Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)

Featured Alumni

Stephen Waxman, M.D., Ph.D.

Einstein MSTP Class of 1972 

Stephen Waxman, M.D., Ph.D. exemplifies the bridge between basic research and clinical medicine. He has served as Professor and Chairman of Neurology at Yale since 1986 and is the founding director of the Neuroscience and Regeneration Research Center, a collaboration of the Paralyzed Veterans of America and United Spinal Association with Yale University, located at the VA Medical Center in West Haven, CT. read more >  

Dr. Waxman is also Professor of Neurobiology and Pharmacology at Yale, and Visiting Professor of Neurology, Anatomy and Biology at University College London and the Institute of Neurology, London. He is Co-Director of the Yale-London Collaboration on CNS Repair.

Dr. Waxman received his BA from Harvard, and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees (1970, 1972) from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Following Neurology Residency at Boston City Hospital/Harvard Medical School, he held faculty appointments at Harvard Medical School, MIT, and Stanford Medical School prior to moving to Yale in 1986. Dr.Waxman has received international recognition for his research, which focuses molecular techniques on the brain and spinal cord, with the goal of finding new therapies for neurological disorders such as spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis.

Dr. Waxman has published more than 400 scientific papers, has authored the clinical text Spinal Cord Compression, and has edited six books. He has served on the editorial boards of many journals including Brain, Annals of Neurology, Trends in Neurosciences, Brain Research, and Muscle and Nerve, and he has trained more than one hundred and fifty neurologists and neuroscientists who work at institutions around the world.

A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Waxman has served on numerous advisory boards and councils, including the Board of Scientific Counselors of the NINDS. He is an Established Investigator of the National MS Society. His many awards include the Tuve Award from NIH, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the Dystel Prize from the National MS Society, and the Wartenberg Award from the American Academy of Neurology.

 
 

Jay Berzofsky, M.D., Ph.D.

Einstein MSTP Class of 1973 

Jay Berzofsky has been the Chief of the Molecular Immunogenetics and Vaccine Research Section of the Metabolism Branch of the National Cancer Institute, NIH, since 1987.read more >  

He received a Bachelor of Arts Summa cum Laude in Chemistry from Harvard University in 1967, and then a Ph.D. and M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1971 and 1973, respectively, the latter in protein biochemistry and biophysics under J. Peisach, W.E. Blumberg, and B. L. Horecker. After an internship in medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a postdoctoral fellowship with Alan N. Schechter and Christian B. Anfinsen, Dr. Berzofsky moved into immunology through collaborations with Drs. David H. Sachs and Gene M. Shearer, and joined the Metabolism Branch of NCI headed by Dr. Thomas A. Waldmann, where he has worked since 1976.

Dr. Berzofsky's research has focused on Ir genes, antigen processing and presentation by MHC class I and class II molecules, the structure of antigenic determinants recognized by T and B cells, and the application of these principles to the design of vaccines for AIDS, malaria, cancer, and viruses that cause cancer, such as hepatitis C virus. With regard to hepatitis C virus, he has identified multiple epitopes recognized by human T cells, enhanced one such epitope to make a more potent vaccine, and shown protection of a core DNA vaccine in HLA-transgenic mice challenged with a surrogate virus expressing the hepatitis C core.

He has published over 300 scientific articles and book chapters. Dr. Berzofsky has received an number of awards, including the U.S. Public Health Service Superior Service Award, the 31st Michael Heidelberger Award, the McLaughlin Visiting Professorship, and the Australasian Society for Immunology Visiting Lectureship. He is the past President of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and was recently elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

 
 

Donna L. Vogel, M.D., Ph.D.

Einstein MSTP Class of 1977 

Donna Vogel is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, and of the Medical Scientist Training Program at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where she received her Ph.D. in developmental biology and her M.D. with a subspecialty in endocrinology.  read more >  

In 1980 Dr. Vogel joined NIH as a clinical fellow in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, conducting clinical and basic research relating to infertility and reproductive medicine. She moved to the extramural program in 1987 to manage the Reproductive Medicine portfolio, and worked as a program director for 13 years in positions of increasing responsibility. These included Training Officer for the Reproductive Sciences Branch, covering training and career development activities, and minority/disability issues; Associate Branch Chief for Clinical Research, and Acting Deputy Director, Center for Population Research.

