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Student Council

The MSTP student body is intimately involved with the administration of the Program. The MSTP Student Council is elected by popular vote at each MSTP Annual Retreat and is comprised of a president, the past president, various chairpersons, and representatives to medical school committees and the American Physician Scientist Association (APSA). The Council conducts meetings open to the Program regularly throughout the year.

Responsibilities of the Council include many essential programmatic functions, including admissions interview weekends and Revisit Weekend, co-curricular activities, and social events. The Student Council also participates in recruiting, programmatic advancement, science education, and many other activities.


Rohith Palli, G3

Convenes meetings of the student body and Student Council. Coordinates the various council activities and initiatives. Leads issues of programmatic advancement.

Past President

Scott Friedland, G5

Advises the student council and chairs the Medical Scientist Research Symposium for the following year.


Admissions Co-Chairs

Dawling Dionisio-Santos, G3; Hannah Bell, G3

Aid in coordinating applicant interview weekends and represent applicants on the MSTP Admissions Committee. Organize Revisit Weekend for accepted applicants.

Applicant Dinner Coordinators

To be appointed by Admissions Co-Chairs

Applicant Greeters

First year MSTP medical students

Applicant Host Coordinator

John Bennett, M2

Events Chair

Laura Owlett, G3

Organizes the Dinner Seminar Series each semester and the MSTP Annual Retreat. Also organizes the Tri-Institutional MD/PhD Program Conference every third year.

MSRS Chair

Arun Venkataraman, G2

Organizes and coordinates annual Medical Scientist Research Symposium (MSRS). Requests nominations for keynote speakers from MSTP student body. Invites speakers two years in advance.

Outreach Chair

Carol Deaton, G1

Attends conferences for high school and undergraduate students to promote science education. Promotes awareness of dual-degree training through conference attendance, outreach activities, and social media.

Public Relations Chair

Catherine Pizzarello, G1

Promotes the Rochester MSTP to prospective students, URMC, and the general public through the MSTP Web site and social media. Assists in newsletter preparation. Records minutes of student body and student council meetings.

Social Co-Chairs

Jon Gigas, G1; John Bennett, M2

Organize and coordinate regular programmatic social events. Also organize the annual winter holiday party and assist with the annual graduation brunch.


APSA Institutional Representative

Scott Friedland, G5

Represents the MSTP at annual regional and national conferences of the American Physician Scientist Association.

Honor Board

Aditi Misra, G2; Keshov Sharma, G2

Attend regular meetings of the Honor Board and serve as a resource to MSTP students for ethical and professional issues.

Medical School Curriculum Committee

CC3/4 Representative(s): Jimmy Zhang, M4

MS2 Representative: Mike Sportiello, M2

MS1 Representative: Catherine Beamish, M1

Represent MSTP students at regular meetings of the Medical School Curriculum Committee. Responsible for ensuring that MSTP educational interests are represented in the MD curriculum.

Wellness and Resilience Committee Representative

Catherine Pizzarello, G1

Represent the MSTP in the Wellness and Resilience Committee. They will offer the collective voice and opinions of members of the MSTP to the committee, to help assure that any needs uniquely required of those in the program are considered by the committee. The representative will also report any relevant updates from the committee back to MSTP student council. The representative will also be responsible for gathering/maintaining relevant data on those in the program to make sure we’re maintaining overall student wellbeing.

Information Technology Chair 

Noah Salama, M2

Responsible for training people on the use of and helping to maintain the MSTP Red Cap account. This enables those in the MSTP and the administration to send out surveys and maintain the data longitudinally. The chair will be in charge of finding other technologies to help more efficiently run and advance the program. The chair will give updates on new technologies and their implementation as necessary to the student council.