A magazine for friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

In Memoriam


Courtney Lane Bass RES’09, MD, 41, died August 27, 2021, after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Dr. Bass was born in Rochester, NY, and earned her BA in psychology from Middlebury College before  attending Albany Medical College. She completed her pediatrics residency at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and went on to practice with Narragansett Bay Pediatrics in Wakefield, RI.

She is survived by her husband, David; a son and a daughter; her parents, sister, and many devoted cousins and friends. She leaves a wide void and will be deeply missed by her family, friends, colleagues, and patients. Donations in her memory may be sent to The Tomorrow Fund, TargetCancer Foundation, and Alford Lake Camp in Hope, ME.

Courtney Haviland ’10 F’24, MD, 33, died September 2, 2021, in a plane crash that also killed her husband and the two pilots.

Dr. Haviland grew up in Farmington, CT, and was a neuroscience and literary arts concentrator at Brown. She and William Shrauner met as students at Weill Cornell Medical College, and got engaged a week before they couples matched at Boston residencies. She completed her residency in pediatrics and then a fellowship in medical simulation at Mass General before beginning her pediatric emergency medicine fellowship at Brown.

Dr. Haviland and Dr. Shrauner, who was a cardiology fellow at Boston Medical Center, married in 2017 and lived in Boston. Their son, Teddy, was born in 2020; Dr. Haviland was pregnant with their daughter at the time of the crash.

A skilled and empathetic doctor, Dr. Haviland’s boundless warmth was seen in full force around patients, where she brightened the lives of the young people she served so enthusiastically. In addition to her son, she is survived by her parents, grandfather, siblings, and countless in-laws, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Donations can be made to Reach Out and Read and Infant Crisis Services.

Bryant Toth MD’76, 71, died October 3, 2021, in Italy, where he had just celebrated his son’s marriage.

Dr. Toth grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Dartmouth before coming to Brown. He completed his residency in general and plastic surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and then a fellowship in craniofacial reconstruction in Paris. In 1984 he settled with his wife, Jill, in San Francisco and opened a private practice. In 1985, Dr. Toth cofounded the Pediatric Craniofacial Department at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, treating children born with craniofacial anomalies. He served as chief of plastic surgery at the hospital for nine years.

In the early years of his practice, Dr. Toth cofounded the Indochina Surgical Educational Exchange, enabling plastic surgeons not only to travel to Vietnam and Cambodia to operate on facial clefts and work on patients who were left disfigured by the Vietnam War, but also to train their counterparts in those countries.

Fluent in Italian, Dr. Toth taught in that country’s plastic surgery training programs for more than 30 years. In January 2020, he received the Ufficiale dell’Ordine Della Stella d’Italia, the highest civilian honor given by the Italian government.

Dr. Toth was loving, loyal, and generous. He leaves his wife of 44 years, Jill, and their two children. Gifts in his memory may be made to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland.

Christine A. Biron, PhD, 70, former chair of the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at Brown, died October 16, 2021.

Dr. Biron earned a bachelor’s in biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts and a PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of North Carolina. After postdoctoral fellowships at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, the Karolinska Institute, and UMass, Dr. Biron came to Brown in 1987 as an assistant professor of medical science. In 1996, she was appointed the Esther Elizabeth Brintzenhoff Professor of Medical Science. She served as director of the Pathobiology Graduate Program before becoming chair of MMI.

In her research, Dr. Biron focused on the cellular and cytokine mechanisms regulating immunity. Her lab discovered that natural killer (NK) cells, an important line of defense in fighting infection in the body, produce proteins that control infection and help modulate the body’s immune response, preventing it from doing damage. She made highly significant contributions to our understanding of immunology and is considered a pioneer for her work defining NK cells.

Dr. Biron earned many honors in her career, including election as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a distinguished fellow of the American Association of Immunology, among other professional societies. She lectured and published widely, and served on scientific boards for both the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. She trained many students who went on to distinguished careers as physician-scientists, and mentored a number of junior faculty.

One of her trainees, Jordan S. Orange ’90 PhD’96 MD’97, P’23, was the lead donor along with others who established the Dr. Christine A. Biron Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Lectureship in her honor. The inaugural lecture, which Dr. Biron had helped plan, was held October 28, 2021, and featured scientific talks by a number of her proteges and colleagues.

Dr. Biron is survived by her sisters and brother, her godson, nieces and nephews, two grand-nephews, and many cherished colleagues and friends. Memorial gifts can be made to the lectureship fund.

Louis A. Corvese, MD, 92, died October 16, 2021. He was a clinical assistant professor of orthopaedics at Brown.

A graduate of Classical High School in Providence and the Catholic University of America, Dr. Corvese then went to Yale, where he earned his medical degree and completed his residency. He served as a surgeon at sea and ashore with the US Navy. During the Vietnam War he practiced on the USS Enterprise and the USS Sanctuary, the hospital ship anchored off Vietnam to care for wounded service members.

Dr. Corvese practiced orthopedic surgery for more than 40 years and was a member of the Rhode Island Hospital surgical staff. Kindness and concern for his patients were always paramount to him. A generous supporter of the arts and charities throughout his life, he was very grateful for the many acts of kindness and concern shown to him by family and friends, especially during the last years of his life.

Aris Charles Garro F’07 MPH’07, MD, 46, an associate professor of emergency medicine and of pediatrics at Brown, died November 17, 2021, after a long struggle with cancer.

Born in Hartford, CT, Dr. Garro graduated from the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. After his pediatric residency at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, he came to Brown as a pediatric emergency medicine fellow. In 2007, he became a pediatric emergency medicine attending at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and joined the Medical School faculty.

Dr. Garro was regarded as a skilled clinician and excellent diagnostician. He was perhaps best known for bringing calm to even the most chaotic of nights in the emergency department, and he was universally loved and respected by nurses and staff. A passionate researcher focused on pediatric asthma, Lyme disease, and meningitis, he cofounded Pedi Lyme Net, a network of pediatric hospitals that collects biosamples from children with Lyme disease and mimics to develop point-of-care diagnostic tests. He had recently been approved for promotion to full professor.

Dr. Garro loved life and shared this joy with everyone around him. He loved music and painting, and was an avid soccer fan, rooting for the US national team, playing with friends, and teaching skills to his children. He is survived by his wife of 12 years, Christine; their three children; his two brothers and their wives; and nieces and nephews. Gifts in his memory may be made to the Boys & Girls Club of Providence.


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