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The MSMP Team

As a student in the Master of Science in Medical Physiology Program, you gain the opportunity to learn from the professors at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine in a small class environment. Whether offering academic support with our M1 content courses, or individualized guidance through the AMCAS admissions and interview process, our professors pride themselves in taking the time to make sure each student is provided with the best starting point for medical school.


Erika Piedras-Renteria, PhD,

The MSMP Program Director dedicates herself to the success of every student that pursues this program. In addition to her role as the director, Dr. Piedras also heads up both the Neuroscience and the Professional Development courses and takes an active mentoring role for students in the course. Our students often credit her expertise and guidance as reasons they succeed during and after the program.


Jonathan Kirk, PhD,

As the course director for Fundamentals of the Human Body, Dr. Kirk has built a course that introduces students to the FHB course taken by the M1 Students at Stritch School of Medicine. Learning from the same lecturers who teach the med school course in a small class setting, students have the freedom to ask questions and gain a valuable head start in their medical education


Aleksey Zima, PhD,

The Biochemical Physiology course director, Dr. Zima, has produced a program that introduces students to the background of biochemical physiology. Learning about the foundational processes that dictate cellular physiologic processes. The goal of the course is to prepare the student in basic biochemical principles that will serve as a foundation for the cellular, neuro, and systems-based physiology courses.


Patrick Oakes, PhD,

Our course director for Cellular Physiology, Dr. Oakes, runs a course that allows students to start with DNA and Genome, and follows with the study of Membranes, Intracellular compartments/organelles, and ends with tissues, organs, and their interrelationships. The major goal is to establish a connection between structures at molecular and/or histological level and move in the direction of function. Students will be exposed to problem solving and review sessions with clinical implications.


Mark Kuczewski, PhD,

Our Clinical Topics in Bioethics course director, Dr. Kuczewski, is a former president of the American Society of Bioethics. He has been an articulate spokesperson for the just and equitable treatment of immigrant patients. His writings argue for prohibition on forced medical repatriation and the severing of any relationship between health insurance and immigration status. He was the project manager of the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine effort to include Dreamers in medical education.


Jeanine Walenga, PhD,

In addition to her role as the Pathophysiology Course Director, Dr. Jeanine Walenga serves as the Medical Director of the Loyola Core and Specials Clinical Coagulation Laboratories. She is active in teaching medical students, residents, fellows, and graduate students and serves as the Program Director for several courses. This course is a true introduction to clinical medicine . It focuses on various common diseases and the mechanisms that serve as the basis for their development, putting clinical relevance on concepts learned in the basic sciences.


Robert Frystak, PhD,

As director for our Basic Human Anatomy course Dr. Frystak introduces students to the basic concepts and facts of human gross anatomy as they relate to physiology and function. Specific sections include the musculo-skeletal components of the extremities, trunk and head, the peripheral nervous system to include the somatic and autonomic systems, the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary system and reproductive system.


Nayelly Villalobos, BSc,

Our program coordinator, Nayelly, will help you through the program from beginning to end. Supporting you from the time you submit your application to the day your degree is conferred. Have questions about the program? This is the expert to ask, reach her at