Vivek was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Leeper lab from 2015-2019. 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. During his time at Stanford, Vivek worked on investigating the function of genes located on the 9p21 locus, and developed an independent research project further studying the role of LMOD1 in atherosclerosis, for which he was awarded a prestigious K99/R00 award. When away from lab, he plays racquetball and enjoys swimming. Vivek was appointed to a tenure-track Assistant Professorship at the University of Alabama, Birmingham in 2020.
Ying was a Postdoctoral Researcher in Vascular Surgery from 2017-2020. 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 focused on how vascular smooth muscle cells drive atherogenesis, and her time in the lab was marked by several discoveries about the role of SMC phenotype switching and clonal expansion in cardiovascular disease. In her free time, Ying enjoys drawing, hiking, and traveling. Ying was appointed to a tenure-track Assistant Professorship at the University of British Columbia in 2021.
Kelly joined our group after pursuing a PhD at the University of Kentucky with Lisa Cassis and Alan Daugherty, where she studied the role of angiotensin signaling in cardiometabolic tissue and its relation to insulin signaling, obesity and cardiovascular risk. During her time with us, she studied the role of cardiovascular risk loci on vascular disease and was awarded a Vascular Biology T32 grant while co-authoring studies in JCI, Circ Research and Vascular Medicine. After Stanford, she received a post-doctoral training position at the University of Denver, where she studied vascular aging, and is now pursuing a career in medical writing. Kelly is a fitness enthusiast and triathlete and has thrived as a long distance trail runner in the mountains of Colorado.
A former All-American Division I athlete, Kevin joined our group while a medical student at Stanford University having previously studied the molecular basis of inflammation and phagocyte biology. During his time with us, Kevin developed an interest in ‘big data’, bioinformatics and genetic epidemiology and was awarded a highly competitive Gates-Cambridge Scholarship. Since receiving his MPhil at the University of Cambridge, Kevin has become an expert in Mendelian Randomization and other advanced ‘omics approaches. After pursuing his clinical residency training at the University of Pennsylvania, Kevin was awarded the prestigious Holman Fellowship based on a series of high impact publications in journals such as JCO, JACC, Diabetes,and Circ Research. Kevin was appointed to a tenure-track Assistant Professorship at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2020.
Henry “Hank” Cheng came to Stanford while a medical school
student at UCLA after having received a prestigious Sarnoff Fellowship
award.At Stanford, Henry studied the
9p21 cardiovascular risk locus and the molecular genetics surrounding the risk
allele.After returning to medical
school, Henry first obtained a highly competitive residency position at John’s
Hopkins University in Internal Medicine and currently is a cardiovascular
medicine research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.
Roxanne’s remarkable story began when she transferred to Stanford University from a community college in Florida, after having immigrating to the United States from Peru to pursue her dream of higher education. While an undergraduate at Stanford, she joined our cardiovascular research team to learn molecular genetics as part of her honors thesis project. In addition to receiving an AHA Predoctoral fellowship and a Barry Goldwater scholarship, Roxanne had a very productive time within our Division and co-authored a number of papers in journals such as PLoS Genetics, American Journal of Cardiology, JVS and Circulation CV Quality and Outcomes. Since graduating, Roxanne has become a U.S. Citizen and has continued to pursue her love of medical genetics, having worked at Complete Genomics and now at Omicia, where she focuses on next-gen sequencing technology.
After performing two research fellowship programs at the NIH, Scott came as a visiting scholar to our laboratory while a medical student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In his time with us, Scott gained exposure to the basics of vascular biology research and worked with mouse models of aneurysm disease. Since returning to New York, Scott has graduated from medical school and is currently an Internal Medicine resident at the University of Michigan.
Jessie joined our laboratory while a high school senior to gain exposure to biomedical research. During her time with us, she worked with a team studying neo-angiogenesis and learned the fundamentals of RNA expression analysis and mouse models of vascular disease. Because of her contributions, she was named as a co-author on a publication in Circulation Research published in 2016. Jessie was subsequently admitted to Stanford University and is pursuing graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University while preparing her medical school applications. Jessie remains a world traveler and continues to study abroad, most recently in mainland China.
