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Medical Scientist Training Program

Latest News

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Ranked #3 in the Nation

US News Ranking

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is ranked No. 3 in the nation among Honor Roll hospitals in the U.S. News and World Report 2019-2020 Best Children’s Hospitals.

Specialty Rankings

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Stephen Trisno

MSTP Student, Stephen Trisno, Has Work Featured in National Geographic!

Congratulations to Stephen Trisno and his PI James Wells, PhD, on the first human esophagus organoid grown entirely from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs)!

The project was led by James Wells, PhD, senior author, and first author Stephen Trisno. Other CCHMC scientists on the project included Katherine Philo, Emily Catá, Sonya Ruiz-Torres, Scott Rankin, Lu Han, Talia Nasr, Praneet Chaturvedi, Marc Rothenberg, MD, PhD, Susanne Wells, PhD, and Aaron Zorn, PhD.

Dr. Wells said, “In addition to being a new model to study birth defects like esophageal atresia, the organoids can be used to study diseases like eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and Barrett’s metaplasia, or to bioengineer genetically matched esophageal tissue for individual patients.”

Click here to read the National Geographic article.

Click here & here to read CCHMC articles on Esophageal Organoids.

Eli Perl

MSTP Student, Eli Perl, Selected to Attend 2020 Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany

Eli Perl was selected to attend the 2020 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany! Only 650 of the most qualified applicants from around the world receive the unique opportunity to attend this meeting.

At the upcoming 2020 Interdisciplinary meeting, 30-40 Nobel Laureates will convene to meet the next generation of leading scientists from all over the world. The UC MSTP is proud to have Eli represent us at this global forum!

Robert Kleven

MSTP Student, Robert Kleven, Featured in UC Image of the Week

Robert Kleven worked on minimally invasive surgery techniques in Dr. Christy Holland's lab in the Department of Internal Medicine. Christy Holland, PhD is a member of MSTP faculty; to learn more about her work with Image-Guided Ultrasound Therapeutic Laboratories, click here.


Melanie Cushion, PhD

Melanie Cushion, PhD, Receives VA Research Career Scientist Award

Melanie Cushion, PhD, is the UC College of Medicine’s Senior Associate Dean for Research, and she also serves as MSTP Faculty and Director for the MSTP’s Senior Physician Scientist Advisor Program.

In 2020, Dr. Cushion received the VA’s Research Career Scientist Award, recognizing scientists who have demonstrated extraordinary contributions to VA research beyond their own funded studies and programs. Read more.  Congratulations, Dr. Cushion!

Leah Kottyan, PhD

Leah Kottyan, PhD, Receives CCHMC Mentoring Achievement Award

Leah Kottyan, PhD, is an active member of the MSTP faculty, attending program events and serving on MSTP committees. Additionally, Dr. Kottyan demonstrates true dedication and enthusiasm towards mentoring students. It is well-deserved that Dr. Kottyan’s outstanding mentorship skills were recognized when she received the CCHMC 2020 Faculty “Mentoring Achievement Award.” Congratulations, Dr. Kottyan!

Theresa Alenghat, VMD, PhD

Theresa Alenghat, VMD, PhD Receives CCHMC Research Achievement Award

MSTP faculty member, Theresa Alenghat, VMD, PhD, is internationally recognized for her work investigating epithelial cells, commensal microbes, and their impact on health and intestinal disease. She and her lab have authored more than 30 publicans in premier journals, which have garnered more than 3,000 citations.

In recognition of these achievements, among many others, Dr. Alenghat was awarded the CCHMC 2020 Faculty “Research Achievement Award.” Congratulations, Dr. Alenghat!

2019 M1 White Coat Ceremony

2019 UC College of Medicine M1 White Coat Ceremony

The MSTP’s M1 class took part in the UC College of Medicine’s 2019 M1 White Coat Ceremony. The traditional cloaking of the white coat – the mantle of the medical professional – marks the students’ official entrance into medical school.  It also symbolically marks the responsibility placed on each student’s shoulders to carry out the noble tradition of being a physician and practicing medicine with confidence and compassion.



