Faculty Accomplishments

We publish faculty and student accomplishments in every edition of URMC Pulse, highlighting both the prestigious honors our faculty/students receive, as well as the prominent leadership/advisory posts to which they are appointed.

To submit an accomplishment, please e-mail pulse@urmctoday.com a short paragraph that includes (1) the faculty member’s/student’s credentials, (2) a brief explanation of the honor, and (3) a brief summary of the history and/or mission of the organization bestowing the honor. For students, please also include a hometown and the degree they are pursuing.

Donna R. Berryman, Ed. D., assistant director for Education and Information Services at the Medical Center’s Edward G. Miner Library, has been named a fellow for the 2012-13 class of the leadership program jointly sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL). The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program prepares emerging leaders for director positions in academic health sciences libraries. Selection is recognition of a substantial record of accomplishment and demonstrable potential. The one-year program includes three in-person leadership institutes, attendance at an Association of American Medical Colleges annual meeting, a yearlong fellow/mentor relationship, webinars and discussions on issues related to library leadership, and a two-week site visit to a mentor’s home library.

Eric Biondi M.D., assistant professor of Pediatrics at Golisano Children’s Hospital, will receive the Rochester Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award Nov. 13 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Honorees are professionals younger than 40 who demonstrate leadership in the workplace and in the community. Biondi is a graduate of URMC’s pediatric residency program and joined the faculty a year ago as a pediatric hospitalist. He has already presented research at national conferences and is actively engaged in quality improvement initiatives at Golisano Children’s Hospital. A dedicated teacher and advocate for resident education, he’s an ardent supporter of patient- and family-centered care.

The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research – comprised of more than 4,000 basic research scientists, and clinical investigators worldwide – recently honored Laura Calvi, M.D., naming her an ASBMR 2012 Esteemed Award Winner. Specifically, Calvi earned the society’s Fuller Albright Award, which recognizes significant scientific accomplishments by younger investigators. Calvi studies the relationship between bone-forming cells and blood stem cells. She receives the award at the society’s annual meeting in Minneapolis, Oct. 12 to 15.

Yuhchyau Chen, M.D., Ph.D., Philip Rubin Professor and chair of Radiation Oncology at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, has been accepted into the 2012-13 class of Fellows for the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Program for Women at Drexel University College of Medicine. Chen, nominated by Mark B. Taubman, M.D., dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, is one of just 54 physician leaders selected for the 18th incoming class. ELAM® is the only program in the U.S. dedicated to preparing senior women faculty for positions of leadership at academic health centers; it continue to expand its reach beyond the U.S., welcoming participants from Canada, Europe and – this year – Saudi Arabia.

John P. Cullen, Ph.D., research associate professor in the Department of Surgery, received a “Distinguished Leadership” award from the American Heart Association for making outstanding contributions towards cultural awareness and improving the quality of life and health in the Rochester community. Cullen, who studies the effects of alcohol on atherosclerosis and immune responses, has worked with the AHA for the past four years and most recently served as board president for the Rochester region. His contributions include collaborating with URMC medical students to develop materials on cardiovascular health (to be used at free clinics) and addressing LGBT health care disparities.

George Hicks, M.D., was recently named to the editorial board for the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, the official journal of two of the largest American associations in the specialty (the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association).

He also was appointed to serve a three-year tenure on the Board of the Joint Council of Thoracic Surgery Education, a meta-organization aiming to steer the educational experience for cardiothoracic residents in a broadening clinical marketplace. Hicks, a renowned educator, helped to establish an integrated cardiothoracic surgery program and “boot camp” for residents, which together provide greater opportunities for simulations and hands-on learning. The “boot camp,” based at University of North Carolina, is an intensive three-day program that immerses residents into a variety of simulations, allowing them to gain new skills.

Alok Khorana, M.D., vice-chief of the Hematology/Oncology division at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, has been appointed Chairman of the Hemostasis and Malignancy Subcommittee of the International Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis (ISTH). The appointment signifies Khorana’s growing reputation as a global authority on thrombosis and other blood disorders. Founded in 1969, ISTH, with more than 3,000 members, is the leading worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement of understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of thrombotic and bleeding disorders. In his new, leadership role, Khorana will be responsible, primarily, for setting the educational agenda for subcommittee’s 2013 Scientific Meeting, which takes place in conjunction with the 24th ISTH Congress in Amsterdam next June.

