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Upstate will award 520 degrees, certificates during Commencement May 7

Upstate Medical University will award 520 degrees, certificates during Commencement May 7.

The event will be held at the SRC Arena and Events Center, 4585 W Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. and ceremony starts at 10 a.m. 

Upstate Medical University will confer degrees on graduates from all four Upstate colleges: Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine and Nursing.

Upstate President Mantosh Dewan, MD, will preside over the Commencement ceremonies and be assisted in awarding the degrees by the college deans: Mark Schmitt, PhD, Graduate Studies; Katherine Beissner, PT, PhD, Health Professions; Lawrence Chin, MD, FAANS, FACS, Norton College of Medicine; Tammy Austin-Ketch, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, College of Nursing;

The College of Graduate Studies will award 31 degrees (28 doctoral degrees, including 13 in biochemistry and 3 master’s degrees).

The College of Health Professions will award 167 degrees (58 bachelor of science, 6 bachelor of professional studies, 66 master of science and 37 doctorate of physical therapy). Programs in the college include behavior analysis studies, clinical perfusion, medical imaging, medical technology, medical biotechnology, respiratory care, physical therapy, physician assistant and radiation therapy.

The College of Medicine will award 189 degrees (164 doctor of medicine and 11 master of public health degrees and three certificates in public health.) Six students will receive MD, MPH degrees.

The College of Nursing will award 122 degrees and certificates (10 doctorate in nursing, 89 master of science, 18 bachelor of science degrees and five post-master certificates).

Five students—Kyle Alpha, Jordan, N.Y.; Allan Blayney, Ottawa, Ontario; Lian Coyne, Buffalo, N.Y.; Ronald Miller, Liverpool; and Laura Szczesniak, Whitesboro, N.Y.—will receive both an MD and a PhD.

Honorary degree recipient

Upstate will present an honorary degree to Patrick O. Brown, MD, PhD, chief visionary officer of Impossible Foods, Inc., founder and president of the Impossible Foundation and professor.

Brown will also provide the Commencement Address.

Brown is a physician-scientist whose contributions are in biochemistry, biomolecular diagnostics and technology development, genomics, public access to scientific discovery, and entrepreneurship in pursuit of a healthier, more sustainable planet.

Brown achieved his first scientific impact as a post-doctoral fellow. He and colleagues defined the mechanism by which HIV and other retroviruses incorporate their genes into the genomes of the cells they infect. This accomplishment came at a time when HIV was rising to become the second leading cause of death among American men ages 25 to 44.

Brown joined the Biochemistry faculty at Stanford University’s School of Medicine in 1988. At Stanford, Brown and colleagues invented the DNA microarray—a new and highly impactful technology that made it possible to monitor the activity of all the genes in a genome—along with the first methods for analyzing, visualizing and interpreting global gene expression programs. In many ways, this technology heralded the birth of the field of genomics.

During a sabbatical in 2008, Brown set out to try to identify the most important problem in the world that he could help solve. Within a month he focused on the catastrophic environmental impact of using animals for food. He concluded that the only way to avert catastrophic climate change and the global collapse of biodiversity was to replace animal agriculture with plant-based foods. He recognized this would require new technology to produce delicious, nutritious, affordable and sustainable meats directly from plants.

He founded Impossible Foods, Inc., and served as its CEO from 2011 until 2022. He is currently chief visionary officer and also serves as founder and president of the Impossible Foundation.

Live stream viewing of Commencement is available here: https://youtube.com/live/6wkTV714COA?feature=share