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APr '14

An Update from the Perelman School of Medicine

Live from the National Constitution Center

Join us at the Dean’s Dinner May 16 to honor five and enjoy the company of many other exceptional alumni.

Reflecting the breadth of “We the People” are our 2014 Alumni Service Award winners:

Edward Anderson, C'65, M'69Edward Anderson, C’65, M’69, is an interventional cardiologist who went to California for his internship and never came back -- except for countless meetings of the various University groups which he has served. A star undergraduate athlete, a University Trustee, a Medical Alumni volunteer, and generous scholarship donor, he personifies intervention.

Robert G. Johnson Jr. C'74, GR'80, M'81Robert G. Johnson Jr., C’74, GR’80, M’81, a consultant to the biopharmaceutical industry, who is already anticipating our School’s 250th anniversary next year by helping kick off the 250th Anniversary Medical School Scholarship Fund. This is only the latest of the many contributions this Penn Medicine “West of the Rockies” stalwart has undertaken on our behalf.

Ariella Poncz Golomb, C'99, M'04, WG'04Ariella Poncz Golomb, C’99, M’04, WG’04, is the recipient of the Young Alumni Award. As Managing Director at Healthpoint Capital she uses her multiple Penn degrees to combine life science and private equity, while advancing our School through mentoring, advising, and helping with fundraising.

During the evening, the 2014 Distinguished Graduate Award recipients, selected for their service to society and to the profession of medicine, will also be recognized:

Bill Eaton, C'59, M'64, GR'67Bill Eaton, C’59, M’64, GR’67, is an internationally recognized researcher on the physical chemistry of proteins. An exemplar of the importance of basic science, Bill leads a team at the NIH, where he is chief of the Laboratory of Chemical Physics.

Alan Wein, M'66, INT'70Alan Wein, M’66, INT’70, a distinguished member of the Penn Medicine family, has built the Division of Urology into one of the nation’s leading centers for excellence in urology and urologic surgery. He now holds the Founders Professor in Urology, which was created in recognition of his leadership and accomplishments.

Read their bios and get ready to congratulate them in person -- this year food stations rather than a sit-down style dinner will assure if not a more perfect reunion, at least a more interactive one.

Gilbert H. Kliman, M’84, Helps Set Class Scholarship on Fast Track

Gilbert H. Kliman, M'84“Most of the knowledge that I apply in venture capital I actually learned as a medical student at Penn,” said Gilbert H. Kliman, M’84. “Investing in new medical technologies requires more clinical insight than business acumen, and I use my Penn medical education every day, from the point of care to the board room.” Whatever its origin, his expertise is now also benefiting his class and students of the future.

Trained as a retina specialist ophthalmologist, Dr. Kliman has for the past 20 years worked as a venture capitalist in health care investing, backing innovative technologies providing breakthrough patient treatments across a wide spectrum of medical fields.

A member of his 30th Reunion Committee, he is enjoying the process of reconnecting with classmates in preparing for Medical Alumni Weekend. He is also actively encouraging his fellow alumni to contribute toward the newly established Medical Class of 1984 Scholarship Fund after making his own leadership gift to the fund.

“It’s exciting that our Class of 1984 has accomplished the feat of creating our scholarship in just a matter of months,” he said. “Penn was a great experience for me and some of my best friends today were my medical school classmates.

With his 30th reunion approaching, Dr. Kliman is inspired to give back not only because of the many benefits of his Perelman School experience, but out of appreciation for what philanthropy means to his family. “My father and uncle came from very limited means. But through full scholarship support, they were able to complete medical school, becoming the first ever physicians in our family and subsequently devoting their careers to academic medicine.”

“Their accomplishments inspired me to follow in their footsteps and then apply medical knowledge to technology innovation, enabling new patient treatments with global impact,” he said. “I hope to pay it forward through establishing a Class of 1984 scholarship, helping deserving future students who might not otherwise be able to afford the opportunity to get a great medical education and make a positive impact on patient care.”

For information on giving to Penn Medicine or contributing to the Medical Class of 1984 Scholarship Fund, please contact Penn Medicine Development and Alumni Relations

Distinguished Teaching Award Recipients Announced

This April, professors Lisa Bellini, M.D., Grant Liu, M.D., and Richard Summers, M.D., were acknowledged by their peers for excellence in teaching.

The Lindback Awards annually recognize standing faculty members who promote academic excellence and demonstrate exceptional teaching at mid-Atlantic colleges and universities. The Provost’s Awards annually recognize associated faculty and academic support staff on the same principles.

