Physician-Scientist Speaker Series: Dr. Mukesh Jain
by Nick Petersen (G2)
On March 11th, 2021, the Vanderbilt MSTP and American Physician Scientist Association (APSA) Chapter hosted Dr. Mukesh Jain for the Flexner Discovery lecture and MSTP Physician Scientist Speaker Series (PSSS). Dr. Jain is a pioneer is the study of Krüppel-like factor (KLF) proteins as regulators of metabolism, immunity, and the cardiovascular system. He serves as the Ellery Sedgwick Jr. Chair & Distinguished Scientist and Chief Academic Officer of the University Hospitals Health System, the Chief Scientific Officer of the Harrington Discovery Institute, the Chief Research Officer of UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, a Visiting Professor at University of Oxford (UK), and Professor and Vice Dean for UH Hospital Affairs at Case Western Reserve University. During this virtual visit to Vanderbilt, Dr. Jain had lunch over Zoom with a small group of MSTP students where they had the pleasure of learning about Dr. Jain’s career and scientific perspectives. He also gave a fascinating talk for the Flexner Discovery lecture series entitled “Age and Age Related Disorders” that showcased recent work in his lab related to the role of KLF proteins in aging and health as well as therapeutic potential. Finally, Dr. Jain spoke candidly to the Vanderbilt MSTP over a virtual dinner for the PSSS. The night began with a moving video introduction from current MSTP student, and former mentee of Dr. Jain, Andrew Hale (M4). Dr. Jain spoke of the principles, pleasures and pitfalls of academic life. He emphasized that being an academic physician-scientist is truly a “boredom-free career path” that requires passion, purpose, patience and perspiration. Through his stories of his upbringing, his professional milestones, and his love for science, Dr. Jain advised us to treasure the relationships we build, be true and genuine to your colleagues, and that this career path is a marathon, not a sprint. It has been an absolute pleasure to host the humble and genuine Dr. Mukesh Jain.