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Medical Scientist Training Program holds annual spring retreat

The Medical Scientist Training Program at Penn State College of Medicine celebrated its recent residency matches with an annual post-Match Day panel, met with program alumni and enjoyed peer-networking opportunities during a retreat April 13.

The MD/PhD program’s co-directors, Robert Levenson, PhD, and Leslie Parent, MD, along with associate director Kirsteen Browning, PhD, provided a welcome and update.

Five people sit behind a table the front of a room while other people sit around round tables.

MD/PhD graduating trainees share best practices from the residency process.

The keynote speaker, Vance Albaugh, MD, PhD, talked to the group about his career journey. Albaugh, a graduate of the MD/PhD program, is assistant professor of metabolic surgery at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University.

Daniela Zarnescu, PhD, associate dean for graduate education and postdoctoral affairs, gave a career talk highlighting her research as well as showing trainees that no obstacle is insurmountable if you are persistent and work with great people.

The program leadership ended the retreat by announcing award winners:

  • Judith Bond MD/PhD Award for outstanding achievement in research and clinical training
    • 2024: Kristen Manto, Ernest Wang and Chachrit ‘Poom’ Khunsriraksakul
  • Daniel Notterman Award for outstanding clinical research conference presentation
    • 2024: Rahul Nachnani, Tim Helmuth, Ray Zhang, Brianna Evans, Michael Wenke and Havell Markus

Finally, Jeniece Regan announced the new Physician Scientist Student Association leaders.

Learn more about the MD/PhD program

Read about the MD/PhD Program’s 2024 matches

Daniela Zarnescu speaks near a lecturn, with a slide projected in the center of the front of the room and attendees sitting at tables.

Daniela Zarnescu, associate dean for graduate education and postdoctoral affairs, talks to MD/PhD retreat attendees.

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