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Meet Dr. Roy Long, Student Development, Recruitment and Admissions Work Group leader

Before the community-based medical education program can graduate new physicians to meet the growing need, it must first identify the most

Roy M. Long, PhD

promising students and create the proper support systems to develop and retain them. With extensive experience in both medical and graduate school admissions, Roy M. Long, PhD, is suited to lead the Medical College of Wisconsin’s efforts in this regard.

“It is extremely rewarding to identify students for these programs and watch them mature into excellent physicians and world-class scientists,” said Dr. Long, Faculty Lead for the Student Development, Recruitment and Admissions Work Group. “Using my experiences from these activities and the knowledge of my work group members, I am excited to participate in the development of recruiting and admissions plans to identify students who will succeed in the regional medical education campuses and become integral members in regions of Wisconsin lacking physicians.”

 A graduate of Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine with a PhD in biological chemistry, Dr. Long joined the MCW faculty in 1998 and currently serves as Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and Assistant Dean for Graduate Recruitment. He completed postdoctoral fellowships at University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y.

While always aspiring to a career in science, Dr. Long initially planned to become a physician. Before applying to medical school, however, he worked as an undergraduate in the obstetrics and gynecology department at Penn State College of Medicine, performing research related to cancer of the female reproductive tract.

“The opportunity to perform experiments lacking a predetermined outcome and interpret data led me to change my direction and focus on a basic science research career,” he said.

As a graduate student, Dr. Long studied the regulation of gene expression at the level of transcription, the process by which genetic information is copied from DNA to RNA, resulting in formation of a specific protein. This led to his current focus on a more novel form of regulation called RNA localization.

Dr. Long’s laboratory uses the yeast S. cerevisiae (baker’s yeast) as a model system to study mechanisms that regulate gene expression. His studies are most directly related to mechanisms that differentially regular gene expression during development. In addition to research, Dr. Long also has a significant teaching role.

“The most enjoyable aspect of being an educator at MCW is the day-to-day interaction with the enthusiastic MCW medical and graduate students,” he said.

It is future students, ultimately, who will benefit from the progress made by the work group he leads. Initially, the team developed plans to provide select student services, including: financial aid, student health, counseling, tutorial assistance and career advising. Future efforts will broaden to include all student services and activities currently available to students in Milwaukee.

They are also constructing an admissions process that will include community partners, is equitable and fair, and ensures MCW has a growing pool of high-quality, diverse applicants. Since MCW anticipates receiving applications for the Green Bay campus in the summer of 2014, work group members are currently developing recruitment and marketing materials to be distributed at various medical school fairs and to undergraduate advisors.

“I am looking forward to receiving the first group of applications and accepting our first class of students into the regional medical education campuses,” Dr. Long said. “These applicants will allow us to more accurately determine if the efforts of the work group were successful in identifying the target candidates. In addition, these applicants will inform us if we only need to tweak our recruitment and admissions plans or whether we need to make more significant changes to our recruitment and admissions strategies.”

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Page Updated 10/29/2013