Nick is an Associate Professor of Vascular Surgery and Cardiovascular Medicine. He holds degrees with honors in Chemistry and Medicine from the University of Chicago, and completed his Internal Medicine training at the University of California, San Francisco. Nick joined the Clinical Investigator Pathway at Stanford University in 2005, served as the Division's Chief Cardiovascular Fellow in 2007, prior to joining the faculty. His academic interests focus on pathological vascular processes such as atherosclerosis, vessel inflammation, endothelial cell dysfunction, smooth muscle cell physiology and aneurysm formation. In particular, he is interested in investigating the genetic mechanisms of heritable cardiovascular diseases as well as translational Vascular Medicine. Nick is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases and Vascular Medicine. Nick's biosketch.
Yoko holds an MD and a PhD degree in Molecular Biology from Kobe University in Japan. She has performed post-doctoral research training programs at both Stanford and Yale University where she focused on pathological vascular conditions such as restenosis, atherosclerosis and molecular pathways relevant to smooth muscle cell dysfunction. She is now focused on defining the vascular biology of pathways responsible for heart disease and leads efforts focused on translating genome-wide significant associations into mouse models of human vascular disease. In particular, she studies the relationship of ‘efferocytosis’ (Greek for carrying the dead to the grave) to the 9p21 locus, and how orchestrated phagocytosis may relate to the accumulation of apoptotic debris in the atherosclerotic core.
Dr. Jianqin Ye joined the group as lab manager in 2015. He holds an M.D. from Nanjing Medical University and received his Ph.D. in Immunology from the School of Medicine of Xian Jiaotong University in China, where he also completed his surgical residency. Thereafter, he completed postdoctoral training in the Rick Derynck lab at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he studied the role of TGF-β in developmental processes. Subsequent to this, he took part in the Human Genome Project as a Senior Scientist at Celera Genomics (Applied Bioystems), and received advanced training in the Jeff Bluestone laboratory at UCSF. Prior to joining the Leeper lab, he worked as a Senior Research Specialist in the Division of Cardiology at UCSF from 2004 to 2015, where he studied cardiac stem cell therapy by bone marrow stem cells, endothelial progenitor cells, embryonic cells and adult resident cardiac progenitor cells. Jianqin is currently working to elucidate the role of Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2B (CDKN2B) in pathological angiogenesis and as regulator of phagocytosis of diseased macrophages in atherosclerotic tissue.
Vivek is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Vascular Surgery. He completed his undergraduate studies in Bioinformatics from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, following which he joined the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston as a research technician. After gaining a couple years of experience he moved back to wintery Rochester to pursue his PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Rochester, New York. As a predoctoral candidate he defined the expression and transcriptional regulation of a rather understudied gene called Leiomodin1 and thereafter began investigating its function in cultured smooth muscle cells. He simultaneously also designed a targeting vector to inactivate the Leiomodin1 locus in mice. Upon joining Stanford, he has been actively working on investigating the function of genes located on the 9p21 locus, which are now known to be involved in coronary heart diseases. When away from lab, he plays racquetball and enjoys swimming.
Alyssa is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Research fellow whose interest in the genetics of cardiovascular disease brought her to the Leeper lab. She grew up in the East Bay Area and is a medical student at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine. She has a research background in small molecule drug discovery, with work in ocular therapeutics at UC San Francisco and in peripheral arterial disease as an NIH T35 trainee at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She is interested in learning about precision medicine and developing translational therapies for diseases such as atherosclerosis and aneurysmal disease. Outside of academics, Alyssa enjoys good coffee, running, and sports such as basketball and lacrosse.
Ying is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Vascular Surgery. She grew up in China, and received her Ph.D from the University of British Columbia in Canada, where she studied the role of lipoprotein lipase in cardiomyopathy during diabetes. Ying then obtained a Postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Gordon Francis’ lab at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver to investigate the contribution of vascular smooth muscle cells for cell formation in atherosclerosis. Ying’s research focus on how vascular smooth muscle cells drive atherogenesis, aiming to find novel therapeutic targets to treat this human disease. In her free time, Ying enjoys drawing, hiking, and traveling.
Kai is a postdoctoral research fellow in Vascular Medicine supported by the German Research Foundation. He graduated and received his medical degree with highest honor from Heidelberg University School of Medicine, Germany. He is board certified in Internal Medicine (Germany). Since 2016, he has been a fellow in Cardiology at the Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany. His current research interests focus on novel theranostic approaches in atherosclerosis.
Mozhgan has a M.Sc. from University of Tehran and is currently pursuing her studies at UC Santa Cruz in the field of Biotechnology. Mozhgan is passionate about the biological system and how it impacts daily life. In her free time, Mozhgan enjoys painting and outdoor activities such as hiking and camping.