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Peer Mentoring

About

The mission of the Peer Mentoring Program is to promote student well-being, support academic success, and facilitate career exploration. The vision of the Program is to create a supportive environment where every student is able to reach their full potential. The Program values mentee-centric relationships, objectivity, supportiveness, and dependability.

Additional details: Peer Mentoring Program

Please direct inquiries to Jan.Czerminski@umassmed.edu (MD/PhD Peer Mentoring lead) or any of the MD/PhD students below.

What We Offer

  • Resource guides created and updated in the UMMS MD/PhD Google Drive
    • Grant writing (including sample fellowships)
    • Transition to clinical rotations
    • Residency
    • Career exploration
    • Alumni information
  • Our knowledge gained over the years we've spent in the program!
    • Selecting a lab (MS2 -> PhD)
    • Resources for support
    • Program timeline/requirements
    • Selecting a mentor
    • Clinical skills hours (during the PhD)

2020-2021 Mentor List

Mentors are listed by their primary mentoring role, then alphabetically by last name. Use the following links to jump directly to peer mentors who can provide focused advice on your training in the pre-clinical (MS1, MS2) and graduate school (PhD) or clinical (MS3, MS4) years:

Clinical mentors

Jan Czerminski, MS4

Jan.Czerminski@umassmed.edu

Photo of Jan Czerminski

Graduate Program: Basic & Biomedical Sciences (Department of Neurology)
Expected Specialty: Radiology

Undergraduate: McGill University (Neuroscience)

Hometown: Wayland, MA
About Me: I jumped straight into the MD/PhD program after undergrad and Worcester has definitely grown on me over the years.
Interests: Skiing, mountain biking, sailing, world cuisine

Ameer Elaimy, MS4

Ameer.Elaimy@umassmed.edu

Photo of Ameer Elaimy

Graduate Program: Basic & Biomedical Sciences (Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology)
Expected Specialty: Radiation Oncology 

Undergraduate: Carroll College (Biology)

Hometown: Spokane, WA
About Me: I worked in a RadOnc lab at the University of Michigan for 2 years after college. 
Interests: Weightlifting, running and cooking

Auri Garcia-Gonzalez, MS4

Aurian.GarciaGonzalez@umassmed.edu

Photo of Aurian Garcia-Gonzalez

Graduate Program: Basic & Biomedical Sciences (Program in Systems Biology)
Expected Specialty: General Surgery

Undergraduate: University of Puerto Rico (Molecular Biology & Mathematics)

Hometown: San Juan, PR
About Me: I have absolutely loved every minute of my journey as an MD/PhD student, despite being far away from home.
Interests: Keeping myself and my home organized and clean is about all I ask of myself these days :)

Barry Kriegsman, MS4

Barry.Kriegsman@umassmed.edu

Photo of Barry Kriegsman

Graduate Program: Basic & Biomedical Sciences (IMP; Department of Pathology)
Expected Specialty: Otolaryngology

Undergraduate: MIT (Brain and Cognitive Sciences)

Hometown: Holliston, MA
About Me: I started in the MD/PhD program right after undergrad. I hope to become a surgeon-scientist with a focus on head and neck cancers.
Interests: Running, hiking with my wife and dog, and trying out new restaurants

Asia Matthew-Onabanjo, MS4

Asia.Matthew-Onabanjo@umassmed.edu

Photo of Asia Matthew-Onabanjo

Graduate Program: Basic & Biomedical Sciences (Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology)
Expected Specialty: Urology

Undergraduate: Xavier University of Louisiana (Chemistry)

Hometown: Boston, MA
About Me: I matriculated directly into the MD/PhD program after undergrad. I was born and raised in Boston, MA. Fun fact: My twin sister also graduated from the MD/PhD program here at UMMS. 
Interests: Spending time with family, a capella, amateur Pelotoner, major foodie

Zachary Milstone, MS4

Zachary.Milstone@umassmed.edu

Photo of Zachary Milstone

Graduate Program: Basic & Biomedical Sciences (Translational; Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Expected Specialty: Internal Medicine

Undergraduate: University of Rochester (Biomedical Engineering)

Hometown: Brookline, MA
About Me: I went straight from undergrad to the MD/PhD program. Lived in/around Worcester for several years but now live in Marlborough w/ my wife, (new) son, 3 cats.
Interests: Snowboarding, road biking, homebrewing, cooking

Ankur Sheel, MS4

Ankur.Sheel@umassmed.edu

Photo of Ankur Sheel

Graduate Program: Basic & Biomedical Sciences (RNA Therapieutics Institute)
Expected Specialty: Internal Medicine

Undergraduate: UMASS Amherst (BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
Graduate: UMASS Amherst (MS in Molecular and Cellular Biology)

Hometown: Amherst, MA
About Me: I went straight from undergrad to my master's and then straight to the MD/PHD program. I worked on developing genetic editing tools and therapieutics in Liver and Lung cancer using CRISPR/Cas9 and hope to become a physician scientist in heme-onc.
Interests: Cooking, racquetball/squash, fantasy sports

James Strassner, MS4

James.Strassner@umassmed.edu

Photo of James Strassner

Graduate Program: Basic & Biomedical Sciences (IMP; Department of Dermatology)
Expected Specialty: Dermatology

Undergraduate: Cornell University (Biological Sciences)

Hometown: Albany, NY
About Me: I am a first generation college student and previously studied airway inflammation and T cell chemotaxis at MGH. I continued to study immunology for my thesis work. I commuted to school M1-M2 and for most of my thesis research years.
Interests: Exploring State Parks and trails with my family, snowshoeing, candlepin bowling

Pre-clinical/Graduate school mentors

Amy Cheung, GS4

Amy.Cheung@umassmed.edu

Photo of Amy Cheung

Graduate Program: Basic & Biomedical Sciences (Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute; Department of Neurobiology)

Undergraduate: Stony Brook University (Biology with Neuroscience specialization)

Hometown: Bohemia, NY
About Me: I am a first generation college student and took one year off before joining the MD/PhD program to finish my undergraduate research in behavioral neuroscience. My PhD work is also in the same field.
Interests: Community intervention, wellness, walking, trying new foods, baking

Grace Masters, GS4

Grace.Masters@umassmed.edu

Photo of Grace Masters

Graduate Program: Clinical & Population Health Research (Department of Psychiatry)

Undergraduate: Cornell University (Biological Sciences)

Hometown: Stow, MA
About Me: I took several years off and did research prior to joining UMMS for the MD/PhD program. I am interested in using health services and policy research to improve access and equitable care for people with mental illnesses, particularly pregnant and postpartum women.
Interests: Cooking, reading, playing with my cats

Nicholas Peterson, GS4

Nicholas.Peterson@umassmed.edu

Photo of Nicholas Peterson

Graduate Program: Basic & Biomedical Sciences (Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Department of Medicine)

Undergraduate: St. John's University, MN (Biochemistry)

Hometown: Otsego, MN 
About Me:
I am a graduate of St. John's University (Minnesota) as a first generation college student. Prior to joining the UMASS MD/PhD program, I conducted three years of research at the University of Minnesota, studying tuberculosis drug resistance mechanisms. I have a strong interest in host-pathogen interactions and innate immune regulation.
Interests: Running, cooking, hiking, and reading