Featured Guests
    • Clinical Pathology
    Associate Director, Pathology Residency Training Program, UAB
    Associate Director, Pathology Residency Training Program, UAB
    Dr. Lorenz received her B.S. in biology from Stanford University and her M.D. and Ph.D. in immunology from Washington University in St. Louis. She completed residency in Clinical Pathology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, while also doing postdoctoral research in Gastrointestinal Biology at Washington University in St. Louis. She then joined the Washington University faculty as an Assistant Professor of Pathology and Medicine, where she also served as Medical Director of the Joint Clinical Immunology Laboratory for Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s Hospitals and Associate Director of the Laboratory Medicine Residency Training Program. Dr. Lorenz joined the UAB Department of Pathology in 2002. She is currently Associate Director of the Pathology Residency Training Program and Director of the Summer in Biomedical Sciences Undergraduate Research Program at UAB. Dr. Lorenz’s research focuses on the interaction between gastrointestinal mucosal cells and luminal antigens. A major topic of investigation is the cellular immune response to Helicobacter in a mouse model of gastric infection and inflammation. This infection results in life-long colonization and gastric inflammation and is involved in the pathogenesis of peptic ulcer disease, gastric adenocarcinoma and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. Her laboratory established the essential role of the adaptive immune response in Helicobacter-induced gastric pre-neoplastic lesions and is characterizing the T cell response generated to the bacterium. The second area of focus in her laboratory is the role of the intestinal epithelium and innate immune responses in the development of inflammatory bowel disease. We are investigating these interactions in a spontaneous model of colonic inflammation that occurs in the absence of the multidrug resistance protein 1a.
    • Allergy and Immunology
    Michael Donnenberg, MD is a Professor of Medicine and of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Maryland. Dr. Donnenberg is a graduate of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed residency in Internal Medicine at what is now the Bayview Campus of Johns Hopkins and fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Tufts/New England Medical Center. After additional postdoctoral research training at the Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland, Dr. Donnenberg joined the faculty in 1990. Dr. Donnenberg’s research has focused on the molecular pathogenesis of infections due to Escherichia coli and on the biogenesis and function of bacterial surface appendages called Type IV Pili that are used by many pathogens to adhere to host cell surfaces. His work has resulted in the publication of over one hundred original manuscripts and numerous reviews, books and book chapters. He is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Academy of Microbiology and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He is a recipient of the Oswald Avery Award from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Dr. Donnenberg is an active Infectious Diseases clinician and medical school lecturer. He was an inaugural member of the Pass and Susel Academy of Academic Excellence at the University of Maryland. Since 2012 he has been director of the Medical Scientist Training Program for MD/PhD students.
    • Hematology and Oncology
    • Associate Dean for Combined Degree and Physician Scholars Programs & Director of Medical Scientist Training Program at University of Pennsylvania
    Lawrence (Skip) Brass, MD PhD is a graduate of Harvard College and Case Western Reserve University, where he received his MD and a PhD in biochemistry. After residency training in internal medicine he became a fellow in Hematology-Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania where he served as Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine from 2004 to 2007, and is currently Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology. Dr. Brass became Associate Dean for Combined Degree and Physician Scholars Programs and Director of Penn’s Medical Scientist Training Program in 1998. He has been active at the national level in the development of training programs for physician-scientists and has served as President of the National Association of MD-PhD Programs, Chair of the AAMC GREAT section on MD-PhD training, and was a member of the NIH Physician-Scientist Workforce advisory group in 2013-2014. He is also a practicing hematologist whose research interests are in the fields of hemostasis and vascular biology. He has been continuously funded by the NIH HLBI since the mid-1980’s, has been elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, was an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association and is a recipient of the Distinguished Career Award from the International Society of Hemostasis and Thrombosis, the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching from the University of Pennsylvania, and numerous teaching awards from students at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
    • Clinical Genetics (MD)
    Physician Scientist at UT Southwestern McDermott Center
    Physician Scientist at UT Southwestern McDermott Center
    • Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
    I am a physician scientist, with postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and human genetics. My lab in the UT Southwestern McDermott Center, the center for basic human genetics basic research, focuses on disease gene discovery. We identified a mutation in a hypothalamic transcription factor gene, SIM1, associated with early onset, morbid obesity, and we have created a number of transgenic mouse models to study the role of SIM1 in body weight regulation. Recently we identified the molecular basis of X-linked reticulate pigmentary disorder, a very rare cutaneous and immunologic disorder. I am also very active in biomedical education and training. I have been a member of the steering committee or co-director of three PhD graduate programs and personally mentored two MD/PhD students, three graduate students, two postdoctoral fellows, and one pediatric endocrinology fellow. Since 2008 I have directed our Medical Scientist Training Program, and have been Dean of our Graduate School since 2013. I was also associate director of our Mechanism of Disease and Translational Science PhD track, supported by HHMI Med-Into-Grad and NIGMS Molecular Medicine T32 grants, and I currently direct the TL1 predoctoral training component of our CTSA. I served as a regular member of the NIGMS TWD-A (formerly BRT-A) study section from 2009-2014 and actively participate in the AAMC GREAT Group.
