The Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Education

Student Profile

Roxana Daneshjou

Caption: Stanford Medical School Association leaders, Chloe Chien (left), Tope Amos, and Roxana Daneshjou.
Photo credit: Steve Fisch

As a first-year medical student at Stanford University, Roxana Daneshjou, fell in love with genetics after working in the lab of Russ Altman, MD, PhD, professor of genetics and bioengineering.

“At a Genetics department retreat, I heard about all the fascinating Stanford research on harnessing genetics to do everything from assessing disease risk to pharmacology, and I thought, ‘This is what I want to do. This is going to revolutionize medicine,’” said Daneshjou.

Recently, she was thrilled to hear that she’d received a fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to continue her work on human genetics and pharmacogenetics. Her specific interests include using genetics to predict the efficacy of drug doses and investigating how drugs affect gene expression. Currently, she is studying how genetics affect the dosing requirements of the blood thinner, warfarin, among African Americans.

Prior to coming to Stanford, Daneshjou received her B.S. in Bioengineering from Rice University, where she worked in the tissue engineering laboratory of Dr. Antonios Mikos. She also developed low-cost medical tools for the developing world through Rice’s Beyond Traditional Borders Initiative. In 2008 she received a summer Amgen scholarship at UC-Berkeley, where she studied traumatic brain injuries in Mark D’Esposito’s cognitive neuroscience lab.

What Daneshjou likes most about Stanford is the spirit of collaboration and how open the professors are to meeting with and listening to students. She adds, “The level of mentorship is unparalleled. I also love my classmates and talking to other students, who all have amazing ideas. And of course, I love the weather and the palm trees.”