Meet the Pre-Health Advisors

Dean Mary Beth Connell, M.D.
Director of Pre-Health Programs
Associate Dean
Reiss 208
Appointment Calendar

​Lucy Cherner, M.S. 
Assistant Director of Pre-Health Advising
ICC Suite 303
Appointment Calendar

Dean Marlene Canlas, M.A., M.P.H.
Associate Dean
ICC Suite 303
Appointment Calendar
Dean Canlas is the Pre-Health Advising Dean for first and second year undergraduate students.

Dean Michael Parker, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean
White Gravenor 108
Appointment Calendar
Dean Parker is the Pre-Health Advising Dean for junior and senior undergraduate students.


Mary Beth Connell, M.D. is the Associate Dean and Director of Pre-Health Advising at Georgetown in the College Dean’s Office.  As such, she oversees the advising of pre-health students, chairs the Pre-Health Recommendation Committee and directs the Post Baccalaureate Pre-Medical program, a certificate program for students who have completed their undergraduate education in a non-science area and wish to change careers.  She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in English in 1984, did a post bac at Bryn Mawr then received her M.D. from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1989.  She completed a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and practiced at INOVA Fairfax Hospital.  She has served the University since 1993 initially through Georgetown’s Medical Alumni Board, then on the Board of Governors, Directors and Regents.  Her favorite role is guiding students on their journey to a health professions career.

Lucy Cherner, M.S. is the Assistant Director of Pre-Health Advising at Georgetown University and the Coordinator for the Post Baccalaureate Pre-Medical program. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Rutgers University and a Master of Science in Neurobiology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After working as a biochemistry and cell biology researcher for over ten years at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, UNC-CH and the National Institutes of Health, Lucy interned at the Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE) at the NIH where she fell in love with mentoring and guiding science students toward their desired careers. Since joining Georgetown in 2015 Lucy focused on pre-health careers advising and found it to be truly her life’s calling.

Marlene Canlas (SFS’01) is an Associate Dean in Georgetown College. She is also a proud graduate of Georgetown having earned her undergraduate degree from the School of Foreign Service in 2001. She pursued Master’s degrees in public health and international affairs at the George Washington University and worked briefly for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) before returning to Georgetown. She has been advising students for over 15 years and occasionally teaches a course on international health and development. Dean Canlas is originally from New Jersey but has lived in the DC/Northern Virginia area for most of her adult life. However, from 2009 to 2012, she worked at Georgetown’s campus in Doha, Qatar. From Doha, she had the opportunity to indulge one of her greatest pastimes: travel. Some of her most memorable travel experiences were community engagement trips with Georgetown students to Bangladesh, China, and Sri Lanka where they worked with Habitat for Humanity and local communities to rebuild homes affected by natural disasters. Closer to home, she has also accompanied students on alternative break trips to the Gulf Coast (post-Katrina) and rural Arkansas.

Michael Parker, Ph.D. is an Assistant Dean of Georgetown College. He holds a BS in Biology from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and both an MS and PhD in Immunobiology from Yale University. His published research spans a variety of fields, including molecular virology, plant bioinformatics, viral ecology, and science policy. In graduate school, Dr. Parker studied the innate immune responses of mammalian cells to RNA viruses, specifically focusing on better understanding the restriction of RNA virus infection by DNA-specific innate sensing pathways. Before moving to Georgetown, Dr. Parker was an Assistant Professor at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD, where he taught coursework in introductory biology, microbiology, and immunology. At Georgetown, he is the decanal and pre-health advisor for junior and senior majors in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Physics, and has lectured on topics in immunology and microbiology in the Department of Biology. His current research interests include integrating knowledge of infectious diseases and molecular biology to better inform biosecurity preparedness strategies, building science curricula toward developing policy-minded scientists, and relating biosecurity issues and ideas to a broader audience. 

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Our Address:
Office of Pre-Health Advising
Georgetown University
108 White Gravenor
Washington DC 20057