Pathology PSTP Scholars
BS: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2008)
MD/PhD: University of Texas Southwestern Medical School (2015)
Subspecialty interest: Gastrointestinal, hepatic, and pancreaticobiliary pathology, surgical pathology
My dissertation work with Dr. Joyce Repa at UT Southwestern focused on bile acids and cholesterol metabolism as I studied the effects of cholesterol absorption on whole body lipid physiology, and specifically the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Through collaborative efforts with Dr. John Dietschy and Dr. Stephen Turley, we also studied the effects of bile acid supplementation in bile acid deficient mice, and the role of cholesterol metabolism in the rare diseases of Niemann-Pick type C, and Cholesterol Ester Storage Disease.
My current research interests have led me to the laboratory of Dr. Guang-Yu Yang where we are studying colorectal adenocarcinoma. Building on my experience in cholesterol metabolism and molecular biology, we are investigating the role of cholesterol-dependent post-translational modifications in the development of colon cancer, while also interrogating the large patient cohort from Northwestern Memorial Hospital for NGS data in colon cancer patients. We are particularly interested in the mechanism leading to microsatellite instability as seen in a subset of colon adenocarcinomas. I hope that through my involvement in the physician-scientist training program that I will be able to contribute to our understanding of gastrointestinal malignancies as I continue my training to become a GI pathologist.
MHS: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology (2009)
PhD: The George Washington University School of Medicine (2014)
Subspecialty interests: Surgical Pathology, Immunology and Carcinogenesis
Over the course of several laboratory internships at places that include the NIH and a year-out of basic science laboratory research in between third and fourth years of medical school, I am excited to be on the physician-scientist career path. My past research experience has specifically focused on the role of the host’s immunologic and genetic makeup in the context of HIV-susceptbility, disease progression and the response to HIV vaccine regimens. Most recently, I have studied the HIV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell clonal subpopulations in human subjects that were part of Phase II HIV-1 vaccine trials in Thailand. This work also included measuring immunoglobin subtype recognition of HIV envelope antigens, specifically to variable region 2 that is part of the virus' gp120 antigen. With a grant from the Infectious Diseases Society of America in 2010, I traveled to Bangkok, Thailand, to study the neutralizing antibody response to Dengue virus-infected dendritic cells in patients that were at various clinical stages of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. In 2009, I worked in a lab at the NIAID looking at the immunophenotyping of CD8+ T cells from HIV-infected Long-Term Non-Progressors, an area I have published as part of my master's thesis in Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. As a PSTP resident in the Department of Pathology, my focus is on surgical pathology and how host immunology and genetic factors contribute to solid tumor development and metastasis. I will bridge the lessons I have learned from lentiviral pathogenesis to solid tumor development, with particular interests in adenocarcinomas in organs of the gastrointestinal tract and other systems.
MD: University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
PhD: University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Research Interests:My PhD was in Epidemiology, and my dissertation was focused on warfarin pharmacogenetics, determining the genetic, clinical, socioeconomic, and behavioral factors that contribute to prolonged warfarin dose titration, as well as whether predictive algorithms could be used to determine which patients might be most at risk of prolonged dose titration. Basic epidemiologic methodologic research included the evaluation of dynamic prediction models through simulation studies. Subsequent post-doctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania was in the area of cardiotoxicity in breast cancer, examining biomarkers and echocardiographic factors that are associated with development of cardiotoxicity in patients receiving chemotherapies such as anthracyclines and trastuzumab.
At Northwestern, my interest in breast cancer research has continued. I am currently involved in projects examining the histopathologic characteristics of very young women with breast cancer and the concordance of multiple pathologic markers of tumor recurrence. As my research career progresses, I plan to continue to be involved in breast cancer translational research, studying the histopathologic and molecular characteristics of tumors that do not respond well to chemotherapy, especially in the neoadjuvant setting, and hopefully allowing pathologists to better aid clinicians in their goal of providing more effective therapies to their patients.
BS/MD: Peking University (2000)
PhD: Albert Einstein College of Medicine (2006)
Subspecialty Interest: Hematopathology
I am a MD/PhD tenure track assistant professor of pathology. I have extensive training in molecular and cell biology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, as well as clinical hematopathology training at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. I started my independent research career in January 2011 after I finished my postdoctoral training in Dr. Harvey Lodish's laboratory at the Whitehead Institute. The research in my laboratory focuses on the characterizations of novel genes in the regulation of mammalian erythropoiesis; and studies of mDia formin proteins in the engraftment and homing of the hematopoietic stem cells. Our major focuses are erythroid cell terminal differentiation and hematopoietic stem cell biology using various genetic, molecular and cell biology techniques.
