In The News

MSTP Summer Games

In an effort to strengthen connection between students of various stages in our MSTP, MSTP gathered over the summer to enjoy food and fun games (cornhole, bocce ball, paddle ball and spike ball).

Stanford-UCSF MSTP Meetup

15 first-year Stanford and UCSF MD-PhD students came together to enjoy boba in Golden Gate Park to meet their fellow physician-scientist trainees in the Bay Area to ignite inter-institutional bonding and collaboration. 

Lori Dershowitz: First authored paper published.

Anatomical and functional maturation of the mid-gestation human enteric nervous system

Immature gastrointestinal motility impedes preterm infant survival. The enteric nervous system controls gastrointestinal motility, yet it is unknown when the human enteric nervous system matures enough to carry out vital functions. Read the full paper on pubmed.

Three MSTP students (Karan Kathuria, Daniel Liu & Abby Thurm) named as 2023 Stanford Bio-X Fellows.

These remarkable young researchers receive full support (stipend and tuition) from Bio-X for three years of their graduate studies, allowing them to approach exciting research questions as they create connections within the Bio-X community and across campus.

Sofia Luna awarded the ASH Minority Medical Student Award – Yearlong Grant.

The ASH (American Society of Hematology) Minority Medical Student Award Program (MMSAP) provides underrepresented minority medical students with an opportunity to conduct a research project under the supervision of an ASH member, receive guidance from a career-development mentor, gain valuable knowledge of hematology, and ultimately, advance their careers. 

Omair  Khan named as an Aspen Institute Health Fellow for the 2023 Aspen Ideas Festival this summer.   

The 2023 cohort of Fellows includes CEOs, policy leaders from the White House, industry experts, and only three students, one of whom is Omair. Omair will present his work and sit on a panel discussing interdisciplinary cooperation between academia, government, and industry partners to accelerate medical innovation.

Freja Ekman named as  2023 Hertz Fellow.

Freja Ekman is interested in engineering novel gene therapies to target rare genetic diseases and using computational genomics to better characterize them.

Three MSTP students (Freja Ekman, Omair Khan & Steven Truong) named as 2023 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows.

The program annually supports the graduate education of 30 U.S. immigrants and children of immigrants. The fellows, chosen from a pool of more than 2,000 applicants, will receive as much as $90,000 each to cover the cost of their education.  Stanford School of Medicine story.

Matthew Porteus, MD, PhD, named Director of the Stanford Center for Definitive and Curative Medicine (CDCM).

Dr. Porteus will continue the ascension of CDCM – a group that has received $75 million in sponsored projects in the past five years, expanded on-site clinical trial enrollment for a multitude of “incurable” diseases, and helped increase patients in Stanford Medicine’s pediatric stem cell transplant unit by 50 percent.

Carolyn Bertozzi and Dean Felsher joined forces to discover how a notorious oncogene deters the immune system from fighting cancer.

Going to the dark(er) side: Stanford Medicine study shows how cancer gene tricks immune cells share .

A novel Stanford School of Medicine partnership uncovers a direct link between a cancer-associated gene, Myc, and sugar patterns on cancer cell surfaces that tell immune cells to stand down.


Samantha Scharenberg: First authored paper published in Science Advances

An SPNS1-dependent lysosomal lipid transport pathway that enables cell survival under choline limitation

Lysosomes degrade macromolecules and recycle their nutrient content to support cell function and survival. However, the machineries involved in lysosomal recycling of many nutrients remain to be discovered, with a notable example being choline, an essential metabolite liberated via lipid degradation. Here, we engineered metabolic dependency on lysosome-derived choline in pancreatic cancer cells to perform an endolysosome-focused CRISPR-Cas9 screen for genes mediating lysosomal choline recycling. 

Francisco Galdos wins the 2023 Weintraub Award by the Fred Hutch Cancer Center, a prestigious recognition for 12 students across the country for exceptional achievement in graduate studies in the biological sciences.

Each year the Basic Sciences Division solicits nominations internationally from graduate students at or near completion of their studies in the biological sciences. Applicants are chosen for the quality, originality and significance of their research.

