Program Administrators

Program Co-Director

Letisha Wyatt smiling

Letisha R. Wyatt, PhD is the Co-PI of the OHSU Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP), Assistant Professor of Neurology, and the Director of Diversity in Research in the OHSU Research and Innovation Office. She currently oversees the development and implementation of training programs for scientists from historically minoritized and underserved backgrounds. She is a former bench neuropharmacologist with a strong record of mentorship in the laboratory and classroom. Dr. Wyatt has also served as faculty in the OHSU Library and the Center for Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research (CEDAR), working together with researchers to support open science practices and data stewardship needs. Read more about Letisha’s role on her personal website and view her work on ORCID

Program Co-Director

Gary Westbrook

Gary Westbrook M.D. is a Senior Scientist in the Vollum Institute and the Dixon Professor of Neurology at OHSU. Dr. Westbrook received his MD and an MSE in Bioengineering from Case Western Reserve University. After clinical training in internal medicine and neurology in Boston and St. Louis, he worked in basic neuroscience research at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. His neuroscience laboratory at the Vollum Institute is broadly interested in synaptic transmission, and in particular how neural circuits are formed, regulate their activity and contribute to the function of neural systems. He is co-PI with Kelly Monk of the NINDS T32 for the Vollum/OHSU Neuroscience Graduate Program and co-PI with Letisha Wyatt of the OHSU NIGMS PREP program. As co-Director of the Vollum Institute (2005-2016) and Director of the Vollum/OHSU Neuroscience Graduate Program (2008-2018), he has been active in the recruitment and training of students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty, and has been proactive in increasing diversity among trainees and faculty at OHSU. He is excited to contribute to the post-baccalaureate program. Read about work in his lab at .

Program Manager

Joyce Pieretti PREP hs

Joyce Pieretti, PhD (she/her) joined the PREP admin team in October 2022. As a first-generation student and a Latina, Joyce has navigated the higher education landscape and experienced first-hand learning the hidden curriculum of academia. Dr. Pieretti completed her PhD in Integrative Biology at the University of Chicago (2016) where she studied the shared developmental and regulatory features of fins and limbs. In 2015, Joyce served as an AAAS Mass Media Fellow at Univision. These and other experiences led Joyce to focus on promoting diversity in STEM and to work with others in creating more inclusive and supportive academic environments. Dr. Pieretti most recently managed Portland State University’s LSAMP Program, an undergraduate program that promotes the success of racially minoritized students in STEM. Joyce is excited to support OHSU PREP Scholars’ journeys towards graduate school. Feel free to contact Dr. Pieretti at with any questions about PREP.

Program Coordinator

Ioana Marin HS web

Ioana (pronounced ee-wa-na) Marin, PhD (she/her) is a neuroscientist and community builder, originally from Romania. She attended Lafayette College (Easton, PA) as a FLI student (first gen/ low income), and later received her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Virginia. Prior to moving to Oregon, she was a postdoc at Stanford University, working with Dr. Carla Shatz. Ioana pursued Neuroscience with the ideal of understanding the fundamentals of human behavior, and using that knowledge to change the world. After many wonderful scientific adventures, that ideal has pulled her increasingly towards finding ways to make academia more inclusive. By blending community building with advocacy and leadership, Ioana is dedicated to changing the oppressive structures in academia and supporting trainees to achieve success. She is a big believer in the transformative power of showing up. In addition to her work, she is passionate about teaching and cultivating wonder, and enjoys being outdoors, baking and the arts. For slightly more info, check out her personal website.