Our Alumni

Most graduates of the Columbia University MD-PhD program go on to careers as independent researchers at academic medical centers. Each year we invite distinguished alumni to present a research talk at the Annual MD-PhD Student Research Symposium. Current students are able to meet and discuss science with the alumni and hear about their important career trajectories. A complete list of these distinguished alumni is shown below. 

Distinguished Alumni Speakers

  • 2019-2020
    Hal Blumenfeld, MD-PhD (1992)
    “Neural Mechanisms of Consciousness in Normal and Altered Brain States”
  • 2018-2019
    Priya Rajasethupathy, MD-PhD (2013)
    “Prefrontal Contributions to Memory Processing”
  • 2017-2018
    George D. Yancopoulos, MD-PhD (1987)
    “Building a Better Biotech: The Story of Regeneron”
  • 2016-2017
    Neil Shneider, MD-PhD (1994)
    “Models and Mechanisms of ALS”
  • 2015-2016
    P. Roy Vagelos, MD (’54), Retired Chairman and CEO, Merck & Co., Inc., Chairman of the Board, Regeneron Pharmaceuiticals, Inc.
    “A Career in Science, Healthcare and Business”
  • 2014-2015
    Elliott Sherr, MD-PhD (’95), Professor, UCSF Department of Neurology, Director, UCSF Comprehensive Center for Brain Development
    “The Quest for the Holy Grail: A Genetics First Approach to Autism”
  • 2013-2014
    Paul J. Maddon, MD-PhD (’88), Founder and Vice Chairman at Progenics Pharmaceuticals; Columbia University Trustee
    “A Biotechnology Entrepreneur’s Journey”
  • 2012-2013
    Sydney Cash, MD-PhD (‘00), Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital
    “Microelectrode Recordings of Normal and Epileptic Brain Activity in Patients”
  • 2011-2012
    David Harris, MD-PhD (’83), Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry, Boston University School of Medicine
    “How Do Prions Cause Neurodegeneration?”
  • 2008-2009
    Steven Artandi, MD-PhD (’95), Associate Professor of Medicine, Cancer Biology Program, Stanford University School of Medicine
    “Telomerase in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology”
  • 2007-2008
    Harvey Rubin, MD-PhD (‘76), Director, Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response, Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Computer Science, University of Pennsylvania
    “The Molecular Mechanism of Dormancy in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis”
  • 2006-2007
    Alfred I. Neugut, MD-PhD (’77), Myron M. Studner Professor of Cancer Research, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Associate Director Population Sciences, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University Medical Center
    “Reducing the Burden of Colon Cancer Incidence and Mortality: Epidemiologic Approaches”
  • 2005-2006
    Pamela L. Schwartzberg, MD-PhD (’92), Head, Cell Signaling Section, Genetic Disease Research Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute
    “Integrating T Cell Signals: Lessons from Primary Immunodeficiencies”
  • 2004-2005
    George Yancopoulos, MD-PhD (‘87), President, Regeneron Research Laboratories
    “Discovery Research Leading to Therapeutic Candidates in Cancer and Angiogenesis, Inflammation, Obesity and Diabetes”