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PREP Council

Group Photo of PREP Council with Dr. Palese and PREP Directors Elaine Smolock and Jacques Robert

Group Photo of PREP Council with Dr. Palese and PREP Directors Elaine Smolock and Jacques Robert

This council will promote a sense of program ownership

  1. Provide trainee feedback to the Steering Committee
  2. Organize student-hosted seminar speakers for the PREP Council Seminar Series hosted bi-annually in the Fall and Spring
  3. Network with PREP alumni to connect with current PREP scholars, share their experiences, and encourage them to return as invited speakers
  4. Provide an inclusive environment in which all scholars can contribute to the continuous improvement of our program

PREP Council Leaders


ZanahZanah Francis

EmilyEmily Weber


FatimaFatima Rivera-Escalera, PhD


AmericoAmerico H. Lopez Yglesias, PhD

PREP Council Seminar Series

Annual Diversity in Science Fall Seminar

Annual Diversity in Science Fall Seminar

This seminar features former PREP scholars who are invited back to the URSMD to share their research and career advice:

2019 Invited Speakers

  • Danielle Alcena, PhD (2004; Staff Scientist in Life Sciences Learning Center at URMC)
  • Waaqo Daddacha, PhD (2007; Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Augusta University)
  • Robert Lopez-Astacio (2016; Immunology Graduate Student at Cornell University

2018 Invited Speakers

  • Dr. Lanyn Taliaferro (2003; Program Officer and Company at Liaison at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease)
  • Dr. Sarah Snell (2009; Associate Scientist in Process Development at Cytovance Biologics)
  • Carlos Bonilla Ortiz (2014; current PhD candidate at URSMD)

2017 Invited Speakers

  • Dr. Joseph Jackson (2010; Postdoctoral Fellow at the NIH)
  • Dr. Pamella Tijerina (2013; Scientific Consultant Toxicologist at CTEH, Texas)
  • E’Lissa Flores (current PhD candidate at URSMD)

Annual Spring Diversity Seminar

2019 Invited Speaker

Dr. Julie T. Millard, The Dr. Geralk and Myra Dorros Professor of Chemistry, Colby College

2018 Invited Speaker

Dr. Peter Palese, Professor and Chair of Microbiology, Mount Sinai