Photographs - Activities and Achievements

Physician Scientist Joint Meeting, Chicago, IL - April 2024

American Physician Scientist Association (APSA),

Association of American Physicians (AAP), and

American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI)

Dana Oakes, Cassandra Woolley, Ph.D., and Stephen Nadakal attended the conference.

Research!Louisville October 2023

 Cassie Woolley, Ph.D. (M3) won First Place - Rhonda A. Hoffman Medical Student Award

Abstract Title "Full-length mRNA sequencing resolves novel 5 end-variant isoforms of CXCR5 in activated human CD4 T Cells"

Gathering with Co-Directors - July 20, 2023



Journal Clubs are held in June and July during the summer 2023

White Coat Ceremony - July 30, 2023


Canoe Trip - June 2023


End of Year Gathering in Celebration of our Graduates, our students, our research mentors and committee members  

May 15, 2023



Graduation, May 13, 2023



Our graduates: Anne E. Geller, M.D., Ph.D., George Z. Wei, M.D., Ph.D., and Jordan T. Noe, M.D., Ph.D.

 April 13, 2023 Gathering


Cookout - August 25, 2022




White Coat Ceremony - July 31, 2022



Sidney Johnson, Phillip Harter and Theresa Weis participated in the White Coat Ceremony at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. 

End of Year Gathering - May 16, 2022


School of Medicine Graduation Ceremony - May 14, 2022


Samantha M. Morrissey, M.D., Ph.D. and Desmond R.Harrell Stewart, M.D., Ph.D. with Dr. Toni Ganzel, Dean of the School of Medicine   

Doctoral Hooding and Graduation - May 13, 2022


Evan Tracy, Ph.D., Department of Physiology, with his mentor, Amanda LeBlanc, Ph.D. and Interim President Lori Gonzalez, Ph.D.



Samantha Morrissey, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology and Immunology had previously participated virtually in the ceremony in December 2020. Dr. Morrissey was given the opportunity to participate in-person prior to her graduation from Medical School. She is mentored by Jun Yan, M.D., Ph.D., with Lori Gonzalez, Ph.D.,  Interim President; Beth Boehm, Ph.D., Dean of Graduate School; Gerry Bradley, Interim University Provost; and Russell Salter, Ph.D., Associate Dean Graduate Studies and Director, MD/PhD Program

White Coat Ceremony - August 1, 2021

Steven Nadakal participated in the White Coat Ceremony at the Galt House.

End of the Year Gathering at Churchill Downs - May 20, 2021


White Coat Ceremony - May 16, 2021

Due to the pandemic, the incoming Medical School Class was unable to hold their 'White Coat Ceremony' in August of 2020. Thankfully, restrictions for gathering were lifted and they were able to hold the in-person ceremony once MED 1 was over. Eric Engelbrecht and Kara Gouwens participated.



School of Medicine Graduation Ceremony - May 8, 2021

Douglas John Owulaku Saforo. M.D., Ph.D. mentored by Dr. Leah Siskind and Dr. Levi Beverly. Dr. Saforo received the Chloe Coleman Prize from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and The Merck Manual Book Award. Pictured with Dr. Toni Ganzel, Dean of the School of Medicine.

Peter Whitney Campbell, M.D., Ph.D., mentored by Dr. William Guido. Recipient of the Merck Manual Book Award. Pictured with Dr. Toni Ganzel, Dean of the School of Medicine (L) and with Dr. Douglas Saforo (R)  

Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony - May 6, 2021



Peter Whitney Campbell, Ph.D. Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology mentored by William Guido, Ph.D 

Anne Elena Geller, Ph.D. Microbiology and Immunology mentored by Jun Yan, M.D., Ph.D. - Graduate Dean's Citation

Desmond Ramon Harrell Stewart, PhD. Pharmacology and Toxicology mentored by Geoffrey Clark, Ph.D. 