    • Hematology
    Physician-Scientist Pathway, Hematology, Developmental Biology
    Physician-Scientist Pathway, Hematology, Developmental Biology
    Dr. Klein obtained his MD and PhD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and then completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. He then started his own laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He has served on the MSTP admissions committee and as an MD/PhD advisor for over 15 years and has been involved in residency and fellowship selection committees for over 5 years. He has been the director of physician scientist pathway since 2013. Dr. Klein’s laboratory focuses on the functions of the Wnt signaling pathway in pluripotent cells, including its role in the initial patterning the vertebrate embryo and the regulation of hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal. The Klein laboratory first showed that lithium inhibits the protein kinase GSK-3 and hypothesized that GSK-3 is a therapeutic target of lithium in bipolar disorder, a debilitating neuropsychiatric disease affecting 100 million people worldwide. The Klein laboratory also showed that the mood stabilizing drug valproic acid inhibits histone deacetylases (HDACs), an observation that has led to over 40 clinical trials with this commonly used antiepileptic drug. The Klein lab’s current research focus is on the regulation of cell fate and pattern in early embryos and multipotent cells, applying these findings to the expansion of hematopoietic stem cells to improve stem cell transplant outcomes, and on the regulation of signaling networks through GSK-3 in behavior. In addition to running a basic science laboratory, he is a board-certified hematologist and an attending physician at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
    • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
    • Internal Medicine
    • Director, Medical Scientist Training Program at University of MIchigan
    Dr. Koenig received his B.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University, and then received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Cornell Medical College – Rockefeller University M.D./Ph.D. program (now the Tri-Institutional MSTP with Memorial Sloan Kettering). Dr. Koenig then undertook residency training in Internal Medicine and fellowship training in Endocrinology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology. Dr. Koenig joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1988. He is a Professor in the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Diabetes and has been Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program since 1995. Dr. Koenig is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He is a past Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and currently is Associate Editor of Endocrine Reviews and on the Editorial Board of Thyroid. He has served on multiple NIH Study Sections including being Chair of the Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology Study Section from 2010-2012. Dr. Koenig’s clinical and research interests are both focused on thyroid cancer. In the laboratory he studies a gene fusion between PAX8 and PPARG, which results in production of an oncogenic fusion protein associated with a subset of thyroid cancers. His research spans basic, translational and clinical approaches, such as developing a transgenic mouse model of this form of thyroid cancer as well as being principal investigator of a multi-centered clinical trial based upon findings in the mouse model.
