Biomedical Masters Program

People

Meir Aridor
Associate Professor, Department of Cell Biology

Dr. Aridor is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Aridor received his B.Sc. in Life Science from Tel Aviv University, his M.Sc. in Chemical Immunology from Weizmann Institute of Science and his Ph.D. in Chemical Immunology from Weizmann Institute of Science. His research focuses on proteostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER): vesicular export and quality control in health and disease states.

Alessandro Bisello
Director of BMP, Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, Affiliate Member, Vascular Medicine Institute

After graduation from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Padova (Italy), I moved to the Beth Israel Hospital / Harvard Medical School in Boston for a post-doc and a junior faculty position. I joined the University of Pittsburgh in 2000, where I am currently Professor in Pharmacology and Chemical Biology and an affiliate member of the Vascular Medicine Institute.

Paula Davis
Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Health Sciences

Paula K. Davis, Ed.D., C.D.E. (Certified Diversity Executive) is Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Health Sciences.  Davis assumed her current position after serving the School of Medicine as Assistant Vice chancellor for Health Sciences Diversity since 2007. She has also served as Assistant Dean for admissions and financial aid, for student affairs, and director of diversity programs. Davis’s career has centered on higher education administration including recruitment and admissions, financial aid, academic advising, alumni relations, and support services for diverse student populations.

Peter Drain
Director of Academics, BMP, Associate Professor of Cell Biology

After graduation from the Department of Biology at MIT, I moved on to postdoctoral training in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University School of Medicine. I then established my own research lab as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and taught medical students at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. After four years I moved my lab to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine where I am currently Associate Professor of Cell Biology.

Jena El-Sabeh
Professional Coach Coordinator

After graduating from Allegheny College with a B.S. in Biology, I joined a healthcare consulting firm. I was thrilled by the opportunity to experience a city like Washington, D.C. and change healthcare for the better through best practice research. A couple of years in, I found myself missing the excitement and passion that I once had for the field. Feeling unfulfilled, I decided to pivot into something completely unfamiliar, institutional investing. I knew fairly quickly that I was not interested in a long-term career tracking investment performance returns or monitoring market trends. However, I was driven by the opportunity to learn a new field and grow in the discomfort. In both experiences I gained professional skills and started to understand my work values – the elements of a career that are most important to me.

Stephanie Gonzalez, M.D.

Dr. Gonzalez is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and an Emergency Department Attending Physician. Dr. Gonzalez received her BS from the University of Michigan and her MD at Wayne State University. She also completed her Emergency Medicine Residency at Wayne State University. Dr. Gonzalez received the Kenneth E. Schuit Award, recognizing the Dean's Master Educators. This is the highest medical education honor bestowed by the School of Medicine. Dr. Gonzalez is the Director of Clinical Shadowing for the School of Medicine Office of Medical Education, and works to provide shadowing opportunities for students in the BMP.

Larissa Kocelko
Administrative Specialist

I graduated from the University of Illinois with a BA in Mass Media and Communications.For the past 25 years I have worked as an Administrative Assistant in various capacities. I started working at the University of Pittsburgh in July 2016 and joined the BMP in December of 2016 as an Administrative Specialist. 

Steve Mattiace
Executive Administrator

Steve Mattiace, Ed.D. provides direct support to students throughout the application process to professional schools, and he is one of the instructors for the BMP Professional Communications Reflections courses. Steve is also the course director of the Experiential Learning course. Steve provides broad program and career advising to students. After extensive experience in student development and student success roles, including Residence Life and Pre-health Advising Steve joined the BMP in 2016, the fall prior to the first cohort of students. Steve oversees the Linkage and Interview agreements with partner programs, and also serves on various BMP committees, including Admissions and Justice Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Steve also oversees the assessment of the program. Steve’s academic work focused on promoting Osteopathic Medicine as a career pathway with the BMP students, and he continues this work after completing his Educational Doctorate in Higher Education Management in the summer of 2022.

Rebecca McMillen
Student Affairs Coordinator

I received my BA in Communication from the University of Pittsburgh and am currently completing my Master’s in Higher Education. I began my professional career in college admissions, and before rejoining Pitt, I worked at Carnegie Mellon University counseling students with their academic and financial needs.

As the BMP’s Student Affairs Coordinator, I provide administrative, program, and social support to prospective students, applicants, current students, and alumni. In addition to my coordinator role, I support students by co-facilitating the BMP’s Professional Communication Reflection and Experiential Learning courses.

Sandra Murray
Professor, Department of Cell Biology

Dr. Murray is a Professor in the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Murray has two passions in life: cell biology and diversity in scientific research. She became the first African American woman to be named a full professor at the school. Dr. Murray moved a lot—she earned an undergraduate degree at University of Illinois-Chicago, master’s at Texas Southern University, doctorate at University of Iowa, and post doctorate study at University of California, Riverside before establishing her career in Pittsburgh.

 

Jon Piganelli
Associate Professor, Department of Immunology

After graduation from the Department of Microbiology at Oregon State University, I moved on to postdoctoral training at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes and the Department of Immunology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

 

Guillermo Romero
Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology

I attended medical school in Lima, Peru, and moved to the United States to pursue a PhD in Physics/Biophysics at the University of Virginia. I joined Pitt in 1991 and I am currently an Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology. I am also co-director of the Molecular Pharmacology Training Program of the University of Pittsburgh.

Stevan Tofovic
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology

After graduation from the University of Skopje School of Medicine (Republic of Macedonia), I completed residency in clinical pharmacology and medicine and received Master and PhD degrees in pharmacology from University of Skopje Medical Center and School of Medicine. As recipient of NIH Fogarty Postdoctoral Fellowship Award for Advanced Study in Health Sciences, I completed my fellowship in clinical pharmacology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. In 1994, I joined the University of Pittsburgh Department of Medicine Center for Clinical Pharmacology. Currently, I am Associate Professor in Pharmacology and Chemical Biology and an affiliate member of the Vascular Medicine Institute.

Steven Truschel
Assistant Professor, Department of Cell Biology

I earned my PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Physiology. After graduation I completed two post-doctoral fellowships, first at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and then at Carnegie Mellon University in the Department of Biological Sciences. I subsequently returned to Pitt and I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell Biology.

Steve Wendell
Director of Professional Development, BMP, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology

After graduating from the Department of Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology, and Genetics at the University of Minnesota, I came to the University of Pittsburgh for my Postdoc. In 2005, I was appointed as research assistant professor in the School of Dental Medicine and assistant director of the Office of Academic Career Development. After serving as the founding director of the Center for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Career Development at the University of Pittsburgh, I am now an assistant professor in the School of Medicine and director of Professional Development for the BMP. I am also an International Coach Federation (ICF) credentialed Associate Certified Coach (ACC).