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 Professor of Medicine (Division of Cardiology) and Pharmacology. He is also the Director of Center for Molecular Cardiology. 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.


Jason Wertheim, MD, PhD

Associate Director, MSTP
Associate Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering (courtesy)

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

Dr. Wertheim is associate professor of Surgery in the Division of Organ Transplantation and is Vice Chair for Research of the Department of Surgery. He is also associate director of Northwestern’s Center for Advanced Regenerative Engineering. Dr. Wertheim graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a BS in Chemical Engineering and Biology (minor). He received his PhD and MD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania before completing a residency in general surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellowship in multi-organ transplantation at UCLA. Dr. Wertheim received the Basic Science Career Development Award from the American Society of Transplantation, the Vanguard Prize from the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, and the Liver Scholar Award from the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease and the American Liver Foundation. He is the Chair of the Cellular Transplantation Committee for the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. He serves on several nation-wide committees and federal grant review study sections.  

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.


Kosta Nicolozakes

Third Year Student, MSTP
President, MSTP Student Council

Kosta is serving as the MSTP Student Council President for the 2017 – 2018 academic year.

Kosta graduated from The Ohio State University with his baccalaureate in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Music. While at Ohio State, he conducted sports medicine biomechanics research in the lab of Dr. Timothy Hewett, PhD. As a first-year graduate student, he works in the Neuromuscular Control Lab under Dr. Eric Perreault, PhD, at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Collaborating with Dr. Amee Seitz, PhD PT, from Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, he is investigating glenohumeral joint biomechanics in individuals with atraumatic shoulder instability. Outside of the lab, Kosta is as B1G as it gets, especially when it’s scarlet, gray, or purple Saturday. He's active in outdoor athletics all over the city, relishes the spectacular Greek cuisine throughout Chicago, and loves any evening he can sneak down to the Loop for a Chicago Symphony Orchestra performance.