School of Medicine welcomes new class of 22 into AOA honor society

The School of Medicine Alpha Omega Alpha honor society inducted its 2019 class of students, residents, alumni and faculty during a banquet at Diastole on May 2.
Michael Bamshad, M.D., chief of genetic medicine at the University of Washington, presented the annual AOA lecture.

The School of Medicine chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha welcomed 22 new inductees into the medical honor society during a banquet on May 2 at Diastole.

This year’s list of new members includes 17 students, four junior members and 13 senior members, three residents, one alumna and one faculty member from the med school.

Two senior student members, Sara Pourakbar and Vidhavan Srivastava, were elected this spring to join the class. Senior members elected to this year’s AOA class last fall include: Ahmed Elbermawy, Julia Esswein, Ella Glaser, Usman Hasnie, Cindy Jiang, Niraj Madhani, Raksha Madhavan, Grant Randall, Grace Rector, Kale Turner and Vivek Vallurupalli.

Junior student members who were elected this Spring are Karen Figenshau, Komal Kumar, Daniel O’Toole and Anthony Oyekan.

Also elected to the AOA this spring were School of Medicine alumna Emily Volk, M.D., a 1993 graduate; faculty member Julie Banderas, Pharm.D., chair of graduate studies; and residents/fellows Omar Abughanimeh, M.D., internal medicine, Mohamed Omer, M.D., cardiovascular medicine, and Katelyn Smelser, M.D., internal medicine.

Selection to AOA membership is considered an honor recognizing one’s dedication to the profession and art of healing. It is based on character and values such as honesty, honorable conduct, morality, virtue, unselfishness, ethical ideals, dedication to serving others and leadership. Membership also recognizes excellence in academic scholarship.

This year’s AOA student officers are Jonah Graves, Imran Nizamuddin, Taylor Carter and Miracle Amayo. Fohn Foxworth, Pharm.D., professor of medicine and associate dean, and David Wooldridge, M.D. ’94, internal medicine residency program director, serve as faculty officers.

Michael Bamshad, M.D., a 1989 graduate of the School of Medicine, was the keynote speaker at this year’s AOA lecture on May 3. Division chief and a professor of genetic medicine at the University of Washington, Bamshad spoke on the genetic basis of Mendelian conditions.