Nick is a Professor of Vascular Surgery and serves as the Chief of Vascular Medicine at Stanford University. 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.
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.
Anne is a German medical student and a scholar of the German Heart Foundation and Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation for Freedom. She pursues novel nanoparticle based therapeutic approaches in cardiovascular research for the experimental part of her doctoral thesis in collaboration with Prof. Nicholas Leeper at Stanford University under supervision of Prof. Lars Maegdefessel at TU Munich.
As research student coordinator of the Department of Physiology at LMU, she developed a skill curriculum and gained experience helping to design and to direct undergraduate research projects and advised student scholarship and grant applications.
She also loves working at the intersection of medicine, technology and research and developed a 3D AR app for anatomy teaching and a hypertension screening tool.
In her free time, she enjoys beekeeping. Fun fact: she even found a wild bee swarm on Stanford University Campus.
Nicolas is a sophomore pre-med student at Stanford University majoring in Human Biology. My interest in medicine has been sparked by my many trips to the doctor's office after numerous sports injuries. Currently a member of the varsity baseball team at Stanford. Graduated from Serra High School in San Mateo and was raised in Redwood City, California.
Hua joined the group as a postdoc in 2020. He received a B.S. degree in Biology from Wuhan University and a Ph.D. degree in Bioinformatics from Peking University. After graduated he worked as an assistant research fellow at Peking University People's Hospital. His research experiences include disease gene discovery for rare neurological diseases, clinical application of NGS, and comparative genomics and evolution inference in microbiology. Now he focuses on the genetic and epigenetic profiles in the single-cell level under the progress of atherogenesis.
Caitlin is a current general cardiology fellow at Stanford University. Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, she attended college at the University of Colorado - Boulder and then completed her medical degree at Vanderbilt University. She then came to Stanford to complete her internal medicine residency through the Translational Investigator Program (TIP) followed by her cardiovascular medicine fellowship. Her current research interest is in smooth muscle cell plasticity in the context of tumorigenesis and the molecular/cellular parallels of atherogenesis and cancer.
Ricky is an MD/PhD student from the University of Virginia spending his final year of medical school in the Leeper lab to initiate a new project. He completed his PhD with Gary Owens using cell-specific lineage tracing mice to study the impressive plasticity of smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells in atherosclerosis. His new focus is seeing how these curious cells are behaving in different chronic disease, the microenvironment of developing tumors.
Mason Gonzalez is currently a junior undergraduate at Stanford University studying Human Biology. He grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, and now resides in Woodside, CA. His interests lies in neurobiology and the molecular mechanisms of neurological disorders, which he hopes to explore in tandem with vascular biology in the Leeper Lab. Additionally, he is currently a member of the varsity swimming and diving team and works as a student researcher for the Stanford Huntington's Disease Outreach Program (HOPES).