Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Medical Scientist Training Program

MSTP Leadership

The leadership team of Northwestern University Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) plays an active role in the success of MSTP students. Team members are available to provide guidance and support at all stages of students’ training. Read our bios below.

Hossein Ardehali

Hossein Ardehali, MD, PhD

Director, MSTP
Professor of Medicine

Dr. Arehali is the director of the Program.

He received a BS in Computer Science from the University of Utah in 1990 and graduated from the Vanderbilt University MSTP in 1998. He completed Internal Medicine residency and Cardiology fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.

After a brief time on faculty at Hopkins, Dr. Ardehali was recruited to Feinberg in 2005, and he is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, and of Molecular Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry. His research involves the role of mitochondria and metabolic enzymes in cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Ardehali has received numerous awards, including the American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Cardiovascular Scientist (BCVS) Young Investigator Award, the Jeremiah Stamler Distinguished Young Investigator Award, Glaxo Smith Kline International Competitive Grant Awards for Young Investigators and a Schweppe Foundation Award. He is a Fellow of the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. He serves on numerous national committees, including the AHA BCVS leadership committee and is the chair of the AHA Membership/Communications committee. His research is funded by several awards, including four active NIH grants.


Xunrong Luo, MD, PhD

Associate Director, MSTP
Professor of Medicine

Dr. Luo is the chair of the MSTP Admissions Committee.

Dr. Luo is a professor of Microbiology-Immunology and Surgery in the Division of Organ Transplantation, and she serves as director of the Center for Kidney Research and Therapeutics at the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute. She received her doctoral and medical degrees from Duke University in 1995 and 1998, respectively, before completing a residency and fellowship at New York Presbyterian Hospital — Cornell.

In 2015, Dr. Luo received the American Society of Transplantation Basic Science Investigator Award, a mid-career honor bestowed for her work on preventing organ rejection in transplant patients.


Melissa Brown, PhD

Associate Director, MSTP
Professor of Microbiology-Immunology

Dr. Brown’s emphasis in MSTP is mentorship during the graduate phase of training. Dr.Brown is a member of the Northwestern University Skin Disease Research Center, received her doctorate from the University of Washington in 1983 and completed a fellowship in allergy and immunology at the National Institutes of Health in 1987. She leads a lab on campus using rodent models to uncover how the body’s own immune cells contribute to inflammatory damage associated with immune disease.


Jayms Peterson, PhD

Associate Director, MSTP

Dr. Peterson is responsible for managing the administrative and academic affairs of the MSTP.

He received his BS in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois in 1995 and his PhD in Neuroscience from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in 2002. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine, and in 2005 he entered the lab of James Surmeier, PhD, Chair of the Department of Physiology at Feinberg, as a research associate. Throughout his scientific career, Dr. Peterson has utilized a wide array of electrophysiological, behavioral, and imaging techniques to study the neuropathology of dopaminergic CNS disorders. He has published numerous manuscripts in leading journals and has been funded by both the NIH and private foundations. In addition to a strong research background, Dr. Peterson participated in the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence Graduate Teaching Certificate Program at Northwestern, and has taught at Lake Forest College and Northeastern Illinois University.


Joyce Tamanio

Program Manager, MSTP

Joyce oversees MSTP student finance and registration, and supports the general administration of the Program.


Marisa Davis

Admissions and Special Events Coordinator, MSTP

Marisa coordinates the MSTP admissions process and special events for the program.


Maxwell Edmonds

Third Year Student, MSTP
President, MSTP Student Council

Maxwell is serving as the MSTP Student Council President for the 2015 – 2016 academic year.

Maxwell graduated from the University of Rhode Island with his baccalaureate in Biological Sciences and French and Francophone Studies.  During his undergraduate, he worked in natural products chemistry with Dr. Navindra Seeram Ph.D. Following college, Maxwell completed a post-baccalaureate fellowship in spirochete microbiology with Dr. Justin Radolf M.D. at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Now as a first-year graduate student, Maxwell works in the reproductive physiology and bioengineering laboratory of Dr. Teresa Woodruff Ph.D.  He is investigating the role of the cellular microenvironment in instructing testis organogenesis through the use of bioengineered culture systems. Outside of science and medicine, Maxwell enjoys cooking, reading, guitar, and athletics. He is an avid athlete and has competed in multiple olympic lifting competitions in the Chicago area.