Siblings earn medical degrees

Two members of a Vienna family will graduate from Ivy League medical schools in May.

Neil Vasan will graduate from Yale School of Medicine on May 20. His sister Nina will graduate from Harvard Medical School on May 30.

Nina will be one of two student speakers at Harvard’s graduation.

Neil is a 2001 graduate of Parkersburg High School. Nina graduated from PHS in 2002. Their parents are Drs. Srini and Usha Vasan of Vienna.

Nina will begin a four-year residency in psychiatry at Stanford University in June. She said she is excited about attending Stanford, near Palo Alto, Calif., because of the university’s reputation for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Besides a medical degree, Neil has received a Ph.D. in cell biology from Yale. In June, he will begin a residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Neil said he hopes to become an academic oncologist, treating patients while running a translational research laboratory.

Nina has collaborated on a new book, “Do Good Well: Your Guide to Leadership, Action and Social Innovation,” with Jennifer Przybylo. Their book is described as a leadership guide that provides a roadmap to making a positive and lasting impact on communities and the world.

Nina is proud to be from West Virginia and wants to help young adults here and elsewhere fulfill their goals of working to make this a better world through social change.

Nina wrote the following in the book’s preface:

“The best gift my parents gave me was making West Virginia our home. To my community, your impact on my life has been so profound that even today, when I think of who I am, the first words that come to mind are ‘a West Virginian.’ While I have yet to find the right way to thank you, I dedicate this book to you with hope that these pages are used by our young neighbors to bring out the best in themselves and lead progress in our community.”

During medical school, Neil co-authored “First Aid for the USMLE Step 1,” a review book for people taking the medical board review exams.

Neil wrote in an email for this column, “I am grateful to all my previous teachers from PHS who taught me to dream big, to have fun and to never forget where you came from!”


All 250 tickets were sold to last Saturday’s Taste of the World international dinner, sponsored by Marietta Morning Rotary Club at the Marietta Shrine Club. Khadine Ritter, an organizer of the event and native of Panama, said she expected $9,000-$10,000 would be raised to support the club’s literacy efforts, including providing a dictionary to all Washington County third-graders. Several Wood County residents were among the people from 16 foreign countries providing food at the dinner.


An international dance with disc jockey and karaoke will be from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. today at El Mariachi Mexican Restaurant, 1907 Grand Central Ave., Vienna, (behind Holl’s Chocolates). Owner Maria D. Smith said the international dance will feature the Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Cumbia, Reggeton, Samba, Rumba and Belly Dance/Middle Eastern. She hopes to make the dances a monthly event. Smith’s husband, Julio Lemus, and mother, Mirtala Smith, were born in Honduras.


The deadline to become a wine sponsor and attend a VIP event before the second annual Cause 2 Wine, to benefit SW Resources, is April 9. Mark and Allyson Liebendorfer, owners of The Country Vintner of WV, a wine distributor in Lewisburg, will host a VIP event from 2-3 p.m. before the main wine tasting fundraiser at the Parkersburg Country Club on April 20. Premium wines will be featured at the by-invitation-only reception with the Liebendorfers, while wines from 10 countries can be sampled at Cause 2 Wine, said planning committee member Inger Mendoza. The goal is to raise at least $5,000 for SW Resources. Contact The Wine Basket in Vienna at 304-580-0097 for more information.

Contact Paul LaPann at