AAMC Aspiring Docs Diaries: Christopher Lopez

Bouncing Back from Failure – My Journey to Medical School

My story begins with this quote from a sixth-grade teacher in a classroom: “All you do is disrupt my teaching; you won’t succeed in life!” After hearing this, I wrestled over these words over and over, thinking to myself, am I fit to continue in school?  Read the full article from AAMC.

Christine Yeh: First co-authored preprint paper.

Discovery and validation of the binding poses of allosteric fragment hits to PTP1b: From molecular dynamics simulations to X-ray crystallography

Fragment-based drug discovery has led to three approved drugs, but the small size of the chemical fragments used in such methods typically results in only weak interactions between the fragment and its target molecule, which makes it challenging to experimentally determine the three-dimensional poses fragments assume in the bound state. One computational approach that could help address this difficulty is long-timescale molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, which has been used in retrospective studies to recover experimentally known binding poses of fragments. 

Christopher Lopez, a leader in the Stanford American Indigenous Medical Students (SAIMS) group, is  highlighted in Stanford Medicine SCOPE blog.

Lopez is a Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe member and a leader in the SAIMS group. He advocates for the health of Native American, Indigenous and Alaska Native communities -- and, on a more personal note, for students who don't believe they can make the cut.

Carolyn Bertozzi wins 2022 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

Stanford chemist Carolyn Bertozzi, PhD, was awarded the Nobel Prize for her pioneering work establishing the field of bioorthogonal chemistry, which allows researchers to study biomolecules and their interactions in living organisms without disrupting natural biological functions. Bertozzi has courtesy appointments in Radiology and Chemical and Systems Biology. Photo: Andrew Bordhead

Emily Trimm named as  2022 Hertz Fellow.

An MD-PhD student in biophysics at Stanford University, Emily Trimm is interested in combining genomics with innovative biophysical techniques to address some of the biggest unanswered questions in human disease.

Three MSTP students (Quenton BubbEster Elonga & Tania Fabo) named as 2022 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows.

The program annually supports the graduate education of 30 U.S. immigrants and children of immigrants. The fellows, chosen from a pool of more than 1,800 applicants, will receive as much as $90,000 each to cover the cost of their education.  Stanford School of Medicine story.

Amin Aalipour selected to 2022 Forbes 30 under 30 list in Science.

Amin Aalipour graduated from Stanford MSTP in June 2021.  He is now a resident physician at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, MA.

Aalipour is a physician-scientist focused on improving the early detection of cancers and a co-inventor on four patents for cancer-related biomarkers. One of his inventions is a magnetic wire that enters the bloodstream and in pig models collected up to 80-fold more biomarkers than a single blood draw.


Gita Abhiraman named as  2021 Hertz Fellow.

By studying the molecular signals that shape the immune response to disease, Gita Abhiraman hopes to improve therapies for cancer and infectious diseases.

Jamie Brett's research featured on Stanford News - Exercise restores youthful properties to muscle stem cells of old mice.

The researchers also identified a molecular pathway involved in turning back the clock on the cells. Drugs that could manipulate the pathway might be an effective substitute for exercise, they suggest.

Dean Felsher, Associate Director of Stanford MSTP, is a recipient of the 2020 NCI Outstanding Investigator Award

NCI’s Outstanding Investigator Award supports accomplished leaders in cancer research, who are providing significant contributions toward understanding cancer and developing applications that may lead to a breakthrough in biomedical, behavioral, or clinical cancer research.

NCI Outstanding Investigator Award Recipients was originally published by the National Cancer Institute.

Laura Bloomfield's research on forest loss & spread of disease was highlighted in Stanford News and NY Times.

Stanford researchers show how forest loss leads to spread of disease.

In Uganda, loss of forested habitat increases the likelihood of interactions between disease-carrying wild primates and humans. The findings suggest the emergence and spread of viruses, such as the one that causes COVID-19, will become more common as the conversion of natural habitats into farmland continues worldwide.