Six graduate students celebrated their academic rite of passage and an accomplished attorney was recognized at the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences’ 15th annual commencement ceremony June 12.
|University of California, San Francisco cancer researcher Frank McCormick delivers the commencement address, with Morgan Chu seated between Richard Jove, left, and Michael A. Friedman. (Photo by Chris Lovdahl)|
Students Cai Guo, Yan Li, Selma Masri, Guihua Sun, Louisa Villeneuve and Tangsheng Yi received Doctor of Philosophy degrees in biological sciences at the event on the Duarte campus.
The young scientists heard stirring words from keynote speaker Frank McCormick, Ph.D., director of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and E. Dixon Heise Distinguished Professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
“You’re launching your careers into an era in which diseases such as cancer will be conquered,” said McCormick, David A. Wood Distinguished Professor of Tumor Biology and Cancer Research at UCSF. “It won’t happen in 2015, but it will happen during your lifetimes.”
Students received diplomas from these research mentors: Shiuan Chen, Ph.D.; Rama Natarajan, Ph.D.; Gerd Pfeifer, Ph.D., Lester M. and Irene C. Finkelstein Chair in Biology; John J. Rossi, Ph.D., Lidow Family Research Chair; and Defu Zeng, M.D. The students are bound for a variety of research positions in labs nationwide.
|Attorney Morgan Chu received an honorary Doctor of Science degree. (Photo by Chris Lovdahl)|
Morgan Chu, J.D., Ph.D., partner at legal firm Irell & Manella LLP, also received an honorary Doctor of Science degree as part of the ceremony.
“Morgan Chu is an accomplished and nationally respected attorney who has had a lifelong belief in and commitment to the power of higher education,” said Rossi, dean of the graduate school. “We are proud to present our school’s highest honorary award, the Doctor of Science, to Morgan Chu in recognition of his commitment to advancing City of Hope’s research and education programs.”
Chu used the occasion to encourage the graduating scientists to reach for greatness.
“If you do good science, you’ll make the world better for all of us,” said Chu, known as one of the nation’s preeminent intellectual property attorneys. Irell & Manella recently committed $7 million in gifts to advance the graduate school.
Past recipients of the honorary Doctor of Science degree include health-care executive Norman Payson, M.D., Michael Kaplan, co-partner of real estate management firm ARKA Properties Group, Richard S. Ziman, chair and chief executive officer (CEO) of West Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm Arden Realty Inc., Gil Schwartzberg, former president, CEO and chair of City of Hope’s board, Stephen B. Kass, chair and CEO of national debt-buying company Credit Max LLC, and Meyer E. Hersch, founder and general partner of Hersch and Company.