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Administration and Steering Committee

Program Leadership

The core responsibilities of the VCU MD-PhD program reside with the Program Director, the Associate and Assistant Directors, and the Program Administrator.

Michael Donnenberg

Michael S. Donnenberg, MD
Program Director

Dr. Donnenberg is a Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology. Dr. Donnenberg is a physician, board-certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, who conducts research on the pathogenesis of enteric infections.



Clive BaumgartenClive Baumgarten, PhD
Associate Director

Dr. Baumgarten is a Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. Dr. Baumgarten has been an active research scientist, focusing on ion channels in the heart and other tissues, and has been heavily involved with teaching physiology to M1 and M2 medical and graduate students. He is also the Director of all MD-PhD-specific courses and seminars.


Ross MikkelsenRoss Mikkelsen, PhD
Associate Director

Dr. Mikkelsen is a Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology in the Massey Cancer Center. Dr. Mikkelsen has been a member of the Medical School Admissions Committee since 1992, and since 1998, has been one of only two members of the committee who interview MD-PhD applicants. His laboratory investigates the effects of radiation on normal and tumor tissues.


Michael MilesMichael Miles, MD, PhD
Assistant Director

Dr. Miles is a Professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Neurology and is the scientific director of the VCU Alcohol and Research Center. Dr. Miles is board-certified in Neurology and his laboratory studies the molecular neurobiology of alcoholism.



Gordon ArcherGordon Archer, MD
Assistant Director

Dr. Archer is a Professor Emeritus of Internal Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology and the former Director of the VCU MD-PhD program. He is also the coordinator of MD-PhD clinical programs.




Sandra Sorrell
Assistant Director

Ms. Sorrell is responsible for the day-to-day activities and management of the MD-PhD program. She assists the program leadership in the MD-PhD admissions process. She is responsible for scheduling applicant interviews and laboratory visits during first and second visits, for follow-up, and for correspondence with applicants, faculty members and current students. She organizes seminars, courses, and enrichment events; collects and manages data and student records; and maintains alumni correspondence.

Steering Committee

The MD-PhD Steering Committee meets monthly to provide advice and approval of all major decisions on student progress and changes to the program. A member of the steering committee, along with a current student from the program, is always involved in conducting one of the two interviews of prospective students.

The steering committee is composed of the following faculty:

MD-PhD Student Council

The student council consists of a representative of each class or cohort who are selected by their fellow students. They meet monthly with the Program Director to recommend items for discussion with the program leadership. Ongoing responsibilities of the student council include planning MD-PhD program events, reviewing program policies, and soliciting recommendations for program improvement from students in their cohorts.

The student council is comprised of the following members: