The Medical Scientist Training Program is overseen by a team of directors who have strong backgrounds in clinical practice and basic research, and are committed to the education of physician-scientists.
Anna Huttenlocher, MD, director
Anna Huttenlocher, MD, trained at Harvard Medical School, Boston Children's Hospital, and University of California-San Francisco. She then moved to the University of Illinois-Champaign and soon became involved with the Illinois MD-PhD program.
Huttenlocher joined the faculty of UW-Madison in 1999 with a joint appointment in the Departments of Pediatrics and Pharmacology and as an associate director of the Medical Scientist Training Program. In 2006, she moved her basic science appointment to the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology.
In the summer of 2012, she became the director of the MSTP, succeeding Dr. Deane Mosher, who retired after 13 years as the leader of the program.
Huttenlocher is a practicing pediatric rheumatologist. She is recognized internationally for her pioneering studies of cell migration and alterations of cell migration in human diseases.
She is an outstanding example of a female physician-scientist who combines family life, research, teaching and clinical work. Huttenlocher is deeply committed to the education of physician-scientists and has served on various task forces that address this issue.
Mark Burkard, MD, PhD, director
Mark Burkard, MD, PhD, is a graduate of the University of Rochester MSTP program, and did residency and fellowship/postdoctoral training at Cornell and Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin in 2008 in the hematology/oncology division of the Department of Medicine. He became associate director of the Medical Scientist Training Program in 2012.
Burkard directs a laboratory focused on using chemical biology to elucidate the process of human cell division and develop therapeutic strategies for cancer treatment. He also leads the UW Carbone Cancer Center breast research program. His clinical practice in oncology is focused on breast cancer.
He considers it an honor and privilege to work with the brightest scholars of tomorrow. He enjoys frequent discussions with current MSTP students about keeping perspective on life, career goals and about being a medical scientist.
Caitlin Pepperell, MD, associate director
Caitlin Pepperell, MD, trained at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She completed an internal medicine residency and infectious diseases fellowship at the University of Toronto. She then moved to Stanford University for a second clinical fellowship and faculty appointment in infectious diseases.
In 2011, Pepperell joined the UW School of Medicine and Public Health faculty with a joint appointment in the Departments of Medicine (infectious disease) and Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She became an associate director of the MSTP program in 2013.
Pepperell's research focuses on the ecology and evolution of human pathogens. She is particularly interested in granulomatous diseases such as tuberculosis and the endemic mycoses. These diseases are of major importance to global public health, and a better understanding of evolutionary interactions between humans and pathogenic microbes will lead to improvements in disease control, antimicrobial therapy and vaccines.
J.P. Yu, MD, PhD, associate director
J.P. Yu, MD, PhD, is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign MSTP and completed his radiology residency and neuroradiology fellowship/postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco. He joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in 2015 as assistant professor in the Department of Radiology (neuroradiology), with additional appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry and Biomedical Engineering, and the Neuroscience Training Program. After serving on the MSTP Admissions Subcommittee, Yu became an associate director of the Medical Scientist Training Program in 2017.
Yu directs a systems neuroimaging laboratory, investigating the molecular features of neuropsychiatric disease through the development of a novel, innovative, collaborative and interdisciplinary systems neuroscience approach coupled with advanced neuroimaging techniques and methodologies with an emphasis on autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia.
Yu has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to medical education and is the associate director of the ACGME-accredited Neuroradiology Fellowship Program. As a prior MD-PhD trainee, Yu is well versed in all aspects of the Medical Scientist Training Program, including the programmatic, academic and integrative challenges facing trainees today and is committed to providing the support and leadership necessary to allow these students to realize their full potential as the next cadre of physician-scientists.
Former MSTP leaders
Deane Mosher, MD, director, 1999-2012
Deane Mosher, MD, joined UW-Madison in 1976 with a joint appointment in the Departments of Medicine and Biomolecular Chemistry. He has participated in the UW-Madison MSTP since it began in 1986. Under Mosher’s leadership between 1999-2012, the UW-Madison MSTP grew from 31 to 76 students, NIH funding was renewed three times and 51 students graduated with their dual degrees. He stepped down as director in summer 2012 but maintains his professor appointment and an active research program investigating the extracellular matrix and cell adhesion.
Robert Blank, MD, PhD, associate director, 2000-2013
From 2000 to 2013, Robert Blank, MD, PhD, was a faculty member in the endocrinology section of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health's Department of Medicine. As an associate director of the Medical Scientist Training Program, he took the lead in involving School of Medicine and Public Health clinical faculty in the development of Medicine 901, a bridging curriculum to facilitate transitions of MSTP students from medical school to graduate study, and Medicine 903, a course to refresh clinical skills at the end of their graduate study when returning to clinical rotations.
He left UW-Madison in spring 2013 to pursue a leadership position in the Department of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Clinical Nutrition at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Brad Schwartz, MD, director, 1996-1999, associate director, 2011-2013
In the 1990s, Brad Schwartz, MD, directed the MD-PhD program and successfully obtained UW-Madison's first NIH-MSTP funding. He left the UW School of Medicine and Public Health in 1999 to become the dean of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign. He returned in 2011 to become the director of research education and career development at the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) and professor of medicine (hematology), and rejoin the MSTP as an associate director. In spring 2013, Schwartz was named the CEO of Morgridge Institute for Research.
Paul Cook, administrator, 1998-2016
Paul Cook began serving as the Medical Scientist Training Program administrator in 1998, when the program became funded by the National Institutes of Health. He previously served as the assistant to the associate dean for research and graduate programs in the School of Medicine and Public Health. Cook was a key leader in the UW-Madison MSTP and nationally, serving on the MD-PhD Section Steering Committee. He shepherded the program through changes in directorship, medical school curricula transformations and relocation of the medical school from central campus to its current location in the Health Sciences Learning Center.
Many current Medical Scientist Training Program students and alumni have credited (at least in part) their decision to matriculate to the UW-Madison MSTP to Cook’s superior administrative capabilities.
Scott Reeder, MD, PhD, associate director, 2013-2017
Scott Reeder MD, PhD, joined UW-Madison in 2005 from Stanford University, where he completed his radiology residency and a fellowship in abdominal and cardiovascular imaging. As associate director of the Medical Scientist Training Program from 2013 to 2017, Reeder directed the second-year journal club, Radiology 711. Reeder also directed the newest MSTP course Medicine 902, the physician-scientist preceptorship in clinical and translational research.
Reeder is the section chief of cardiovascular imaging and MRI, and director of the UW-Madison clinical MRI fellowship. In addition to his clinical duties, Reeder is also the director of the UW-Madison Liver Imaging Research Program, an active NIH-funded group that performs research in technical development and translation of new imaging methods to assess liver disease.