Welcoming our new graduate students

December 7, 2016

The OHSU School of Medicine is pleased to welcome 298 new Graduate Studies students who joined at the start of the 2016-2017 academic year.

This figure represents the total number of accepted applicants to the Ph.D., master's, Physician Assistant (PA) and certificate programs in the School of Medicine. Of these, 56 percent are women and 12 percent are underrepresented minorities. The average age of all applicants was 32.

Meet two of our newest Graduate Studies students:

Mateo Lopez Espejo – First-year Neuroscience Graduate Program

Mateo Lopez EspejoMateo Lopez Espejo (left) comes to OHSU from Colombia where he attended Universidad Nacional de Columbia majoring in biology. Both of his parents are biologists and he has had a strong interest in science for as long as he can remember. He spent six months in 2015 at Marine Biology Labs in Woods Hole, Mass., doing biophysical research where his mentors raved about his research abilities. He was well received by faculty during his interview and brings both racial and cultural diversity to the program and OHSU.

Espejo enjoys fencing which he describes as cathartic. In Colombia he practiced traditional Olympic fencing, but since arriving in Portland has discovered the related but less formal sport of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA). "HEMA is a little more geeky, but since we are in Portland that is okay." 



Sally Landefeld – Institute of Environmental Health

Sally LandefeldSally Landefeld (right) grew up in Seattle and comes to OHSU from Occidental College where she majored in Chemistry. She spent a semester at Studio Art College International in Florence, Italy. After college she worked in the archive department at the Nike Foundation and then moved on to the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute where she worked as a researcher. With diverse skills and experience in both science and arts she offers a unique perspective, "I do not see science and art as separate things. All the best scientists that I know are crafts people who have figured out how to work in the medium, whether it's cells or wires. Clay, chemistry, and environmental science kind of all go hand in hand."

Despite her many accomplishments, Landefeld has overcome challenges with mental illness, "In academia I know that 50 percent of people struggle with mental illness and I am definitely one of those people. I have bouts of anxiety and depression." She credits her mentors for helping her as well as the tranquility of pottery. Landefeld has created her own pottery line and developed an online store to retail it.

"An environmental science program within a health university is really unique and a really great way that we should be thinking. A connection that I hope people start to make – that human health is dependent on a healthy environment."