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Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)

Our Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) will accept applications from November 1, 2020 through February 15, 2021. Top candidates will be interviewed. Those who accept our offer will visit in April/May to meet with potential research mentors. Program activities start in June/July. 

PREP Provides:

  • Research experience: Scholars conduct hypothesis-driven research in their Mentor’s lab, with day-to-day guidance by an experienced PhD student or postdoc. Scholars participate fully in weekly lab meetings, attend weekly research seminars in their department, attend a vibrant PhD program retreat and a national conference of their choice.
  • Community: Scholars come together each month for two-hour ‘chalk-talk’ events to present and discuss their research with Peer-Mentors (PhD students, postdocs) and faculty.
  • Project (‘mini-thesis’) meetings: Scholars gain confidence by organizing, preparing for, and convening three one-hour ‘mini-thesis’ meetings with two subject-expert faculty, plus their research mentor and the PREP Director. Scholars benefit both scientifically and professionally by building strong working relationships with multiple faculty members at Johns Hopkins who are experts in their field of interest.
  • Professional training and custom mentoring: Scholars participate in workshops designed to improve their scientific writing skills, and understand ethics in science, and can choose from many other workshops including communication and improvisation. Each Scholar charts an individual development plan with the PREP Director, with custom mentoring both formal (monthly one-hour meetings) and informally as needed.
  • Preparation for GRE or MCAT exam, graduate school applications and interviews.
  • Annual salary of $34,000 plus health, retirement, tuition and other benefits

Who Should Apply:

  • US Citizens or Permanent Residents with a keen interest in entering a PhD or MD/PhD program from populations under-represented in the Biomedical Sciences.
  • College seniors or recent graduates with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science— including but not limited to biochemistry, bioinformatics, biology, biomedical engineering, biophysics, chemistry, cell biology, computational sciences, genetics, mathematics, microbiology, molecular biology, neuroscience, tissue engineering, virology and related fields.

We consider a variety of factors that demonstrate scientific potential and motivation for PhD careers. Applicants should have strong grades in science and math (GPA 3.3 or better)— or a strong upward trajectory in science/math grades. Exceptions may be made for students with research experience.

The Complete Application

To apply to PREP, you will need:

  1. Two letters of recommendation (faculty preferred)
  2. Transcripts for each undergraduate institution attended (transcripts can be unofficial)
  3. Current CV or resume
  4. Personal Statement
    Your statement can be up to 2 pages, single-spaced, and please use 11-point font. Please tell us about
    • yourself (e.g., you; your family/growing up; pathway-guiding and/or formative experiences);
    • your previous research experience(s), how they turned out, and what you learned from each;
    • your motivation for pursuing an advanced degree(s) and what your ‘dream career’ might look like in about 15 years;
    • what you personally hope to gain to be more competitive for entry and success in graduate school.

Please contact with any additional questions.

Learn more.


Quick Links:

Meet our PREP Scholars

Meet our PREP Alumni

Meet our Staff 



Meet our PREP Scholars!

Kaleem Coleman

Kaleem Coleman

  • BS (Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, and Molecular Biology) 2018,
    Towson University
  • Hopkins PREP 2020, mentor: Barbara Slusher


Milan Dower

Milan Dower

  • BE (Biomedical Engineering) 2020,
    University of Miami
  • Hopkins PREP 2020, mentor: Jeff Gray
Tawnjerae Joe

Tawnjerae Joe

  • BS (Biochemistry) 2020,
    Fort Lewis College
  • Hopkins PREP 2020, mentor Barbara Slusher
Ashley Melendez

Ashley Melendez

  • BS (Biology) 2019,
    University of Puerto Rico: Mayaguez
  • Hopkins PREP 2020, mentor: Karen Reddy
Asha Murrell

Asha Murrell

  • BS (Health Science) 2020, 
    Spelman College
  • Hopkins PREP 2020, mentor: Dionna Williams 
Victor Quiroz

Victor Quiroz

  • BE (Biomedical Engineering) 2020,
    Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Hopkins PREP 2020, mentor: Joshua Doloff.


