JMP Leadership Team, Faculty and Staff

Leadership Team

John R. Balmes MD


Faculty Headshot for John Balmes

Dr. John Balmes is the director of the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program. He leads the ongoing evolution of our curriculum while collaboratively managing the complex everyday process of ensuring a rich and innovative learning environment for our learners and educators. He currently teaches and mentors JMP students in the master’s curriculum. He received his MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 1976. After internal medicine training at Mount Sinai and pulmonary subspecialty, occupational medicine, and research training at Yale, he joined the faculty of USC in 1982. He joined the faculty at UCSF in 1986 and the UC Berkeley School of Public Health in 2002. He is currently professor of environmental health sciences at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and professor of occupational and environmental medicine at San Francisco General Hospital. His major academic activities include his research laboratory, several collaborative epidemiological research projects, various advisory and editorial committees, and direction of the clinical occupational/environmental medicine division at SFGH.

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Gustavo Valbuena MD, PhD

Head of Foundational Sciences through PBL Curriculum

Dr. Valbuena studied Medicine in his native Colombia and moved to Texas in 1996 to complete a program combining a residency in Pathology and a PhD in Experimental Pathology. In 2003, he returned to Colombia to design the basic sciences curriculum of a new school of medicine and to pursue epidemiological research on rickettsial diseases. From 2006 to 2015 Dr. Valbuena joined the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Medical Branch where he eventually reached the level of Associate Professor with tenure. He focused his effort on education and research in infectious diseases.

In 2015, Dr. Valbuena moved to the Bay Area, and he decided to completely focus his professional career on Medical Education. He joined the faculty of the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program (JMP) where he currently is the Head of the Problem-Based Learning curriculum. In addition to his duties at the JMP, he is also a graduate student in the Doctoral program in Health Professions Education run in collaboration between UCSF and Utrecht University Medical Center in the Netherlands.


Amy B. Garlin MD

Head of Patient Care & Clinical Systems (PCCS)

Dr. Garlin is Head of the Clinical Skills and Patient Care Curriculum. Under her leadership, JMP faculty and clinical partners have pioneered innovative participatory and immersive formats for learning and practicing what doctors do. After completing medical school at UCSF, she trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of New Mexico. She then completed a Fellowship in Infectious Disease at the Massachusetts General Hospital, with a year as HIV/AIDS Fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease, and in HIV/AIDS, Dr. Garlin is an active and dedicated clinician, providing primary and specialty care in the largest HIV practice in the East Bay.

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Coco Auerswald MD, MS

Director of Research Training and Master’s Program

Dr. Auerswald is the Director of the JMP Master’s Program and research curriculum, a uniquely creative inter-disciplinary program at the crossroads of individual and public health. She holds academic positions at both the Berkeley and San Francisco campuses of the University of California. A recipient of many teaching awards, she has been deeply involved in teaching both undergraduate medical students and residents for many years. Since joining the JMP in 2005, Dr. Auerswald has excelled in her teaching, mentoring, administrative, service, and research roles. Her research has consistently focused on the effects of poverty and of social/cultural context on the health of our society’s most disadvantaged youth. She has conducted research regarding marginalized youth populations in San Francisco, including low-income youth of color (African American and Latino), HIV-positive youth, homeless youth, and, most recently, transgender youth. Her current collaborative projects include Kenya and San Francisco-based research at the intersection of social epidemiology, medical anthropology and adolescent health.

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Sara Hartley MD

Interim Head of Admissions


Aisha Mays MD

Faculty Lead for Outreach and Engagement


Shelene Stine MD

Faculty Lead for Student Assessment


Master’s Faculty

Medical Faculty


JMP Staff:

Student Academic Advisor, Master’s Curriculum Administrator
Jonaé Boatwright
(510) 642-5671

JMP Admissions and Recruitment
Mary Elghani
(510) 642-5482

Administrative Manager
Jessie Heminway
(510) 642-7357

Administrative Program Director, PRIME-US @ JMP
Leanna W. Lewis, MSW
(510) 642-5486

Support the Joint Medical Program.

Help us to train outstanding physicians committed to health equity and social justice through a variety of funds, including the JMP Diversity Fund, the JMP Student Services Fund, and the Kevin Mack Medical Education Leadership Support fund.

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