Commencement 2013

Biomedical Sciences

Published May 14, 2013

The undergraduate and graduate biomedical sciences commencement for the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences took place May 9 at the Center for the Arts.


This year, 20 PhD, 24 master’s and 175 baccalaureate candidates were eligible for degrees.

Degrees were conferred by UB President Satish Tripathi.

The commencement address was delivered by Derek LeRoith, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, director of the Metabolism Institute and chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

Candidates completed work in the following departments or programs:

Also included were the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center Graduate Division programs in biochemistry, bioinformatics, cancer pathology and prevention, molecular pharmacology and cancer therapeutics, immunology, cellular and molecular biology, molecular and cellular biophysics, and natural sciences.

Graduate and Undergraduate Awards Presented

Four graduate students and six undergraduates were honored with awards at the commencement ceremony.

Graduate Awards

The Biochemistry Dissertation Research Recognition Award (2013)

This award honors those who have been nationally or internationally recognized for dissertation research and selected for oral presentation at a major national or international meeting.

Recipient: Charanya Kumar

Dissertation: Msh2-Msh6 and Msh2-Msh3 complexes: A structure function analysis

Department: Biochemistry

Major Professor: Jennifer A. Surtees, PhD

The Dean’s Award for Outstanding Dissertation Research

Recipients of this award are PhD candidates who have demonstrated excellence in research in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Recipient: Thomas Grant

Dissertation: Understanding the structure of eukaryotic glutaminyl-TRNA synthetase: Combining X-ray crystallography with statistical evaluations of small angle scattering data.

Department: Structural Biology

Major Professor: Edward H. Snell, PhD

The Microbiology and Immunology Award for Excellence in Dissertation Research in Memory of Dr. Murray W. Stinson

This award recognizes outstanding dissertation research by a graduate student in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology along with a well-rounded and excellent academic record that includes publications and presentations related to the research.

Recipient: Emily Clementi

Dissertation: Mechanistic insights into death induced by protein-lipid complexes in Streptococcus pneumoniae

Department: Microbiology and Immunology

Major Professor: Anders P. Hakansson, PhD

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center Award for Overall Excellence in Cancer Research

Nominations for this award are limited to doctoral graduates of the Graduate Division at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Award winners will possess an outstanding academic history, publication record and dissertation abstract.

Recipient: Jeremy Waight

Dissertation: Opposing roles of tumor-derived G-CSF and myeloid IRF-8 expression on myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) development

Department: Immunology

Major Professor: Scott I. Abrams, PhD

Undergraduate Award: Outstanding Senior Awards

Students are selected for this award based on their high academic performance and their involvement in the campus community and external organizations.


Recipient: Kevin Espino
Program Director: Gail R. Willsky, PhD

Biomedical Sciences

Recipient: Joseph Moran-Guiati
Program Director: David E. Shubert, PhD


Recipient: Sanjana Mahapatra
Program Director: Kate Rittenhouse-Olson, PhD

Medical Technology

Recipient: Hongjing Shen
Program Director: Carol K. Golyski, MS, MT, CLS

Nuclear Medicine Technology

Recipient: Jennifer Lynn Bognar
Program Coordinator: Elpida S. Crawford, MS, CNMT

Pharmacology and Toxicology

Recipient: Christopher Kuan Wang
Program Director: James R. Olson, PhD