    • Rheumatology
    Director, MSTP
    Director, MSTP
    Dr. Utz directs a lab of 10 scientists in the Department of Medicine, Division of Immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine. The Utz lab studies autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), scleroderma, myositis, primary biliary chirosis (PBC), Sjögren's disease, type I diabetes, vasculitis, multiple sclerosis (MS) and mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD). In addition to trying to better understand the pathogenic mechanisms involved in autoimmunity, the Utz lab is interested in developing bench-to-bedside technologies, including multiplexed diagnostics and therapeutics, for human autoimmune diseases. Professor Utz’s lab has been one of the most innovative in the invention of novel technologies including protein arrays, peptide arrays, HIT, lysate arrays and Intel arrays. He is Director of Stanford’s Autoimmunity Center of Excellence (ACE) and has extensive expertise in coordinating 8 different program project grants over the last 12 years. He is also a leader in educational initiatives. He was the first Chair of Education for FoCIS. He founded and directs the Stanford Institutes of Medicine Research (SIMR) Program for high school students, which has hosted over 600 students in labs over 15 years, including 83 selected from over 1,500 applicants in 2014. SIMR has been funded by educational grants from NIH, HHMI, CIRM, DDCF, industry, and philanthropy. He is Director of the Stanford MSTP and is responsible for a >$6M budget and expansion of the program from 81 students to 120 students by 2019. He has served on the Immunology Program Predoctoral Committee and has won teaching and mentoring awards from the Immunology PhD Program and the Department of Medicine. In the last 10 years he has trained 52 scientists; served on 55 PhD thesis committees in 3 Schools on campus; successfully graduated all 11 PhD students who trained in his lab; currently is PhD advisor for 2 PhD students and 2 MSTP students; and has trained or is training 19 postdoctoral fellows. Of his graduate students, scholars, and fellows, 12 are currently employed in industry and 10 are Assistant or Associate Professors at academic institutions.
    • Dermatology
    • Cell and Molecular Biology
    • Autoimmunity
    Associate Director, University of Pennsylvania MSTP, Faculty Advisor, Association of Women Student MD-PhDs (AWSM)
    Associate Director, University of Pennsylvania MSTP, Faculty Advisor, Association of Women Student MD-PhDs (AWSM)

    Dr. Payne graduated from Stanford University in 1993 and received her MD and PhD (Molecular and Cellular Biology) from Washington University in 2001. She completed her internal medicine internship, dermatology residency, and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. She joined Penn’s faculty in 2006, where she is currently a tenured Associate Professor of Dermatology, Associate Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program, and faculty advisor for the Association of Women Student MD-PhDs (AWSM). Through these roles she has been active in the recruitment and retention of physician-scientists nationwide, including trainees and junior faculty. Dr. Payne’s clinical practice specializes in autoimmune blistering diseases. She is also active in teaching and mentoring medical students, graduate students, dermatology residents, and research fellows. Dr. Payne’s research interests are in autoimmunity and cell adhesion, specifically in the context of the autoantibody-mediated blistering disease pemphigus. Her research has focused on 3 major areas of investigation: cloning and characterization of B cell repertoires to understand how autoimmunity occurs in pemphigus, cell biologic studies to identify signaling pathways that modulate desmosomal cell adhesion, and patient-oriented research to develop better targeted therapies for disease. Dr. Payne has received several honors for her research, including the Albert M. Kligman Endowed Chair, the Charles and Daneen Stiefel Scholar Award in Autoimmune Diseases, a "Top 10" Clinical Research Forum Award, and election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation. 

    • Internal Medicine
    Program Director for Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital
    Program Director for Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital
    Jatin M. Vyas received his MD and PhD degrees from Baylor College of Medicine, completing his PhD with Dr. Robert R. Rich on antigen presentation by MHC class I molecules. He completed his medicine residency, chief residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He completed his fellowship in Infectious Diseases in the Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital program. Following a period of extended post-doctoral research training in the Harvard Department of Pathology and Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research with Dr. Hidde Ploegh, Dr. Vyas joined the MGH faculty in 2007. He currently serves as the tenth Program Director of the MGH Department of Medicine Residency Program, supervising 188 interns and residents. As an NIH-funded investigator with interests in basic science, Dr. Vyas provides a unique perspective to the medical housestaff. Dr. Vyas is internationally recognized for his work in fungal immunology, investigating the innate immune response to fungal pathogens. He has distinguished himself by applying novel imaging modalities, including optical traps and live cell imaging, to investigate the molecular basis of recognition of pathogenic yeast by immune cells. His work has demonstrated that specific recruitment of mammalian proteins to phagosomes depends on its content and potently modulates the ensuing immune response. He serves on the study sections for both the VA and NIH. He has been selected as an Infectious Disease Society of America Fellow. He has also elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation.
