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Mission Statement & Program Alumni

Mission Statement

The MD/PhD program at the University of Rochester trains a diverse community of students dedicated to the advancement of biomedical sciences and practice of compassionate medicine. The unique combination of the Double Helix curriculum, rigorous training in scientific research, and acquisition of clinical skills prepares students to be independent, visionary physician-scientists who promote human health through the integration of basic and clinical sciences.


Of 157 MSTP trainees graduating from the University of Rochester between 1978 and 2015, at least 128 remain in the academic track with 84 currently holding faculty appointments or working in research intensive careers (e.g. Pharma/Biotech) with 44 still in fellowship or residency training. In a 2015 survey, 84% of alumni in full-time academic or research-associated positions reported spending 50% or more of their time engaged in research. Many former trainees have assumed positions of leadership within their institutions. For example, Bradford Berk (1981) is Distinguished University Professor in Medicine, Neurology, Pathology, and Pharmacology & Physiology as well as Director, Rochester Neurorestorative Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). He is former Senior Vice President for Health Science and CEO at the University of Rochester Medical School.  John Dipersio (1980) is Deputy Director of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University; Edward Rubin (1980) is Director, US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Richard Gallo (1986) is Chief of Dermatology at the University of California, San Diego; Paul Love (1987) is Section Head of Cellular and Developmental Biology at NICHD; Akiko Shimamura (1991) is Director of the Bone Marrow Failure Clinic at Seattle Children’s Hospital.; Alison Bertuch (1993) is Director of the Bone Marrow Failure Program at the Baylor College of Medicine; and Virginia Winn (1996) is Director of Perinatal Biology at Stanford University School of Medicine.  Other graduates assume important leadership roles in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry including Leonard Dragone (1996), Senior Director of Experimental Medicine, Merck Research Laboratories.