Alex Rendon

Alex Rendon Jonguitud 

  • BS (Biology) 2020,
    University of South Carolina: Beaufort
  • Hopkins PREP 2020, mentor Katherine Wilson


Nuri Smith

Nuri Smith

  • BS (Biology and Experimental Psychology) 2020,
    University of South Carolina: Upstate
  • Hopkins PREP 2020, mentor: Keri Martinowich
Hannah Tsingine

Hannah Tsingine 

  • BS (Biology) 2020,
    Fort Lewis College
  • Hopkins PREP 2020, mentor: Richard Roden
Marcus Williams

Marcus Williams 

  • BS (Biochemistry) 2020,
    Fort Lewis College
  • Hopkins PREP 2020, mentor: Deok-Ho Kim
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Meet our PREP Alumni!

(click to view each year: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)

2015 Alumni




Jesús Acevedo-Cintrón

  • BS (Cell & Molecular Biology) 2015,
    University of Puerto Rico
  • Hopkins PREP 2015, mentor: Ted Dawson
  • Current: MD/PhD student
    Washington University (St Louis, MO) 

Christopher Anderson

  • BS (Biology) 2015,
    University of St. Thomas (Texas) 
  • Hopkins PREP 2015, mentor: Jennifer Ellisseff
  • Current: Biologic & Biomed. Sciences PhD student
    Yale University, m
    entor: Yibing Qyang

James D. Barnett

  • BS (Biomedical Sciences) 2012,
    Auburn University (Alabama)

    US Fulbright Scholar (Spain) 2013-2014
  • Hopkins PREP 2015, mentor: Robert Ivkov
  • Current: CMM PhD student 
    Johns Hopkins, mentor: 
    Zaver Bhujwalla

Alyssa Florwick 


Jean Garcia-Diaz

  • BS (Microbiology) 2015, 
    Turabo University (Puerto Rico)
  • Hopkins PREP 2015, mentor: Erika Matunis
  • Current: CMM PhD student
    Johns Hopkins, mentor: Ryan Riddle

Elsie Gonzalez-Hurtado

  • BS (Biochemistry) 2015, University of California, Riverside
  • Hopkins PREP 2015, mentor: Michael Wolfgang
  • Current: MD/PhD student at
    Yale University, mentor: Vishwa Deep Dixit


Kevin Justus

  • BA (Psychology) 2014, University of Central Florida
  • Hopkins PREP 2015, mentors: Susan Courtney and Veit Stuphorn
  • Current: Neuroscience PhD student,
    Wake Forest University

Ismael Munoz

  • BS (Bioengineering) 2015, University of California, San Diego
  • Hopkins PREP 2015, mentor: Daniela Drummond-Barbosa
  • Current: Bioengineering PhD student,
    UC, San Diego
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2016 Alumni


Lauren Askew

  • BS (Biology) 2016,
    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Hopkins PREP 2016, mentor: Janice Clements
  • Current: MD/PhD student
    Emory University (North Carolina)

Chelsy R. Eddings

  • BA (Molecular & Cellular Biology; Neurobiology) 2016,
    University of California, Berkeley
  • Hopkins PREP 2016, mentor: Christopher Ross 
  • Current: BCMB PhD student
    Johns Hopkins, mentor: Shigeki Watanabe 

Elizabeth Henderson

  • BA (Biophysics) 2013,
    Hunter College (New York)
  • Hopkins PREP 2016, mentor: Robert Ivkov

Adriana Landeros

  • BS (Molecular Cell Developmental Biology) 2016,
    UC, Santa Cruz
  • Hopkins PREP 2016, mentor: Tamara O’Connor
    National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship
  • Current: Microbiology PhD student, Northwestern


Arena Manning

  • BA (Neuroscience) 2016, Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, NY)
  • Hopkins PREP 2016, mentor: Barbara Slusher 
  • Current: Neuroscience PhD student,
    University of Washington (Seattle), mentor: Franck Kalume


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2017 Alumni


Caitlin Corona-Long


Cera Hassinan


Ambar Jimenez

  • BS (Biology) 2016,
    SUNY, Plattsburgh
  • Hopkins PREP 2017, mentor: Rangaramanujam Kannan
  • Current: Pharmacology PhD student,
    University of Pennsylvania