    • Anatomic Pathology
    • Associate Professor of Pathology at UCSF
    Scott André Oakes, M.D., is an Associate Professor of Pathology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He completed medical school at the University of Connecticut during which he spent an additional year doing bench research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)-NIH Research Scholar. After medical school, he did a residency in anatomic pathology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. A board-certified pathologist who supervises the autopsy service at UCSF, Oakes oversees a research laboratory that studies how mammalian cells sense protein-folding crises within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and deterministically repair the damage or commit apoptosis. His goal is to understand the precise molecular events that control cell fate in response to ER stress so that they can design small molecules to protect against cell loss in human degenerative diseases such as neurodegeneration and diabetes and promote cell death in highly secretory tumors such as myeloma. He teaches in both the graduate and medical schools and UCSF, and is also on the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) Counsil. Dr. Oakes has won numerous awards for his research, including an HHMI Early Career Physician Scientist Award, American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award, Harrington Discovery Institute Scholar-Innovator Award, and is an Inductee of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI).
    • Clinical Molecular Genetics
    • Clinical Pathology
    Chairman of Pathology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
    Chairman of Pathology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
    David Engman received a BA in Biology from Northwestern University in 1983 and an MD and PhD in Genetics from the University of Iowa MSTP in 1990. He joined the faculty of the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University in 1990 and was Professor of Pathology and Microbiology-Immunology for 25 years. In 2016 he was appointed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Engman’s research involves the cell biology and molecular genetics of protozoan parasites and the pathogenesis of African sleeping sickness, Chagas disease and autoimmune heart disease, and biomarker discovery for prostate and head and neck cancers. Dr. Engman was the Director of the Northwestern MD-PhD Program for 17 years (1995-2011), and has served as the President of the National Association of MD-PhD Programs, Chair of the AAMC MD-PhD Section, and President of the American Association of University Pathologists. He is an Established Investigator and Fellow of the American Heart Association, a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Dr. Engman was the 2008 recipient of the Amgen Outstanding Investigator Award of the American Society for Investigative Pathology. He was voted 2015 Mentor of the Year by the faculty of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
    • Infectious Disease
    • Internal Medicine
    • Director, Internal Medicine Residency & Vice Chair for Education at Brigham Health
    A graduate of Earlham College and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Joel T. Katz, M.D. is an infectious diseases consultant, Director of the internal medicine residency program, and Vice Chair for Education at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he is the Marshall A. Wolf Chair in Medical Education. He is Associate Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. The focus of Dr. Katz’s clinical practice is immunocompromised patients with infections or suspected infections, particularly HIV-infected individuals and recipients of solid organ and bone marrow transplants. His major administrative activity is to oversee all Department educational activities, including innovation in post-graduate medical education. In this role, he has developed novel training tracks to promote career growth in global health, translational research and genetics and genomics of complex medical diseases, and, most recently, advanced training to promote leadership skills in medicine management, jointly sponsored with the Harvard Business School. The Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Medicine created the first specialized physician-scientist training opportunity for its residents, which was eventually adopted by the American Board of Internal Medicine to what is now know as the “Short-Track” or “Subspecialty Investigator” pathway. Dr. Katz continues to pioneer novel training options that can meet the evolving needs of aspiring triple treat physician-investigator-teacher.
    • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
    • Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism & Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics at The Ohio State University
    Dr. Kirschner received his A.B. in chemistry from Princeton University, and his combined MD-PhD degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Minnesota, followed by a fellowship in Endocrinology at the National Institutes of Health. After completing his fellowship, he stayed on at the NIH as a Senior Staff Fellow for a number of years before taking a position as a faculty member at The Ohio State University in 2002. He is currently a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism (Department of Medicine) and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics. He is also a member of the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics Program. He has been the Associate Director of the OSU MSTP since 2009, for which he developed the SUCCESS summer undergraduate research program for students interested in MD-PhD training. He also co-directs the TL1 program of the CTSA-supported OSU Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Dr. Kirschner’s research focuses on understanding the molecular basis of endocrine tumors, particularly those associated with dysregulation of the Protein Kinase A (PKA) signaling pathway as in the inherited tumor syndrome Carney Complex (CNC). Using mouse models, he has demonstrated that knockout of the CNC gene Prkar1a is tumorigenic in endocrine and other cAMP-dependent tissues, including the bone, pituitary, thyroid, and Schwann cells. Analysis of signaling pathways in tumors has demonstrated significant crosstalk with other tumorigenic pathways including the mTOR and Neurofibromatosis proteins, but interestingly not with the Erk or Akt pathways. The lab continues to probe these signaling interactions with the goal of understanding the pathways affected by PKA dysregulation and combating the alterations leading to tumorigenesis.
