Student Spotlight

Emilie Mathura, OMS I

Class of 2023

  • Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology
  • Clubs and Activities: Student Government Association, OB/GYN Club, American Medical Women's Association, and Medical Students for Choice.

Why did you choose RVUCOM? The Urban Underserved Track and the sabbatical program which will allow me to complete my Master of Public Health...
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Faculty Spotlight

Cathy Ruff, MS, PA-C

Program Director and Chair of Physician Assistant Studies
Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies

  • Hometown: Dearborn, Michigan
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelor of Science degree in Cellular Biology
  • Graduate Studies: Master of Science degree in Cellular/Molecular Biology. Physician Assistant Training at the University of Colorado Health Science Center.

What class/classes do you teach? I teach professionalism topics, Physical Exam, and small group skills. Why did you choose...
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Benjamin Brooks, PhD

Assistant Program Director
Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences Program

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences
Department of Biomedical Sciences • (435) 222-1304
RVUCOM-SU Campus • C-230


Education | Professional Experience | Service and Contributions | Professional Societies and Affiliations | Honors and Awards | Publications and Presentations | Research Interests | Biographical Information


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pharmaceutics/Bioengineering
    University of Utah
    Salt Lake City, UT
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Biology
    University of Wyoming
    Laramie, WY
  • Master of Business Administration
    University of Wyoming
    Laramie, WY
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics
    University of Wyoming
    Laramie, WY

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Professional Experience

  • 2019 – present: Assistant Program Director, Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences Program
    Rocky Vista University
  • 2019 – present: Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences, Department of Biomedical Sciences
    Rocky Vista University
  • 2016 – present: Research Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
    North Dakota State University
  • 2016 – present: Adjunct Faculty, Department of Microbiology
    University of Pennsylvania
  • 2012 – 2019: Vice President of Research/Senior Scientist
    Carterra, Inc.
  • 2008: Visiting Graduate Student, Department of Immunology
    Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California

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Service and Contributions


  • Ad hoc reviewer
    • NIH Contract Sections, Civics Influenza Center (2019)
    • NIH Continuous Submission (2015 – 2017)

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Professional Societies and Affiliations

  • Antibody Society
  • American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
  • Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture
  • Mortar Board and Golden Key Honor Societies

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Honors and Awards

  • Apple Polisher Teaching Award
    North Dakota State University
  • Student Athlete Teaching Award
    North Dakota State University

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Publications and Presentations


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Research Interests

Research Interests:

  • Improving vaccine discovery through characterizing antibody:antigen interactions
  • Characterizing protein:protein interactions
  • Improving spider silk spinning

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Biographical Information

Dr. Brooks has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, a Master of Business Administration degree, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Molecular Biology – all from the University of Wyoming. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Pharmaceutics/Bioengineering at the University of Utah. After his fellowship, he led the engineering team at Carterra to develop a high-throughput Surface Plasmon Resonance instrument that drug companies use to screen antibody-based therapies. Along with his wife, he began teaching at North Dakota State University and also managed National Institutes of Health grants.

His passion for being a mentor and teaching students is what makes him thrilled to be a part of RVU. He is looking forward to creating an environment where students feel at home exploring their career opportunities and meting their goals. “I love seeing students succeed and do great things!”

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