Student Spotlight

Rasa Rafie, OMS II

Class of 2022

  • Hometown: San Diego, California
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelor of Science degree in Cell Molecular Biology (Graduate Studies: Master of Science degree in Global Medicine)
  • Clubs and Activities: Lead Peer Mentor, Member of the Global Medicine Track, Member of the Days of Diversity Committee

Why did you choose RVUCOM? Feeling a sense of community in my medical school was really important to me. I attended a Meet and...
Read More

Faculty Spotlight

Mark Wardle, DO, FAAFP

Director of Medical Spanish Elective on the Southern Utah Campus
Co-Director of the Global Medicine Track on the Southern Utah Campus
Assistant Professor of Primary Care Medicine

  • Hometown: Tracy, California
  • Undergraduate Studies: Zoology and Pre-Med at Brigham Young University
  • Graduate Studies: Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in California; Family Medicine Residency in Utah Valley; and Rural Medicine and Faculty Development Fellowship.

What classes do you teach? I teach in both years of Primary Care Medicine, am the Director of the...
Read More


Rachel M.A. Linger, PhD

Associate Professor of Pharmacology
Department of Biomedical Sciences • (720) 874-2454
RVUCOM-CO Campus • FC-05

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



  • Postdoctoral Fellowship
    University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
    Aurora, CO
    2005 – 2011
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
    Aurora, CO
  • Bachelor of Science
    University of Maryland College Park
    College Park, MD

Back to Top


Professional Experience

  • 2013 – Present: Assistant Professor of Pharmacology
    Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • 2016 – 2018: Affiliate Faculty, Department of Biology
    Regis University
  • 2014 – 2015: Editor-in-Chief, The POSTDOCket
    National Postdoctoral Association
  • 2012 – 2013: Associate Editor, The POSTDOCket
    National Postdoctoral Association
  • 2011 – 2012: Research Associate, Department of Pediatrics
    University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus
  • 2011: Guest Lecturer, Department of Biomedical Sciences
    Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • 2003: Teaching Assistant, Department of Biology
    University of Colorado Denver
  • 1998 – 2000: Research Associate
    MedImmune, Inc.
  • 1998: Temporary Worker
    Lab Support Inc.
  • 1997: Summer Intern, Section on Molecular Pharmacology and Development
  • 1995 – 1998: Undergraduate Research Assistant, Department of Biology
    University of Maryland College Park

Back to Top


Service and Contributions

Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Biomedical Sciences Chair Search Committee (2018 – present)
  • MSBS Admissions Committee (2017 – present)
  • Research and Scholarly Activities Committee (2013 – 2018)
    – Chair of Committee (2016 – 2018)
  • Faculty Development Committee (2016 – present)
  • Faculty Council Executive Committee (2016 – 2018)
  • Biomedical Sciences Faculty Search Committee (2016 – 2018)
  • Master of Biomedical Science Curriculum Committee (2014 – present)
  • Chair, Institutional Review Board (IRB) (2017)
  • RVUCOM Admissions Committee (2015 – 2017)
  • Phase Director Search Committee (2016)
  • Student Wellness Committee (2015)
  • Pharmacology Faculty Search Committee (2014)


  • Peer Reviewer (2007 – 2011)
  • UCHSC Graduate Student Council (2000 – 2003)
  • Delegate and Secretary, University of Colorado Inter-Campus Student Forum (2003)
  • President, UCHSC Student Senate (2003)

