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Keynote Speakers

Mario R. Capecchi, Ph.D.

capecchi_postcard.jpgMario R. Capecchi was born in Verona, Italy in 1937. He received his B.S. degree in chemistry and physics from Antioch College in 1961 and his Ph.D. degree in biophysics from Harvard University in 1967. His thesis work, under the guidance of Dr. James D. Watson, included the analysis of the mechanisms of nonsense suppression; the initiation of protein synthesis, including the demonstration of Formylmethionine tRNA as the initiator of protein synthesis; and the mechanisms of protein termination. From 1967-69 Dr. Capecchi was a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. In 1969 he became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Harvard School of Medicine. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1971. In 1973 he joined the faculty at the University of Utah as a Professor of Biology. Since 1988 Dr. Capecchi has been an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; since 1989, a Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Utah School of Medicine; and since 1993, Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics and Biology. He is also co-chairman of the Department of Human Genetics.

Dr. Capecchi is best known for his pioneering work on the development of gene targeting in mouse embryo-derived stem (ES) cells. This technology allows scientists to create mice with mutations in any desired gene. The power of this technology is that the investigator chooses both which gene to mutate and how to mutate it. The investigator has virtually complete freedom on how to manipulate the DNA sequences in the genome of living mice. This allows scientists to evaluate in detail the function of any gene during the development or post-developmental phase of the mouse. His research interests include the molecular genetic analysis of early mouse development, neural development in mammals, production of murine models of human genetic diseases, gene therapy, homologous recombination and programmed genomic rearrangements in the mouse.

Dr. Capecchi is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (1991), the European Academy of Sciences (2002), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2009), and the National Academy of Medicine (2015).  He has won numerous awards, including the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience Research (1992), the Gairdner Foundation International Award for Achievements in Medical Sciences (1993), the General Motors Corporation’s Alfred P. Sloan Jr. Prize for Outstanding Basic Science Contributions to Cancer Research (1994), the German Molecular Bioanalytics Prize, (1996), the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences (1996), the Franklin Medal for Advancing Our Knowledge of the Physical Sciences (1997), the Feodor Lynen Lectureship (1998), the Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence (1998), the Baxter Award for Distinguished Research in the Biomedical Sciences (1998), the Helen Lowe Bamberger Colby and John E. Bamberger Presidential Endowed Chair in the University of Utah Health Sciences Center (1999), lectureship in the Life Sciences for the Collège de France (2000), the Horace Mann Distinguished Alumni Award, Antioch College (2000), the Italian Premio Phoenix-Anni Verdi for Genetics Research Award (2000), the Spanish Jiménez-Diáz Prize (2001), the Pioneers of Progress Award (2001), the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research (2001), the National Medal of Science (2001), the John Scott Medal Award (2002), the Massry Prize (2002), the Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Cancer Research (2003), the Wolf Prize in Medicine (2002/03), the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology (2005), the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine (2007) with Oliver Smithies and Martin Evans, the American Heart Association Distinguished Scient ist Award (2008), and the American Association of Cancer Research Lifetime Achievement Award (2015).

Research interests include: the molecular genetic analysis of early mouse development, neural development in mammals, production of murine models of human genetic diseases, gene therapy, homologous recombination and programmed genomic rearrangements in the mouse.



James Crowe, M.D.

Dr. Crowe received his MD degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also completed his pediatrics residency. Following his clinical training, Dr. Crowe received five years of post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Infectious Diseases at the NIH. He completed infectious diseases fellowship training in 1996 at Vanderbilt and has run an independent laboratory at Vanderbilt since that time.

In addition, Dr. Crowe directs two institutional core laboratories: the Human Immunology Core and the Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting Core. His work has been published in over 150 publications in high quality journals including, Nature, Science, Nature Medicine, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, the New England Journal of Medicine, and JAMA.

Dr. Crowe has been the recipient of investigator awards from the March of Dimes, American Society for Microbiology, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, and Society for Pediatric Research. He has been awarded the Judson Infectious Daland Prize of the American Philosophical Society, the Oswald Avery Award of the IDSA, the E. Mead Johnson Award for Excellence in Pediatrics, the 2007 Outstanding Investigator Award of the American Federation for Medical Research, and the 2010 Norman J. Siegel Award of the American Pediatric Society. He is an elected Fellow of AAM, AAAS, ASCI and AAP, IDSA, APS, and others. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2014.

Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D.


Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a position he has held since late 2009. Previously, he served as the NHGRI Scientific Director (2002-2009), chief of the NHGRI Genome Technology Branch (1996-2009), and director of the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center (1997-2009).

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Green comes from a scientific family. His father, Maurice Green, Ph.D., is a virologist at St. Louis University School of Medicine, where he has directed the Institute for Molecular Virology for over five decades. His brother, Michael Green, M.D., Ph.D., is a molecular biologist at the University of Massachusetts-Worcester, where he chairs the Department of Molecular, Cell, and Cancer Biology and is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Dr. Green received his B.S. degree in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981, and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Washington University in 1987. During residency training in clinical pathology (laboratory medicine), he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Maynard Olson, where he launched his career in genomics research. In 1992, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Pathology and Genetics as well as a co-investigator in the Human Genome Center at Washington University. In 1994, he joined the newly established Intramural Research Program of the National Center for Human Genome Research, later renamed the National Human Genome Research Institute.

Honors given to Dr. Green include a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (1989-1990), a Lucille P. Markey Scholar Award in Biomedical Science (1990-1994), induction into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (2002), an Alumni Achievement Award from Washington University School of Medicine (2005), induction into the Association of American Physicians (2007), a Distinguished Alumni Award from Washington University (2010), the Cotlove Lectureship Award from the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists (2011), a Ladue Horton Watkins High School Distinguished Alumni Award (2012), and the Wallace H. Coulter Lectureship Award from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (2012). He is a founding editor of the journal Genome Research (1995-present) and a series editor for Genome Analysis: A Laboratory Manual (1994-1998), both published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. He is also co-editor of the Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics (since 2005). Dr. Green has authored and co-authored over 340 scientific publications.

While directing an independent research program for almost two decades, Dr. Green was at the forefront of efforts to map, sequence and understand eukaryotic genomes. His work included significant, start-to-finish involvement in the Human Genome Project. These efforts eventually blossomed into a highly productive program in comparative genomics that provided important insights about genome structure, function andevolution. His laboratory also identified and characterized several human disease genes, including those implicated in certain forms of hereditary deafness, vascular disease and inherited peripheral neuropathy.

As director of NHGRI, Dr. Green is responsible for providing overall leadership of the institute's research portfolio and other initiatives. In 2011, he led NHGRI to the completion of a strategic planning process that yielded a new vision for the future of genomics research, entitled Charting a course for genomic medicine from base pairs to bedsidePDF file(Nature, 470:204-213, 2011). Since that time, he has led the institute in broadening its research mission; this has included designing and launching a number of major programs to accelerate the application of genomics to medical care. With the rapidly expanding scope of genomics, his leadership efforts have also involved significant coordination with multiple components of the NIH, as well as other agencies and organizations.

Beyond NHGRI-specific programs, Dr. Green has also played an instrumental leadership role in the development of a number of high-profile efforts relevant to genomics, including the Smithsonian-NHGRI exhibition Genome: Unlocking Life's Code, the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) program, the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy, and the U.S. Precision Medicine Initiative.

Angela Fleischman, M.D., Ph.D.

My overarching research goal is to identify what drives disease initiation in myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN), a chronic leukemia, and to use this knowledge to develop therapies to treat or prevent this disease.

MPN is characterized by the somatic acquisition of a mutation in either JAK2 (JAK2V617F) or calreticulin in a hematopoietic stem cell. This mutant clone expands producing excessive numbers of mature myeloid cells. The clinical consequences of MPN are elevated peripheral blood counts, thrombosis, splenomegaly, debilitating constitutional symptoms, excessive inflammation, and transformation to acute leukemia.

There is a critical need for novel therapeutic targets in MPN. Bone marrow transplantation is the only therapy that alters the natural history of the disease but the majority of patients with MPN are not candidates for this procedure due to age and comorbidities. JAK inhibitors are currently in development, but the impact of JAK as a target in MPN has been disappointing. Understanding the fundamental mechanisms by which the neoplastic clone is first established in MPN patients is necessary to develop therapeutics with curative intent.

