. Dr. Kelliher’s scholarly activities align with and advance her longstanding interest in leukemogenesis. As a graduate student she developed a mouse model of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) that is widely used today and as a postdoctoral fellow she was the first to demonstrate that TAL1 is an oncogene and causes leukemia in mice. His research focuses on tumor-mediated leukemia transformation, drug resistance and relapse in pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). His research also focuses on the contribution of cell death to inflammatory diseases and autoimmunity.
Eric Baehrecke, PhDprofessor of molecular, cellular and cancer biology, is the first holder of Our Danny Cancer Fund Chair in Biomedical Research II. Dr. Baehrecke’s research focuses on autophagy, the complex and orderly process by which cells degrade and recycle their components. His collaborative research has shown how autophagy works in animal cells and how genes encoding regulators of this cellular process are altered in cancer and other diseases.
The week-long celebration culminates with the TH Chan School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony at 2 p.m. on Friday, September 16 at the Hanover Theater. The event highlights the importance of scientific excellence and compassionate patient care. The camouflage of incoming students with the white coat by two people – a person important in the personal or professional development of the student and the mentor of the learning community of the student – is a hands-on experience that emphasizes the process of bonding and growth in the new system that students are about to enter.
Janice Lalikos, MD, recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Clinical Excellence in 2021, will deliver the keynote address. Tickets for the White Coat Ceremony can be obtained from the Office of Student Life.
The LGBT Convocation Welcome Celebration will be held on Zoom; all other events will be broadcast on the UMass Chan YouTube channel.
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