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, 32 McNair M.D./Ph.D. Scholars have graduated and 15 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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Julie Tomolonis

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Julie Tomolonis
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9th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student 

4th Year Medical Student, Class of May 2022 

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

Graduate Program: Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine, Ph.D., 2021 

Thesis Title: The role of TNFα signaling in initiation of pro-tumorigenic inflammation in neuroblastoma

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

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Colleen Brady

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Colleen Brady, McNair MD/PHD Student Scholar
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8th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student 

3rd Year Medical Student, Class of May 2023

Johns Hopkins University, BA Neuroscience, 2013 

Graduate Program: Developmental Biology, Ph.D., 2021

Thesis Title: Cell-type specific deletions of Nlgn2 reveal vital role for excitation-inhibition balance in visual cortex

Mentor: Mingshan Xue, Ph.D. 

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Gerry Koons

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Gerry Koons
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8th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student 

3rd Year Medical Student, Class of May 2023

University of South Carolina, BS Biomedical Engineering, 2014, Summa Cum Laude 

Graduate Program: Rice University Bioengineering, Ph.D., 2021

Thesis Title: 3D printing of biomaterials for cranial bone tissue engineering

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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 7th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 5th Year Graduate Student

Texas AandM University, BS Biomedical Sciences, 2012, Cum Laude

Johns Hopkins University, MS Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, 2014

Graduate Program: Genetics and Genomics 

Research Interest: Applications for a new next-generation sequencing pipeline for the precise measurement of RNA errors

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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7th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 5th Year Graduate Student

University of California, Los Angeles, BS Neuroscience, 2014

Graduate Program: Neuroscience 

Research Interest: In-silico functional characterization of the visual cortex

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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6th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 4th Year Graduate Student

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

University of Guelph, MS Molecular and Cellular Biology, 2015

Graduate Program: Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine 

Research Interest: The role of microbe-epithelial interactions on primate enteroneuroactivity in response to maternal high fat diet

Mentor: Kjersti Aagaard, M.D., Ph.D. 

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William Wu

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

Johns Hopkins University, BS Cellular and Molecular Biology

Graduate Program: Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine 

Research Interest: Role of spliceosome-inhibitor induced immune signaling in antitumor efficacy

Mentor: Thomas “Trey” Westbrook, Ph.D.

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Linda Zhang

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

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

Graduate Program: Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine 

Research Interest: Genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screen reveals dependency of PPM1D mutant cells on DNA repair

Mentor: Margaret Goodell, Ph.D. 

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Hilda Chan

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Hilda Chan
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5th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 3rd Year Graduate Student

Clemson University, BS Biochemistry, BS Modern Languages (Chinese Emphasis), 2017

Graduate Program: Immunology and Microbiology

Research Interest: Breast Cancer Immunology

Mentor: Xiang Shawn Zhang, Ph.D. 

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Thomas Gebert

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Thomas Gebert
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5th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 3rd Year Graduate Student

University of Washington, BS Neurobiology, 2016, Summa Cum Laude 

Graduate Program: Development, Disease Models and Therapeutics

Research Interest: Purinergic signaling as a mediator of epithelial homeostasis and disease

Mentor: Joseph Hyser, Ph.D. 

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Xueyin Alice Wen

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Xueyin Alice Wen
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5th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 3rd Year Graduate Student

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SB, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, 2016

Graduate Program: Genetics and Genomics

Research Interest: The role of biological material transfer in bacterial communication

Mentor: Christophe Herman, Ph.D.

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Christina Magyar

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Christina Magyar
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4th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 2nd Year Graduate Student

Bethel University, BS Nursing, 2009, Magna Cum Laude

Lake Superior State University, BS Biochemistry, 2017, Summa Cum Laude 

Graduate Program: Genetics and Genomics

Research Interest: Neurodevelopmental Disorders 

Mentor: Hsiao-Tuan Chao, M.D., Ph.D. 

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Sarah Waldvogel

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Sarah Waldvogel
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4th Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 2nd Year Graduate Student

Clemson University, BS Biochemistry and Genetics, 2018, Summa Cum Laude 

Graduate Program: Cancer and Cell Biology 

Research Interest: Investigating the dynamics of clonal competition in mosaic loss of the DNA methyltransferase 3A

Mentor: Margaret Goodell, Ph.D. 

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Joshua Keefe

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Joshua Keefe
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3rd Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 1st Year Graduate Student

University of California, Los Angeles, BS Bioengineering, 2017, Magna Cum Laude 

Graduate Program: Development, Disease Models and Therapeutics

Research Interest: Cardiovascular Research 

Mentor: Xander Wehrens, M.D., Ph.D. 
 

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Malcolm McDonald

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Malcolm McDonald
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3rd Year M.D./Ph.D. Student, 1st Year Graduate Student

Duke University, BS Neuroscience, 2018, Magna Cum Laude 

Graduate Program: Development, Disease Models and Therapeutics 

Research Interest: Neuroscience and Cancer Research 

Mentor: Benjamin Deneen, Ph.D. 

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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.