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The MD/PhD Program at SUNY Upstate Medical University has approximately 26 students who are in various stages of their training. You can learn about these individual students and their research interest by selecting the link to current students on this page.

Our students receive individual attention from the co-directors of the MD/PhD Program and other faculty members. SUNY Upstate works diligently to be sure each student receives assistance whether it be academic advising, help with scheduling, selecting a laboratory, or figuring out finances. Visiting applicants cited the friendliness of students and staff as one of our most appealing features.

PhD Students

Maria Ortiz

Maria Ortiz


Department: undecided
Advisor: undecided

Research Interests

I obtained my B.S. in Biochemistry at SUNY New Paltz in 2015. As an undergraduate, I did research in a variety of fields including Molecular Biology, Microbiology/Immunology and Biochemistry. However, my research interest is mainly in Virology. A few months after I graduated, I started working as the Instructional Support Technician for the Chemistry Department at SUNY New Paltz, a position I held until a few weeks before moving to Syracuse to becoming a member of the MD/PhD program at SUNY Upstate.

I decided to come to SUNY Upstate because they made it easy for me to decide. Aside from having outstanding research, faculty and facilities- from the very beginning the MD/PhD program at Upstate made it clear that they wanted me to be here as much as I wanted to be here. The welcoming environment generated by current students, faculty members, program directors and coordinator made it clear that coming to Upstate was the right decision for me. Furthermore, the program is highly organized and designed to assure the success of its students. This summer I am doing my first lab rotation in Dr. Jennifer Moffat’s lab from the Microbiology/Immunology department.

Some of my hobbies include dancing, cooking/trying different cuisines, yoga, playing Mario Kart, hiking and traveling.