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175 Years of Medicine at UB: Alumni

Last Updated: Mar 12, 2021 3:37 PM

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Kate Pelham Newcomb, MD 1917


Read about Dr. Pelham Newcomb's life in the book Dr. Kate Angel on Snowshoes. Several chapters focus on her time in medical school in Buffalo, including a story about her delivering twins as a student and her impressions of her favorite professors and the lessons they instilled in her.

Although she stopped practicing medicine for a time, she later returned to the field. "Dr. Kate" practiced medicine in rural Wisconsin, appeared on the TV show This is Your Life, and helped secure the funds to build a hospital to support her community.


1.    Comandini, A., Doctor Kate, Angel on Snowshoes; The Story of Kate Pelham Newcomb. 1956, New York: Rinehart. 339 p.
2.    PBS Wisconsin. Kate Pelham Newcomb. 2019.

Rob Gore, MD 2002

Dr. Gore is an emergency medicine physician. He is the founder and executive director of the Kings Against Violence Initiative, which is based in Brooklyn, NY. He has appeared on the TED stage and was named a CNN Hero in 2018.


1. TED Conferences. Rob Gore | Ted Residency: Healing Inner-City Trauma. July 2016.
2. Toner, K. Doctor Works to Save Youth From Violence Before They Reach His ER. December 9, 2018.
3. Kings Against Violence Initiative. The Team. 2020.

Dave Weldon, MD 1981

Dave Weldon photo

Image from

From 1995-2009, Dr. Weldon represented Florida's 15th district in the House of Representatives. He was a member of a Congressional rock band called the Second Amendments.


1. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress 1774-Present: Weldon, David Joseph (1953-).
2. Associated Press, Congressional Band to Rock Troops During Holiday Tour, in USA Today. December 22, 2005.

Frederick J. Bancroft, MD 1861

Frederick Bancroft engraving

Image from the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Dr. Bancroft was a surgeon in the Civil War and later worked as a surgeon for railroad companies in Denver. He was the first president of Colorado's State Board of Health and helped to organize the medical department at Denver University, where he also taught. Articles he wrote about Colorado's favorable climate reportedly led to an influx of citizens in the state.


1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Portraits: Frederick J. Bancroft, M.D.
2. Colorado-Henkle Collection, Frederick J. Bancroft, M.D., in Portrait and biographical record of Denver and vicinity, Colorado: containing portraits and biographies of many well known citizens of the past and present, together with biographies and portraits of all the presidents of the United States. 1898, Chapman Publishing Co.: Chicago. p. 142-145.

Jerome Kassirer, MD 1957

Jerome Kassirer photo

Medentian 1957

Dr. Kassirer, a nephrologist, served as the editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine in the 1990's. He has been a faculty member at Tuft's for many decades and currently serves as Distinguished Professor and Senior Assistant to the Dean. His self-published book "Unanticipated Outcomes: A Medical Memoir" came out in 2017.


1. Kassirer, J. Jerome Kassirer (page includes a downloadable biographical sketch). 2020.

Orvan Hess, MD 1931

Orvan Hess photo

The Iris 1931

Dr. Hess "pioneered fetal heart rate monitoring and [was] the first to use penicillin in the USA." He was an obstetrician and gynecologist and faculty member at Yale.


1. New York Times News Service. Dr. Orvan Hess, 96. September 19, 2002.
2. Oransky, I., Orvan Hess. The Lancet, 2002. 360(9340): p. 1179.

George Fell, MD 1882

Execution by Electricity image

Image from Wikimedia Commons/Scientific American

George Fell, MD is widely recognized for redesigning the electric chair. He was also a "pioneer of intensive therapy," inventing "an apparatus for forced human respiration."


1. Scientific American Volumes 58-59. Execution by Electricity Electric Chair Illustration. June 30, 1888.
2. Trubuhovich, R.V., 19th Century Pioneers of Intensive Therapy in North America Part 1: George Edward Fell. Critical Care and Resuscitation, 2007. 9(4): p. 377-393.

Jeffrey Wigand, PhD (Biochemistry) 1973

Dr. Jeffrey Wigand was a tobacco industry whistleblower. In a 1996 interview on 60 Minutes, Dr. Wigand stated that executives of Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation knew that their products contained harmful additives and were addictive. He served as their director of research before he was fired in 1993. His story was later turned into a movie called "The Insider." Actor Russell Crowe portrayed Dr. Wigand.


1. 60 Minutes Overtime, Jeffrey Wigand: The Big Tobacco Whistleblower. 1996.
2. Peradotto, N., The Insider Steps Out: Jeffrey Wigand, PhD '73, Takes on the Tobacco Industry. Buffalo Physician, 2000. Winter: p. 2-7.
3. IMDb. The Insider Full Cast & Crew. 2020.

