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Directors

Lisa M. Francomacaro
Student Director
Dartmouth MPUS Fellowship

MD-PhD Candidate, PY 2
Molecular & Cell Biology
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Growing up a bookworm in small town Maryland, I was fascinated by physiology or how our bodies function. I had my first hands-on research experiences at Bucknell University, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Cell Biology and Biochemistry in 2018. From there, I matriculated at the MD/PhD program at Dartmouth. Here at Dartmouth, I am working with Dr. Surachai Supattapone to investigate the neurotoxicity of orthobunyaviruses through methods of genomic discovery. My clinical interests include neurology and psychiatry. Outside of graduate school, I am an avid hiker, cross-stitcher, reader, and baker!


Tim Renier
Student Director

MD-PhD Candidate, PY1
Quantitative Biomedical Sciences
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

I first discovered my passion for research through science fairs, where my projects on hand hygiene interventions brought me to competitions including the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in 2019 from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota with a major in chemistry and concentrations in biomolecular science and statistics. Throughout my years at St. Olaf, I conducted laboratory research on lipid droplet proteins involved in alcoholic fatty liver disease. Since coming to Dartmouth, I have found it very rewarding that the MD-PhD program allows me to integrate my interests in medicine with my passion for quantitatively driven research. At Dartmouth, my PhD thesis mentor is Dr. Diane Gilbert-Diamond. Broadly, I use genomic and clinical data to address questions about causes of and interventions for obesity. After growing up in Duluth, Minnesota, I appreciate the many outdoor activities and the comparatively mild winters New Hampshire has to offer. Outside of my research and studies, I enjoy working on DIY projects, hiking, cross country skiing, and honing my barbecue skills.


Alex Thorngren, MS, EdD
Faculty Director
Dartmouth MPUS Fellowship

Associate Director, MD-PhD Program and TDI PhD Program
Instructor, Department of Medicine
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

For nearly 25 years, my work at Dartmouth has been a rewarding mixture of education, public health, and health care leadership. Advising, teaching, overseeing programs, and generally working with medical and graduate students at Dartmouth is built upon my educational background. My first steps toward a career in education began while earning my bachelor’s degree from Norwich University. Building on that foundation, I completed my M.S. in Evaluative Clinical Sciences/Health Care Leadership from Dartmouth College; and lastly, completed my Ed.D. in Education Leadership and Policy at the University of Vermont in 2017.

The breadth of my professional practices at Dartmouth continues to include teaching and mentoring a variety of students including MD-PhD and other graduate programs. Additionally, I have directed several health careers-oriented pipeline programs including, The Health Careers Institute at Dartmouth (HCID), and a small HHMI-funded public health fellowship program, as well as having managed the New Hampshire Public Health Training Center for a few years through the NH Area Health Education Center (AHEC).

Presently, one of the great joys of administering the MD-PhD Program at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth is working alongside the MPUS student directors and helping elevate undergraduate students each summer as they take another career step towards academic and clinical excellence.