Katrin Chua, MD, PhD, Named Co-Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program

March 15, 2018

Katrin Chua, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Gerontology, and Metabolism, has been appointed Co-Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).

Dr. Chua received her AB degree in Biochemistry from Harvard University, and her MD and PhD degrees from Harvard Medical School. Her PhD thesis work with Robin Reed uncovered fundamental regulatory mechanisms that maintain fidelity of gene expression during pre-RNA splicing. Dr. Chua then carried out post-doctoral research with Fred Alt at Harvard Medical School, studying mechanisms of DNA recombination, repair, and chromatin regulation in immunity, cancer, and aging. As a fellow, she was awarded post-doctoral awards from the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research and the Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Fellowship in Immunology/Rheumatology.

Dr. Chua joined the faculty at Stanford University in 2005, where her research studies how molecular mechanisms of chromatin signaling influence nuclear and epigenetic programs and how de-regulation of these mechanisms impacts aging, cancer, and other aging-related disease processes. The work has led to the discovery of mammalian sirtuin enzymes as central regulators of chromatinhomeostasis and has elucidated their roles in protecting against processes such as genomic instability, telomere dysfunction, DNA damage, cellular senescence, and pathologic epigenetic reprogramming of gene regulatory networks. Dr. Chua has received numerous awards for her research in aging biology, including the McCormick Faculty Award, the Paul Beeson Physician Scientist Award, the Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar Award, the Merit Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Glenn Award in Biological Mechanisms of Aging. Dr. Chua also holds a joint appointment in the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC) at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and is a four-time recipient of the VAPAHCS Special Contribution Award for Outstanding Performance.

Dr. Chua previously served as the Associate Director and Director of Admission of the MSTP and worked closely with MSTP Director PJ Utz to promote a vibrant MSTP. She will continue to work with Dr. Utz and MSTP Associate Directors to develop the breadth and depth of one of the country’s best MD/PhD programs.

Catherine Blish, MD, PhD, Named Associate Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program

March 15, 2018

Catherine Blish, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, has been appointed Associate Director of the Stanford Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).

Dr. Blish received a BS in Biochemistry with Highest Honors from the University of California, Davis before matriculating in the MSTP program at the University of Washington School of Medicine, receiving her MD and PhD in Immunology. Following a short-track residency in Internal Medicine, she studied immune correlates of HIV infection as an Infectious Diseases Fellow at the University of Washington. She joined the Stanford faculty in 2011, where her current research aims to understand the successes and failures of the immune system to better harness it to prevent infections. Her laboratory is perhaps best known for redefining our understanding of the diversity of human natural killer (NK) cells, a critical first line of defense against viruses and tumors.

Dr. Blish has received numerous awards for research and mentoring, including the Stanford Immunology Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, the ICAAC Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Microbiology, the Beckman Young Investigator Award, the McCormick Faculty Award, the Baxter Faculty Scholar, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Scientist Development Award, the Tashia and John Morgridge Faculty Scholar in Pediatric Translational Medicine, and the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. She was also elected a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Dr. Blish will work closely with Dr. Katrin Chua and the other MSTP Directors to promote the preeminence of the Stanford MSTP, with a focus on diversity and professional development.