ALBANY, N.Y., May 27, 2005 – A total of 175 students were awarded degrees today during Albany Medical College’s 167th commencement ceremonies at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. One hundred twenty-two students received medical degrees (M.D.), 14 received Master of Science degrees in nurse anesthesiology, two received Master of Science degrees in physician assistant studies, 10 received Master of Science degrees in bioethics, and 27 received either Master of Science or doctoral degrees in the biomedical sciences.
The keynote speaker was Herbert Boyer, Ph.D., one of two researchers credited for the discovery of recombinant DNA, which has enabled scientists to isolate and clone genes in living cells. Dr. Boyer, co-founder of Genentech, Inc., and professor emeritus of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California at San Francisco, was co-recipient of the 2004 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research.
Dr. Boyer also received an honorary degree from Albany Medical College, as did Benita Zahn WNYT-TV health reporter, in recognition of her efforts over the past two decades to educate Capital Region residents on the contributions the Medical Center and others have made to improving health in our region. Also receiving an honorary degree in abstentia was
Stanley Cohen, M.D., Kwoh-Ting Li professor of genetics and professor of medicine in the school of medicine at Stanford University.
Also addressing the graduates were James J. Barba, chairman of the Board of Directors, president and chief executive officer of Albany Medical Center, and Vincent Verdile, M.D., dean of the Medical College and executive vice president for health affairs at the Medical Center.
Graduating students speaking included Kip Connor, elected representative from the graduate studies program, and Deanna Blanchard, student council president, speaking on behalf of the medical students.
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Of the medical students graduating, 63 are female and 59 are male, with an age range of 24-45. New York is home to the most graduates, with 52 total followed by California with 30 students represented. In July, the graduating medical students will begin their residency training at various medical facilities throughout the nation, including Albany Medical Center Hospital.
Albany Medical Center is northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center. It consists of one of the nation’s oldest medical schools, Albany Medical College; one of New York’s largest teaching hospitals, Albany Medical Center Hospital; and one of the Capital Region’s most active fundraising organizations, the Albany Medical Center Foundation, Inc.