Classnotes - 1960s

Algirdas Gamziukas, MD ’60 writes,

“I have been retired from practice since 1989. I have had a medical directorship at St. Joseph’s Hospital since 2000. We continued traveling. We have visited 89 countries, but will not make the century club (100 countries) because of Covid.

I think occasionally of our younger days, of Riggio, Hammel and Moreland. They interned with Donius and me. Tuyn is frequently in my thoughts. He was my partner for many years.

Helaine and I brought up two daughters and a son, MBAs, not MDs.

Bistany taught me sailing. We spent many days and weeks with wind and wave. A few years ago I sold the boat. It was a sad day.”


Thomas Guttuso, Sr., MD ’60, Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, Vice President, Medical Alumni Association, and former Dean of Admissions, spent quality time with his scholar, Tim Buckley, MD ’10, over the holidays. Guttuso and Buckley enjoyed catching up over dessert with the Guttuso family. After completing his medical degree and residency at UB, Buckley moved to Chicago, where he is a board certified family physician at Heartland Health Centers.

Irwin Steinberg, MD ’60 writes,

“I am about to celebrate my 86th birthday. I am currently rehabbing a fracture of my right hip which I broke in a freak accident three months ago. Hopefully I should be good to go in another three months.

Otherwise, I am in reasonably good health.

Maxine just celebrated her 85th birthday.

I am still, successfully competing in Fantasy Football (21 years, six wins) as my main hobby at this stage of retirement. Nothing else is new; at this stage of life, probably just as well.” 

Howard J Klein, MD ’60, writes,

“Patients are people, treat them well and politely.

P.S.  I have 28 holes-in-one (golf). Can anyone top that?”

Gerald Saks, MD ’60, writes,

“I practiced general pediatrics in Riverside, California for over 50 years. Along with my wife, we created and implemented programs to benefit children in our local area. While in private practice I worked with several school districts and continued this work after retiring. I volunteer on a Student Study Team providing support to at-risk children and families.

I have such fond memories of friends at UB; I am sorry to see the names of those who have passed.

I appreciate and want to thank Roger Dayer, Marshall Lichtman, and Jennifer Britton who have put this together as I know I would not be able to travel to Buffalo for a 65-year reunion.”

Sylvia Sussman, MD '60 writes,

"September 1956, my whole life changed. I wandered up the stairs at Main and Bailey and became a medical student, not only a wife and mother of three children but someone different and have continued on that path for many years. In 1960, I graduated and life changed again. My first year was as a was as a medical intern at the “Meyer,” that my small family made another big change. We moved to Baltimore, MD to become a medical resident for one year, then switched my specialty to Anesthesia so I could have a scheduled time to work. I stayed at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore throughout my training with the rotations at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. And NIH for specialties. I was an anesthesiologist fir ten years in Baltimore, then we moved again, back to our hometown, Allentown, PA. I became an anesthesiologist at Sacred Heart Hospital there, the last years a department chief. We lived in Allentown for forty years. Then a reversal of our path. We followed the children – they had settled in Massachusetts first in New Haven and now in Worcestor, multiplying on the way. Our son is a pathologist, a grandson is a physiatrist, a granddaughter is a nurse practitioner, a son-in-law is hospitalist, a granddaughter is a speech pathologist, and another a school psychologist. We have six grandchildren and so far, eight great-grandchildren who live within visiting distance. Ben and I stayed together until just before our 71st anniversary. That’s it. From a retired friend. Thank you for your kindness to me as a student, you were really kind."

Michael Cohen, MD '61 writes, "Medical School: Evelyn Schaefer Award; AOA Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, SUNY Buffalo.

Neurology training: Cleveland, Boston

US Army: 1966-68

Neurology Chair: 1983 -2000

President, Child Neurology Society, 1995-97, President Child Neurology Division AAN, President, Association of Child Neurology, Professors Membership AAN, ANA Chair, Medical School Alumni Counsel, Chair of SUNY/BFLO Faculty Senate

Over 100 published articles, 40 book chapters, and 4 co-authored books

Distinguished Medical School Alumni Award 2003

Member of the Presidential and Provost Search Committee

Retired 7/1/2017

friendships made and kept

married my sophomore year

First child, 1961, my year of graduation

Opportunities the degree provided:

getting to know and appreciate Harold Brody

Affiliation: organizer of moot court featuring law students both as defense and prosecuting lawyers and medical students as expert witnesses. The trial was held downtown and presided over by a retired Supreme Court judge. 

