Chelsea Pinnix, MD, PhD: (M7)

Graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in 1999, where she was a distinguished Meyerhoff Scholar, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a BS in biochemistry. She went on to complete the combined degree program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine earning a Doctorate of Philosophy in Cell and Molecular Biology as well as a Doctorate in Medicine in 2007.

I am blessed to have remarkable family support. I am the oldest of four and my family is very close-knit. My mother instilled important core values in us before we were even able to walk! I remember as a child in grade school she would help me with my school projects and her motto was “Always do more”. She always encouraged us to do more than what was required of us. That made an impression and stuck with me throughout my entire academic life.

I remember in undergrad my first test in Organic Chemistry, I studied so hard and was devastated when I got a “C”. I was determined to get an A in the class but that meant I needed “A’s” on the rest of the tests. I was so proud of my diligence and hard work when I got the 2nd highest grade in the class on my final and an “A” on my transcript in Organic Chemistry during my sophomore year. I know it sounds like I’m doing a lot of horn-tooting but I worked so hard in that class! It is amazing what we can do when we set our minds to it!

I always knew I wanted to be a physician. I have an old picture from 2nd grade with me dressed up like a doctor with a stethoscope around my neck. However the decision to pursue a PhD was spurred by my interest in the biological sciences and the desire to help solve problems that currently have no solution. It is definitely rewarding to work with patients in the field of oncology. But the amazing part about scientific discovery is that you can make an impact on patients that you have never met if your work can contribute to new clinical tools for the treatment of disease.

My work ethic is the key to my success. I recognize that God has blessed me with intellectual talent but I do not have the brain of an astro-physicist. I attribute most of my success to my work ethic. If I have to stay up all night or make personal sacrifices for my academic success I will do it.

Before I entered college I knew I was destined to become a physician. My interest in research however was nurtured by two influential men in my life, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski and Dr. Michael Summers. I entered college at UMBC as a Meyerhoff scholar where Dr. Hrabowski introduced me to the concept of the combined MD/PhD program. I had never heard of a physician scientist before and I decided to be open-minded to and consider basic science research. I began working in the Summers’ lab during my sophomore year in college. We were using NMR to investigate the three dimensional structure of HIV proteins. Dr. Summers made research fun. The prospect of making new and important discoveries at the college level was unbelievable. By the time I was a senior I was sold on the physician scientist path.

I am training to be a Radiation Oncologist. We use radiation to cure cancer. As our population continues to thrive and live longer, more individuals will be affected by cancer. I have the privilege of helping patients combat this tragic disease when they are faced with it.

I use science in my research lab and in my patient encounters on a daily basis.

Best Advice

"Always do more" from my mom, Fern Stalling.

Quotes I Live By

"To whom much is given, much is required" -Luke 12:48

Invent One Thing

I would invent molecular targeted therapies for every carcinoma known to man!

Book I'm reading

I wish I could say I was reading books for my personal pleasure. Instead I am reading textbooks on clinical radiation oncology and radiation physics.

More about : Chelsea Pinnix, MD, PhD: (M7)

Chelsea Pinnix graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in 1999, where she was a distinguished Meyerhoff Scholar, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a BS in biochemistry. She went on to complete the combined degree program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine earning a Doctorate of Philosophy in Cell and Molecular Biology as well as a Doctorate in Medicine in 2007. She conducted her thesis research with Dr. Meenhard Herlyn, Chair of the Program of Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis at the Wistar Institute and the University of Pennsylvania. Chelsea’s studies examined how dysregulated signaling pathways can lead to melanocyte transformation. Chelsea joined the Radiation Oncology residency program at the renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center in July of 2008 after completing an Internal Medicine internship at Johns Hopkins University/Sinai Hospital in 2007. Dr. Pinnix has both clinical and translational research interests. She was recently chosen as one of ten recipients for the 2010 UNCF-Merck Postdoctoral Science Research Fellowship. With this generous grant Dr. Pinnix is investigating the molecular basis of neurocognitive dysfunction after whole brain radiotherapy under the direction of David Grosshans, M.D., Ph.D. She was also recognized as a recipient of the MD Anderson Trainee Excellence Award in the spring of 2010. Dr. Pinnix is an active member of her community and serves as a mentor in the Families Under Urban and Social Attack MATCH Mentoring Program. She is national co-chair of the Members in Training Committee for the American Association of Women Radiologists. She is also a member of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, the Radiological Society of North America and the American Association for Women Radiologists.

Danielle Evette Robbins, PhD: (M13)

Danielle Robbins graduate with her PhD at North Carolina State University in the Biomathematics Program. She completed a Master’s in Applied Mathematics from Arizona State University, and a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from University of Maryland Baltimore County in where she was a Meyerhoff Scholar. Ms. Robbins graduation is August 2011. Ms. Robbins is a Lord [...]



Tiffani J. Bright, PhD: (M11)

Tiffani J. Bright is a consultant with focus on bridging informatics and health IT. She earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in sociology from the College of William and Mary in 2001, a bachelor’s of science degree in information systems from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2004, and a doctorate in biomedical informatics [...]



Kyla McMullen: (M13)

Graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a major in Computer Science, through the support of the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program. She then attended the University of Michigan, where she received her Masters in Computer Science and is presently in the final phase of her PhD program at Michigan. My parents both have a [...]



Kenneth D. Gibbs, Jr., PhD: (M13)

Graduated with his PhD in immunology May 2010 from Stanford University, where his research focused on the mechanisms that regulate blood-forming (hematopoietic) stem cells in normal blood development and leukemia. He has continued his research as a postdoctoral fellow in Garry Nolan’s research group. Currently Dr. Gibbs will be working with the National Science Foundation [...]



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