Cyrianne S. Keutcha

  • BS (Biochemistry) 2017,
    Georgia State University
  • Hopkins PREP 2017, mentor: Sean Prigge
    National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship
  • Current: PhD student,
    Harvard SPH,
    mentor: Manoj Duraisingh


Alejandra Patino

  • BS (Neural Science) 2017,
    New York
  • Hopkins PREP 2017, mentors: Gül Dölen and Loyal Goff
  • Current: MD/PhD student
    Duke University School of Medicine
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2018 Alumni


Melissa E. Fajardo

  • BS (Biological Science) 2016,
    Florida International University
  • Hopkins PREP 2018, mentor: Nicholas Maragakis
  • Current: Neuroscience PhD student,
    Northwestern University (Chicago)

Kelly A. Fogelson

  • BS (Neuroscience) 2017,
    University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Hopkins PREP 2018, mentor: Kishore Kuchibhotla
  • Current: Biomedical Sciences PhD student,
    UC, San Diego

Gabriella Muwanga

  • BS (Biomedical Sci) 2018, Makerere University (Uganda)
  • Johns Hopkins PREP 2018, mentor: Michael Caterina
  • Current: Neuroscience PhD student
    Stanford University

Diego R. Ramos Ortiz

  • BS (Chemistry) 2018, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez
  • Johns Hopkins PREP 2018, mentor: James M. Berger
  • Current: Biophysics PhD student
    UC, Berkeley






Jordan Wilson

  • BS (Genetics & Genomics) 2018,
    UC, Davis
  • Hopkins PREP 2018, mentor: Patrick Cahan
  • Current: XDBio PhD student
    Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
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2019 Alumni


Aitana Azurmendi

  • BE (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences) 2019,
    Cornell University (New York)
  • Hopkins PREP 2019, mentor: Sandra Gabelli
  • Continuing PREP research for 2020

Dezmond Cole

  • BS (Biology) 2019,
    University of Montevallo (Alabama)
  • Hopkins PREP 2019, mentor: Brendan Cormack
  • Continuing PREP research for 2020

Sergio L. Crespo

  • BS (Chemistry) 2019, New Jersey City University
  • Hopkins PREP 2019, mentor: Jungsan Sohn
  • Current: Molecular Biosciences PhD student
    Rutgers University

Hannah Navarrete

  • BS (Biochemistry) 2019, University of California Riverside
  • Hopkins PREP 2019, mentor: Erika Matunis
  • Current: Biomedical Sciences PhD student
    University of Michigan

Kyndall Nicholas

  • BS (Biochemistry) 2019, Hampton University (Virginia)
  • Hopkins PREP 2019, mentor: Keri Martinowich
  • Current: Neuroscience PhD student
    University of Pennsylvania

Jareb J. Pérez

  • BS (Medical Microbiology) 2019, University of Puerto Rico, Arecibo
  • Hopkins PREP 2019, mentor: Dionna Williams 
  • Current: Interdisciplinary PhD student
    Vanderbilt University School of Medicine


Alexa Perez-Torres

  • BS (Biology) 2019, University of Puerto Rico, Cayey
  • Hopkins PREP 2019, mentor: Loyal Goff
  • Current: MCO PhD student
    Harvard University

Yishak Woldestsadik

  • BS (Cell & Molecular Biology) 2019, Towson University (Maryland)
  • Hopkins PREP 2019, mentor: Sabra Klein
  • Current: Biomedical Sciences PhD student
    Tufts University
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Meet our Staff!

Dr. Katherine L. Wilson

Dr. Katherine Wilson, (she/her) - PREP Director

Professor of Cell Biology (School of Medicine)
Professor of Biomedical Engineering (Whiting School of Engineering)
725 N. Wolfe Street - WBSB G10
Baltimore MD 21205

Kristina Nance

Kristina Nance, (she/her) - PREP Manager

Assistant Director, Graduate Student Experience and Diversity
Office of Graduate Biomedical Education
1830 E. Monument St, Office 619
Baltimore MD 21205 

Sage Magness

Sage Magness, (they/them) - PREP Coordinator

Graduate Student Experience Coordinator
Office of Graduate Biomedical Education
1830 E. Monument St, Suite 620
Baltimore MD 21205

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