For many years, Dr. Vogel has been an advisor to NIH on women’s health, in various capacities. In 1999 she worked with the Office of Research on Women’s Health to create and manage the innovative career development grant program, “Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health.”

Dr. Vogel has an ongoing interest in career development and mentoring for students, postdocs, and early-career scientists. From 2001 to 2005, Dr. Vogel worked at the National Cancer Institute. She was the first Director of its Fellowship Office, dedicated to enhancing the professional experience for postdoctoral fellows. In 2005, she retired from the Federal government and became Deputy Director of the Ellison Medical Foundation in Bethesda, Maryland. In 2007, Dr. Vogel became the Director of the Professional Development Office of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. There she works with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career faculty in the Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health.

Dr. Vogel has served on the Executive Council of the American Society of Andrology, and has chaired and served on numerous committees within the government and for professional organizations. She has organized many workshops, published research and administrative papers and book chapters, and has received awards from NICHD, the US Public Health Service, professional societies, and community groups.

 
 

Ruth J. Muschel, M.D., Ph.D.

Einstein MSTP Class of 1978 

Ruth J. Muschel is Professor of Molecular Pathology and of Radiation Oncology and Biology at University of Oxford. Dr. Muschel’s research focuses on role of signaling pathways in the response of cancer cells to radiation therapy.   read more >  

She began her research career at Cornell University where she worked in the laboratory of Dr. Efraim Racker on the relationships between the proteins of the mitochondrial inner membrane. She graduated from Cornell in 1972 and entered the Einstein MSTP program. Her PhD thesis work was performed in the laboratory of Dr. Barry Bloom studying phagocytosis in macrophages. Following graduation she completed an internship in Internal Medicine at New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center and a residency in Pathology at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. She then moved to the NIH where she was a Medical Staff fellow in the Laboratory of Tumor Virology and a Senior Investigator at the NCI. In 1987 she moved to the University of Pennsylvania as an Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. She became a Professor in 1998 and in 2005 moved to her current position at University of Oxford.

Dr. Muschel is the author of over 130 publications and has been an invited speaker at meetings around the world. She is the editor of Cancer Letters, an Associate Editor of Cancer Research and on the Editorial Board of American Journal of Pathology and Molecular Cancer Research. She was a member and Chair of the NIH Pathology B Study Section. She is a member of and has held numerous leadership positions in the American Society for Experimental Pathology, Radiation Research Society and the American Association for Cancer Research.

 
 

W. Gillies McKenna, M.D., Ph.D.

Einstein MSTP Class of 1981 

Dr. McKenna’s research links basic science studies with translational-clinical applications. His research has focused on effects of radiation on cancer cells and on mechanisms of resistance to radiation with the goal of sensitizing cells to radiation by blocking mechanisms that control cell survival. His clinical interests are the treatment of lung cancer, soft tissue sarcomas, skin cancer, head and neck cancer, and melanomas.  read more >  

Professor McKenna was born in Scotland. He received a Bachelors of Science in Zoology at the University of Edinburgh in 1972. He was a member of the Medical Scientist Training Program at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and received his M.D. and Ph.D. in 1981. His Ph.D. thesis research investigated the cleavage patterns of DNA by mammalian endonucleases. Following an Internship in Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University Hospitatl and a Residency in Radiation Oncology at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. McKenna moved to the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine where he rose to become Chairman and Henry K. Pancoast Professor of Radiation Oncology. In 2005 he moved to his present position.

He is the author of over 90 research articles and 40 editorials, reviews and chapters. He has edited a book on Clinical Oncology. He was the President of the Radiation Research Society and a member of the Board of Scientific Advisors for the National Cancer Institute. He was the 2005 recipient of the Association for Radiation Research Weiss Medal.

 
 

Seth J. Orlow, M.D., Ph.D.