Lucius L. Ball, MD 1889

Lucius L. Ball photo         Ball jar photo

Image of Dr. Ball courtesy of the Minnetrista Heritage Collection, Muncie, Indiana

Dr. Lucius L. Ball was the oldest of the five Ball Brothers. Their family business, the Ball Corporation, was founded in Buffalo and later moved to Muncie, Indiana. They most famously produced glass jars, also known as "Ball jars." Dr. Ball received his medical degree in 1889 and practiced medicine in addition to his work with the Ball Corporation.


1. Philanthropist Passes Away at Midnight: Eldest of Muncie Family Group Retired From Active Practice Several Years, in The Star Press. July 22, 1932: Muncie, IN.

Mary Blair Moody, MD 1876

Mary Blair Moody photo

Collection of The Buffalo History Museum. General photograph collection, Persons - Moody

Mary Blair Moody, MD was the school's first female graduate. She earned her degree in 1876 all while raising six children. She later moved to New Haven, CT and practiced out of her home.

In an article in the Buffalo Medical and Surgical Journal, she recounted that "Capacity, desire and opportunity were the only recognized limits and we were each and all encouraged to do and dare our very best."


1. Mary Blair Moody, College Life for Women Twenty Years Ago. Buffalo Medical and Surgical Journal, 1895-1896. 35: p. 854-858.
2. Associated Press, Mary Blair Moody Died in 83d Year, in Buffalo Times. August 24, 1919: Buffalo, NY. p. 44.
3. Lindsay S. Hannah. Dr. Mary B. Moody Challenges Victorian Mores About Women in Medicine. March 13, 2019.

George W. Thorn, MD 1929

The Iris 1929

Dr. Thorn was chief of medicine at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston for thirty years and was founding editor and editor-in-chief of Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. He "was a pioneer in the use of cortisone for treating Addison's disease" and participated in the first successful kidney transplant. Dr. Thorn's relationship with Howard Hughes led to the development of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a private medical research institute.


1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In Memoriam: George W. Thorn, 1906-2004. July 1, 2004.

Claire Fraser, PhD (Pharmacology) 1981

In this video, Dr. Fraser talks about how "an element of fearlessness," helped shape her career. When she worked at NIH, Dr. Fraser focused on gene protein-coupled receptors. Her interest in this protein family led to the sequencing of the first bacterial genome in the mid-1990's. This important work " accelerated the human genome project."

Dr. Fraser helped create the field of microbial genomics and is the Director of the Institute of Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She is a member of the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame and is serving a one year term as the president of the American Association of the Advancement of Science.


1. Maryland Commission for Women. Maryland Women's Hall of Fame: Claire M. Fraser, Ph.D. 2010.
2. Lee, K. Claire M. Fraser Is a Pioneer Who’s Just Getting Started. 2018.
3. Conversations That Matter, Careers That Matter: Claire Fraser (Director, Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland). 2019.
4. University of Maryland School of Medicine. UMSOM's Claire Fraser Appointed President-Elect of AAAS. 2019.
5. Hoy, A.Q., AAAS President Claire Fraser Begins a Year-Long Term. Science, 2020. 367(6481): p. 991-993.
6. University of Maryland School of Medicine. Claire M. Fraser, PhD. 2020.

D. Jackson Coleman, MD 1960

Medentian 1960

Dr. Coleman is a prominent vitreoretinal surgeon and researcher that pioneered new ultrasound technologies for the eye. He was affiliated with Weill Cornell and is currently Professor of Ophthalmology at Columbia. He established the Margaret M. Dyson Vision Research Institute while at Cornell.


1. Barbara A. Byers. D. JD. Jackson Coleman, MD '60 Distinguished Alumni Award. March 28, 2011.
2. Columbia University Department of Ophthalmology. D. Jackson Coleman, MD. 2020.

Robert Peter Gale, MD, PhD (MD 1970)

Robert Peter Gale photo

Medentian 1970

Dr. Gale's clinical and research focus is on the molecular biology, immunology, and epidemiology of leukemia and bone marrow disorders. He spent 20 years at UCLA in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology and has been a visiting faculty member at institutions across the globe. He is a prolific writer authoring "over 1,000 scientific articles and more than 20 books." He spearheaded relief efforts after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and was involved in other relief efforts after radiation and nuclear accidents occurred in Brazil and Japan.


1. Robert Peter Gale. Robert Peter Gale, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc. (Hon), F.A.C.P. 2007.

Barbara Migeon, MD 1956

Barbara Migeon photo

Medentian 1956

Dr. Migeon was a professor at Johns Hopkins and "is known for pioneering work in sex determination and X-inactivation, meaning the packaging of one of a female’s two X chromosomes so that her genes cannot be used."

