Thirteen students from the Class of 2017-18 in the PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences received their white coats during a June 19 ceremony. Front row, from left, are Alexandra Glathar, Natalie Jay, Shirley Xu and Ashley White. Back row, from left, are Christopher Campomizzi, Kyle Mentkowski, Joseph Lucas, Jamal Williams, Murat Can Kalem, Corey Knowles and Donald Seyfried. Missing from photo are Anna Fimmel and Bianca Quade.

PPBS White Coat Ceremony Honors Student Advancement

Published July 6, 2018 This content is archived.

story by dirk hoffman

Thirteen students from the Class of 2017-18 in the PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences (PPBS) took part in a white coat ceremony to recognize the completion of their first year in the program and celebrate their moving on to a research laboratory match.


Anthony A. Campagnari, PhD, senior associate dean for research and graduate education, opened the program by noting that doctoral candidates have many choices of where to pursue their degrees and that he was thankful the class being honored had chosen UB.

Faculty and staff who have supported the PPBS program were recognized, with Campagnari making special note of the faculty mentors, a role he cited as being ”among the most important things we do.”

Awards Recognize Excellence in Lab, Class

Laboratory Product Sales (LPS) sponsored two awards handed out by Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The LPS Highest GPA Award, which recognizes the student with the highest cumulative grade point average at the end of their first year, was awarded to Kyle Mentkowski, a North Tonawanda, New York, native who completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biomedical engineering at UB.

Bianca Quade, a Mississippi native who earned her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Mississippi State University, won the LPS Rotation Award, which recognizes a student for exceptional performance in a PPBS laboratory rotation.

New Building Promotes Collaboration

Daniel W. Sheehan, PhD ’89, MD, associate dean for medical curriculum, and a member of the Medical Alumni Association board, represented the Office of Medical Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement.

“On behalf of the Alumni Association, I want to tell you all how proud we are of you on your program matches,” he said.

Sheehan noted it was the first PPBS white coat ceremony to be conducted within the new Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences building, ”which was built to promote collaboration among the research labs, as well as with clinicians.”

Cloaking Symbolizes Match into Research Lab

The PPBS students were cloaked by the faculty members into whose research labs they have matched.

The table below lists the students, their departments and mentors:

Program Explores Range of Disciplines

The PPBS provides an entry portal and a common first-year curriculum, mentoring, hands-on opportunities and financial support.

With its laboratory rotation system, students can explore a variety of disciplines before committing to their specific area of research.

The second annual PPBS white coat ceremony was conducted June 19 in the Active Learning Center on the first floor of the Jacobs School.