May 2, 2014 – (BRONX, NY) – Arturo Casadevall, M.D., Ph.D., the Leo and Julia Forchheimer Professor and chair of the department of Microbiology & Immunology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and attending physician at Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital and academic medical center for Einstein, will deliver the keynote address at Einstein's 2014 commencement ceremony. The College of Medicine's 56th graduation will take place at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall on Wednesday, May 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Arturo Casadevall, M.D., Ph.D.The author of over 580 scientific papers, Dr. Casadevall is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He serves as co-chair of The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Board of Scientific counselors, is a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, and is the editor-in-chief of mBio, the first open access general journal of the American Society for Microbiology. Dr. Casadevall was also recognized by Einstein's Leo M. Davidoff Society for his teaching, and received the American Society of Microbiology's William A. Hinton Research Training Award for mentoring scientists from underrepresented groups.
A native of Cuba, Dr. Casadevall came to the U.S. when he was 11. He received both his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in biochemistry from New York University School of Medicine. Subsequently, he completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Bellevue Hospital in New York. He first came to Einstein and Montefiore to train in infectious diseases, eventually serving as the division's director before becoming chair of immunology & microbiology.
Dr. Casadevall's major research interests are in fungal pathogenesis and the mechanism of antibody action. In the area of biodefense, he has an active research program to understand the mechanisms of antibody-mediated neutralization of Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) toxins.
"A highly regarded teacher and mentor, Dr. Casadevall's dedication to medicine and the pursuit of scientific knowledge is an exemplar for all of our graduates."– Dean Allen M. Spiegel, M.D.
In recent years, Dr. Casadevall has become interested in challenges to the scientific enterprise, and has collaborated on research into the rise in retractions of research published in "high profile" journals, on the adverse effects of hyperspecialization in scientific research, and on problems with the peer review system that is the basis for awarding NIH grants. He has presented suggestions for reform to the National Academy of Sciences and other leading groups.
"Dr. Casadevall is an innovative scientist, an authority on biosecurity and important commentator on practicing science effectively," said Allen M. Spiegel, M.D., the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean at Einstein. "A highly regarded teacher and mentor, Dr. Casadevall's dedication to medicine and the pursuit of scientific knowledge is an exemplar for all of our graduates."
In his commencement address, Dr. Casadevall will discuss the requirement for new knowledge in order to respond to the challenges of a rapidly changing medical and scientific environment. This year, Einstein plans to confer 178 M.D. degrees and 52 Ph.D. degrees. Fourteen graduates will receive both an M.D. and a Ph.D. degree. Alumni and faculty teaching awards will also be given to a number of individuals during the ceremony.