We have developed a model in MPN whereby inflammatory insult upon a vulnerable hematopoietic stem cell pool drives the emergence of clones which have mutated in such a way to avoid these suppressive and/or apoptotic cues. This model is based on our findings that the JAK2 mutation endows resistance to the inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha. The recent identification of calreticulin mutations in most MPN patients without JAK2V617F aligns nicely with my model. Calreticulin is an “eat me” signal on stressed cells allowing for their “clean and quick” phagocytosis by macrophages.

MPN represents an excellent model disease in which to study the fundamental mechanisms of leukemogenesis because of its defined genetic lesions, chronic nature of the disease, and the ability to quantitatively measure the neoplastic clone over time. We hope that our work will not only lead to direct benefit for MPN patients, but will also lead to new therapies for other hematologic malignancies.

Jeff Lichtman, M.D., Ph.D.

Jeff Lichtman 

Jeff Lichtman is Jeremy R. Knowles Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard. He received an AB from Bowdoin (1973), and an M.D. and Ph.D. from Washington University (1980) where he worked for 30 years before moving to Cambridge in 2004. He is a member of the newly established Center for Brain Science.  Lichtman’s research interest revolves around the question of how mammalian brain circuits are physically altered by experiences, especially in early life.  He has focused on the dramatic re-wiring of neural connections that takes place in early postnatal development when animals are doing most of their learning.  This work has required the development of techniques such as “Brainbow” transgenic mice to visualize neural connections and monitor how they are altered over time.  Recently his efforts have focused on developing new electron microscopy methods to map the entire wiring diagram of the developing and adult brain.  This "connectomics" approach has as one of its aims uncovering the ways information is stored in neural networks.

Breakout Session Speakers
Research Ethics: Mary Allen, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, leading an interactive session on “Research Ethics” on how research misconduct shaped her career and lessons she learned.
Yin 2018.jpg
Interfacing with Industry: Philip Yin, M.D., Ph.D., vice president of clinical development at Boston Pharmaceuticals leading a session on “Interfacing with industry” and how  MD/PhD training translates into industry careers

Careers at the NIH: Doug Lowy, M.D., deputy director of the National Cancer Institute and Lasker award winner leading a session on “Career development opportunities through the NIH,” discussing extramural opportunities supported by the NIH in addition to intramural programs.
Women in Science: Robin Lorenz, M.D., Ph.D. MSTP director at the University of Alabama Birmingham leading an interactive discussion on “Women in science” and how to navigate the changing landscape as MD/PhD trainees.

Conveying Science Effectively: Jatin Vyas, M.D., Ph.D., the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine Program Director will be leading a session on how to communicate science and medicine effectively.

PSTP Showcase
We will have representatives from top Physician Scientist Training Program residencies from around the country to meet and discuss opportunities in their programs, including:

Harvard, Yale, Brigham and Women’s, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati Children's, UCLA, Baylor, MUSC, Northwestern, University of Minnesota

Conference Activities

On Sunday, you will have the option of experiencing some of the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains by participating in one of the following four activities. (For all hikes, please bring the following: a pair of supportive shoes or boots, sunscreen, water, snack food, loose-fitting clothes, a warm layer, and a rain/wind-resistant layer.)

Activity Descriptions
Advanced hike: Mt Quandary. We will be hiking a Colorado 14ers, Mt. Quandary (14,265 ft), weather permitting. In order to reach the summit, we will leave Keystone by 5:30 AM and should arrive back just before 1:00 PM. This hike will have an altitude gain of 3450 ft and will be 6.75 miles round trip. Hiking experience is required. (link to a description of the route:

Intermediate hike 1: Booth Falls. This trail is known for having abundant wildflowers and a beautiful waterfall. The altitude gain is 1800 ft, and the round trip distance is 4 miles. We will leave from the Keystone Conference Center at 8:00 AM and will return around 12:30 PM.

Intermediate hike 2: McCullough Gulch: This hike has stunning lake views and an elevation gain of 1100 ft. The round trip distance is 3.4 miles.We will leave from the Keystone Conference Center at 8:00 AM and will return around 12:30 PM.                        

Beginner hike/chairlift nature walk: The Summit Express chairlift will whisk you to the summit of Dercum Mountain where you will enjoy a short nature hike while admiring spectacular views of Lake Dillon, the Continental Divide and other mountain ranges. This will be a light hike, but please bring comfortable shoes/ clothes, a water bottle, and a light jacket. We will meet at the River Run base area by 9:30 AM.