Lisa Bellini, M.D.Dr. Bellini, Professor of Medicine, received a 2014 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Dr. Bellini has been on the faculty since 1991. As Director of the Internal Medicine Training Program, she is responsible for the education of more than 150 trainees. Both students and colleagues remarked on the depth of her knowledge in pulmonary disease as well as her keen ability to guide students towards their specialized career paths by recognizing their aspirations and interests. One student noted that “she quite frankly changed the course of my medical career, even as early as my second year of training.”

Grant Liu, M.D.Dr. Liu, Professor of Neurology and Ophthalmology, was also selected for a Lindback Award. His students and peers are impressed not only with his authorship of the neuro-ophthalmology text commonly known as “the book,” but also with the fact that he allows his mentees to contribute to the content. A fourth-year medical student stated “there is no denying that Dr. Liu is brilliant and extremely knowledgeable,” and his ability to make each of his patients feel personally cared for makes him accessible as well as well-rounded.

Richard Summers, M.D.Dr. Summers, a part of Penn since 1985, has received the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence by Non-Standing Faculty. As Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Co-Director of the Residency Training Program, he is an integral player in the Department’s highly rated training program. He not only teaches future practitioners in Philadelphia, but also participates in Penn Medicine’s unique exchange program with Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor, Maine. Dr. Summers leads by example, with one colleague pointing out how he not only taught “what a psychiatrist should know, but how a psychiatrist should think.”

Congratulations to Drs. Bellini, Liu, and Summers on this terrific accomplishment!

Q & A With Brett Davidson

New ADAR Director

Brett DavidsonThis March, Brett Davidson became Alumni Development and Alumni Relations (ADAR) Executive Director for Penn Medicine.

You can meet him here -- and at Medical Alumni Weekend. Or catch him any time at

Most recently a regional director at Wharton, Mr. Davidson brings 15 years of alumni experience, previous collaborations with Penn Medicine, and a healthy curiosity about what’s on your mind to the role.

Q: Why did you choose the Perelman School of Medicine?

A: At any time, it’s inviting to work with alumni from one of the pre-eminent medical schools in the world. But now is the most exciting time to join Penn Med as we are getting ready to celebrate the 250th and open a brand new state of the art medical education facility. These are rare occasions in an institution’s history and the chance to participate is important to me.

I’ve been at Penn for more than 10 years, and I’m a huge believer in Penn Medicine. As I’m exposed to more and more health issues, I really value the expertise and patient- friendliness of Penn physicians.

Q: What has surprised you?

A: The many and varied interests of our alumni. Just since I’ve been here, Match Day results, HOST, mentorship, networking, reunions have all been areas of focus. A very robust program has grown to support alumni interests, and my colleagues here are very knowledgeable and dedicated to their work.

From what I’ve seen, alumni want more educational content and more ways to establish relationships with their fellow alumni. We are building these not just by class but by region and by specialty or industry.

Q: Could you tell us a bit about your previous collaborations with Penn Medicine?

More and more Penn graduates have multiple degrees, so as a development officer you get to be comfortable working across schools to create the right opportunity for your donor. That might be an inter-school scholarship or a joint entrepreneurial program or lectureship.

At Wharton, I worked with Bill Bole, my predecessor in this role, who is now in charge of the development team for the health system. Our teams are working together to encourage more fellows and residents to participate in alumni programs. We also foresee communicating the funding needs of the School and of the clinical departments more widely across the entire group of interested donors.

From my Wharton years, I have experience in quite a few industries, including venture capital and private equity. I look forward to helping medical alumni and friends in those fields connect with Penn Medicine.

Q: What’s next?

Academic medicine is very competitive. I’m getting to know Senior Vice Dean Gail Morrison’s objectives and priorities. Completing the fundraising for the Henry A Jordan M'62 Medical Education Center is clearly a pressing one. We also want to offer more resources to more students. So much innovation and progress is happening here now. Keeping the funding needed constant in challenging times is important. And how much more could we do if we had the resources?

For now, I’m looking forward to meeting alumni from all over the country and representing classes from 1949 to 2009 at Medical Alumni Weekend. While I’ve become a huge fan of Philadelphia art, music, sports, and food, I still enjoy travelling, and I very much look forward to meeting more alumni that way.

Readers -- I hope we will meet in person. If not, please feel free to share your thoughts at

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