Program Leadership and Staff
Gurjit Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD
BS: University of Iowa, 1985
PhD: Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, 1990
MD: Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, 1992
After completing pediatric residency and an allergy/immunology fellowship at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Dr. Hershey joined the faculty at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Her research is focused on identifying the genetic and environmental factors that promote asthma pathogenesis and dissecting the mechanisms by which they confer risk. Aside from serving as director of the Medical Scientist Training program, she directs the Division of Asthma Research at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Rocky Ellis, MD
Graduate & Medical Studies
BS: University of Cincinnati, 1997
MD: University of Cincinnati,
College of Medicine, 2002
Dr. Ellis is Board Certified in Family Medicine and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He has a strong interest in medical education and is the Family Medicine Clerkship Director. As part of the MSTP, he coordinates academic and specialty choice advising.
Michael Jankowski, PhD
Admissions & Recruitment
MS: Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 2003
PhD: Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 2006
Postdoctoral Training: University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 2006-2010
Dr. Jankowski is the Theodore W. Striker, MD Chair in Anesthesia Research in the Department of Anesthesia, Division of Pain Management at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. His research focuses on the peripheral mechanisms of nociceptive processing across the lifespan under normal and pathological conditions. He also serves as the Director of Research for the Department of Anesthesia and is Associate Director for Basic Science Research for the Center for Understanding Pediatric Pain at Cincinnati Children’s.
Donald L. Gilbert, MD, MS
BA: Princeton University, 1987
MD: University of Michigan, 1993
MS: University of Michigan 2003
Dr. Gilbert is a Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He directed the pediatric neurology residency program from 2009 to 2020. His research focuses on motor control and neurophysiological biomarkers in pediatric movement disorders and neurobehavioral disorders as well as clinical trials. As part of the MSTP, he focuses on curriculum and professional development opportunities for students.
William Zacharias, MD, PhD
MD: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2011
PhD: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2011
Dr. Zacharias grew up in Des Moines, IA and did his undergraduate work at Northwestern University. He then went to the University of Michigan MSTP program, where he received his PhD in the lab of Deborah Gumucio, PhD, studying the role of the Hh signaling pathway during intestinal development. He then went to the PSP program at University of Pennsylvania, where he did Internal Medicine Residency and Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship on the ABIM Research track. In the research portion of his fellowship, he worked in the lab of Edward Morrisey, PhD, where he completed post-doctoral work identifying mechanisms of lung regeneration after acute viral injury. He came to CCHMC/UC in 2018 to start his independent laboratory. He attends in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at UC, and his laboratory is in the division of Pulmonary Biology at CCHMC, where he continues to study lung regeneration. He is excited to join the MSTP leadership team and to help provide guidance for UC MSTP students in finding the right lab and successfully navigating their graduate years.
Senior Physician Scientist Advisor Program Directors
Melanie Cushion, PhD
Co-Director, SPS Advisor Program
Senior Associate Dean for Research, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Professor, University of Cincinnati
BS: St. Joseph’s College
PhD: St. Thomas Institute
Fellowship: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Dr. Cushion serves as professor of Internal Medicine and Senior Associate Dean for Research at the UC College of Medicine. Dr. Cushion oversees all research areas, core research facilities, and doctoral training programs within the medical school. She presides over the College of Medicine Research Council and works closely with research leadership across the university and its clinical and research partners. Dr. Cushion’s laboratory focuses on fungi in the genus Pneumocystis and pre-clinical drug development.
Paul Spearman, MD
Co-Director, SPS Advisor Program
Director, Division of Infectious Diseases
MD: University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX, 1986
Paul Spearman, MD is the Albert B. Sabin Professor and Director of Infectious Diseases and Interim Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. His laboratory studies fundamental aspects of HIV biology and develops new vaccines for human pathogens. Dr. Spearman and his colleagues in the CCHMC Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) are engaged in the design and performance of clinical trials for new vaccines in adults and children, with a special interest in employing cutting-edge technologies to define innate and adaptive immune responses to vaccines. Dr. Spearman directs the CHRCDA/K12 program for pediatric physician-scientists and a T32 Vaccinology program.
Jenny received her Bachelor of Business Administration, specialization in marketing from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. She has experience in program administration and development at academic medical centers. After working for a few years, she returned to Ohio State and earned her MBA through the Working Professionals MBA program at the Fisher College of Business. Today she manages the MSTP office including program recruitment, finance and daily operations.
Sara received her Bachelor of Science in Business from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, graduating with highest distinction with a major in marketing and minors in theatre and dance. Prior to joining the MSTP, Sara had seven years of marketing and advertising experience working in account/client service and project management. Today, she serves as the Program Manager for the MSTP - where in addition to managing day-to-day communications and operations for the program, she is also the key driver in planning and organizing program meetings, retreats, and other MSTP curricular events.