Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series


Jack (Matt) Webster, PhD, a College of Graduate Studies' alumnus and a Senior Scientist at GE Global, meets with some of our students in Upstate's biomedical sciences graduate programs. Dr. Webster was the invited lecturer for the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series.

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In an on-going effort to provide career development to students in the College of Graduate Studies, the Distinguished Alumni Lecture was created.

The first annual Distinguished Alumni lecture was presented on April 12, 2010 by Dr. Carlo Nalin, Executive Director of the Novartis Oncology division of Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation. Dr. Nalin earned his Ph.D. in 1982 in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program at Upstate. His thesis sponsor was Dr. Richard Cross.

Dr. Kip West, Lead Senior Scientist at Infinity Pharmaceuticals, presented the second annual Distinguished Alumni Lecture on April 29, 2011. Dr. West earned his PhD in 2001 in the Anatomy and Cell Biology Program at Upstate. His thesis advisor was Dr. Christopher Turner. Dr. Paul Cheney, Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center presented the third annual Distinguished Alumni Lecture on May 15, 2012. Dr. Cheney earned his Ph.D. degree in 1975 in the Neuroscience and Physiology Department at Upstate. His thesis sponsor was the late Dr. James Preston..

Dr. Matthew Bonaparte, Scientist at Sanofi Pasteur, presented the fourth annual Distinguished Alumni Lecture on March 15, 2013. Dr. Bonaparte earned his PhD in 2005 from the Microbiology and Immunology Program at Upstate. His dissertation sponsor was Dr. Edward Barker. Dr. Bonaparte’s lecture, “Yes, You Can! Lessons Learned on the Journey from Academic Research to Big Pharma.”

The Distinguished Alumni lecture series is open to the public. The day-long event includes a one hour seminar to help mentor our graduate students in the area of career development, lunch with graduate students, and several meetings with our faculty.