School of Medicine

The Pulse

Updates from the MD/PhD Program (Summer 2020)

Angela M. Amedee, PhD, Program Director

In May, the MD/PhD program celebrated the graduation and residency matches for six students completing the dual degree program. Although we were unable to celebrate together in person, the group held a virtual celebration via Zoom. We wish these doctors all the best as they embark on the next phase of training. 

Graduates and Residency Programs include:

Hannah Albritton, MD, PhD      Emory University School of Medicine - Psychiatry Residency Program

Steven Eastlack, MD, PhD        NC Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Anesthesiology Residency

Allyson Schreiber, MD, PhD    Children's National Hospital, Washington DC, Pediatric Residency

Dustin Todaro, MD, PhD           University of Pennsylvania, Psychiatry- Research Track Residency

Tomas Vanagunas, MD, PhD   Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Pediatrics/Medical Genetics Residency

Jeffrey Wang, MD, PhD             LSUHSC SOM New Orleans, General Surgery Residency

Over the summer, we also celebrated with four of our students who successfully defended their dissertations, completing requirements for their Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Dr. Kately Gurley, Dr. Katelyn Robillard, Dr. Nazary Nebeluk, and Dr. Zachary Stielper returned to medical school in July 2020 to begin their clinical clerkships.  

In May, eight MD/PhD students completed their preclinical years of medical school and officially transitioned into Graduate Studies this summer. The new graduate students officially began in the laboratory on July 1st into the following graduate programs:

Biochemistry - Oygul Mirzalieva

Cell Biology & Anatomy - Carol Upchurch

MIP - Jacob Elnaggar

Pharmacology - Ashley Henderson, Kyle LaPenna, Donnell White

Physiology - Brianna Bourgeois, Anna Whitehead

The program is pleased to congratulate MD/PhD student Muhammad Farooq, who was awarded an F30 grant by the NIH for his project titled, Alcohol exposure reverses fear conditioning-induced change in endocannabinoid signaling. Muhammad is completing his second year of graduate training in the Department of Cell Biology & Anatomy, under the mentorship of Dr. June Liu.

As we look forward to the Fall 2020 semester, the program will officially welcome six new students to the MD/PhD program. The following students come to us with diverse research backgrounds from six different undergraduate institutions. They will join the incoming Medical School Class this fall.

Taylor Fitzpatrick-Schmidt, Tulane University

Eden Gallegos, Louisiana State University

Jeff Ji, McGill University, Canada

John Lammons, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Gabrielle Vontz, Kansas State University

Kourtney Weaver, University of New Orleans.