Leadership

The PSSF was established by a small group of practicing physician-researchers, Nobel laureates, and senior pharmaceutical executives who share a passion for encouraging the training of biomedical researchers and continuing the advancement of physician-scientist research efforts.

PSSF Founders:

Robert Lefkowitz, President

Investigator; Howard Hughes Medical Institute; James B. Duke Professor of Medicine Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry

Dr. Robert Lefkowitz is the President of the Physician Scientist Support Foundation. He previously served the USPHS at the National Institute of Health in the 1960s, where he was first introduced to the roles and responsibilities of a physician-scientist. In his years as a physician-scientist, he came to recognize the importance and unique contributions that physician-scientists can make to advance the understanding and treatment of human illnesses, eventually prompting him to encourage others to become physician-scientists as well. Bob holds an M.D. from Columbia University.

Click here for a statement from our President.

Brian Kobilka, Vice President

Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology; Hélène Irwin Fagan Chair in Cardiology; Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Brian K. Kobilka focuses on researching the structure and mechanism of action of G protein-coupled receptors. Brian holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and holds an M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine.

Vivian G. Cheung

Investigator; Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of Pediatrics (Neurology); Professor of Genetics

Dr. Vivian G. Cheung is an RNA biologist and child neurologist. She studies how changes in the sequence and structure of nucleic acids, particularly RNA, regulate cellular function. She also investigates how cells achieve the diverse set of RNA transcripts to maintain homeostasis and respond to stimuli. Viv holds an M.D. from Tufts University.

Mukesh K. Jain

Chief Scientific & Academic Officer, University Hospitals Health System; Vice Dean for University Hospital Affairs, Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Mukesh K. Jain is a practicing cardiologist studying molecular mechanisms controlling cellular immunity and metabolism. He has a long-standing commitment to physician-scientist training through efforts within his laboratory as well as leading national and international programs that support and advance the physician-scientist pathway. Mukesh holds an M.D. from the University of Buffalo.

Paul J. Utz

Associate Dean for Medical Student Research; Professor of Medicine; Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Paul J. Utz is a physician-scientist exploring and developing multiplexed technologies for characterizing immune-mediated diseases, including autoimmunity, infectious diseases, and immunodeficiency disorders. He is actively involved in enhancing physician-scientist pipeline efforts through immersive high school summer research programs, flexible medical school curricular design, and postgraduate training. PJ holds an M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine.

In Memoriam: Tadataka Yamada (1945-2021)

Dr. Tadataka Yamada served as the Chairman of the Board for the Physician Scientist Support Foundation. He previously held positions as Chairman, Department of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief at the University of Michigan, Chairman of R&D at GlaxoSmithKline, President, Global Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at Takeda Pharmaceuticals and currently as Venture Partner at Frazier Healthcare Partners, among other roles, including the President of the Association of American Physicians. His earlier work as a physician-scientist served as a cornerstone in all of his positions over the years, and eventually led to him to supporting outstanding young medical graduates into careers as physician-scientists. Tadataka held an M.D. from NYU Medical School.

Click here for words from our founding Chairman.

Board of Directors:

Paul A. Insel

Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine at University of California, San Diego

Trained as an M.D. and board-certified in Internal Medicine, Dr. Insel received research training at the NIH and UCSF before joining the faculty at UCSF and subsequently UCSD, where he is currently Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine. He is also the Co-Director of the UCSD Medical Scientist (M.D./Ph.D.) Training Program (MSTP). He holds a Doc. Hon Causa from the University of Paris, is a Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has received other awards and honors. Dr. Insel has served as Editor and Associate/Editor of numerous scientific journals and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology and co-Head of Faculty of the Faculty of 1000Prime in Pharmacology and Drug Discovery.

Judith A. James

Chair, Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation; Associate Vice Provost for Clinical and Translational Science and Professor of Medicine and Pathology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Dr. James is an immunologist and board-certified adult rheumatologist. Her research focuses on understanding the etiology and pathogenesis of lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome and related disorders, the evolution and pathogenic mechanisms of autoantibodies in systemic rheumatic disease, and the interplay of genetic risk and environmental responses in systemic autoimmunity. She has a long-standing commitment to training physician-scientists from rural, underserved, and underrepresented communities.

Contact Us:

(p) 301-493-4750

(e) pssf@thepssf.org