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Current MD-PhD Student - Steven Yarmoska

Steven Yarmoska

Name: Steven Yarmoska

Year in Program: MY2

Undergrad University: Duke University

Mentor: Stanislav “Stas” Emelianov, PhD

Graduate Program: Biomedical Engineering


    Research Interests

  • Cancer theranostics, biomedical optics, photoacoustic imaging, clinical translation

    Honors & Awards

  • Texas Medical Association, Student Member (2013 - present)
  • American Medical Association, Student Member (2013 - present)
  • Optical Society of America, Student Member (2013 - present)
  • Graduated cum laude with Departmental Distinction, Duke University (2013)
  • Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, NC Gamma Chapter (2013)
  • Student Marshal, Pratt School of Engineering (2012)


  • Yarmoska SK, Kim S, Matthews TE, Wax AP. 'A scattering phantom for observing long range order with two-dimensional angle-resolved Low-Coherence Interferometry,' Biomed. Opt. Express, 4(9): 1742-1748 (2013).


  • Yarmoska S, Kim S, Giacomelli MG, Wax AP. "A Calibration Standard for Two-Dimensional Angle-Resolved Low-Coherence Interferometry," in Optics in the Life Sciences, OSA Technical Digest (online), 2013.
  • Drake TK, Yarmoska S, Zhu Y, Bentley RC, Valea FA, Wax AP. 'Application of angle-resolved low coherence interferometry to cervical dysplasia,' in SPIE Photonics West, 2013.

    Hobbies or just something about yourself in general:

  • I am a huge sports enthusiast. I also enjoy playing the alto saxophone, particularly jazz. I have recently taken up cooking and baking; I'm always looking for an excuse to try out a new recipe!

Career Development

The career development of an MD-PhD student is critically important and extends out well past the date of graduation with the dual degrees. The UTMB MD-PhD Program carefully guides and nurtures students throughout the Program. Early in the Program, critical issues are mentor selection and choice of a graduate program. MD-PhD students meet regularly with a faculty advisor, a student "big sibling" and members of the advisory committee. Opportunities to be exposed to research opportunities are provided through Program activities as well as the scientific activities on campus. Most students do their initial laboratory rotation during the summer before starting medical school. Additional laboratory rotations can be completed during the summer before the first and second years of medical school and after the second year of medical school. Once students are established in their labs, they are guided through their research by a mentor and dissertation committee.

For MD-PhD students, selection of the dissertation committee is essential and our Program requires students to include a member who is an MD scientist who can provide guidance on career progress and residency selections. As thesis defense approaches, students design their optimal clinical experiences with members of the MD-PhD committee to maximize chances to obtain the types of residency training that will be most compatible with further development as a physician scientist. The Program runs career guidance seminars to alert students to many of the important issues, pitfalls and milestones that they will need to navigate in the future. These include the pros and cons of short-track residencies, the need for additional postdoctoral training, and how to select and negotiate a first faculty appointment. The UTMB MD-PhD graduate is thus well positioned to make the most out of the advantages that MD-PhD careers offer.