Inaugural CardStart Innovation Champion - April 2021


Jordan Noe, MD/PhD student and his startup, MAC-BIO, won the inaugural CardStart Innovation championship! The startup is developing a new cell-based therapy for the treatment of aggressive solid tumors. For winning CardStart, Noe will receive $1500 to help him get his startup off the ground and his technology to market. In fall 2020, teams that went on to the championship round, including Noe, won mentorship and coaching, modest funding to develop their prototype and free registration (an $9895+ value) for the 2021 spring cohort of LaunchIt, UofL's 10-week entrepreneurial training boot camp.

Samantha Morrissey, MD/PhD student, and Graduate Chair of the CardStart student organizing committee, said the event is meant to encourage students to think outside the box and gain hands-on experience innovating. Dr. Morrissey participated in the Spring 2020 cohort of LaunchIT. In March 2020, using NSF I-Corps funding, she started her own biotech company, Autogen Therapeutics, which focuses on the development of personalized cell therapies for the treatment of autoimmunity.

Match Day! March 19, 2021

Douglas Saforo, Ph.D. (L) matched at Emory University School of Medicine, Pediatrics Residency Program, Atlanta, GA . Peter Campbell, Ph.D. (R) matched at Baylor College of Medicine, Child Neurology Residency Program, Houston, TX. He received one of two spots. CONGRATULATIONS to both of you!


Peter Campbell, Ph.D., Desmond Harrell-Stewart, Ph.D. and Douglas Saforo, Ph.D.


(L-R MD/PhD students) Jordan Noe, Peter Campbell, Ph.D., Douglas Saforo, Ph.D., and  Anne Geller, Ph.D.                      

(L-R MD/PhD students) Desmond Harrell Stewart, Ph.D., Samantha Morrissey, Ph.D., Peter Campbell, Ph.D., Douglas Saforo, Ph.D. and Dana Oakes

Doctoral Hooding - (Virtual) December 2020

Samantha Morrissey, Ph.D.

CARDSTART Challenge - November 2020


CardStart Challenge is University of Louisville's Healthcare Startup competition. The competition brings together students from undergraduate and graduate level programs to brainstorm and develop novel technology-based startups for the healthcare sector. Judges selected three winning teams, one of which is MAC-BIO, Jordan Noe, MD/PhD student's startup focusing on cell based therapy for the treatment of aggressive solid tumors. Each receive support to help them refine their ideas ahead of a finals competition in spring.


Doctoral Hooding - December 2019


(L-R) Dr, Beth Boehm, Interim Provost, Dr. Neeli Bendapudi, President, Dr. Leah Siskind, Mentor, Dr. Douglas Saforo, Dr. Russell Salter, Associate Dean Graduate Studies and Director of the MD/PhD Program

Research Louisville! September 2019

Samantha Morrissey, Second Place, Doctoral Basic Science Graduate Student Award, with Jon B. Klein, M.D., Ph.D., FASN, Vice Dean for Research          

"Tumor-derived exosomes polarize macrophages to upregulate PD-L1 through metabolic reprogramming in a pre-metastatic niche" Mentor: Jun Yan, M.D., Ph.D.

Evan Tracy, mentored by Dr. Amanda LeBlanc  and George Wei, mentored by Dr. Michal Hetman and Dr. Scott Whittemore 



Teambuilding Canoe Trip - July 20, 2019

Monthly MD/PhD Meeting with Jason Talbott, M.D., Ph.D., May 30, 2019 

MD/PhD students met with Jason Talbott, M.D., Ph.D., graduate of University of Louisville's MD/PhD Program. Dr. Talbot is an Assistant Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Associate Program Director, Diagnostic Radiology Residency and Chair, Residency Selection Committee at the University of California at San Francisco and San Francisco General Hospital

Neuroscience Grand Rounds, May 30, 2019 - Jason Talbott, M.D, Ph.D.

Neuroscience Grand Rounds with speaker, Dr, Jason Talbott, discussing "MRI Biomarker Discovery in Acute Spinal Cord Injury: Radiomics, Artificial Intelligence, and TRACK-SCI." Dr. Scott Whittemore, Professor and Vice Chairman for Research in the Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology; Henry D and Marianna Garretson Endowed Chair in Spinal Cord Injury Research; and Scientific Director of the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, University of Louisville, introduced Dr. Talbott. Dr. Whittemore was Dr. Talbott's mentor while he was a student in the UofL MD/PhD Program.

