Director Dr. Gary H. Gibbons to be Keynote Speaker at the CUNY School of Medicine Class of 2023 MD Commencement

The CUNY School of Medicine at The City College of New York (CUNY Med) announced today that Dr. Gary H. Gibbons will address the MD Class of 2023 (60 Medical Doctor candidates), their families, and CUNY Med faculty, staff, and students as the keynote speaker at the school’s 4th Annual Commencement ceremony scheduled for Thursday, May 25, 2023. Dr. Gibbons is the Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the third largest Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NHLBI provides global leadership for the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, sleep, and blood diseases to improve the health of all people.


“We are honored and humbled to have Dr. Gary H. Gibbons share his inspirational message about leaning into to leadership, learning perseverance, and the value of lived experience with our MD candidates,” said Carmen Renée Green, MD, Dean, CUNY School of Medicine. “His personal story and professional journey will inspire our MD graduates to dream brighter dreams and explore multi-faceted careers in medicine as Healers, Leaders, and Scholars who – like Dr. Gibbons – will direct leading-edge research and make scientific contributions across many fields.”


Dr. Gibbons provides leadership for transformative NIH and NHLBI initiatives, including the NIH Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities, researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER), implementing a maternal health and PRegnancy Outcomes Vision for Everyone (IMPROVE), and the NIH Climate Change and Health Initiative. Dr. Gibbons also pursues leading edge research at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). His scientific contributions are cross-cutting in the fields of genomic medicine, vascular biology, and vascular pathogenesis as he investigates clinical phenotypes, behavior, molecular interactions, and social determinants of health in cardiovascular disease.


“In order to address and achieve health equity and ensure that we turn discovery science into health for our communities, we need a richly diverse pool of health care professionals who will make a difference and be part of the solution,” said Gary H. Gibbons, MD, Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. “The CUNY School of Medicine’s vibrantly diverse, early-career doctors are tomorrow’s leaders. Each has been excellently trained to provide compassion and care, but also to accept their calling and responsibility to help and heal others. I hope that today’s CUNY Med graduates embrace their calling and that in 10-20-30 years, they are living their personal and professional dreams, as I have been able to live mine.”


The CUNY School of Medicine is the most inclusive and diverse medical education program in the U.S. CUNY Med’s iconic seven-year BS/MD curriculum, includes an accelerated Pre-Med program and three-year BS degree, and a four-year MD program. CUNY School of Medicine also offers a diverse and highly competitive Physician Assistant program. Established as the first public PA program in the country, CUNY Med’s PA program was recently named by U.S. News’ 2023-2024 Best Health Schools Rankings as one of the Top 50 PA programs in the nation. For over 50 years, CUNY Med’s mission has been to address and eliminate healthcare inequities in New York City and beyond, and to ensure representation in medicine. Today CUNY Med is a national leader in producing health professionals who are underrepresented in medicine and ranks number four in the country in producing African American physicians.


CUNY Med educates multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural, and first-generation doctors, PAs and medical professionals who are as diverse as New York City. As NYC’s only public medical school, the student body reflects and demonstrates CUNY Med’s leadership of and commitment to access and equity.


“The CUNY School of Medicine is proud to celebrate today’s graduates in the Great Hall of The City College of New York with the Harlem Community that we call home,” said Dean Green. “Today’s culmination and celebration of our students’ hard work also serves as an inspiration for young children in our community to pursue a career in the medical professions.”


The CUNY Med MD Class of 2023 Commencement, which will include the CUNY Med’s convocation and graduation ceremony is scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 25, 2023, from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in The Great Hall of Shepard Hall at The City College of New York. Guests who are unable to attend in-person can join via The CUNY School of Medicine YouTube channel ( or via the following Zoom link (


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