Virginia V. Weldon.

Virginia V. Weldon, MD ’62, received an honorary doctor of science degree from Washington University in St. Louis at its commencement ceremony in May 2017.

After earning her medical degree at UB in 1962, Weldon completed an internship and residency in pediatrics at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and remained for a fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Weldon joined the Washington University School of Medicine faculty as an instructor of pediatrics in 1968 and quickly rose through the ranks to become a professor of pediatrics and serve in a number of leadership positions.

She treated many children with diabetes and received national recognition for her research on a growth hormone deficiency in children that results in extreme short stature. Her research included investigating whether animal growth hormones were as effective as human growth hormones.

Weldon took on significant administrative duties at the School of Medicine, including serving as assistant to the vice chancellor for medical affairs from 1977 to 1981 and associate vice chancellor for medical affairs from 1981 to 1983. She served six years as deputy vice chancellor for medical affairs from 1983 to 1989 and was vice president of the Washington University Medical Center from 1980 to 1989.

Weldon left Washington University in 1989 to become vice president of scientific affairs at the Monsanto Company, where she addressed public policy issues affecting the company and its products. She retired from Monsanto in 1998 as senior vice president for public policy.

She returned to the university in 1998 to serve for one year as director of the Center for the Study of American Business, now called the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy. Nationally recognized for her leadership on medical education and biomedical research issues, Weldon held many national advisory positions, including on the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology under Bill Clinton.

She was also appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in 1999 to the National Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology. In addition, she played a role in establishing the Supporters of Agricultural Research Foundation, a national organization that addresses issues of world hunger.

In 1985, Weldon became the first woman to chair the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Among her many honors, she was elected to the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Weldon and her husband, Francis Austin, live in St. Louis. She has two daughters, Ann Weldon Doyle and Susan Weldon Erlinger, two granddaughters and a grandson.

Philip D. Morey.

Barry Weinstein, MD ’69, Amherst town supervisor, presenting Philip Morey, MD ’62, with award from the Amherst Arts Board.

On May 13, 2014, Philip D. Morey, MD ’62, received the first annual Individual Supporter Award from the Town of Amherst’s Arts and Culture in Public Places Board. Earlier in the year, the board created a program to celebrate individuals who contribute to the arts in the community. Morey was recognized for his leadership on the governing board of the Musicalfare Theatre and for chairing the “Songs for Tomorrow” campaign, which funded a major expansion of the theatre. He also served on committees related to board nominations, legal affairs, new sound and lighting equipment, playbill sales and landscaping. For 14 years, Morey and his wife, Colleen, have chaired the Musicalfare Gala, which raised more than a quarter of a million dollars, as reported in the May 7, 2014, issue of the Amherst Bee.


Morton E. Weichsel, Jr, MD ’62, recently wrote a letter to Evan Calkins, MD, pictured left, former chair of the Department of Medicine, in follow up to an article about Calkins that appeared in the summer 2013 issue of UB Medicine magazine.

The following are excerpts from Dr. Weichsel’s letter, which he would like to share with his fellow alumni.

Dear Dr. Calkins,

This is a much overdue letter to congratulate you on your outstanding and exemplary career.

But, as a member of the 1962 medical class, I have another agenda. As I recall, in the early fall of 1960, I started my first rotation as a student on the internal medicine wards at the Buffalo General Hospital, and to the best of my recollection, I was the very first UB medical student to present a case to you, the new professor of medicine who had come from Harvard. I got my patient, a lady with discoid lupus, at about 10:30 pm the night before and upon finishing the workup, the library was closed and I found, after a frantic search, a copy of Dr. Cecil’s textbook of medicine. It contained only a couple of short paragraphs on that subject. After a few hours sleep, I presented the case to you on ward rounds, and I will never forget how I botched it! I remember feeling depressed and humiliated that I had such a poor job at representing my medical class of some 73 students.

You were calm and patient and extraordinarily kind, as you asked me what I knew of Dr. Cecil, which of course was little or nothing! You reminded me of the lag time of getting new information into a textbook. I felt very appreciative of the way you handled my disastrous presentation, and have used it as an example for my own performance as an academic attending physician.

