9:30 am - 11:00 am
The next generation of doctors celebrate the earning of their MD degrees at the University of Hawai`i Kennedy Theater. The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) MD Class of 2014 includes 62 students. They were chosen from among 1,653 applicants in 2011, as they began their MD education. During Convocation, the graduates traditionally thank someone who has been instrumental or an inspiration in their journey, presenting that person a maile lei on stage.
Our keynote speaker is Dr. Sidney McNairy. His official biography is below. Congratulations, Class of 2014! (Our photo is from the White Coat Ceremony for the class as they entered medical school in 2010.)
An award-winning academician and senior-level federal grants administrator, Sidney A. McNairy, Ph.D., has championed the idea that researchers in minority and other small and developing institutions can compete with scientists at majority institutions if presented with the same resources and opportunities. Over the past twenty five years, the RCMI program has flourished under his exemplary leadership, and fostered biomedical research environments in minority institutions that have given thousands of researchers access to scientific and educational resources and ensured that a diverse group of scientists contribute to the biomedical research advances that lead to improved health for all. In addition, during his career at NIH, Dr. McNairy has been the driving force behind other innovative programs such as the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program, the Animal Facilities Improvement Program (AFIP); and the Research Facilities Improvement Program (RFIP), strengthening the biomedical research infrastructure at emerging and research intensive institutions throughout the nation. He is also a leader in the development of programs that address health disparities and health-related science education for K-12 students and the general public. Prior to joining NIH, Dr. McNairy was a Professor of Chemistry at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was also a visiting scientist at Charles Pfizer, Eli Lilly, General Electric, Standard Oil of California, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of the highlights of his research career was his work as part of the pioneering research team at Eli Lilly that isolated proinsulin, sequenced the insulin connecting polypeptide, and developed a radio-immunological assay for proinsulin. He has received numerous awards and honors, including eight honorary doctorate degrees, and was designated an “Old Master” by his alma mater Purdue University. He is a member of the Golden Parade of alumni and was elected to the Board of Trustees of LeMoyne –Owen College. He is an honorary member of the Tuskegee Veterinary Medical Alumni Association, and has been designated an “Arkansas Traveler” by the governor of Arkansas. Dr. McNairy retired from NIH in 2012.