    • Medical Education Research
    Professor of Medicine; Clinical and educational researcher at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis Missouri
    Professor of Medicine; Clinical and educational researcher at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis Missouri
    • Professor of Medicine & Director of the Health Behavior, Communication, and Outreach Core at Washington University School of Medicine

    Donna B. Jeffe received her PhD in Education in 1993 from Washington University in St. Louis. She is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Medical Education Research Unit and Director of the Health Behavior, Communication, and Outreach Core at Washington University School of Medicine. For over 20 years, Dr. Jeffe has been principal investigator or co-investigator of several clinical and behavioral studies and of medical-education and program evaluations funded by the National Institutes of Health (primarily by the National Cancer Institute and National Institute of General Medical Sciences). Dr. Jeffe studies personal and environmental factors in relation to health-risk/health-promoting behaviors and emotional adjustment to disease, focusing on quality of life in cancer patients and cancer prevention and control in underserved groups. She has expertise in survey design, validation, and psychometrics, qualitative research, and program evaluation. She has an active educational-outcomes research program, with special interest in recruitment, retention and promotion of women and underrepresented minorities in science and biomedical research careers, a research program that grew directly from her abiding interest in reducing health disparities.

    • Anatomic Pathology
    • Clinical Pathology
    • Pediatric Pathology
    Associate Director, UCLA-Caltech MSTP and Chief, Division of Pediatric and Neonatal Pathology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
    Associate Director, UCLA-Caltech MSTP and Chief, Division of Pediatric and Neonatal Pathology at the David Geffen School of...
    • Chief, Division of Pediatric and Neonatal Pathology at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
    Dr. Teitell received B.S. & M.S. degrees as a Departmental Scholar in Biochemistry from UCLA in 1985 and M.D. & Ph.D. degrees emphasizing Molecular Immunology in the Medical Scientist Training Program from UCLA in 1993. He performed post-doctoral studies at UCLA studying immune system function, at Harvard studying genetics, and at UCSF helping to develop microarray platform technologies for gene expression profiling. He trained clinically in Anatomic Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, in Clinical Pathology at the University of California, San Francisco, and was a fellow in Pediatric Pathology at Los Angeles Children’s Hospital. Dr. Teitell joined the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA as an Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in 1999. He is currently a Professor of Pathology, Pediatrics, and Bioengineering, and Chief of the Division of Pediatric and Neonatal Pathology at UCLA. Dr. Teitell is Director of the Cancer Nanotechnology Program in the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Director of the UCLA Tumor Immunology Training Program, Director of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center Bioengineering Core, Associate Director of the UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program, and the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative for UCLA intercollegiate athletics. Dr. Teitell is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigators and was a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Stohlman Scholar. Teitell lab projects investigate immune system cancers, normal immune system development, stem and cancer cell energy metabolism, and mitochondrial biogenesis and function. His group identified a new genetic pathway which when dysfunctional leads to the B cell leukemias and lymphomas. From this work, his group also created the first genetic model for B cell lymphomas that resemble most human lymphocyte malignancies. Recently, studies of embryonic stem cell mitochondrial metabolism have shown parallel changes with cancer cells, suggesting a common mechanism for energy generation. Beyond fundamental and translational studies in cancer, mitochondria, and stem cell metabolism, his research lab has collaboratively developed novel investigative approaches, including a photothermal nanoblade and a live cell interferometer (LCI). The nanoblade efficiently transfers micron sized cargo of various types into mammalian cells, while the LCI quantifies single cell responses to environmental perturbations, including the response of cytotoxic T lymphocytes to antigen presenting tumor cells.
