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Research

McNair M.D./Ph.D. Scholars

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About the Program

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Long-time supporters of the M.D./Ph.D. program at Baylor College of Medicine, the McNairs established the McNair M.D./Ph.D. Scholars program in 1998. Through that program, they support students for eight years through medical and graduate school.

The M.D./Ph.D. program is designed to train highly motivated individuals into becoming physician scientists who split their time between conducting biomedical research while still caring for patients. To date, 26 McNair M.D./Ph.D. Scholars have graduated and 14 McNair M.D./Ph.D. Scholars are currently enrolled in various stages of their training.

View a complete list of our McNair M.D./Ph.D Scholar Alumni.

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Current McNair M.D./Ph.D. Scholars

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Amy Pohodich, Ph.D.

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Amy Pohodich
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9th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student

3rd Year Medical Student, Class of December 2019

University of Texas at Austin, BS Neurobiology, 2010, Summa Cum Laude

Baylor College of Medicine, Ph.D.

Neuroscience, Class of 2018

Thesis: Exploring the molecular changes in MECP2 disorders and their response to interventions

Mentor: Huda Zoghbi, M.D.

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Amanda Koire, Ph.D.

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Amanda Koire, McNair MD/PHD Student Scholar
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8th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student

3rd Year Medical Student, Class of December 2019

Pomona College, BA Molecular Biology, 2011, Magna Cum Laude

Baylor College of Medicine, Ph.D.

Quantitative & Computational Biosciences, Class of 2018

Thesis: Applying evolutionary action to the interpretation and prioritization of rare variants in complex diseases

Mentor: Olivier Lichtarge, M.D., Ph.D.

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Jessica Messier, Ph.D.

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Jessica Messier
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7th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student

3rd Year Medical Student, Class of 2020

University of Texas at Austin, BS Mathematics and Psychology with Highest Honors, 2012

Baylor College of Medicine, Ph.D.

Neuroscience, Class of 2018

Thesis: Inhibition in the CNS: the role of Neuroligin 2 in inhibitory synapse specification and an improved inhibitory optogenetic tool

Mentor: Mingshan Xue, Ph.D.

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Jarey Wang

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Jarey Wang
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7th-year M.D./Ph.D. student, 5th-year Graduate Student

Duke University, B.S.E., Biomedical Engineering, 2012, Magna Cum Laude

Graduate Program: Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine

Research Interest: Cancer genomics and cancer cellular signaling.

Mentor: Trey Westbrook, Ph.D.

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Gary Liu

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Gary Liu, McNair MD/PHD Student Scholar
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6th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 4th Year Graduate Student

University of California, San Diego, BS, Human Biology, 2009

Graduate Program: Developmental Biology

Research Interest: Target Specific Functions of Interneurons in Olfactory Circuits and Mental Health

Mentor: Benjamin Arenkiel, Ph.D.

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Julie Tomolonis

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Julie Tomolonis, McNair MD/PHD Student Scholar
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6th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 4th Year Graduate Student

Boston University, BA Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, 2012, Summa Cum Laude

Graduate Program: Translational Biology & Molecular Medicine

Research Interest: Neuroblastoma initiates tumor-promoting inflammation via induction of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa) in monocytes

Mentors: Leonid Metelitsa, M.D., Ph.D. (thesis) and Heidi Russell, M.D., Ph.D. (clinical)

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Julia Wang

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Julia Wang
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6th-year M.D./Ph.D. student, 4th-year Graduate Student

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, B.S., Cellular and Molecular Biology, 2013, with Honors

Graduate Program: Developmental Biology

Research Interest: Genetics and pathogenic mechanisms of mitochondrial disorders

Mentor: Hugo Bellen, D.V.M., Ph.D.

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Colleen Brady

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Colleen Brady, McNair MD/PHD Student Scholar
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5th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 3rd Year Graduate Student

Johns Hopkins University, BA Neuroscience, 2013

Graduate Program: Developmental Biology

Research Interest: Genetic causes underlying pediatric epilepsy

Mentor: Mingshan Xue, Ph.D.

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Gerry Koons

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Gerry Koons
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5th Year M.D./Ph.D. student, 3rd Year Graduate Student

University of South Carolina, B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Honors College, Summa Cum Laude

Graduate Program: Rice University Bioengineering

Research Interest: Craniofacial surgery and tissue engineering and biomaterials

Mentor: Antonios Mikos, Ph.D.

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Catherine Bradley

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Catherine Bradley, McNair MD/PHD Student Scholar
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4th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 2nd Year Graduate Student

Texas A&M University, BS Biomedical Sciences, 2012, Cum Laude

Johns Hopkins University, MS Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, 2014

Graduate Program: Molecular & Human Genetics

Research Interest: The role of TFIIS in transcription fidelity and cancer in humans

Mentor: Christophe Herman, Ph.D.

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Eric Wang

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Eric Wang, McNair MD/PHD Student Scholar
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4th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 2nd Year Graduate Student

University of California, Los Angeles, BS Neuroscience, 2014

Graduate Program: Neuroscience

Research Interest: Using the cortical micro-circuitry to advance machine learning

Mentor: Andreas Tolias, Ph.D.

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Erin Bolte

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Erin Bolte, McNair MD/PHD Student Scholar
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3rd Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 1st Year Graduate Student

University of Notre Dame, BS Biochemistry & Arabic Language, 2012, Magna Cum Laude

University of Guelph, MS Molecular & Cellular Biology, 2015

Graduate Program: Translational Biology & Molecular Medicine

Research Interest: Role of the gut microbiome in human endocrinology & behavior

Mentor: TBD

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William Wu

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William Wu, McNair MD/PHD Student Scholar
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3rd Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 1st Year Graduate Student

Johns Hopkins University, BS Cellular and Molecular Biology

Graduate Program: Translational Biology & Molecular Medicine

Research Interest: Cancer Biology

Mentor: TBD

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Linda Zhang

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Linda Zhang, McNair MD/PHD Student Scholar
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3rd Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 1st Year Graduate Student

University of California, Berkeley, BA Cellular and Molecular Biology, 2015, Cum Laude

Graduate Program: Translational Biology & Molecular Medicine

Research Interest: Immunology and Endocrinology

Mentor: TBD

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McNair Medical Institute at Baylor

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Learn more about the McNair Medical Institute at Baylor and the support of Robert C. and Janice McNair.