Again, I thank you for your thoughtfulness, which transcends the technical aspects of routine ward rounds...

With kindest regards, gratitude and fond memories, I wish you all the best.

Dr. Carr.

Jeffrey Carr, MD ’64, writes: “I am retired, and my wife, Diane, and I live in upper Westchester County, N.Y. Favorite memories: Leaving the hospital at day’s end with my closest alphabetical classmate, Seamus Carmody. Me: ‘It’s beautiful out.’ Him: ‘Good, leave it out.’ Also: lectures from O.P. Jones, and D.K. Miller.”

Sanford Hoffman, MD ’65, an otolaryngologist, writes: “I’m presently practicing ENT part-time in Arizona. Originally I retired from active practice 20 years ago and helped run an international program with Millard Fillmore Hospital and hospitals in Ukraine. At the same time, I was president of the American Rhinological Society. I subsequently started a company in Boston to look at medical outcomes and also was an executive vice president for IPA WNY before finally moving to Scottsdale, AZ. I missed patient care, so 11 years ago I went back to part-time practice.

I’ve been happily married to my sweetheart, Beth, for 50 years. We have two children and four grandkids."

Gary Jeffery, MD ’65, writes: “I retired from eye practice in Batavia, NY, four years ago and retired about 15 years ago after many years of organizing the Christian Medical and Dental Association chapter in WNY. Now my wife and I travel to northern Virginia, Chicago and Portland, Oregon, as often as possible to visit our three kids and their families, including eight grandchildren. Our oldest daughter was in Buffalo this spring for her 25th UB Med School reunion! Both she and her husband practice pediatric ophthalmology. Our son is an adolescent psychiatrist, but knows enough adult psych to be indispensable for us all."

H. Elliott Larson.

H. Elliott Larson, MD ’65, FRCP, FIDSA, is currently working in Kabul, Afghanistan, with Global Health Consulting regarding private hospital standards. Favorite memories: Intellectual stimulus of studying the basic sciences.

Lance Fogan.

Lance Fogan, MD ’65, retired from neurology practice in southern California in 1997.

Currently, he teaches neurology and lead brain pathology conferences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. In March 2013, he published a novel, titled Dings, about an eight-year-old boy diagnosed with epilepsy. The novel received a highly favorable review by Joseph I. Sirven, MD, editor-in-chief of the Epilepsy Foundation of America’s website, “Told in a realistic but page-turning manner, the book plays out as a medical mystery that finally reveals itself towards the end,” wrote Sirven. “By that time, the reader is left with the impression of how difficult it is for someone to be diagnosed with epilepsy and to take on the role of having to educate everyone around you when you are struggling as a parent and patient to grasp the situation.” Dings is available on

James Moran, MD ’66, lives in Santa Monica, California. He is still in active clinical practice, affiliated with Providence St. John’s Health Center and serving as clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at USC’s School of Medicine. He has four children and six grandchildren.

Norman Berkowitz, MD '67 writes: "I have had a  wonderful career and life after my residency at Mt. Sinai hospital NY. I was a Pediatrician in the airforce for two years. I got married after Med school and had three sons along the way. After the Airforce, I went into pediatric practice with a doc that I did my training with in Westchester County, NY. We had a great practice; I was in practice for 41 years and retired at age 72.5 years. As EMRs came in, it was the time to retire. My wife passed away in 2004. I have been fortunate to meet a wonderful woman after 10 years of dating. I HAVE FIVE GRANDCHILDREN. I will be 80 in April 2022. I am grateful for a wonderful life. I had a great career and a wonderful family and friends."

J. Brian Sheedy, MD ’67, is medical director of palliative care at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. He retired from Hematology Oncology Associates of NW Florida in 2008 and helped to establish a palliative care consultation service at Tallahassee Memorial in 2009.

Favorite memories: Drs. Calkins, Nolan, Friedman, Genco, Bossman, Klocke, Sanes, Puleo. Classmates Venuto, Sheehan, Kelly, Menchini, Weiss, Gerstein, Goldfarb.

Leon Hoffman, MD ’67, who is on faculty at Icahn School of Medicine, recently published Manual of Regulation-Focused Psychotherapy for Children (RFP-C) with Externalizing Behaviors: A Psychodynamic, with co-authors Timothy Rice and Tracy Prout (Routledge Books).