Associate professor of Medicine Daniel Mendelson, M.S., M.D., F.A.C.P., A.G.S.F., has been awarded Certified Medical Director in Long Term Care designation by the American Medical Directors Certification Program (AMDCP). One of only 2,800 physicians nationwide to receive the designation since the certification program began in 1991 (it takes into account a candidate’s continuing education portfolio, board certifications, and completed fellowships), Mendelson serves myriad roles – including medical director at The Highlands at Brighton and Monroe Community Hospital; co-director for the Geriatric Fracture Program; and director of Palliative Care at Highland Hospital.

Becker’s Hospital Review,a bimonthly publication offering up-to-date business and legal news relating to hospitals and health systems, recently listed Kathy Parrinello, R.N., Ph.D., associate vice president and COO at Strong Memorial Hospital since 2000, as one of their “top 100 hospital COOs to watch.” Leaders were selected for inclusion on the list based on the financial, clinical and operational success of their organizations, nominations, as well as research conducted by Becker's editorial team. Nearly 18,000 people – primarily acute-care hospital CEOs and CFOs – receive the publication.

Parrinello first joined the hospital in 1975 as a staff nurse in general surgery and has held several positions since, including clinical chief for surgical nursing and senior director for hospital operations. She also serves as an associate professor at our School of Nursing, and as a clinical associate professor of Public Health Sciences for the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Tatiana Pasternak, Ph.D., professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy, has been elected secretary of the Society for Neuroscience, one of the largest science societies in the world with more than 41,000 members. Pasternak is one of three people chosen this year to help lead the organization, together with a small group of elected councilors and other officers elected in the two past years. She will assume her post as secretary-elect at the organization’s annual meeting Oct. 12 in New Orleans and will be part of the group’s leadership for three years. Pasternak is an expert on the neural basis of cognition – how the brain works and what happens at a very basic cellular level to allow us to remember and to make decisions based on what our senses are telling us. Her work on cognitive function helps scientists better understand the part of the brain (the prefrontal cortex) that plays a role in diseases like schizophrenia, depression, and attention-deficit disorder.

Robert Q. Pollard Jr., Ph.D., received the Lyon Founder’s Award from the Rochester School for the Deaf at a special event on Oct. 10. Pollard was honored for his many outstanding professional contributions to the education of people who are deaf and hard of hearing. A professor of Psychiatry at URMC and director of the Deaf Wellness Center, he studies health disparities among deaf people.

Golisano Children's Hospital's pediatrician-in-chief Nina F. Schor, M.D., Ph.D., has been elected president of the nation's largest organization of child neurologists. The William H. Eilinger Chair of Pediatrics, Schor was voted into presidency by fellow pediatric neurologists from around the world, and will assume the position of President-elect following the annual meeting of the Child Neurology Society in November. The Society is a non-profit professional association of 1,300 pediatric neurologists in the United States, Canada, and worldwide who are devoted to fostering the discipline of child neurology and promoting the optimal care for children with disorders including epilepsy, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, learning disabilities, and more.

Robert L. Strawderman III, Sc.D., chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, has been named a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS). An induction ceremony took place in July at the 8th World Congress in Probability and Statistics in Istanbul, Turkey. Strawderman received the award for innovative methodological contributions to survival analysis, recurrent events, and small sample asymptotics and their applications, as well as for excellence in editorial service. Created in 1935, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics fosters the development and dissemination of the theory and applications of statistics and probability. It boasts 4,300 active members throughout the world; only eight percent of the current IMS membership has earned fellowship status.

The March of Dimes Genesee Valley/Finger Lakes Division recently honored Pat Witzel, R.N., M.S., M.B.A., chief nursing officer and associate vice president of Strong Memorial Hospital, for her bold leadership in nursing practice and patient care. Specifically, the organization named Witzel a “Legend in Nursing” for “leading and transforming health care systems that enhance patient care, promote professional nursing practice and foster interdisciplinary collaboration.” The honor was bestowed at the 2nd annual Nurse of the Year Awards Gala on Sept. 21 at the Radisson Rochester Riverside Hotel.

Peter Wyman, Ph.D., professor of Psychiatry, received an Excellence in Suicide Prevention Award from the Suicide Prevention Center of New York State. The center is operated by the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene with funding from the state Office of Mental Health. He received the award at the center’s annual banquet Sept. 19 for his work leading innovative youth suicide prevention programming and research in communities across New York State. Since 2008, he’s partnered with 36 communities in New York to bring to high schools the Sources of Strength (SOS) program, an innovative intervention delivered by local teens through their natural social networks.  More than 750 high school students have been trained in the SOS curriculum, and their suicide prevention projects have reached over 20,000 students. In 2012, Sources of Strength was added to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Program and Practices.

Home »