Dr. Irwin Merkatz to Deliver Address at Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s 48th Annual Commencement

Dr. Irwin Merkatz

May 10, 2006 — Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s 48th annual commencement will take place at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall on Wednesday, May 31st, at 2:00 p.m. Dr. Irwin Merkatz, professor and chair of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health at Einstein, will deliver the commencement address. He is celebrating his 25th anniversary this year at the helm of Einstein’s ob/gyn department.

At the commencement, Einstein will present its Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2006 to Dr. Donald Kotler, class of ‘73, professor of medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and a pioneer in the study of gastrointestinal and nutritional complications of HIV infection and AIDS.

In addition, Dr. Richard Hays, professor of medicine at Einstein, will be
cited as honorary alumnus, and Dr. Michael Harris, class of ’69, director of the Tomorrows Children’s Institute at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at the Hackensack University Medical Center and professor of pediatrics at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, will receive the Alumni Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Dominick P. Purpura, The Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean of the medical school, will preside at the commencement ceremonies, joined by Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel, who will confer 143 M.D. degrees, 29 Ph.D.s and 10 combined M.D.-Ph.D. degrees.

This year’s commencement marks a special chapter for Dr. Purpura. After 22 years of guiding Einstein’s growth as a world leader in biomedical research, medical education, and clinical care, he will be stepping down as dean, but will remain a member of the faculty as Distinguished University Professor of Neuroscience. Dr. Purpura is the longest-serving dean of any medical school in the United States.

The graduation ceremony will also honor the teaching excellence of six Einstein faculty members, as follows:
• The Leo Davidoff Society Lifetime Achievement Award in Education: Dr. Martin N. Cohen (Professor of Medicine/Cardiology)
• Harry Eagle Award for Outstanding Basic Science Teaching: Dr. Christopher Cimino (Professor of Clinical Neurology)
• Harry Gordon Award for Outstanding Clinical Teaching: Dr. Nadine T. Katz (Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health)
• Samuel Rosen Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Preclinical Curriculum: Dr. Chaim Putterman (Associate Professor of Medicine/Rheumatology and of Microbiology & Immunology)
• Samuel Rosen Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Clinical Curriculum: Dr. Jeffrey R. Avner (Professor of Clinical Pediatrics/Emergency Medicine)
• Ladonne H. Schulman Award for Excellence in Teaching (Sue Golden Graduate Division): Dr. Ana Maria Cuervo (Associate Professor of Anatomy & Structural Biology, of Medicine, and of Developmental & Molecular Biology)

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