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.
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.
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.
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.
Lingfeng joined the lab as a postdoctoral scholar in May 2021. He received his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry at the University of Rochester and a bachelor's degree in Biotechnology at Zhejiang University. His current research interests are vascular intercellular communication and novel pathways and therapies in atherosclerosis and cancer. In his free time, Lingfeng enjoys illustrating, singing, hiking, and running.
Changhao earned his Ph.D. in Medical Bioengineering from Jilin University, Changchun, China, followed by four years of postdoctoral training in stem cell and cancer stem cell research. Previously, he worked as a visiting scholar, studying the epigenetic role of long-chain non-coding RNAs in regulating stem cell pluripotency and reprogramming, and using CRISPR-Cas9 to correct Prader-Willi syndrome iPS cell models in Professor Hoffman's lab at Stanford University. His current research focuses on editing disease-causing genes in iPS cell models generated from patient's biopsy sample using CRISPR-Cas9.
A Bay Area native, Shaunak completed his undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley in Molecular and Cell Biology. He subsequently matriculated into the Medical Scientist Training Program at Duke University School of Medicine, where he completed his graduate training in the labs of Dr. Farshid Guilak and Dr. Charles Gersbach. There, he leveraged gene editing technology and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to study chondrogenesis and osteoarthritis in dish. During his clinical training at Duke, he developed an interest in vascular surgery due to the complexity and diversity of cases. He joined Stanford’s integrated vascular residency program in 2019 and is currently working in the lab of Dr. Nicholas Leeper studying mechanisms underlying atherosclerosis. Outside of the hospital and lab, Shaunak enjoys hiking, camping, and playing tabla.
Flora joined the Leeper lab in 2021. She received a B.S. Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s in Business Administration from San Jose State University. Flora has a 19+ year career at Stanford. She recently worked as a Financial Administrative Associate in the Department of Pediatrics. During her tenure she also worked in the Departments of Chemistry and Cardiothoracic Surgery.
Sharika joined the Leeper lab as a Sarnoff Fellow in September 2022. She grew up in the Philadelphia area and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania in Cell and Molecular Biology. She is currently a fourth year medical student at the University of Michigan. She has previous vascular biology research experience in the lab of Dr. Mark Kahn at the University of Pennsylvania, where she contributed to projects studying the mechanisms underlying cerebral cavernous malformation pathogenesis, heart valve development, and deep venous thrombosis. In Dr. Andrea Obi’s lab at the University of Michigan, she investigated the role of inflammation in post-thrombotic syndrome. In the Leeper lab, she is currently interested in further investigating potential parallel molecular pathways in atherosclerosis and cancer. Outside the lab, Sharika enjoys learning ceramics, playing tennis, watching Formula 1, and reading historical fiction.
Ryan Choi is a medical student at Stanford School of Medicine and is looking to advance cardiovascular medicine through genomics and computational biology. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in Biological Sciences, where he researched genetic causes of cardiovascular disease in people living with HIV. Outside of medicine, Ryan enjoys the outdoors, often playing pickup basketball, bouldering, or hiking the many trails in the Bay Area.