    • Clinical Genetics (MD)
    • Director, Medical Scientist Training Program at University of California, Irvine
    Dr. Goldin earned his AB in chemistry from Dartmouth College in 1976, after which he obtained his MD/PhD in human genetics from the University of Michigan Medical Scientist Training Program. He then completed postdoctoral research in molecular neurobiology in the department of biology at the California Institute of Technology. In 1983, he joined the faculty of the University of California, Irvine, where he is a Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, Anatomy & Neurobiology and Physiology & Biophysics in the School of Medicine. He is the Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program, a position he has held since 1992, and he is also the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. He is the Chair Elect of the MD-PhD section of GREAT (Group on Graduate Research, Education, and Training), which is the AAMC-appointed committee that directs MD-PhD education in the United States. Dr. Goldin’s research examines the relationship between structure and function in the voltage-gated sodium channel and the channel’s roles in normal and abnormal physiology of the CNS. His research group helped to identify the critical elements involved in fast inactivation, modulation by phosphorylation and the functional differences among the sodium channel isoforms. By constructing mice expressing channels with impaired inactivation, he and his collaborators demonstrated that abnormalities in CNS sodium channel function resulted in seizures. They further showed that mutations in the human CNS sodium channel genes cause various human epilepsy syndromes. More recently, he and his collaborators demonstrated that decreased expression of one specific sodium channel gene is protective against the development of seizures. His current research focuses on the physiological mechanism by which some mutations promote seizures whereas others are protective, with the ultimate goal of identifying novel compounds that can be used to treat epilepsy.
    • Cardiovascular Disease
    • Professor at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital
    Dr. Thomas Michel's laboratory studies signal transduction pathways in the cardiovascular system, with a particular focus on nitric oxide synthases and G protein-coupled receptors. Nitric oxide (NO) has been studied for many years as the active compound that is formed from important cardiovascular drugs such as nitroglycerin, More recently it was discovered that a family of nitric oxide synthases catalyze the formation of NO in diverse tissues. His lab has studied the endothelial isoform of nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), a key signaling enzyme that is activated by a variety of cell surface receptors and is involved in the control of vascular smooth muscle relaxation and platelet aggregation. Endothelium-dependent vascular smooth muscle relaxation is altered or impaired in models of atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia. Insights into these disease states may be gained by a thorough understanding of the structural and regulatory features of the endothelial cell nitric oxide synthase signaling system. Dr. Michel's laboratory applies a broad range of experimental approaches to characterize intracellular signaling pathways in vascular endothelial cells, from analyses of subcellular targeting to explorations of novel protein modifications that modulate eNOS enzyme activity. His lab also studies the interplay among protein kinases, G protein subunits, eNOS and other signaling proteins in plasmalemmal caveolae using biochemical, biophysical, and cellular imaging approaches. In addition, his laboratory has developed novel transgenic mouse models for the study of NO-dependent signaling pathways. Dr. Michel is also the Principal Investigator of an NIH Program Project Grant that engages the efforts of several BWH-basic investigators in basic research studies on the molecular basis of vasculopathy, vascular metabolism and the interactions of nitric oxide synthases with cardiovascular redox pathways.
    • Internal Medicine
    • pharmacology
    • Director, Medical Scientist Training Program at University of California, San Diego

    Dr. Insel received his M.D. from the University of Michigan and subsequent clinical training on the Harvard Medical Service at Boston City Hospital. He then began research training/efforts at NIH in the NICHD Gerontology Research Center and the NCI Laboratory of Theoretical Biology and subsequently at UCSF in the Cardiovascular Research Institute and Depts. of Medicine and Pharmacology. He joined the UCSF faculty as Assistant Professor-in-residence in the Dept. of Medicine and then moved as an Assistant Professor to the Division of Pharmacology, Dept. of Medicine at UCSD, where he is currently Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and  Medicine at UCSD. Since 1989, he has been the Director of the UCSD Medical Scientist (M.D./Ph.D.) Training Program. Dr. Insel has been actively involved in the National Association of M.D/Ph.D Programs, serving as its inaugural President. He holds a Doc. Hon Causa from the University of Paris and is a Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Insel has served as Associate Editor and Editor of numerous scientific journals. He is currently Editor of the Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology and co-Head of Faculty of the Faculty of 1000Prime in Pharmacology and Drug Discovery Dr. Insel’s research efforts have focused on studies of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) with respect to their expression, signaling mechanisms, regulation, effects in target cells and roles in health and disease through the use of biochemical, cell and molecular biological approaches. Studies have emphasized heterotrimeric G-proteins, G-protein-regulated effectors, compartmentation of signaling entities in lipid raft/caveolin domains, cAMP-promoted responses and the use of “omics”  approaches to define GPCR expression and the cAMP-regulated transcriptome and proteome. Dr. Insel has published >280 original articles and >150 reviews, invited articles and book chapters.