Albany Medical College commencement ceremonies took place on May 22 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
The college awarded more than 200 degrees at the ceremony, including medical degrees, Master of Science degrees in Physician Assistant Studies, Nurse Anesthesiology and Bioethics, and Master of Science and doctoral degrees in Biomedical Science and Bioethics.
This year’s keynote speaker, Solomon Snyder, M.D., was one of the first to identify neurochemical receptors in the brain that control and manage pleasure and pain perceptions. He also identified opiate receptors, which are the targets of morphine and codeine, as well as heroin and other drugs of abuse. The application of Dr. Snyder's techniques has enhanced the development of new agents in the pharmaceutical industry by enabling rapid screening of large numbers of candidate drugs.
Dr. Snyder, who received the 2007 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, is the Distinguished Service Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University.
The following individuals also addressed the graduates: Vincent Verdile, M.D., Class of 1984, dean of Albany Medical College and executive vice president for health affairs at Albany Medical Center, and Peter Elitzer, vice chair of the Board of Directors of Albany Medical Center, as well as student representatives of the Class of 2014.