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Robert B. Nadelman, M.D., Research Fellowship Pays Tribute to Esteemed Professor
In March of 2018, Robert B. Nadelman, M.D., long-standing professor of medicine at New York Medical College (NYMC) passed away and soon after, his students endeavored to find a way to honor the memory of their esteemed teacher.
June 24, 2019
Avery Wilson, School of Medicine Class of 2022
“Dr. Nadelman was the epitome of the clinician scientist, a prolific researcher and a compassionate and skilled infectious diseases physician. He was a dedicated mentor of young physicians-in-training, a genuinely supportive colleague and the father of Dr. Rebecca Nadelman, School of Medicine Class of 2019,” explained Mary M. Petzke, Ph.D., assistant dean for medical student research and assistant professor of microbiology and immunology.
“At the request of several students in Rebecca’s class, we decided to establish a summer research fellowship in Dr. Nadelman’s name to support summer research in infectious diseases by a rising second-year medical student,” Dr. Petzke said.
Among those students looking for a way to honor Dr. Nadelman’s memory was Caitlin Lozano, M.D.’ 19. Describing her former professor, Dr. Lozano said, “Dr. Nadelman constantly taught our group about new evidence-based medicine during case discussions. His opinion was valued by both students and peers alike. On a more personal note, he always remembered that I was in the Army and he would salute me whenever I walked up to him. I will forever remember that Dr. Nadelman cared enough about me not only as a student, but as a human being to remember this detail of my life.”
In May, the inaugural Robert B. Nadelman Research Fellowship in Infectious Diseases was awarded to its very first recipient—Avery Wilson, School of Medicine Class of 2022. “It is a great honor to be a small part of Dr. Nadelman’s legacy at NYMC,” said Mr. Wilson. “New York Medical College has become one of the best places for medical students interested in infectious diseases in large part due to physicians like Dr. Nadelman. His reputation for being a skilled researcher, caring clinician and dedicated mentor was well known and his passing had a profound impact on our community.”
This summer Mr. Wilson will be working with Dr. Petzke, looking at host-pathogen interactions during the early stages of Borrelia burgdorferi infection, the causative agent of Lyme disease. “We’re interested in identifying genetic factors that make it more or less likely for the bacteria to move into the blood from the skin, leading to systemic infection,” he explained.
As a recent graduate preparing to move into her residency, Dr. Nadelman’s daughter, Rebecca Nadelman, M.D. ’19, finds comfort in the knowledge that her father’s legacy will live on through his students and this new fellowship. “In addition to being the most wonderful father, my dad was an outstanding infectious diseases physician, researcher and professor at New York Medical College for 31 years. My dad had an incredible love of medicine and he wanted to share that with those he taught. He loved to teach medical students and residents about all the fascinating aspects of his field. He wanted students to enjoy learning so that they would be excited to carry the future of medicine in their hands,” Dr. Nadelman said.
Avery Wilson is the son of Wayne and Bonnie Reynolds Wilson of Troutman, North Carolina.