Back to Top


Honors and Awards

  • Postdoctoral Research Day Poster Award
    University of Colorado Denver
  • LCRF Scientific Merit Award
  • SPORE in Lung Cancer Career Development Award
    University of Colorado Cancer Center (UCCC)
    2008 ‐ 2009
  • Predoctoral NRSA
    National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
    2003 ‐ 2005
  • Norman Weiner Award for Excellence in Research
    University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UCHSC)
  • Dunwiddie Travel Fellowship
    University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UCHSC)
  • Dept. of Pharmacology Student Travel Award
    University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UCHSC)
  • Norman Weiner Award for Academic Excellence
    University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UCHSC)
  • Student Research Forum Award
    University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UCHSC)
  • Dept. of Pharmacology NIH Training Grant
    University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UCHSC)
    2001 ‐ 2003
  • Chairman’s Award
    MedImmune, Inc.
  • Employee of the Month
    Lab Support, Inc.
  • Honors Research Grant
    University of Maryland
    1997 – 1998
  • Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Fellowship
    1997 – 1998
  • Maryland Senatorial Scholarship
    1996 – 1998
  • Maryland Distinguished Scholar Scholarship
    1995 – 1998
  • NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates Grant
    1995 – 1996
  • Student Competitive Edge Scholarship
    1994 – 1998

Back to Top

Publications and Presentations



  • “Novel anti‐MerTK Monoclonal Antibody Improves Chemosensitivity of NSCLC Cells”
    11th Annual Targeted Therapies for the Treatment of Lung Cancer
  • “The Value of Combining Standard Chemotherapy with New Targeted Therapies”
    Uniting Against Lung Cancer Insights into Research Reception
  • “The Mer Receptor Tyrosine Kinase is a Novel ALL Therapeutic Target”
    22nd Annual American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • “TAM Receptor Tyrosine Kinases as Novel Therapeutic Targets in Non‐small Cell Lung Cancer”
    9th Annual Targeted Therapies for the Treatment of Lung Cancer

Back to Top


Research and Studies

  • Research Funding
    • Joan’s Legacy: Uniting Against Lung Cancer ($100,000); 2009 – 2010
    • Lung Cancer Research Foundation ($100,000); 2008 – 2009; 2009 – 2010
    • University of Colorado Cancer Center Lung SPORE, Career Development Award ($91,732); 2008 – 2010
  • Patents
    • Graham, DK, Linger RMA, Brandao L, Sather S, Jones A, and Keating AK. Anti‐Mer Antibodies. Provisional patent filed 2/10/2010.
    • Graham, DK, Linger R, DeRyckere D, Sather S, Keating AK, Kim G, and Brandao L. Methods and compounds for enhancing anti‐cancer therapy. Provisional patent filed 7/29/08.

Back to Top


Biographical Information

Born and raised near Annapolis, Maryland, Dr. Linger graduated from the University of Maryland in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in biology with high honors in zoology. Her undergraduate thesis involved field ecology studies of streambed invertebrates and their responses to habitat heterogeneity. After college, she worked in the Maryland biotechnology industry for two years before moving to Colorado to pursue graduate studies in neuropharmacology.

During graduate school, Dr. Linger investigated molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, focusing on ethanol-mediated changes in glutamate receptor phosphorylation and subcellular localization in the hippocampus. Her work was funded by a predoctoral National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. In addition to research, Dr. Linger taught general biology to undergraduate students and served as President of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Student Senate. She received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Colorado in 2005.

Dr. Linger continued her research training as a postdoctoral fellow in the Pediatrics Department at the University of Colorado. Her postdoctoral research focused on identification of novel biologic targets for new therapies in lung cancer and leukemia. Dr. Linger’s work contributed to publication of several scientific articles in peer reviewed journals and two patents. In 2008, Dr. Linger received the Scientific Merit Award from the Lung Cancer Research Foundation. Toward the end of her postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Linger joined the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the postdoctoral experience. She served as an associate editor for the NPA’s quarterly newsletter, The POSTDOCket, from January 2012 to December 2013, and as the editor-in-chief from January 2014 to May 2015.

After many years of research-intensive training, Dr. Linger left the bench to pursue a career in teaching. She has been a faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Rocky Vista University since July 2013.

In her free time, Dr. Linger enjoys Pilates and spending time outdoors with her husband and their two children.

Back to Top