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Alumni Profile: A shoulder to lean on

Posted by on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 in Alumni News, Alumni Profile, Fall 2022, Vanderbilt Community .

Photo by Erica Milligan at Essenza Studio

The romance of Samer Hasan, MD’94, PhD’94, and Mariana Belvedere, PhD, BA’91 began when she agreed to be a test subject for his dissertation research project. Talk about chemistry!

“It was kind of a workplace romance that blossomed,” Hasan said. “I didn’t dare ask her out until after I had collected all the data and dismantled the lab equipment, to avoid any conflict. Fortunately for me, she said ‘yes.’”

After earning his MD and PhD in biomedical engineering in 1994, Hasan served his orthopaedic surgery residency at Rush-Presbyterian – St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago and his fellowship at the University of Washington, while Belvedere earned her PhD in psychology. They married in September 2001, four days after 9/11.

“Mariana’s father was in Paraguay a day before the wedding but miraculously arrived in Cincinnati just a few hours before the ceremony on one of the first planes returning to the U.S. from overseas, post 9/11,” Hasan said.

Over the last 22 years, Hasan has built a subspecialty orthopaedic practice in Cincinnati. He was one of only two fellowship-trained shoulder and elbow surgeons in the area when he started in 2000.

“I am proud of mentoring young orthopaedic surgeons in accredited sports medicine and shoulder and elbow fellowships. Working closely with surgeons at the end of their formal training is very fulfilling,” he said. “I enjoy teaching and learning together and relish the enduring friendships. My role with the two fellowships has helped refine and sharpen my clinical and surgical skills.”

Hasan has served as chief of surgery — and currently serves as chief of orthopaedics — at The Jewish Hospital. He is also the medical director of the orthopaedic service line across five Bon Secours Mercy Health hospitals in Greater Cincinnati.

He was inducted into the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons in 2006 and considers this an important early-career highlight. He was the first member from Cincinnati and one of only a handful at the time who were not in a university-based academic practice. Hasan currently serves as co-chair of the society’s education committee.

The couple’s shared love of travel was instilled in them by their parents. Belvedere’s parents live in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and her younger sister lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. Hasan’s mother lives in Beirut, Lebanon, where he spent his high school years.

The couple and their two children have traveled on all continents, except Antarctica. Hasan’s most memorable travel experience was viewing the New Year’s Eve fireworks from a boat in the Sydney harbor in 2019 — just a few months before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We have taken the time to immerse ourselves in the local cultures when we travel and have experienced priceless moments learning about our shared humanity,” he said.