(Photo: MSTP M1 students from left to right, starting in the front row – Arya Dahal, Judy Yoo, Alyssa Solano, Alexander Katko, Bianca Ruffolo, Amber Sogge, Alexander Sprague, Kathrynne Warrick, Edward Farrow, Austin Drake, Vivien Sauer, Keisuke Sawada, Kieran Phelan, Simon Han)

White Coat Ceremony CollageUC Medical School Welcomes Its Most Diverse Class

On August 9, 2019, the UC College of Medicine welcomed 185 first-year students in its 24th annual White Coat Ceremony.  

“This is a large class filled with exceptional people,” says Abbigail Tissot, PhD, assistant dean for admissions in the college. “They are the most ethnically diverse class we have ever matriculated. We also have more first-generation college students in this class than any other. These students are also slightly older, and many are coming into medical school after gap years rather than directly following undergraduate studies.”

More specifically, 23% percent of this year’s class are from ethnic backgrounds that are underrepresented in medicine – the highest percentage ever in the college’s history. There is also a near-even split between men and women enrollees, and first-generation college students account for 14% of the incoming class. Ohio residents account for 52% of the students, while non-Ohio residents account for the remaining 48%. 

See full story.

(Photo: Ravenna Rutledge & Colleen Kelley, UC Creative Services) 

Dr. Grupp and Dr. HersheyUC MSTP Director & Alumnus Win 2019 Drake Medals, UC COM’s Most Prestigious Award!

The Daniel Drake Medals are the highest honor awarded by the UC College of Medicine. The Drake Medal honors two alumni and two faculty for outstanding achievements in biomedical science as evidenced by major significant contributions to medical research or for a distinguished career as a clinician-teacher.

The 2019 winners included the UC MSTP Director, Gurjit (Neeru) Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD; and UC MSTP 1987 graduate, Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD!

See full story.

(Photo: Dr. Grupp [left] is shown with Dr. Hershey [right].)

UC MSTP Alumnus Receives Outstanding Honors in Medicine for Work in Cell and Gene Therapy

Stephan Grupp

UC MSTP graduate, Stephan A. Grupp, was elected into the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in 2019, an honor recognizing individuals making exceptional achievements in health and medicine. Dr. Grupp was recognized for “pioneering the development of an entirely novel therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and leading the first global engineered cell therapy trial that demonstrated effective sustained ALL remissions, making him a leader in cancer immunotherapy.”  Click here to learn more.

Regarding other notable accolades, Dr. Grupp was one of the 2019 recipients of the Daniel Drake Medal, the highest honor awarded by the UC College of Medicine.  (See above story for further details.)

Additionally, Dr. Grupp was also selected as one of the 2018 recipients of the William Osler Patient Oriented Research Award. The award recognizes achievement for research in which an investigator directly interacts with human subjects. Click here to view the Dean's announcement from the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine.

UC MSTP Alumna Receives Notable Research Awards & News Coverage

Trisha Wise-Draper

UC MSTP graduate, Trisha Wise-Draper, was named the FY 2019 UC College of Medicine's "Clinical Trialist of the Year."  The award acknowledges the investigator with the greatest revenue from industry-funded clinical trials.

The previous year, Dr. Wise-Draper was presented with the FY 2018 UC College of Medicine’s Research Rising Star Award.  This award recognizes outstanding research accomplishments and impact at an early career stage.  Click here to learn more about Dr. Wise-Draper, MD, PhD.

Dr. Wise-Draper was also recently featured in a Local 12 WKRC-TV report on a new clinical trial she is leading with Dr. Alice Tang, MD.  The clinical trial focuses on an innovative, tiny patch with the potential to treat head and neck cancers.  Click here to learn more.

2019 Honors Day2019 Honors Day!

Congratulations to our MSTP M4 students on their graduation! We wish you success and all the best in the next phase of your training!


Mary BedardMSTP Student, Mary Bedard, Receives CancerFree KIDS Research Grant

In 2019, Mary Bedard was awarded a research grant from CancerFree KIDS for the “Discovery of New Therapeutics for Childhood Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis.”

CancerFree KIDS is an organization that funds childhood cancer research.  Click here to learn more.

Congratulations, Mary! 


