Capstone Project

The Capstone Project is a cornerstone of our program, offering students the chance to deeply engage with translational research topics they're passionate about. This endeavor spans the spectrum of therapeutics and diagnostics, including areas like drug therapy, vaccines, and gene therapy. It covers a wide array of research stages, from initial clinical translation to real-world application.

Time Commitment: Starting in the Winter Quarter and continuing through August 2025, students should plan for a minimum of 10 hours weekly on their project, with many dedicating more time to meet their objectives.

Projects may be laboratory-based (wet-lab or computational lab) or focus on clinical trials or regulatory aspects of translation. The culmination of the program includes a poster presentation and quarterly product development plan presentations. Unlike a thesis master's, the capstone emphasizes skill and knowledge application within a clinical context, supported by faculty mentorship and industry guidance.

CAPSTONE PROJECTS 2023/24

ETHAN TAI

  • AI/machine learning enabled structure-based drug discovery.
  • Capstone advisor: Russ Altman, MD, Ph.D., Kenneth Fong Professor of Bioengineering, Genetics, Medicine, Biomedical Data Science and (by courtesy) Computer Science), past chairman of the Bioengineering Department

CARA LOW

  • “Pharmacological validation of clinically relevant cancer targets “
  • Capstone advisor: Nathanael Gray, MD, Ph.D., Krishnan Shah Family Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology, Co-Lead of Medicinal Chemistry (IMA: Innovative Medicines Accelerator)

ANANYA JAIN

  • “Developing therapeutics for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).”
  • Capstone advisor: Vinicio de Jesus Perez, MD, Associate Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

MAXIMILIAN NISSLEIN

  • “Tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy for solid tumors (melanoma)”
  • Capstone advisor: Allison Betof Warner, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Oncology), Director of the Melanoma Program and Faculty Leader of the Melanoma|Cutaneous Oncology Clinical Research Group in the SCI-Cancer Clinical Trials Office

ADRIANA CHU

  • “Glycoproteomics based early cancer detection.”
  • Capstone advisor: Carolyn Bertozzi, PhD, Baker Family Director of Stanford Sarafan ChEM-H, Anne T. and Robert K. Bass Professor, School of Humanities and Sciences
  • Industry collaboration with InterVenn Biosciences (company)

JESSICA LAYNE

  • "Anti-Myc cancer therapeutics"
  • Capstone advisor: Dean Felsher, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine (Oncology) and of Pathology, TRAM Director, M-TRAM Faculty Director, Co-Director Cancer Nanotechnology Program, Department of Radiology, Stanford School of Medicine, Director of Admissions/Associate Director, Medical Scientist Training Program, Director of Advanced Residency Training Program, Stanford University School of Medicine, Co-Director of Spectrum KL2 Mentored Development Program, Stanford University, School of Medicine

YANAN DING

  • "AI enabled drug discovery for breast cancer"
  • Capstone advisor: Christina Curtis, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Genetics and Biomedical Data Science, Director of Artificial Intelligence and Cancer Genomics, Director - Breast Cancer Translational Research (Stanford Cancer Institute), Co-Director - Molecular Tumor Board, Stanford Cancer Institut

ZAIN DIBIAN

  • "T-reg cell immunotherapy for graft vs. host disease"
  • Capstone advisor: Everett Meyer, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Blood & Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy

SHONA ALLEN

  • "Developing a therapeutic for SMA (spital muscular atrophy) neurological disorder: computational analysis of clinical trial data"
  • Capstone advisor: Jacinda Sampson, MD, PhD, Clinical Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciencies

PETER CAROLINE

  • "Immunotherapy for IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)"
  • Capstone advisor: Sidhartha Sinha, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology and Hepatology), Director of Digital Health and Innovation, Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology   

CHLOE GERUNGAN

  • "Developing a therapeutic for infectious disease (malaria)"
  • Capstone advisor: Prasanna Jagannathan, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and of Microbiology and Immunology

JOEY OLSHAUSEN

  • "Drug repurposing for treatment of cardio valve disease"
  • Capstone advisor: Ian Chen, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiovascular Disease) and of Radiology (Veterans Affairs), Director, Translational Cardiovascular Research Laboratory, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Director, VA/PAVIR Summer Research Program

Capstone Projects 2022-23

CHRIS ABOUJUDOM

  • Development of Novel MYC-directed Anti-cancer Therapeutics
  • Capstone advisor: Dean Felsher, MD Ph.D., Professor of Medicine (Oncology) and of Pathology, M-TRAM Program Director,

McKAY GOHAZRUA BUTLER

  • “Developing protocols for isolation and purification of MYC-derived cancer extracellular vesicles (EVs) for improved diagnosis and monitoring of cancer.“
  • Capstone advisor: Dean Felsher, MD Ph.D., Professor of Medicine (Oncology) and of Pathology, M-TRAM Program Director

NIRK E. QUISPE CALLA, MD

  • “Development of a combined cancer vaccine and immunotherapy (anti-PD-L1) delivery using dendritic cell-based microbubbles against triple-negative breast cancer”
  • Capstone advisor: Ramasamy Paulmurugan, PhD, Professor of Radiology, Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford

FRANK LIN

  • “Investigate the roles and therapeutic value of human anti-phagocytotic genes in augmenting CAR-T cell therapy”
  • Capstone advisor: Crystal Mackall, MD (Capstone Primary Advisor Faculty Mentor), Founding Director of the Stanford Center for Cancer Cell Therapy, Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine

JULIAN WOLF, MD

  • "High-resolution proteomic profiling of aqueous humor liquid biopsies as a diagnostic and prognostic tool for choroidal melanoma"
  • Capstone advisor: Vinit Mahajan, MD, PhD, Professor of Ophthalmology, Vice Chair for Research (Ophthalmology)
  • Capstone advisor: Nima Aghaeepour, PhD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Pediatrics and Biomedical Science

·  

Applications portal is now closed  

for the 2024/2025 academic year

We will be accepting applications for 2025/26

in the Fall of 2024.

APPLY HERE


Questions? Contact us!
mtramstudies@stanford.edu

Important Dates

September 2024 to January 2024:

  • Applications accepted for 2025/26

 

December, 2024 (date tba):

  • M-TRAM info session webinar for prospective students 

 

January 15, 2025:

  • Applications are due for 2025/26

 

April, 2025:

  • Admission Decisions

 

Sept. 2025: (date tba)

  • M-TRAM research symposium and New Students Orientation (in person) - stay tuned for registration info

 

Sept. 22, 2025:

  • First day of classes at Stanford (M-TRAM program starts)

 

Interested in Becoming an M-TRAM Industry Partner?

We welcome inquiries from biotechnology, pharmaceutical and other health care organizations interested in learning about opportunities to partner with M-TRAM: 

mtramstudies@stanford.edu