BUFFALO, N.Y. – The 149 students who will graduate from
the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical
Sciences on May 3 have a responsibility to help influence U.S.
health care and research policy in the future.
That’s the message that Mary Woolley, president and CEO of
Research!America and the UB medical school commencement speaker,
will give to students at the graduation ceremony in a speech
titled, "Poor prognosis for U.S. medical research: Careers in the
balance and the public's health at stake.” Research!America
is the nation’s largest not-for-profit alliance working to
make research to improve health a higher national priority.
The UB medical school graduation will take place at 1:30 p.m. in
the Mainstage Theatre in the Center for the Arts on the UB North
Campus. UB President Satish K. Tripathi and Michael E. Cain, MD,
vice president for health sciences and dean of the UB medical
school, will deliver remarks. Ethan Gable is the student
At the ceremony, 143 students will receive MDs, four will
receive MD/PhDs and two will receive MD/MBAs. Forty-one of the 149
are from the Western New York region.
For press arrangements, including advance interviews with
Mary Woolley and on May 3 before 10:30 a.m., contact Ellen Goldbaum
at 716-645-4605 and 716-771-9255 onsite.
“Every UB graduate must use his or her influence to help
shape policy that will impact health care delivery and the entire
research ecosystem,” says Woolley. “My message for
UB’s medical students is, ‘Make room in your careers to
become advocates for research for health. You are the future of
health. Your personal future will be heavily influenced by the
public and political realities of our nation.’ ”
The new graduates are entering a “daunting”
environment, she says.
“They will be challenged to work in a context no preceding
class of graduates has experienced in this nation,” she says.
Woolley is referring not only to the implementation of the
Affordable Care Act but also to “sequestration,” 10
years of across-the-board spending cuts for federal agencies that
took effect March 1, causing the National Institutes of Health to
lose $1.5 billion this fiscal year.
“If left unchecked, sequestration could bring the nation,
and certainly our nation’s prowess in science and innovation,
to its knees,” she adds.
“As graduates of a major research university that receives
NIH funding, UB students understand the importance of strong
government support for research, from bench to bedside, from
innovation to application,” she says. “They have seen
the excitement and promise of research but also the reality that
limited resources force some innovative research projects to be
eliminated or delayed, slowing the discovery process and the
availability of new therapies for life-threatening
Woolley is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and
serves on its Governing Council. She serves on the National Academy
of Sciences Board on Life Sciences and is a Fellow of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science. She is a founding
member of the Board of Associates of the Whitehead Institute for
Biomedical Research and is a member of the visiting committee of
the University of Chicago Medical Center. Woolley is also a member
of the National Council for Johns Hopkins Nursing. She has served
as a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and National
Science Foundation and as a consultant to several research
organizations. For more information about Research!America, visit