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MSMP Faculty Advisors


Faculty advisors committed to student success

Each Medical Physiology student is assigned to one of our faculty advisors who work closely with their advisees throughout their time in the program and beyond. MSMP students develop meaningful relationships with their advisors - all of whom bring years of experience in advising pre-professional students, serving on admissions committees, and holding leadership positions within the department and School of Medicine. Advisors serve as a main source of advice on the professional school application process and as the primary author of the committee letter for their advisees.  


Julian E. Stelzer, PhD

Professor, Director of Medical Physiology Program

Dr. Stelzer is the director of the Medical Physiology program. He received his PhD from Oregon State University and is a Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. His research is focused on the molecular mechanisms of contractile dysfunction in genetic and acquired cardiomyopathies. Dr. Stelzer teaches cardiovascular physiology in four courses within the MSMP curriculum. In his time at Case Western, he has served on several School of Medicine committees. He's been a steering committee member of the CWRU Medical School Admissions Committee since 2013 currently serves as the chair for that committee. 

Jeffrey L. Garvin, PhD


Dr. Garvin received his PhD from Duke University and trained at the National Institutes of Health. He joined the Department of Physiology and Biophysics in 2012. Before coming to CWRU, he was the Division Head of Hypertension and Vascular Research in the Henry Ford Health System, one of the largest healthcare delivery systems in Michigan. Dr. Garvin has been involved in medical education from his first appointment in the Henry Ford Healthcare System. There he trained both internal medical residents and Nephrology fellows. Since joining the CWRU faculty, he has taught first and third year medical students, interviewed applicants to the CWRU School of Medicine, and has been an advisor to MS students in the Medical Physiology program.

Joseph C. LaManna, PhD

Jeanette M. and Joseph S. Silber Professor

Dr. LaManna completed his undergraduate education at Georgetown University before completing his PhD in Physiology & Pharmacology at Duke University. He has been at Case Western Reserve University for 40 years including more than 25 years as a PI with independent NIH-funded research. In that time, he has authored more than 200 peer reviewed publications. His research focus is brain vascular and metabolic physiology with his most recent work concerning the processes of angioplasty (capillary adaptation), and the role of ketones in brain metabolism. As the former Chair of the Anatomy Department, Dr. LaManna developed and established Case Western’s Master of Science in Clinical Anatomy program. As a member of the organizing team for the Master of Science in Medical Physiology program, he has participated in the teaching and administration of the program since its inception. Dr. LaManna has advised pre-professional, medical, and dental students for over 25 years, previously led the nervous system block within the CWRU MD curriculum, and served a term as the chair of the Medical Education Committee at the School of Medicine.

Andrea Romani, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Director of Curriculum for Medical Physiology Program

Dr. Romani received his MD from the University of Siena before completing his PhD in Experimental and Molecular Pathology at the Universities of Turin and Siena. He has been with Case Western Reserve University’s Department of Physiology & Biophysics since 1989, starting as a postdoctoral fellow. He has been involved with the Medical Physiology program since its inception, serving in various capacities including Assistant Director, Director of Admissions, and now as Director of Curriculum. Dr. Romani is the Course Director for the MSMP core curriculum, as well as for the Clinical Reasoning and Pathophysiology courses. As a faculty advisor, he has worked with well over 200 students. In addition to his roles with the MSMP program, Dr. Romani has been the Director of the Graduate Student Admissions Committee (PhD programs) and a member of the Interviewing Committees for both the MD and MSTP programs since 2011.

Corey Smith, PhD

Professor, Graduate Program Director for Doctoral Program

Dr. Smith is the Graduate Program Director for PhD education for the Physiology and Biophysics training program and leader of Block 2 – Neurology for the Medical Physiology program. He has served as course director for PhD-level courses, as the admissions director for the Physiology and Biophysics training program, and as a member of the admissions committee for the Biomedical Sciences Training Program (BSTP). Dr. Smith is currently a member of the Graduate Advisory Committee for the School of Medicine PhD training programs and teaches courses within the PhD training program, the MSMP program, and the School of Medicine MD curriculum. He has served as an academic advisor for the MSMP program since its inception and has hosted several MSMP students for independent study research projects. His research interests include peripheral nervous systems, synaptic physiology, and neuromodulation of cardiovascular function.

Jessica C. Taylor, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Taylor received her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Missouri. She teaches in multiple blocks of the MSMP core curriculum - spanning cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and exercise physiology - in addition to leading activities for Block 8. Dr. Taylor is the course director for the Exercise Physiology course (second year elective) and she also teaches respiratory and gastrointestinal pathophysiology in the Physiological Basis for Disease electives. Prior to joining the department, Dr. Taylor taught at William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine and served on their Admissions Committee for five years. She has advised both pre-professional and professional students over the past six years and currently serves as a member of the Admissions Committee and the Committee for Medical Education here at CWRU’s School of Medicine.