Hoffman is director of the Pacella Parent Child Center, co-director of the Research Center at the New York Psychoanalytic Society Institute and chief psychiatrist at West End Day School, New York City.

Favorite memories: What a great group of classmates! Remember Professor Oliver P. Jones, professor of anatomy, ringing the bell in class on November, 22, 1963 and announcing : “Gentlemen the President is dead.” (There was a handful of women present.)

"November 22, 1963

Oliver P. Jones rang the bell
To call our attention
In anatomy class
On the Thursday before Thanksgiving
In Buffalo, New York.
There were maybe four or five women
The President is dead
I looked at the cadaver lying prone
Imagining the President’s neck fifty-eight years ago.
I was going on twenty-two that fateful day
My mother intoned when I called, upset, Life will go on
My roommate went to a movie with his girlfriend
How could they?
In fifteen days my eightieth birthday
Will occur the day before the eightieth
Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor
Optimism is part my inner life
Despite pessimistic expressions
Life will go on
As my mother said
She led a very difficult life
Enduring traumas
Not as unspeakable as those who perished
Our lives
Our children’s lives
Our grandchildren’s lives
Our entire community
Hoping that the next eighty
Will bring joy and fulfillment
To all
Similar yet different
To that with which we were

-Leon Hoffman
November 21, 2021

Dedicated to:
Oliver P. Jones
Leon Farhi
S. Mouchly Small
Norman Sokoloff

Erwin Haas, MD '68, writes: "Second year physiology had great faculty and lectures but the one that we all remember was delivered by a Korean professor who was visiting. He been assigned to give us the two lectures on renal physiology.

He spoke slowly and was obviously very conscious of his accent and somewhat limited vocabulary;  he had worked very hard on his talks, probably memorized large parts of it and it showed. Everyone in that room understood and loved the countercurrent multiplier when he finished.

There was a few moments of silence as the great effort and understanding of this man's lecture sank in, then our class spontaneously gave him at least a 5 minute standing ovation.

I have only a few other transcendent moments-falling in love with my  wife of 47 years, of singing "we gotta get outta this place" with the crowd in the officers' club in Nya Trang, but that rush of feeling in a lecture hall brought on by a foreign doctor whose name is forgotten was an unexpected gift."

Moira J. Burke.

Ophthalmologist Moira J. Burke, MD ’69, received a Leading the Way Award from the University of South Florida (USF). She was recognized for her “inspiration, motivation and empowerment” at a luncheon held at USF in conjunction with National Women’s Health Week. A native of Buffalo, Burke earned her undergraduate degree from Vassar College prior to attending UB medical school. She completed her residency at Philadelphia’s Wills Eye Hospital.

In 1975, Burke entered private practice in north Tampa. In 2005, she joined the faculty at the USF Morsani College of Medicine, where she trained ophthalmology residents. For five consecutive years, she received USF’s Award for Excellence in Surgical Teaching. In the sixth year, the award was renamed in her honor.

In 1990, Burke joined the U.S. Air Force Reserve Medical Corps as a lieutenant colonel and was deployed during Desert Storm. She retired from clinical practice in 2015 and currently works part-time as medical director of Premier Eye Care.

She has two sons, Brendan and Ryan, and four grandchildren. She enjoys reading, knitting, walking, piano playing, and volunteering with the Literacy Advocacy Council, USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy, and The Chiseler’s.

Bruce Rabin.

After completing the MD/PhD program at SUNY Buffalo in 1969 Bruce Rabin MD '69, joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and remained there until retiring in 2017.  He says, "I was recruited to Pittsburgh to establish a Diagnostic Clinical Immunopathology Laboratory which brought together all patient immunology testing into a single site. Some personal highlights were establishing the joint MD/PhD program for the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University in 1987 and extensive teaching of clinical immunology to medical students and residents. For 40 years I led a major research program in psychoneuroimmunology and developed and implemented programs to help healthy people and those with immunologically mediated diseases increase their ability to cope with stress with significant clinical benefit. I continue to devote time to conducting stress coping programs throughout western Pennsylvania and, in addition, teaching in Osher programs. Unfortunately, the need to help people improve their ability to cope with stress is continually increasing. I have 3 grandchildren in Pittsburgh and 3 in Scottsdale Arizona. I’m enjoying spending some winter time in Scottsdale."