Albany Medical College Commencement to Take Place May 2

Albany Medical College’s 186th Commencement Ceremonies will take place at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 2 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

The college will award medical degrees (MD), master’s degrees and doctoral degrees to more than 200 students.

The keynote speaker is Luciano Marraffini, PhD, the Kayden Family Professor and head of the Laboratory of Bacteriology at The Rockefeller University, and an investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Marraffini’s work was key to understanding how the CRISPR-Cas system, which is used by bacteria and other microbes as an adaptive immune system to protect themselves from viruses, could be harnessed as a biological tool. He made the seminal discovery that CRISPR-Cas works by cleaving DNA and was the first to propose that this system could be used for genome editing in heterologous systems. He was one of five recipients of the 2017 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research.

Dr. Marraffini will receive an honorary degree. Also receiving an honorary degree will be Paul T. Schumacker, PhD, The Patrick M. Magoon Distinguished Professor in Neonatology in the Department of Pediatrics at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, where he also holds appointments in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology. Dr. Schumacker earned his undergraduate degree and a Master of Engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. He earned his doctoral degree in physiology from Albany Medical College in 1980, where he studied in the lab of Dr. Thomas Saba.

Also addressing the graduates will be Alan S. Boulos, MD ’94, The Lynne and Mark D. Groban, MD ’67 Distinguished Dean of Albany Medical College; Robert T. Cushing, chair of the Albany Med Health System’s Board of Directors; and student representatives of the Class of 2024.