Einstein MSTP Class of 1986 

Seth J. Orlow, M.D., Ph.D. is Chairman of Dermatology at New York University School of Medicine. NYU’s Dermatology Department is one of the oldest and largest leading dermatology departments in the United States. Dr. Orlow is only the fifth Chair in the Department’s long and august history.  read more >  

A member of the NYU School of Medicine faculty since 1990, Dr. Orlow has been founding Director of the Pediatric & Adolescent Dermatology unit and, since 2004, Vice Chair for Research. He holds the first named chair in Pediatric Dermatology in the United States, having been appointed the Samuel Weinberg Professor of Pediatric Dermatology in 2002 at NYU, where he is also a Professor of Cell Biology and Pediatrics.

Internationally recognized for his clinical expertise in childhood, congenital and genetic disorders affecting the skin, hair and nails, Dr. Orlow has been a principal investigator on major grants from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and the National Eye Institute (NEI) in the areas of melanoma therapy and the molecular and cellular biology of skin and eye pigmentation, and has also been an investigator in numerous clinical trials. The author of more than 130 basic research and clinical peer-reviewed publications as well as more than 40 book chapters and reviews, he currently serves on the editorial boards of Archives of Dermatology and Pediatric Dermatology.

Dr. Orlow is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and a member of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology and the Society for Investigative Dermatology. Board-certified in both Dermatology and Pediatric Dermatology, he was elected to the American Dermatological Association in 2000 and, in 2003, was honored with a lifetime achievement award from the American Skin Association.

Dr. Orlow received his AB magna cum laude from Harvard University, where he won the award for best thesis in the Biochemical Sciences. He received his medical degree and his doctorate (Molecular Pharmacology) as a Medical Scientist Training Program student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Following an internship in pediatrics at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, he completed his residency and fellowship training in dermatology at Yale.

 
 

Elizabeth McNally, M.D., Ph.D.

Einstein MSTP Class of 1990 

Elizabeth McNally can trace her interest in science to junior high school. She received dual bachelor of arts degrees in Biology and Philosophy from Barnard College of Columbia University in 1983, and graduated cum laude, with honors in Biology. She spent the summer between her junior and senior years as a summer student in the lab of Leslie Leinwand at Albert Einstein, and enjoyed it so much that she decided to join the M.D.-Ph.D. program (MSTP) and continue her work with Dr. Leinwand in the department of microbiology and immunology, mapping functional domains in myosin.   read more >  

She did a residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She was a research fellow in the Howard Hughes Institute at Children’s Hospital, working on the genetics of muscular dystrophy in Louis Kunkel’s lab. In 1996 she joined the faculty at the University of Chicago Division of Biological Sciences and Pritzker School of Medicine, where she is now a Professor with tenure in the Departments of Medicine and Human Genetics. She is the director of the University’s Institute for Cardiovascular Research.

Dr. McNally’s research has focused on the genetics of heart and muscle diseases. Her laboratory studies the cellular mechanisms by which genetic mutations lead to cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmias, and vascular spasm. Her research focuses on the dystrophin glycoprotein complex, which is involved in muscular dystrophies, and includes sarcoglycans, which help stabilize the plasma membrane of both cardiac and skeletal muscle. McNally’s lab has discovered a number of genetic regions involved in familial cardiomyopathy that are involved in normal electrical conduction in the heart. They have also uncovered genetic associations between cardiomyopathy and muscular dystrophy through the study of sarcoglycans, and have generated data with animal models showing that exercising the muscles in muscular dystrophy may actually help treat the disease. In her own laboratory, Dr. McNally has mentored several Ph.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. students for their theses. It is this aspect of directing a laboratory that Dr. McNally most enjoys.

Dr. McNally has published over 80 scientific papers and book chapters. She has received a number of awards and honors including membership in Alpha Omega Alpha upon graduating medical school, a Charles E. Culpeper Medical Scholar Award, an American Heart Association Established Investigator Award and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Clinical Scientist Translation Award. She is a member of the American Heart Association, American Society of Clinical Investigation, and the Association of University Cardiologists.

MSTP Alumni

 
 
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