Katherine Alfieri, Ph.D.
Scientific Program Manager
Dr. Katherine Alfieri joined Stanford ChEM-H in 2016. As Scientific Program Manager, she develops and administers research and training programs that advance the goals of ChEM-H. Before coming to Stanford, Dr. Alfieri completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley in the laboratory of Prof. Jay Groves. During her graduate training, Dr. Alfieri was involved in undergraduate teaching and mentoring activities and developed science outreach and career development programs for graduate students and postdocs.
Curt Fischer, Ph.D.
Head, Metabolic Chemistry Analysis Center
Dr. Curt Fischer joined Stanford ChEM-H and Stanford’s Genome Technology Center in 2015 as a research engineer and now serves as the Head of the Metabolic Chemistry Analysis Center. Dr. Fischer is a biochemical engineer who specializes in the analysis of metabolism. He has applied mass-spectrometry-based metabolomics and proteomics techniques to human gut microbes, extremopholic microbial communities, plant tissues, and clinical samples. Dr. Fischer earned a Ph.D. from MIT in 2009, and from 2009 to 2010 was a post-doctoral scholar at UC Berkeley. In 2011, he joined Ginkgo Bioworks as their 2nd full-time hire, and worked on a variety of publicly and privately funded projects in synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, and metabolomics.
Paul Humphries, Ph.D.
Alliance Director, Stanford Alliance for Innovative Medicines (AIM)
Dr. Paul Humphries joined Stanford ChEM-H in 2018 as the Alliance Director of the Stanford Alliance for Innovative Medicines (AIM). Dr. Humphries provides strategic leadership and management of the Stanford AIM program to accelerate the translation of Stanford research into next-generation treatments that impact human health. Dr. Humphries comes to ChEM-H with over 17 years of research and development experience, including leadership of target-based and phenotypic drug discovery programs ranging from target/phenotype identification to Phase 2 clinical trials. He has advanced eight compounds into the clinic. Prior to joining ChEM-H, Dr. Humphries worked as Chief Scientific Officer for Reset Therapeutics where he assumed full responsibility for all aspects of research and nonclinical development and focused on harnessing the power of the body’s internal molecular clocks to discover, develop, and commercialize high-value therapeutics for a variety of disease indications. Prior to this, Dr. Humphries worked at Pfizer on numerous drug discovery programs resulting in seven IND submissions across four late-stage projects and was responsible for numerous go/no go decisions on early stage projects. He has authored approximately 30 scientific articles and patents on a wide range of topics/drug targets. Dr. Humphries received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Sheffield, UK and conducted post-doctoral research at Florida State University.
Catherine Meng joined ChEM-H in January 2018. As the Financial Analyst, she manages ChEM-H financial accounts, including budgeting and reporting, cost control and analysis subject to Stanford and Federal guidelines. Catherine has been with Stanford for over 10 years and brings with her extensive experience in research administration, client support and project management.
Elizabeth Ponder, Ph.D.
Dr. Elizabeth Ponder joined Stanford ChEM-H in 2014 as the Associate Director. She leads planning and operations for ChEM-H in partnership with the faculty executive committee. Dr. Ponder completed her Ph.D. and postdoctoral training at Stanford University in the laboratory of Dr. Matthew Bogyo. Her past work has included promoting public-private partnerships in the non-profit sector, managing multidisciplinary research in the higher education sector, and business development consulting in the for-profit biotech sector. Dr. Ponder joined ChEM-H from the University of California, Berkeley where she served as the Executive Director of the Henry Wheeler Center for Emerging & Neglected Diseases (CEND).
Mark Smith, Ph.D.
Head, Medicinal Chemistry Knowledge Center
Dr. Mark Smith joined Stanford ChEM-H in May 2013 as the Head of the Medicinal Chemistry Knowledge Center. He graduated with a Ph.D. from the laboratory of Prof. Richard Stoodley at the University of Manchester Institute for Science and Technology (UMIST), where his research focused on the application of Lewis acid catalyzed hetero Diels-Alder reactions to the synthesis of novel disaccharide structures. In 2000, Dr. Smith joined the research laboratory of Prof. David Crich at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Here his research focused on the generation of new reagents for the synthesis of beta-mannosides from thioglycosides. From 2002 to 2013, Dr. Smith worked as a medicinal chemist in Roche’s research facilities both in Palo Alto, CA and then Nutley, NJ, where he specialized in antiviral research.
Clinical Research Coordinator
Martina Steffen joined Stanford ChEM-H in 2018. As Clinical Research Coordinator, she will manage and oversee clinical research and trials that advance the goals of ChEM-H. Before joining ChEM-H, she coordinated clinical research studies at the Cancer Clinical Trials Office at the Stanford School of Medicine in the field of thoracic and GI cancers. Martina has a Masters in Engineering and also has an extensive background in software development and product management from her 14+ years at SAP.