March 31 Mar 31
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday Wed

COVID-19 Genetics

Pandemic Research in Real-time

The Stanford Medicine Alumni Association is proud to offer our virtual Alumni to Alumni Speaker Series! This series features accomplished School of Medicine alumni sharing their knowledge and experience in a variety of healthcare, research, start-up and private sector settings, highlighting the diversity, innovation, dedication and impact of the Stanford Medicine community.

Thank you to all that could join us for COVID-19 Genetics: Pandemic Research in Real-time, with alumni Jeffrey Pollard, Resident ’06, and Anjali Shastri, PhD ’13, as they presented the findings from 23andMe's COVID-19 study, including the identification of genetic and non-genetic factors that may influence disease severity.

Watch the Video!

Alumni Guest Speakers

Jeffrey Pollard, Resident ’06

Dr. Jeffrey Pollard is a double board-certified surgeon with a B.S. in Health Psychology from Duke and M.D. from Vanderbilt. He completed his Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery residency at Stanford and a Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery fellowship at Tulane.

Dr. Pollard is Director of Medical Affairs at 23andMe and is primarily responsible for maintaining the clinical integrity of the company's direct-to-consumer genetics products and services. He has over a decade of hands-on clinical experience including founding a multi-center medical practice and serving as a regional educator for the pharmaceutical company Allergan. Prior to joining 23andMe, he was the Medical Director for digital health pioneer HealthTap. He is an active advisor to innovative companies such as ZendyHealth and serves as an advisor and judge for the Duke University Startup Challenge. He also volunteers as a member of the Board of Directors for Weingarten Children's Center, a nationally recognized oral school for deaf children.

Anjali Shastri, PhD '13

Anjali has more than 10 years of experience advancing biomedical research programs and policy in industry, academia, and government. Currently, as a Senior Program Manager at 23andMe, Dr. Shastri manages research projects and collaborations with academic and industry partners to further genomics research and improve the products and services 23andMe provides its customers.

Dr. Shastri previously served as a Policy Advisor in the Office of Global Health Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State. There she worked across U.S. government agencies, NGOs, and international partners to strengthen countries’ capacity to combat disease, improve healthcare for vulnerable populations, and equip diplomats to engage in health diplomacy. She also worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Global Affairs, where she coordinated global health policy for Asia.

She received her Ph.D. in Immunology in 2014 from the Stanford University School of Medicine, where she studied how the parasite Toxoplasma gondii manipulates the host immune system. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Molecular and Cell Biology.

Throughout her career, Dr. Shastri has been passionate about increasing diversity in science. At Stanford, she was co-President of the Biomedical Association for the Interest of Minority Students and a Diversifying Academia Recruiting Excellence fellow; at 23andMe, she serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Committee.