Biomedical Research Education Programs : UNM Health Sciences Center

Contact the BREP Office

Contact Information

Phone: (505) 272-1887
Fax: (505) 272-2412

Mailing Address

BREP Program
MSC08 4560
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Physical Location

UNM Health Sciences Center (North Campus)
Health Sciences and Services Building (HSSB)
Second Floor, Room 223

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The BREP Team

The BREP team support students and learners within many School of Medicine research education programs in terms of recruitment, admissions, advising and progress tracking. We also provide interface with offices and departments throughout the UNM community and are dedicated to the success of every student.

Dr. Helitzer

Deborah Helitzer, ScD
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Education
KL2 Program Director
Office: HSSB 227
Phone: 505-272-1887

Dr. Helitzer's role is to support the large umbrella under which all of the research education programs will reside. These programs include the BSGP, the MD/PhD Program, the MSCR Program, UPN experience, and many others. Her focus is to facilitate the important goals of each of these training programs, to support all the program directors and enable the respective Steering Committees or Curriculum Committees to carry out their work.


Dr. Peabody

David Peabody, PhD
BSGP Program Director
Phone: (505) 272-0071

Dr. Peabody is a Professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and the Director of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (BSGP). Dr. Peabody chairs the BSGP Steering Committee and oversees graduate admissions, curriculum and student issues.


Dr. Hjelle

Brian Hjelle, MD
MD/PhD Program Director
Office: CRF 329
Phone: (505) 272-0624

Brian Hjelle, MD is a graduate of UC Berkeley in Biochemistry and received his MD from Johns Hopkins University. He completed residency training in Laboratory Medicine and a postdoctoral fellowship at University of California-San Francisco before joining the UNM faculty. He has made many fundamental discoveries in the study of highly-pathogenic zoonotic viruses, especially the rodent-borne hantaviruses, a career interest that was spurred by the emergence of often-fatal hantavirus disease in New Mexico and nearby states in 1993. He has over 200 publications in fundamental and medical virology as well as several licensed patents.


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Shiraz Mishra, MBBS, PhD
MSCR/CTS Program Director

Dr. Mishra chairs the MSCR Steering Committee and oversees admissions, curriculum and student issues.



BREP Staff



Sarah Martinez
Senior Program Manager
Office: HSSB 228
Phone: (505) 272-1921

Sarah oversees the day-to-day operations for Research Education at the School of Medicine. This includes the BSGP, MSCR-CTS and many other exciting programs. Sarah has been at UNM for 8 years. She graduated from Northeastern Illinois University before moving to New Mexico. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys home improvement projects, running and spoiling her dogs.



Elaine Manzanilla
Education Specialist
Office: HSSB 221
Phone: (505) 272-4087

Elaine coordinates the UPN, KL2 and CTIPs programs.  Elaine was lured to New Mexico from Northern California by our own Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program.  She fell in love with New Mexico and after earning her degree, was happy to join the BREP team in supporting, encouraging and inspiring students who are interested in scientific research.  In her spare time, Elaine is learning to play piano, trying to become fluent in Spanish and still working on her first novel.



Mary Fenton
Program Coordinator
Office: HSSB 223
Phone: (505) 272-6876

Mary is the admissions guru of the group. After years of teaching blind or neurologically- impaired skiers, she is now utilizing those motivational skills to nurture BSGP applicants from the recruitment stage to the first day of classes. Mary has studied the effects of parasitic infection on the immune system.



Currently Vacant
Administrative Coordinator
Office: HSSB 227
Phone: (505) 272-1887



Eric Brady
Student Assistant
Office: HSSB 227
Phone: (505) 272-1887

Eric began working with the BREP in September of 2011 and is currently a undergraduate at The University of New Mexico. Eric helps to maintain order throughout the workplace as he manages various tasks given to him by other staff members. This includes but is not limited to: organizing files, making deliveries, helping with program events and even making coffee to keep staff members at the top of their game. Eric plans to graduate with a double major in both Biology and Psychology in the spring of 2014.