Meet the graduates of 2016

Meet a handful of our 466 exemplary graduates. They're leaders and doers, healers and scientists. They may have come from all over the world, but in coming to OHSU, they have one important thing in common: Together, they're going to lead the health care revolution and change the lives of people in Oregon and beyond.

Congratulations on your accomplishments, Class of 2016! We can't wait to see what your future holds.

Gaby Alarcón, 29

Gaby Alarcon, Ph.D. '16

When Gaby Alarcón first held a human brain at science camp during her junior year of high school, she knew a career in brain science was in her future. Today, the Coachella, Calif. native, now 29, is about to graduate with a Ph.D. from the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience in the OHSU School of Medicine.  

After attending Pomona College where she majored in neuroscience, Alarcón participated in the National Institute of Mental Health's Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research and Training Award (IRTA) program in Bethesda, Md. Though she originally considered a career in medicine because of her desire to work with people, Alarcón ultimately settled on neuroimaging research with a translational focus and came to OHSU in particular to work in the lab of Associate Professor Bonnie J. Nagel, Ph.D. Alarcón studies the neural networks responsible for self-referential processing and cognitive control. She is particularly interested in looking at these networks in teens to identify the processes by which teenage behavior goes from healthy individuation to maladaptive self-focus, as in the case of depression. "I like the ambiguity of working in an emerging field. I'm constantly learning new techniques and analyzing data in new ways, which is true of all fields; but I feel that in neuroimaging this happens at a quicker rate," she said.

At OHSU, Alarcón was also active in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, where she participated as a mentor in the Summer Equity Research Program and the Ted R. Lilley Cancer CURE Program. Both programs serve as pipelines to help underserved students explore careers in science and medicine. "I originally got involved because I was looking for community," she said. "It was jolting to come to a place that had few people of color. It is subtle, but helpful to see people who look like you. Which is why I always encourage young women of color in science." 

After graduation, Alarcón looks forward to a cross-country road trip with her two younger sisters to Pittsburgh, where she'll start a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh in the lab of Dr. Erika Forbes.

Brian Bush, 43

Brian Bush, Ph.D. '16

As a child of the 1980s, Brian Bush, was influenced by pop culture's vision of the future, and early in his academic career, he was drawn to the possibilities of artificial intelligence (AI). After earning undergraduate degrees in math and computer science from Hiram College and a graduate degree in Industrial Systems Engineering from Ohio University, Bush's career path took a sharp turn when he decided to forgo doctoral study and instead entered the workforce. His career path took him from pattern recognition work for the Department of Defense to software modeling for the oil and gas industry. He moved to Portland in 2001, where he eventually bought the tech company RuleSpace which specialized in text recognition and web filtering, growing the six person start-up to a robust business with 48 employees by 2010. Facing burnout and a buyout, Bush returned to school in 2010, drawn by the research being done on automatic speech recognition in the lab of former OHSU faculty member, John-Paul Hosom, Ph.D. He went on to finish his doctoral dissertation in the lab of Alexander Kain, Ph.D., where he modeled coarticulation, the concept that each speech sound is affected by every other speech sound around it, research that has potential applications in diagnosing speech disorders.

Today, Bush is putting his passion for AI research and his business acumen to good use and once again working with his mentor, Dr. Hosom, this time at the locally-based technology firm, Sensory, Inc. After receiving his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Brian looks forward to spending time with his hockey-loving family and attending tournaments in Boston with his teenage daughter, a hockey goalie.

Shabnam Ghazizadeh, 27

Shabnam Ghazizadeh

Everyone thought Portland native Shabnam Ghazizadeh would someday be a pediatrician. As the soon-to-be first doctor in a family of engineers, she fondly remembers writing school papers about her family doctor and an early love of children. She went on to pursue a degree in Biomedical Engineering at University of California Irvine.

In medical school, Ghazizadeh surprised everyone, most of all herself, by falling for the field of otolaryngology: "I knew I wanted a career that would blend technology and innovation, hands-on medicine and continuity of care. Something where I could build relationships with my patients but also have work-life balance." 

One of Ghazizadeh's most memorable medical school experiences was a back-to-back family medicine and rural rotation in John Day, Ore. Although a self-described "city girl," Ghazizadeh connected with the hands-on nature of rural primary care. Under the guidance of her attending physician, she received extra time with ear, nose and throat patients and experienced everything from late night calls to the ER to teaching community health education seminars with local seniors. 

Ghazizadeh looks forward to the next step in her career and would someday happily return to Portland to work at OHSU.

Matched: University of California Los Angeles

Alina Satterfield, 28

Alina Satterfield

Portlander Alina Satterfield felt the call of medicine from a young age. "When I was 10 years old, I started reading my parents' American Academy of Family Physicians journals," she said. Alina's parents – Portland family physicians themselves – encouraged her to also pursue her passion for music. She earned a degree in classical clarinet from Vanderbilt University. However, the drive to return to medicine was strong: "I never stopped wanting to take care of people, and I never saw myself doing that in any field other than primary care."

Prior to medical school, Satterfield worked a variety of health care jobs and gained insight into the administrative side of medicine. Life took an unexpected turn when the time came to apply to medical school. "I didn't plan to stay in Portland, but OHSU has such a strong primary care program, I realized this was the place I needed to be," she said.  

During medical school, Satterfield spent three months in Astoria with the Oregon Rural Scholars Program, which combines family medicine, rural medicine, and elective rotations giving students the opportunity to spend three months in a rural environment. "As I went through my third year clinical experiences, every specialty pulled at me, which I ultimately realized was reaffirmation that I should pursue family medicine where I could do a little of everything," she said.

Satterfield is excited to begin her career as a physician during the era of health care transformation: "This is a challenging and exciting time to enter family medicine given the enormous changes in our country's health care system." She hopes to practice community medicine in Oregon with a strong emphasis on underserved communities.

Matched: PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center