Kristina A. Matkowskyj
BS: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Specialized Chemistry (1997)
PhD: University of Illinois at Chicago, Pathology (2002)
MD: University of Illinois at Chicago (2007)
Subspecialty Interest: GI Oncology
I conducted my graduate research in the laboratory of Dr. Richard V. Benya, MD. The major research focus of the laboratory concerns the processing and regulation of heptaspanning, G protein-coupled receptors; specifically, the receptors for gastrin-releasing peptide and galanin.
Prior to the start of graduate and medical school, my investigations focused on the gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRP-R). My efforts focused on developing a novel algorithm for true quantitative immunohistochemistry (Q-IHC) based on calculating the cumulative signal strength, or energy, of the digital file encoding an image and to determine the absolute amount of chromogen present per pixel. Our efforts enabled us to use Q-IHC to accurately determine the amount of peptide hormone receptor in archived tissues. To this end, we set out to determine the expression and role of the GRPR protein in the gastrointestinal tract. This receptor is known to cause the proliferation of many, but not all cells in which it is expressed. Our studies identified that this receptor is not normally expressed by epithelial cells lining the GI tract, but is aberrantly expressed by many GI malignancies. Additional studies support GRPR acting as a mitogen, and recent data supports that in vivo it may behave as a morphogen.
The primary focus of my graduate research work was investigating the role of the galanin-1 receptor (Gal1R) in the context of infectious diarrhea. It is known that galanin is widely expressed in the central nervous system and in the GI tract by enteric nerves. In in the GI tract, galanin receptors are expressed by smooth muscle cells which when activated modulate intestinal transit. We have shown that epithelial cells lining the human GI tract express only GalR1 and when activated results in chloride secretion from these cells. Gal1R expression is transcriptionally regulated by the inflammation-associated transcription factor NF-kappa B, a factor activated in a number of inflammatory states. We have shown that an increase in Gal1R expression is observed in various infalmmatory conditions such as Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, and infectious colitis. It is thus hypothesized that Gal1R expression and activation represents a common, unifying pathway accounting for the diarrhea associated with inflammatory conditions affecting the colon.
My current research interests focus on the chemoprevention of inflammation-associated malignancies of the gastrointestinal and pancreatico-biliary systems.
BS/MD: Medical University of Warsaw
PhD: Medical University of Warsaw
Subspecialty interest: Pathology
I received my MD and PhD degrees from the Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland. I joined the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School as a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Dr Michael R. Hamblin in 2005. In 2008 I was appointed as an Instructor at HMS and Assistant in Immunology at MGH and Wellman Center. I have been investigating a variety of anti-tumor immune responses after photodynamic therapy; in particular I have been investigating the role of T regulatory cells and tumor antigens in this process. Additionally, I have been involved in several projects evaluating the applications of new photosensitizers for PDT of cancer. I have been fortunate to receive two independent research grants and several awards for my research.
Since the beginning of my medical training, my professional life has been characterized by a rich balance of clinical and scientific interests. My significant research experience allowed me to familiarize myself with majority of current laboratory techniques used nowadays in Pathology while my clinical rotations helped me to better understand the profound role of Pathology in contemporary medical practice. These experiences have offered me insight into the responsibilities, challenges, joys and fulfillment ahead as a pathologist. I strongly believe that the ultimate goal of the Physician-Scientist Training Program is to train academic pathologists to become subspecialist pathologists and independently-funded principal investigators in biomedical research. I believe that with my versatile research and clinical background I perfectly fit that role and my goal is to excel in furthering the mission of this extraordinary specialty.
BS: Iowa State University, Biology (1997)
MD/PhD: University of Iowa (2005)
My research during graduate school focused on the regulation of the germinal center B cell response in an autoimmune setting. Currently, my clinical interest is in hematopathology and my main research interest is to begin to understand the link between autoimmune disease and the development of hematopoietic malignancies. I am starting to approach my research questions from both a clinical and basic science perspective. I am beginning projects which identify the signaling molecules involved in the development and regulation of malignant cells as well as projects focused on the dysregulation of the immune system during the development of autoimmunity.