Annual American Physician Scientist Association April 2019, Chicago, IL


Doug Saforo, Annie Geller, Samantha Morrissey, Jordan Noe

Kentucky Author Forum, Kentucky Center, Bomhard Theater 

November 15, 2018 

NY Times Bestselling author, Charles Graeber, discussing his newest book, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer," with interviewer, Dr. Thomas Gajewski, M.D., Ph.D., a cancer researcher at the University of Chicago.               

MD/PhD students, Doug Saforo and Desmond Harrell-Stewart at reception prior to talk

Student Meeting with the UofL 2018 Alumna of the Year,

Dr. Penny Heaton, and Alumni Fellow, Dr. Michael Saag

October 26, 2018

 (L-R) MD/PhD Students: Peter Campbell, Desmond Harrell-Stewart, Dana Oakes, Cassandra Woolley, Samantha Morrissey

2018 School of Medicine Alumni Fellow, Dr. Michael Saag and 2018 University of Louisville Alumna of the Year, Dr. Penny Heaton

MD/PhD Students: Doug Saforo, George Wei, and Annie Geller

Homecoming - Alumni Awards Ceremony - October 25, 2018

The University of Louisville Alumni Association established the Alumnus/a of the Year and the Alumni Fellows program in 1983.  The awards recognize graduates, who have distinguished themselves in their professional fields and are exemplary ambassadors for the university and their college or school. Recipients reflect the high standing and character of their alma mater. Both Dr. Saag (2018 Fellow for the School of Medicine) and Dr. Heaton (2018 Alumna of the Year) were nominated by the University of Louisville School of Medicine. They were selected by the Louisville Alumni Board of Directors.

Peter Campbell, MD/PhD student, represented the MD/PhD Program by introducing the Alumna of the Year, Dr. Patricia (Penny Heaton) at the Alumni Awards Ceremony on 10/25/18. Dr. Heaton is the CEO of The Melinda and Bill Gates Medical Research Institute. Dr. Heaton received her undergraduate degree from the University of Louisville in 1986 and her Doctor of Medicine in 1990. Following Medical School, she continued at the UofLSOM for her residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Dr. Heaton is Board Certified in pediatrics, with a sub-specialization in infectious diseases.


Dr. Michael Saag graduated from UofL's Medical School in 1981 and completed his residency and infectious disease and molecular virology fellowship training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a prominent HIV/AIDS researcher and infectious disease specialist at UAB.

Research!Louisville - October 2018

Doctoral Basic Science Graduate Students Awards

ESCAPE LOU Teambuilding Outing

Mission Accomplished! 9/27/2018

White Coat Ceremony, July 29, 2018


Cassandra Woolley (not pictured, Dana Oakes)


Team building Weekend, Red River Gorge: June 22-24, 2018

School of Medicine, Graduation Ceremony, May 12, 2018

Dr. Sharpe and Dr. Ramakrishnan

Jessica Mezzanotte Sharpe, M.D., Ph.D.                                       

Venkat M. Ramakrishnan, M.D., Ph.D.


End of the Year Meeting - May 8, 2018

Gathering to celebrate the year of achievement for our MD/PhD Students, in appreciation of our faculty mentors, and in special honor and recognition of our graduates, Dr. Jessica Sharpe and Dr. Venkat Ramakrishnan.

 Graduates, Venkat Ramakrishnan, M.D., Ph.D. and Jessica Mezzanotte Sharpe, M.D., Ph.D., with program administrator, Victoria King

American Physician Scientist Association Annual Meeting         

April 2018, Chicago, IL

Peter Campbell, Samantha Morrissey and Jordan Noe attended and participated in the APSA/ASCI Joint Meeting on April 20-22, 2018 in Chicago, IL

Doctoral Hooding - December 14, 2017

Heather Clair, Ph.D. with (L-R) Dr. Russell Salter, Dr. Beth Boehm, and Dr. Dale Billingsley

 (L-R) Dr. Russell Salter, Dr. Beth Boehm, Heather Clair, Ph.D., Dr. Matthew Cave, Mentor, Dr. Gregory Postel, and Dr. Dale Billingsley