Noah grew up in Los Altos, California, where he attended Los Altos High School. At Los Altos High School, outside of academics, Noah wrestled at the varsity level as a freshman, played varsity baseball, photographed for the school newspaper, The Talon, and sang in the school’s choral group, the Main Street Singers. During the summer of 2014, Noah participated in the Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research program (SIMR). He spent 8 weeks in Dr. Stephen Montgomery’s lab where he studied the role of exosomes in transmitting rescue signals to previously irradiated cells. Thereafter, Noah spent multiple summers working with our team, learning the fundamentals of atherosclerosis and cell-fate determination in vascular biology. Noah then completed his undergraduate studies in Chemistry and Genetics at Haverford College and he is currently a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. In his free time, Noah enjoys singing and playing volleyball with his friends.
Kathryn completed her PhD at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. Her thesis focused on determining the mechanism behind the beneficial role of TGF-beta on enhancing intestinal epithelial barrier function and protection from EHEC O157:H7 infection. Kathryn went to medical school at the University of Toronto (Canada) where she continued to publish on a wide variety of topics, including neurosurgery, ethics in global surgery, and ischemia-reperfusion, having been awarded competitive Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellowships during this time. Kathryn subsequently completed a visiting fellowship at Stanford University, following which returned to Canada for chief year in Vascular Surgery at McMaster. While in the Leeper lab, Kathryn became fascinated with smooth muscle lineage tracing in atherosclerotic plaques and is interested in the immune phenomena that regulate this process. Outside the lab and operating room, Kathryn enjoys trekking in remote places, hiking with her dog and husband, and riding her bike. Kathryn was appointed to a tenure-track Assistant Professorship at the University of Toronto in 2019.
Dan was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Leeper lab from 2014-2016. He grew up in Syracuse, NY and completed his B.S. in Biology at the University of Albany, State University of New York. He then received his Ph.D. in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology from Purdue University where he studied the role of the transcription factor, Mist1, in pancreatic homeostasis and cancer development in the lab of Dr. Stephen Konieczny. Dan then obtained a Postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. K Craig Kent at the University of Wisconsin – Madison to investigate the role of TGFβ/Smad3 signaling in vascular smooth muscle cell de-differentiation and cross-talk with the Wnt signaling pathway. His over-arching research interests are in the signaling pathways and transcriptional mechanisms that regulate disease processes. While a post-doc, Dan obtained a prestigious AHA post-doctoral research grant. In his free-time, Dan enjoys biking, running, and watching sports or movies. Following his training at Stanford, Dan obtained a position as a Principal Investigator at Arcus Biosciences.
Norna joined the lab as a fourth year medical student at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. This fall she will join Leeper Lab to pursue research for her Degree Project in Medicine. Her main focus will be studying the role of CDKN2B in peripheral artery disease and vascular neo-angiogenesis. Previously she has been a member of the George Klein Laszlo Szekely Group, her studies mainly focusing on Cancer Associated Fibroblasts and their role in tumor suppression. Academically, Norna has an interest in applying a global and multicultural perspective on medicine and translational research. Last year she studied global health under Professor Hans Rosling with field studies conducted in Uganda. During this spring she did a surgical internship at Taizhu Enze Medical Center, Zhejiang in China. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, skiing, and diving.
Margaret joined our research team while an undergraduate at Stanford. She worked ontheGenetic Determinants of Peripheral Artery Disease (GenePAD) Study and co-authored several papers in journals including Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, American Journal of Cardiology, and Journal of Vascular Surgery. After graduating, she went on to attend medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, and is currently an Internal Medicine resident at Columbia University.
a. Pavlos joined the lab while a 5th-year resident for Vascular Surgery at the Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Hospital rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, Germany. Before that, he studied Medicine at the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria. He joined our team as a postdoctoral fellow investigating the role of CHI3L1/YKL-40 and plaque vulnerability in carotid atherosclerosis. For that he received a travel grant from the German Research Foundation.