Rohit RaoMSTP Student, Rohit Rao, Receives Albert J. Ryan Foundation Fellowship

In 2019, Rohit Rao received the Albert J. Ryan Foundation Fellowship, a two-year award given to a select number of students at the University of Cincinnati, Dartmouth College, and Harvard University. The purpose of the fellowship is to recognize and encourage the career development of graduate students who show potential to contribute to the advancement of biomedical sciences. 

Congratulations, Rohit!


UC COM Yale Ciencia Academy FellowsMSTP Student, Camille Sullivan, is Named a Fellow with Yale Ciencia Academy 

MSTP Student, Camille Sullivan, was one of four UC College of Medicine graduate students named fellows with the Yale Ciencia Academy for Career Development. In 2019, the academy accepted 40 young researchers from across the United States to provide opportunities for professional mentorship, networking, and other skills to facilitate community contributions through science outreach. Yale Ciencia Academy’s focus is to increase the number of scientists from underrepresented or underserved communities. Click here to read more about Yale Ciencia Academy and the UC fellows. 

(Photo: Camille Sullivan is featured second from the left.)



M1 Research Poster Photos2019 Physician & Society Medical Student Poster Session

On April 24, 2019, the first-year medical students presented their service-learning projects.  Medical student learning communities were paired with local community agencies to learn about the determinants of health and the community and work together to improve them. 

(Photo: Moving clockwise from the top left, the following MSTP students are featured: Ethan Adkins, Alex Feldman, Andrea Holderbaum, and Jake Stevens.)


MSTP student meeting with Dr Elizabeth BlackburnMSTP Students Meet with Nobel Laureate, Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD 

As part of the 2019 “MSTP Interactions with Prominent Physicians & Scientist Series,” MSTP Students enjoyed having a Q&A lunch with visiting speaker, Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, Nobel Laureate. Dr. Blackburn has been a leader in the area of telomere and telomerase research throughout her career. She discovered the molecular structure of telomeres (the protective caps that preserve the ends of chromosomes) and co-discovered telomerase, the ribonucleoprotein enzyme that is responsible for maintaining telomere length. Dr. Blackburn is a known mentor to young researches and a champion for diversity and inclusion in the sciences. She has served on several national advisory boards and is known for her contributions to science policy and her advocacy for scientific research.


Shenwen HuangMSTP Student, Shenwen Huang, Receives John J. Hutton Academic Excellence Award

Shenwen Huang, an MSTP student graduating in 2019, was selected to receive the University of Cincinnati’s 2019 John J. Hutton Academic Excellence Award. This prestigious award is given to a graduate of the combined MD/PhD program who has excelled academically in both the medical school and graduate school curriculum. 

Well done, Shenwen! 


Courtney GianniniMSTP Student, Courtney Giannini, Receives Presidential Medal of Graduate Student Excellence

Courtney Giannini, an MSTP student in the Environmental Health graduate program, was selected to receive the University of Cincinnati’s 2018/2019 Presidential Medal of Graduate Student Excellence (PMGSE). This prestigious honor is awarded by the university president to three exceptional graduate students who are graduating from their master’s or doctoral program.  The honored students best exemplify scholarship, leadership, character, service and the ideals of the University of Cincinnati.  

Click here to read the UC News article highlighting Courtney's research and academic achievements. 


Match Day Pictures2019 Match Day!

Congratulations to our MSTP M4 students on their successful matches!


Gurjit Khurana HersheyThe MSTP’s Program Director Receives Research Achievement Award and Alumni Achievement Award!

UC's MSTP Program Director, Gurjit Khurana Hershey, was selected as a 2019 recipient of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Research Achievement Award for her ongoing, outstanding research accomplishments.  

Additionally, Dr. Hershey, MD, PhD was selected to receive the 2019 Alumni Achievement Award from Washington University’s School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Congratulations, Dr. Hershey!


Seth Reighard and Mark BacceiSeth Reighard Wins First Place at the 2018 Graduate Student Research Forum!

The UC College of Medicine’s Office of Graduate Education hosted its 39th annual Graduate Student Research Forum on Thursday, October 25, 2018. The event featured 90 poster presentations, and more than 100 faculty, postdoctoral fellows and staff participated in judging the presentations.

First place honors went to Seth Reighard, an MSTP student in the immunology graduate program.  And Ayad Ali, another MSTP student in the immunology graduate program, won an honorable mention.  Congratulations to both!  See full story.

