Graduates in Biomedical Sciences Mark Their Milestone

Posted in GUMC Stories

MAY 16, 2014 — Graduating students in Biomedical Graduate Education (new window) (BGE) programs came together in the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center (new window) on May 16 to receive their diplomas as the culmination of their master’s or doctoral studies at Georgetown.

BGE encompasses 26 degree-granting MS and PhD programs in fields such as Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Tumor Biology, Special Master’s Program in Physiology, Pharmacology, and Complementary and Alternative Medicine.  Approximately 212 Masters’ students attended the ceremony; there are around 460 graduating students across all MS and PhD programs.

Jesse Goodman, MD, MPH (new window), director of Georgetown University Medical Center (new window)’s new Center on Medical Product Access, Safety and Stewardship, professor in the department of medicine and former chief scientist at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, delivered the keynote address.

“You have chosen work that is exciting and sets the stage for both continued personal growth and contributing to our greater well-being… By working to advance knowledge, and to use it humbly and with vision to connect with others, and yourself, you will be part of something bigger–nurturing a connected and humane world,” said Goodman, who is also attending physician in MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (new window) and the Washington DC VA Medical Center (new window).

Goodman described three challenges the graduates will face in today’s world of science and shared some thoughts on how to rise above them.

Quoting Henry David Thoreau, Goodman warned the students not to become “tools of men’s tools,” meaning not to become too lost within data and organizational silos in a world where modern technology dominates. He emphasized the medical corollary of “first, do not harm,” and to connect within and beyond the scientific community. Finally, Goodman cautioned the students not to become dependent on virtual and electronic reality and not to forget about the value of being physically present.

Robert Clarke, PhD, DSc (new window), dean of research and Barbara Bayer, PhD (new window), senior associate dean of biomedical graduate education, also congratulated the students on their accomplishments.

Student speaker Katelyn Malchester, a biochemistry and molecular biology graduate, reflected on her time as a Georgetown student and asked her fellow classmates to pursue their future dreams with passion.

“Graduates, I ask that you not just take what you’ve learned here, but how you’ve learned it and translate it into your future endeavors. Remember the value of teamwork, persistence and willpower. Continue to be inspired and do your best to inspire others. And settle not for less than what you are able to achieve,” Malchester said.

By Sarah Reik
GUMC Communications