Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program

The Johns Hopkins Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology’s summer training program immerses medical students at the end of their first year in a focused experience in aging research, supplemented by research training and clinical experiences. 

As a student in this eight-week summer program, based in Baltimore, Maryland, you will participate in research, clinical, and academic experiences at one of the best teaching hospitals in the country. You can choose a research interest from basic sciences, clinical research, population-based research, education, or health services research. You will be paired with a research mentor to complete a specific project.

The summer experience includes a geriatric medicine and gerontology lecture series, epidemiology and biostatistics seminars, other research training, an ethnogeriatrics discussion series, and a variety of exciting clinical shadowing opportunities.

Students typically present their summer research at the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society and many students work with their mentors to publish their research findings.


To apply, you must expect to successfully complete your first year of medical school at an accredited medical school. The program welcomes and encourages students of all genders and from minoritized groups to apply.

Program Directors

Colleen Christmas, M.D.

Director, Primary Care Leadership Track, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Associate Professor of Medicine

Colleen Christmas

Sevil Yasar, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Medicine

Sevil Yasar

Neal S. Fedarko, Ph.D.

Director, Clinical Research Core Laboratory, Institute for Clinical & Translational Research

Neal S. Fedarko

Samuel Christopher Durso, M.D., M.B.A.

Jim and Patti Dresher and Dresher Foundation Professor
Professor of Medicine

Samuel Christopher Durso


The program accepts 18 students each year. Program costs are funded through scholarships. 

Applicants must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., in possession of a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or some other legal verification of such status.)

Individuals on temporary or student visas and individuals holding PhD, MD, DVM, or equivalent doctoral degrees in the health sciences are not eligible.

The program is part of the national Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program to encourage medical students, particularly those with an interest in research, to consider a career in academic geriatrics.

Apply or Learn More

What to Know Before You Arrive


Along with the research component of the program, students will be able to participate in clinical rotations, didactic sessions, and workshops.

Research Opportunities

During the Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program, students will be able to participate in research projects looking at a range of topics within basic science, clinical and population-based research, and health services research.

Explore recent examples of MSTAR research projects

Student Resources

These links provide more information on the Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program, geriatric medicine and gerontology, other Johns Hopkins medical student programs and information, Baltimore, and student medical associations.

Experience Baltimore

Called “Charm City” for a reason, Baltimore is a place that has a little something for everybody. Baltimore is a spirited city – a unique blend of historic charm, cultural heritage and urban vitality. With hanging out at the Inner Harbor, attending neighborhood festivals, biking to school and more, Johns Hopkins medical students, graduate students and residents have a lot to love about Baltimore.