NYU Professor of Molecular Pathobiology Andrew Spielman to Keynote Ostrow Commencement


John Hobbs MA '14


11 Mar 22

Ostrow’s ceremony will take place on Friday, May 13 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Brittingham Intramural Field, behind the John McKay Center.

AFTER THREE YEARS, Ostrow is set to once again host its own satellite ceremony, taking place at 11 a.m. after the main USC ceremony.

At the lectern, serving as keynote speaker this year, will be Dr. Andrew Spielman, a professor in the department of molecular pathobiology and former Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at New York University College of Dentistry.

“I am honored beyond words for having been asked to speak to the graduating class at USC,” Spielman said. “I consider it one of the greatest distinctions I have received.” 

USC Commencement: About Spielman


Spielman began his dental career in Romania, earning a DMD from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in 1974. Afterward he pursued both master’s and doctoral degrees in biochemistry and oral biology from the University of Toronto. He also received a certificate in maxillofacial surgery from the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) and a postdoctoral education in the neuroscience of taste from the Monell Center in Philadelphia. Most recently, Spielman earned an online certificate on the history of medicine from Oxford University in 2018. 

“Many graduates think ‘I have accumulated sufficient knowledge in four years, therefore I am competent to practice,’” said Spielman, in a nod to the importance of lifelong learning. “But, in reality, what they have, or should have gained is the ability to continuously maintain competence in a changing world of knowledge.”

Spielman joined the faculty of New York University in 1989, teaching basic sciences, the integration of clinical with basic sciences and the history of medicine and dentistry. . 

Spielman has a long list of distinctions and honors, including being a Fellow in the Royal Society of Medicine, the New York Academy of Medicine, the American College of Dentists and an Honorary Fellow with the Academy of Distinguished Educators. He is also a member of the Pierre Fauchard Academy.

He has authored more than 140 publications, co-edited a book about chemosensory cell biology and authored a two-volume commemorative book, titled 150-Year History of NYU College of Dentistry. 

His research interests in the history of medicine have led him to be named Director of the Bernard Weinberger Rare Book Library and Historical Archives at NYU and President of the American Academy of the History of Dentistry. He is currently working on an Illustrated Encyclopedia of the History of Dentistry and developing a Virtual Museum of the History of Dentistry. 

“Yes, Yes and Yes!”


“We’re so thrilled to welcome Dr. Spielman to our Commencement ceremony,” said Avishai Sadan, dean of the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. “He’s an incredibly accomplished individual who truly embodies what it means to be a life-long learner. Beyond that, his work helping to integrate the clinical concept of basic science applications, particularly with the new Integrated National Dental Board Examination is incredibly innovative.”

As Spielman delivers the keynote, there’s one message he most hopes will resonate with Ostrow’s graduating class. 

“Every graduate wonders if they are prepared for real life. Are they clinically competent? Will they be OK?” he said. “Knowing USC and its faculty, the answer is yes, yes and yes!”

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