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Graduate Students Honored in Virtual Convocation Ceremony

The Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences honored the Class of 2020 for their academic achievements during a virtual convocation ceremony on May 27. Students and their families and friends watched a livestream of the event, as graduate school faculty announced the recipients of special awards and prizes.

“Convocation this year certainly looks different than our normal celebration, but with the current challenges of COVID-19, it is all the more important to recognize the amazing dedication, perseverance, and scientific accomplishments of our students,” said Dr. Barbara Hempstead, dean of the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, in her introductory remarks.

The awards recognize the students’ achievements in research, scholarship and service. “The students we honor today came to Weill Cornell from different backgrounds, but with a shared desire to pursue their passions and test their creativity,” Dr. Hempstead said.

In addition to honoring students, the ceremony also recognized the Weill Cornell Graduate School Alumni Award of Distinction winner Dr. Kornelia Polyak, as well as graduate school faculty. The following is a complete list of all of the award winners:

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2020 Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences Alumni Award of Distinction
Kornelia Polyak, M.D., Ph.D. '95 Professor of Medicine, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School

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2020 Distinguished Student Commencement Speaker
Pradeep Ambrose, Ph.D. ‘20

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2020 Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award
Sabine Ehrt, Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Weill Cornell Medicine, Co-Chair, Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis Graduate Program

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2020 Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award
Daniel Heller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Sloan Kettering Institute, Pharmacology Program

A man posing for a photo2020 Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award
Richard White, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Sloan Kettering Institute, Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Program

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2020 Julian R. Rachele Prize
Jenny Xue, “Rapid non-uniform adaptation to conformation-specific KRAS (G12C) inhibition” (Mentor: Dr. Piro Lito)

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2020 Julian R. Rachele Prize
Ryan Ries, “m6A enhances the phase separation potential of mRNA” (Mentor: Dr. Samie Jaffrey)

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2020 Student Service Award
Pedro Silberman, High School Catalyst Program

Physician Assistant Student and Faculty Awards

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Pre-Clinical Instructor Award
Gerald T. Simons, PA-C

A man posing for a photoClinical Instructor Award
Philip Chang, M.D.

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Academic Excellence Award Pre-Clinical
Caryn Epstein

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Academic Excellence Award Clinical
Emilee Nawa

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Peer Award
Emilee Nawa

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Research Excellence Award
Ivy Resnick

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Humanitarian Healthcare Award
Emilee Nawa

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