UB Welcomes 28 Into National AOA Honor Medical Society

Published April 1, 2015

Twenty-seven dedicated medical trainees and one faculty member have joined the University at Buffalo’s chapter of the national honor medical society Alpha Omega Alpha.


The 2015 honorees include 24 medical students and three residents.

Initiation is Lifelong Honor

Chapter members elect the new inductees to the professional medical organization for life. They give this honor to medical trainees and educators who demonstrate outstanding commitment to scholarship, leadership, professionalism and service.

The top 25 percent of a medical school class may be nominated. Including last year’s inductees, less than one-fifth of UB’s Class of 2015 — 26 out of 140 students — received this honor. 

Chapter leaders inducted the following during a March 19 ceremony:

Medical Students

Class of 2015

  • Desiree Albert
  • Chirag Doshi
  • Michelle Lee Kuznicki
  • Megan Elizabeth Murray
  • Adrian A. Ong
  • Jennifer Pier
  • Zachary Sendar
  • Zachary Sletten
  • Sakina H. Sojar
  • Timothy Thayer
  • Michael Martin Wach
  • Margaret F. Zupa

Class of 2016

  • Colin Begy
  • Adam Brouillard
  • Stephen Duncan Haight
  • Gilad Maurice Jaffe
  • Nethra Madurai
  • Amanda B. Morrison
  • Vincent Paul Moscato
  • Emilie Powers O’Neil
  • Jason Smoak
  • William F. Stendardi
  • Olga Varechtchouk
  • Kathleen Wood


Faculty Inductee is Noted Medical Educator

This year’s faculty inductee was noted medical educator Alan J. Lesse, MD, interim senior associate dean for medical curriculum.

The infectious disease expert is an associate professor in three departments: medicinepharmacology and toxicology; and microbiology and immunology. He also is vice chair for education in UB’s Department of Medicine as well as chief of infectious disease for the VA Western New York Healthcare System.

In 2014, Lesse received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

National AOA Awards Support UB Medical Researchers

Also recognized were two UB medical trainees who won national AOA research awards in 2014.

Sahar Naseer, now a fourth-year student in UB’s medical education program, received an AOA Student Research Fellowship Award.

The $6,000 award supports her project, “Next-Generation Sequencing in Pemphigas Vulgaris.” Her faculty mentor is Animesh A. Sinha, MD, PhD, Rita M. and Ralph T. Behling Professor and chair of dermatology.

Neha Gupta, MD, received a $2,000 AOA Postgraduate Research Award.

This award supported her quality improvement project, “Implementation of a Palliative Care Screening Tool in a Genitourinary Oncology Clinic and Assessment of its Impact on Volume of Palliative Care Referrals, Improvement in Patients’ Symptom Burden and Satisfaction.” Gupta worked with Roberto Pili, MD, professor of medicine.

She completed the UB fellowship program in hospice and palliative medicine.

Lecture Spotlights Ebola Virus, Past and Present

Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and dean, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, gave opening remarks at the event.

The distinguished lecturer was John A. Sellick Jr., DO, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases. He presented “Ebola Virus: Out of Africa and Back to the Future.”

Third-year medical student and AOA initiate William F. Stendardi gave a talk on the society’s origins.

Officers of UB’s Epsilon New York AOA chapter led the ceremony. They are:

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