Southeastern Medical Scientist Symposium, November 2017 at Emory University

 (L-R) Doug Saforo, Jordan Noe, Desmond Harrell-Stewart, Annie Geller, Samantha Morrissey, Natalia Bilchuk, Evan Tracy, Peter Campbell


SEMMS 2017 First Place Poster, Graduate Student Division

Samantha Morrissey

Mentor: Dr. Jun Yan

Wellness Activity - Pumpkin Carving! October 25, 2017


Research!Louisville September 2017

Medical Student Award - Second Place

Evan Tracy, MED 1, with Dr. David Hein

"3D Bioprinting The Cardiac Purkinje System Using Human Adipogenic Mesenchymal Stem Cell Derived Purkinje Cells"

Mentor: Stuart Williams

Team building Event: July 29, 2017



(L-R) Front: Jordan Noe

Middle Row:  Desmond Stewart, Samantha Morrissey, Annie Geller, Jessica Sharpe

Back Row in Sunglasses: Doug Saforo, Peter Campbell, Evan Tracy

White Coat Ceremony - July 30, 2017

Evan Tracy at the White Coat Ceremony

Students become aware of their responsibilities from the first day of training. The ceremony is designed to clarify for students that a physician's responsibility is to take care of patients, care for patients and practice humanism in Medicine.

Doctoral Hooding - December 15, 2016


Jessica Mezzanotte Sharpe, Ph.D. with (L-R) Dr. Russell Salter, Dr. Beth Boehm, Dr. Geoffrey Clark, Dr. Neville Pinto, and Dr. Dale Billingsley

National MD/PhD Student Conference, Keystone, CO - July 2016

Doug Saforo and Heather Clair attended the National MD/PhD Student Conference in Keystone, CO from July 15-18, 2016. Doug received a travel award from the conference.

Graduation - May 14, 2016


Huy Le, M.D., Ph.D.  with Toni Ganzel, M.D., Dean, University of Louisville School of Medicine

Michael Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.  with Toni Ganzel, M.D., Dean, University of Louisville School of Medicine

Michael Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. (Class of 2016) and Justin Kingery, M.D., Ph.D. (Class of 2012)

End of the year Gathering - May 11, 2016






Outstanding Student Award - April 2016

Doug Saforo, mentored by Dr. Leah Siskind and Dr. Levi Beverly, received recognition April 19, 2016 as "Outstanding Student - Graduate and Professional Students." The UofL Student Awards are in their 16th year. Using criteria of leadership, service and involvement, a committee selects recipients from student nominations. Michael Mardis, Dean of Students and Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Interim Provost Neville Pinto helped present awards to students.

Graduation - Hooding Ceremony - December 2015

Venkat Ramakrishnan, Ph.D., with (L-R):  Dr. Russell Salter, Co-Director, M.D/Ph.D. Program and Associate Dean for Graduate and Post-Graduate Studies, Dr. Beth Boehm, Vice Provost for Graduate Affairs, Dr. Nolan Boyd (mentor), President James Ramsey and Interim Provost Neville Pinto

Research!Louisville 2015 Awards - October 2015

Jordan Noe with Dr. Pam Feldhoff (Dr. Robert Mitchell, mentor)

Norton Healthcare Medical Student Award - Second Place

"Altered bioenergetics in alternative activation of MIF-deficient Macrophages"

Desmond Stewart with Dr. David Hein and Dr. Pam Feldhoff (Dr. Geoff Clark, mentor)

NCI Cancer Education Program Norbert J Burzynski Award Professional Student Category - First Place

"The Role of DAB2IP in RASSF-mediated Tumor Suppression"

Southeastern Medical Scientist Symposium, Nashville, TN - September 2015

(L-R) Doug Saforo, Peter Campbell, Sanet Steyn, Samantha Morrissey, Jordan Noe, Heather Clair

National MD/PhD Student Conference, Keystone, CO - July 2015

Dr. Michael Zhang, Jessica Sharpe, Dr. Venkat Ramakrishnan

End of the year gathering - May 7, 2015