About MSTP

Our Directors

Marshall Horwitz, M.D., Ph.D (Director)

Marshall Horwitz, M.D. Ph.D (Director)
Marshall S. Horwitz, M.D., Ph.D is a Professor of Pathology and Adjunct Professor of Genome Sciences, Medicine, and Biology. A Los Angeles area native, he received his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Revelle College at the University of California, San Diego and then came to the University of Washington where he entered the Medical Scientist Training Program in 1983—and loved it so much that he never left. He performed his doctoral work on directed evolution in the Department of Pathology with former MSTP Director Dr. Lawrence Loeb and completed residency in Internal Medicine in the University of Washington hospital system, followed by fellowship training in Medical Genetics and postdoctoral research in developmental biology with the late Harold Weintraub at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He rejoined the UW MSTP to become an associate director in 2007 and has been director since 2010. His research interests relate to genetic factors predisposing to hematopoietic malignancy and the clonal evolution of cancer. He is Cancer Genetics Section Editor of the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Genetics and former chair of the NIH Genetics of Health and Disease study section. Among his honors, Dr. Horwitz is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, received from the President at the White House in 2002, as well as the 2007 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award.

 

Mary-Claire King, Ph.D. (Associate Director)

Mary-Claire King, Ph.D. (Associate Director)
Mary-Claire King, Ph.D. is the American Cancer Society Professor of Genome Sciences and Medicine. She was raised in the Chicago area, received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Carleton College, and her PhD in Genetics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1973. Her dissertation research was the demonstration that humans and chimpanzees are 99% genetically identical. After postdoctoral training at UCSF, she joined the faculty at Berkeley in 1975 and moved to the University of Washington in 1995.  Her research has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1975.  Her primary research focus is inherited breast and ovarian cancer, with groundbreaking discoveries leading to the identification of the gene she named BRCA1. She has also discovered genes for multiple Mendelian disorders, for inherited hearing loss, and most recently for schizophrenia. Dr. King  developed genomic sequencing to identify victims of human rights abuses, first in Argentina and subsequently  for cases on five continents, carrying out identifications for the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal and the UN Forensic Anthropology Team. She is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Institute of Medicine, a foreign member of the French Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Additional honors include the Heineken Prize for Medicine, the Weizmann Women & Science Award, the Peter Gruber Foundation Genetics Award, Glamour Magazine Woman of the Year, and honorary doctorates from 13 universities in the US, Europe, and Israel. She is President of the American Society of Human Genetics.

 

Julie Overbaugh, Ph.D. (Associate Director)

Julie Overbaugh, Ph.D. (Associate Director)
Julie Overbaugh, Ph.D. is a Full Member of the Human Biology Division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Affiliate Professor of Microbiology at the University of Washington, and Director of the Viral Pathogenesis training grant program. She grew up in rural Pennsylvania where she spent her formative years working the pretzel factories. She received her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Connecticut, where she played for the storied UConn women’s basketball team and was Captain of the UConn tennis team. She then completed her doctorate in Biochemistry at the University of Colorado in Boulder studying enzyme biology. For her postdoctoral training at Harvard, she unraveled the phenomenon of adaptive mutation under Dr. John Cairns and also began her studies of retroviruses with Dr. James Mullins (now also at the University of Washington). She has elegantly and inventively combined her interests in these seemingly disparate fields to reveal how HIV evolves over the course of infection and contributes to its mother-to-child and sexual transmission. Her laboratory program extends outside of Seattle to Kenya, where she collaborates on studies of the molecular epidemiology of HIV and, in addition to mentoring UW students, also supports the research training and development of African scientists. She has chaired the NIH study section on the molecular biology of HIV-1 and has served as Editor for Journal of Virology. Her work has been recognized by an Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award and by two consecutive Merit awards from the NIH. In addition, her excellence in mentoring has been recognized with awards from both the Fred Hutchinson Center and the UW.

 

Stephen J. Tapscott, M.D., PhD. (Associate Director)

Stephen J. Tapscott, M.D., Ph.D. is a Full Member in the Divisions of Human Biology and Clinical Research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), and a Professor in the Department of Neurology and Adjunct Professor in Pathology at the University of Washington (UW). Born and raised in northeastern New Jersey, he received a bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied cell commitment and differentiation with Dr. Howard Holtzer. After completing medical internship and neurology residency at the University of Pennsylvania, he moved to Seattle for postdoctoral training in molecular biology with Dr. Harold Weintraub at the FHCRC. He has clinical expertise in neuromuscular and neurogenetic diseases, and research expertise in the developmental regulation of gene expression in a chromatin context. His work has characterized the central roles of the MyoD and NeuroD transcription factor families in myogenesis and neurogenesis, and also identified the causative pathophysiologic mechanism of facioscapulohumeral dystrophy, the third most common human muscular dystrophy. In addition to his role as Associate Director of the UW Medical Scientist Training Program, he is co-director of the Seattle Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center and is on the Editorial Board of Developmental Cell. He has served on the scientific advisory boards for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, American Brain Tumor Association, Hereditary Disease Foundation, and the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Most important of all, he has a huge enthusiasm for the value of the combined M.D. and Ph.D. training and its impact on both the trainee and the scientific community.