Dr. Migeon's presentation on X Chromosome Inactivation in Human Cells is in Henry Stewart Talks.


1. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Barbara Migeon Wins 2016 March of Dimes/Colonel Harland D. Sanders Lifetime Achievement Award in Genetics. March 10, 2016.

Sidney Farber, MD (undergraduate degree 1923)

Sidney Farber photo

The Iris 1923

Sidney Farber, MD was a groundbreaking cancer researcher and physician who has been called the "Father of Modern Chemotherapy" for his work using chemotherapy to treat children with leukemia. Dr. Farber helped to found the Children's Cancer Research Foundation, now known as the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Go to 3:35 to watch about Dr. Farber.


1. Miller, D.R., A Tribute to Sidney Farber-- The Father of Modern Chemotherapy. Br J Haematol, 2006. 134(1): p. 20-6.
2. PBS. Cancer: The Emperor of all Maladies - Dr. Sidney Farber. 2015.
3. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Sidney Farber, MD: A Career in Cancer Research Driven by the Power of an Idea. 2020.

Joseph Robert Love, MD 1880

Joseph Robert Love picture

Image from the University Archives

Robert Joseph Love, MD was the school's first black graduate in 1880. Originally from the Bahamas, Dr. Love was an ordained priest and served as the rector of St. Philip's Episcopal Church when he first arrived in Buffalo. He practiced medicine in Haiti and Jamaica.


1.  Edens, J. Flashback 130 Years Ago: First Black Graduate Receives Degree. February 24, 2010.

Marcella Farinelli Fierro, MD 1966

Marcella Farinelli Fierro photo

Medentian 1966

Dr. Fierro was the inspiration behind author Patricia Cornwell's character Kay Scarpetta. She worked as chief medical examiner in Virginia from 1994-2008.


1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Changing the Face of Medicine: Dr. Marcella Farinelli Fierro. October 14, 2003.
2. Foster, R. A Voice for the Dead. Richmond Magazine April 23, 2009.
3. Frontline Post Mortem. Interview Dr. Marcello Fierro. February 1, 2011.

Flossie Cohen, MD 1950

Medentian 1950

Originally from Calcutta, India, Dr. Cohen graduated from medical school in 1950. She spent most of her career in Detroit working at the Children's Hospital of Michigan as a pediatric immunologist and teaching at Wayne State University. She "performed the first successful pediatric bone marrow transplant in Michigan" and was the "first physician to fluoresce red blood cells." In the mid-1980's, she started a pediatric HIV clinic. Dr. Cohen was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 1994 in recognition of her accomplishments.


1. Jewish Historical Society of Michigan. Flossie Cohen: Respected Educator a Pioneer in the Field of Pediatric Immunology. 2020.

Albert J. Myer, MD 1851

Albert J. Myer photo

Image from the Buffalo Medical Journal

Dr. Myer was the only graduate to be singled out in a fifty year history of medical journalism in Buffalo, which included a section about the University of Buffalo Medical Department. He served as an assistant surgeon in the Army and "invented and put into practical operation a system of military signals." He later "prepared a code of weather signals" that was used around the world. He was the founder of the United States Weather Bureau.


1. Potter, W.W., 1845-Then and Now-1895: Fifty Years of Medical Journalism in Buffalo-A Historical Reminiscence-Medical Journals-Medical Colleges-Hospitals-Medical Societies. Buffalo Medical Journal, 1895. 52(1895/1896): p. 65-113.
2. National Park Service. Albert Myer. 2020.
3. Fletcher, C. Albert J. Myer. 2020.

Edward Shanbrom, MD 1951

Edward Shanbrom photo

Medentian 1951

Dr. Shanbrom was a hematologist, researcher, and philanthropist. In collaboration with colleagues at the Hyland division of Baxter Laboratories, he helped to "produce large quantities of Factor VIII, the clotting factor that is absent in hemophiliacs." He spent many years conducting research out of his California home. He was "one of the leaders in the use of solvent-detergents and other natural products to destroy viruses (including HIV), bacteria, and other contaminants in blood."


1. Orange County Register. Edward Shanbrom, M.D. March 5, 2012.

William Brady, MD 1901

The Iris 1901

A syndicated medical columnist, Dr. Brady, was the subject of a 1937 editorial in JAMA. The editorial called his writing "sensational" and refuted some of the claims he made about insulin and treating diabetes with vitamin B. In closing, the writer stated that "The notions therein expressed regarding infection, the weird ideas of physiology, the preposterous slang, and the pseudo-humor, all coupled with false and unwarranted insinuations regarding medical service, have made Dr. Brady's column of late an unsound guide for any reader."


1. The Misrepresentations of William Brady. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1937. 109(16): p. 1282-1283.