He is half Greek (father), half Argentinean (mother) and in his free-time he spends his time with triathlon, kitesurfing, skiing or playing the piano. Pavlos is now a junior faculty member and surgeon-scientist at the Technical University of Munich.
Monika joined the lab as fourth year medical student from the Karolinska Institute conducting her degree thesis at the Leeper Lab.
She is very interested in global medicine, she has taken multiple international medical courses, including Medical Development in Europe and most recently a global surgery course in Mulago, Uganda. Monika has served as the student representative in Karolinska Institutet's Strategic Council for International Affairs as well as being the president of the Karolinska Institutet's student organization for international students.
She has a background in fashion design and in her free time she likes to knit and practice yoga.
Sophia joined the lab as undergraduate at Stanford where she majored in Biology. During her time with us, she became fascinated by the genetic implications of personalized health care as it intersects with cardiovascular disease. As a research assistant, she worked on a project that explored the relationship between angiogenesis and genes on the 9p21 locus, leading to a series of high profile co-authorships. In her free time, Sophia enjoys drawing, travelling and photography. Sophia is now in medical school at the University of California, San Diego.
Alyssa spent two years as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Research fellow in the Leeper lab from 2017-2019. She grew up in the East Bay Area and is now completing her graduate medical education 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. During her time with us, Alyssa pursued her interests in the genetics of cardiovascular disease and precision medicine. While focusing on developing translational therapies for diseases such as atherosclerosis and aneurysmal disease she pioneered a novel, macrophage-specific, pro-efferocytic nanoparticle which is currently being studied in translational models. Outside of academics, Alyssa enjoys good coffee, running, and sports such as basketball and lacrosse. She will begin her integrated vascular surgery residency in 2021 and looks forward to a career as an NIH-funded surgeon-scientist.
Will came to Stanford for his cardiovascular fellowship training after receiving his MD and PhD at the University of Alabama. Having a background in the molecular effects of hyperinsulinemia on diabetes and inflammation, Will was recruited to our Vascular K12 program and participated in advanced training in Vascular Medicine and translational trials focused on vascular regeneration and PAD genomics/metabolomics. After leaving Stanford, Will obtained a competitive fellowship at Yale University and now has an independent academic career as a leader in the field of Vascular Medicine at the Oschner Clinic.
After training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology, Peter was sent to Stanford by the Singaporean government to take advanced clinical and research training in Vascular Medicine.During his time with us, Peter became involved in the NIH-funded Genetic Determinants of Peripheral Artery Disease (GenePAD) Study at Stanford and published a number of articles investigating predictors of latent and undiagnosed PAD.Peter has now returned to the faculty of the National University of Singapore where he is an Associate Consultant and director of their Vascular Medicine efforts.
Dr. Rana completed the Stanford Vascular Medicine fellowship in 2019. Dr. Rana was born and brought up in India. He completed his medical school from the Armed Forces Medical college in India and moved to USA to pursue higher education. He finished his Internal medicine residency from Allegheny General hospital in Pittsburgh and his cardiology fellowship from Louisiana State University before joining the Stanford team for subspecialty training. For leisure, Dr. Rana enjoys reading, travelling and spending time with family and friends. Atif is now a junior faculty member at the Medical College of Wisconsin where he leads the schools Vascular Medicine efforts.
Dr. Kaufman completed her fellowship in the Stanford Vascular Medicine Fellowship in 2020. She completed her undergraduate studies in Biological Sciences at Stanford University and her MD at the University of Chicago. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago (Northshore) program. She is interested in developing an expertise in a wide range of vascular conditions and optimizing medical management for patients with peripheral artery disease. In her free time she enjoys tennis, yoga, and hiking.