MSTP Leadership & Staff

The Iowa MSTP leadership team includes the Director Dr. Steven Lentz, the Co-Director Dr. Pamela Geyer. This leadership team has been in place since 2010, when Drs. Lentz and Geyer were selected by the Deans of the CCOM and Graduate College to lead the MSTP. These Directors were chosen based on their long-standing commitment and dedication to physician-scientist graduate and medical education. Together, they have over 30 combined years of administrative leadership in the MSTP and are dedicated to the mission of training physician-scientists. Richard Barajas joined the leadership team in 2018.


Steven Lentz, MD, PhD Professor, Internal Medicine
MSTP Director
Pamela Geyer, PhD Professor, Biochemistry
MSTP Co-Director
Richard Barajas Richard Barajas, MIPA, MPH Administrative Director
  Jessica Jensen, MLIS Secretary

MSTP Office & Staff

The MSTP Office staff coordinates all MSTP activities, including admissions, enrollment, registration, correspondence with the prospective applicants and current trainees, organization of recruitment weekends, enrichment activities, and reporting to the NIH.

The MSTP Office is also a warm and welcoming meeting place for students to stop in. We always have time to visit with students. We keep a bowl stocked with chocolate to encourage students to stop by. Depending on where they are in their training, this may be the only time we see them in weeks. The office door is always open!

Continuing Mentorship for Excellence

Dr. Lentz, Dr. Geyer, and Richard take personal responsibility for student affairs. They meet regularly with students, individually, or in large and small groups to build relationships and monitor student morale. They review student records, including class performance, research productivity and achievement of training milestones and progress towards career goals. This team meets weekly to discuss the issues of concern in the MSTP at the moment. Any student needing additional support from the MSTP or another entity is discussed and appropriate interventions discussed.

Richard, as Administrative Director, plays a critical role. All students know he is always available for consultation for any reason.

The Directors’ shared philosophy is that the two most important decisions in MSTP training are: 1) the selection of a thesis laboratory and 2) the selection of a clinical specialty. Both Directors take an active, personal role in advising our students through these transitions. Dr. Geyer takes the lead in advising all incoming MSTP students on research rotation and thesis mentor selection. Dr. Lentz takes the lead in advising trainees in selection of clinical specialty and choice of residency training

Mentorship is individual. Continuing Mentorship for Excellence is embedded in an institutional culture of collaboration. The Directors have strong relationships throughout the university, allowing them to intervene and support trainees at all levels. The Directors do not hesitate to communicate with MSTP faculty mentors, graduate program directors, the leadership in the OSAC office, OSAC counselors, the Associate Dean for Diversity, and the Deans of the CCOM and Graduate College on behalf on an individual trainee. This works! Our students are happy, productive, and complete training in a timely manner.