MD-PhD Dual Degree Program

Main Content

Current MD-PhD Students


Shelley Rae Edwards (G1)

Undergraduate Degree/Field of Study: Neuroscience & Cognitive Studies

Undergraduate Institution: Millsaps College

Field of Study/Interests: My research investigates the clinical efficacy, abuse liability, and respiratory effects of novel opioid compounds in search of improved treatments for pain.

Honors/Awards: A. Wallace Conerly Scholarship

National/Local Committee Membership/Leadership Positions: American Physician Scientists Association (APSA) Co-Chair of Partnerships Committee, Undergraduate student mentor, Discovery Curriculum Committee Member, Physician Scientist Interest Day for Underrepresented Students Event Planning Committee Member

Published Papers as MD-PhD Student:

Dos Santos E Santos C, Welch BA, Edwards SR, et al. Immune and Metabolic Biomarkers in a Rodent Model of Spinal Cord Contusion. Global Spine J. 2022;12(1):110-120. doi:10.1177/2192568220950337

Interests/Hobbies: House Plant Enthusiast, Amateur carpentry/Home Improvement, Furniture Restoration, Balloon Animal Twisting



Jacob Pruett (G3)

Undergraduate Degree/Field of Study: Chemistry with Biochemistry Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution: The University of Southern Mississippi

Current Field of Study/Interests: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Sodium-Glucose Cotransporters, Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Endocrinology

Honors/Awards: A. Wallace Conerly Scholarship; Nathan Solomon & Irene Oransky-Solomon Medical Student Award First Place at the Southern Regional Meeting 2021 for the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation; Research Day Awardee at University of Mississippi Medical Center Research Day 2021; Virendra B Mahesh Award of Excellence in Endocrinology at Experimental Biology 2020; Endocrinology & Metabolism Section Research Recognition Award at Experimental Biology 2021; Best Oral Presentation: Southeast Medical Scientist Symposium 2019; Kidney STARS Travel Grant (2021 and 2019); Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA); Gold Humanism Honor Society

National/Local Committee Membership/Leadership Positions: Subcommittee member of the Trainee Advisory Committee for the American Physiological Society – Endocrine and Metabolism (E&M) Section (2021-Present); Chair of AOA Research Award Committee (2019-2020); Co-Chair of GHHS Mini-Projects Committee (2019-2020).

Published Papers as MD-PhD Student:

Pruett JE, Torres Fernandez ED, Everman SJ, Vinson RM, Davenport K, Logan MK, Ye SA, Romero DG, Yanes Cardozo LL. Impact of SGLT-2 Inhibition on Cardiometabolic Abnormalities in a Rat Model of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021;22(5):2576.

Yanes Cardozo LL, Huffman AM, Pruett JE, Romero DG. Androgens and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Sex Hormones. 2021 Mar 2. IntechOpen.

Yanes Cardozo LL, Rezq S, Pruett JE, Romero DG. Androgens, Kidney and COVID-19: An Opportunity for Translational Research. American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology 2021;320(2):F243-F248

Yanes Cardozo LL, Rezq S, Pruett JE, Garla VV, Romero DG. Androgen Excess in Women and the Respiratory System. Sex-Based Differences in Lung Physiology. 2021:405

Funded Fellowship Application: National Institutes of Health F30 Fellowship: “Impact of SGLT-2 Inhibition on the Cardiometabolic Profile of PCOS”

Interests/Hobbies: Traveling; learning about languages; Spanish; reading; video games


Katheryn Lett

Katheryn Lett (G2)

Undergraduate Degree/Field of Study: B.S. Chemistry

Undergraduate Institution: The University of Alabama

Field of Study/Interests: My research focuses on exploring and identifying novel roles of coilin, the Cajal Body marker protein. My medical specialty interest is pediatric hematology/oncology.

National/Local Committee Membership/Leadership Positions: American Physician Scientist Associations Mentor for Undergraduate Students

Published Papers as MD-PhD Student:

Lett KE, Logan MK, McLaurin DM, Hebert MD. Coilin enhances phosphorylation and stability of DGCR8 and promotes miRNA biogenesis. Mol Biol Cell. 2021 Oct 1;32(20):br4.

Logan MK, Lett KE, Hebert MD. The Cajal body protein coilin is a regulator of the miR-210 hypoxamiR and influences MIR210HG alternative splicing. J Cell Sci. 2021 Jun 15;134(12).

Monroe JD, Moolani SA, Irihamye EN, Lett KE, Hebert MD, Gibert Y, Smith ME. Cisplatin and phenanthriplatin modulate long-noncoding RNA expression in A549 and IMR90 cells revealing regulation of microRNAs, Wnt/β-catenin and TGF-β signaling. Sci Rep. 2021 May 17;11(1):10408

McLaurin DM, Logan MK, Lett KE, Hebert MD. Molecular determinants that govern scaRNA processing by Drosha/DGCR8. Biol Open. 2020 Oct 26;9(10)

Interests/Hobbies: quilting, kayaking, playing volleyball 

                                                                                                                                                                       Boone, Sarah                                                                                  

Sarah Boone (M1)

Undergraduate Degree/Field of Study: Microbiology/Bacteriology

Undergraduate Institution: Mississippi State University


 Fincher, Garner

Garner Fincher (M1)

Undergraduate Degree/Field of Study: Biology, Minor-Chemistry

Undergraduate Institution: Millsaps College


Griffin, Madeline

Madeline Griffin (M1)

Undergraduate Degree/Field of Study: Pharmaceutical Sciences

Undergraduate Institution: University of Mississippi