(Photo: Mark Baccei, PhD, [left] is shown with MSTP student, Seith Reighard.)  

MSTP Student, Tammy Gonzalez, Receives AAAAI PhD Travel Scholarship

Tammy Gonzalez

Tammy Gonzalez was selected to receive a PhD Travel Scholarship for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) 2019 Meeting in San Francisco, California.  The meeting’s focus is “Food Allergy: Advances in Prevention and Treatment.” At the meeting, Tammy will be presenting a poster on the following: “Biofilm propensity of Staphylococcus aureus skin isolates is associated with increased severity and barrier dysfunction in the Mechanisms of the Progression of Atopic Dermatitis to Asthma in Children (MPAACH) cohort.”

MSTP Student, Ayad Ali, Receives AAI Young Investigator Award

Ayad Ali

Ayad Ali attended the 2018 Autumn Immunology Conference (AIC) in Chicago, Illinois.  Based on the quality and impact of his research, Ali was awarded an American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Young Investigator Award, which recognizes the first author of the top abstract in each Workshop category at the conference.

MSTP Student, Andrew Kim, Meets Nobel Laureates in Germany

Andrew Kim

Andrew Kim is trying to marry two loves: medicine and music. Kim studied classical violin as a youth and grew up in a family that loved music. Kim, a 29-year-old Cupertino, Ca. native got his chance to share his story at the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting held June 24-29, 2018, in Lindau, Germany. The focus of the meeting was physiology and medicine.

See full story.

MSTP Student, Courtney Giannini - Article Featured in Childhood Obesity Newsletter

Courtney Giannini

Involve Teens' Friends in Obesity Treatment 
Adolescents like having friends involved in their obesity treatment program, saying it improves enjoyment, according to research published in Childhood Obesity. Courtney M. Giannini at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, and University of Cincinnati in Ohio, and colleagues, recruited 42 teens from an obesity clinic and asked them to list friends they would involve in their treatment. The participants nominated an average of four friends and were more likely to nominate friends they considered close. Friends who participated in the intervention tended to be friends with more of the participant's friends, expending the messages to others in the teen's network. Read Coutney's Article

Judith Harmony Was Awarded 2018 Woman of the Year!

Photo: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer

Judith Harmony, the Founding Director of UC's Medical Scientist Training Program, was awarded Woman of the Year by the Cincinnati Enquirer and The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, for being a champion for women and children in the classroom and the community.  See full story.  

(Photo Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer)

UC MSTP Alumna's New Treatment for Lung Cancer

Reshma Rangwala - Merck

UC MSTP graduate and Merck Senior Scientist, Reshma Rangwala,was recently featured in The New York Times on a Merck-sponsored page...“Our researchers are working to invent new ways to fight cancer – and ultimately, to find a cure.” (Merck Pharmaceuticals)

Read about Dr. Rangwala's discoveries in the New England Journal of Medicine: 
Pembrolizumab versus Chemotherapy for PD-L1-Positive Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. 
Pembrolizumab for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer.

UC MSTP Alumni Unite to Uncover New Treatment Strategy

MSTP Alumni, Scott Pomeroy

Cincinnati MSTP graduates, Scott Pomeroy and Eric Raabe, combined expertise in bioinformatics and generation of a new human neural stem cell model for medulloblastoma (the most common malignant children's brain tumor) to discover a new treatment strategy for the most deadly form of this tumor. Dr. Pomeroy is Chairman of the Department of Neurology and Neurologist-in-Chief at Boston Children's Hospital, and Bronson Crothers Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Pomeroy also directs the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center at Harvard. Dr. Raabe is Assistant Professor of Pediatric Oncology and Pathology at The Johns Hopkins Pediatric Neuro-oncology Service, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Read the Johns Hopkins Press Release

2014 MSTP Spring Retreat Speaker Dr. Jeffrey Gordon Receives Copley Medal

MSTP_spring2014 Retreat_Fotor

Dr. Jeffrey Gordon, the keynote speaker at the 2014 MSTP Spring retreat and a former postdoc in SPS Director Arnold Strauss's lab, has received the prestigious Copley Medal from the Royal Society in Britain. Dr. Gordon is director of the Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He was recognized for outstanding contributions to science in founding and leading the field of gut microbiome research.See full story.