Who we are
We are a multi-disciplinary group of diverse scientists, physicians and learners from various backgrounds coming together to address important questions using novel techniques to help improve the care of patients with concurrent cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as those with cardiac immune diseases. Our group values passion, curiosity, dedication and collegiality.
Dr. Han Zhu
Director, Stanford Translational Cardio-Oncology Program
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Dr. Zhu is an Assistant Professor of Medicine whose clinical and research expertise focuses on cardio-oncology and cardio-immunology. She specializes in the cardiovascular care of patients undergoing therapies for cancer, with a particular focus on the effects of immunotherapies on the heart. She received a bioengineering degree from MIT, medical degree from Case Western Reserve University, and completed clinical cardiology fellowship and internal medicine residency training at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Zhu’s laboratory focuses on myocarditis, cardiac inflammation, and the effects of cancer therapeutics on the cardiovascular system. Her current research employs clinical data, bio-banked samples, and in vivo/in vitro preclinical models in combination with single-cell technologies to study immune-based toxicities in the heart. Dr. Zhu's clinic sees cardio-oncology and cardio-immunology patients and her lab focuses on devising new methods for minimizing cardiovascular complications in the cancer and autoimmune patient populations.
Basic/Translational Research Team
Yuhsin (Vivian) Huang
Research Tech & Lab Manager
Yuhsin (Vivian) Huang graduated from Cornell University in 2022 as a Computer Science major and Biology minor. Vivian is primarily interested in translational medicine as well as the use of computational tools to analyze biological data, especially regarding targeted therapies in the fields of cardiology and immunology. Her experiences in leading the Cornell Translator/Interpreter Program as well as in volunteering as an ESL tutor and member of the El Camino Hospital Chinese Health Initiative have additionally aided in her goal to further tailor medical care and support for each individual's unique personal and cultural background. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and DC comics and has recently started acrylic painting as well.
Clinical Research Coordinator
Assistant Lab Manager
Harrison Chou received his B.S. in Neuroscience and a minor in Musicology from UCLA in 2023. Prior to joining the Han Zhu lab, he participated in gastroenterology and hepatology research, utilizing large patient databases to analyze prognostic relationships between cirrhosis and other etiologic disorders. He is currently interested in exploring the field of cardio-oncology and studying the molecular mechanisms behind autoimmune diseases like cardiac sarcoidosis. In his free time, he likes playing basketball and viola.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Yin Sun received his B.S. in Pharmacy from Shenyang Pharmaceutical University (SPU) in 2018. He then completed his Ph.D. in Medicinal chemistry at SPU in 2023. His doctoral thesis focused on the design, synthesis, and anti-tumor activity evaluation of polo-like kinase 4 inhibitors and proteolytic targeting chimeras. After joining the Zhu lab, he is particularly interested in combining his background in drug design and development with novel immunological tools to explore new precision therapeutic strategies in the field of cardio-immunology/cardio-oncology. In his free time, he enjoys running and swimming.
Maria Rosaria Vitale
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Maria earned her B.Sc in Biochemistry from the University of Würzburg, Germany, in 2015, followed by her M.Sc in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of Freiburg in 2018. She completed her Ph.D. at the University Hospital in Würzburg, focusing on induced human pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in the context of Molecular Psychiatry. Her research focused on the role of CDH13, a gene linked to ADHD, where she utilized iPSC reprogramming, CRISPR/Cas9 gene knockout, neuronal subtype differentiation, and multielectrode array (MEA) activity for evaluation.
Joining the Zhu lab at Stanford, Maria is dedicated to establishing iPSC models tailored for investigating myocarditis and sarcoidosis. Her objective is to elucidate the cardiac microenvironment changes underlying the initiation and propagation of cardiac inflammation, ultimately advancing targeted therapies to mitigate cardiotoxicity from cancer immunotherapies. Outside of the lab, Maria finds joy in traveling, attending operas, reading, swimming, cooking and baking.
Bruce Changlong Xu
Bruce Xu is a BS-MS student at Stanford starting fulltime at NVIDIA in the Spring. He was born in New Zealand and raised in Hong Kong. He is interested in enrolling in medical school in the future to perform research in immunology and treating patient populations in developing countries, as well as communities with less resources. He has always wanted to work at the Aga Khan hospital in Kenya (he has heard the food is good, and would like to meet Eliud Kipchoge -- marathon world record holder). He is currently working on applying artificial intelligence and language models towards understanding immunotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity.
Stanford MedScholars Research Fellow
Rania graduated from UCLA with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies and a minor in Biomedical Research. She subsequently embarked on a Fulbright scholarship aimed at conducting research on health disparities in Turkey. Rania is currently in her second year at Stanford Medical School, where she is involved in research and various other projects. Rania's goal is to become a culturally competent physician, providing compassionate care to underserved communities. She is currently interested in the field of rheumatology and is pursuing a research project related to that interest.
Corynn Marie Grayson Branche
Corynn Branche is a sophomore from Redondo Beach, California. She plans on majoring in molecular, cell, and developmental biology. Her research interests lie in understanding the molecular basis of ICI myocarditis and outcome disparities. She also volunteers as a patient navigator with Cardinal Free Clinics. In her free time, she enjoys making music and baking.
Zachary Lin is a freshman from Orange County, California. He is interested in both the clinical and research sides of medicine and hopes to become a physician scientist in the future. He is pursuing a major in bioengineering and a minor in music. In his spare time, he loves to play basketball and the saxophone.
Natasha Banga is a freshman at Stanford from Dallas, Texas. She hopes to study computer science and public policy on the premed track. She is interested in the studying the autoimmune mechanisms underlying cardiac disease and working with animal models. In her free time, she enjoys listening to podcasts and going to the gym.
Clinical Research Team
Former Internal Medicine Chief Resident
Sarah Waliany received her B.S. in Biological Sciences from University of Southern California. She earned her M.D. and M.S. in Epidemiology and Clinical Research at Stanford University School of Medicine and developed an interest in cardio-oncology, studying hypertension associated with anti-VEGF TKIs with Dr. Ronald Witteles. As an internal medicine resident and Chief Resident at Stanford, she continued work in cardio-oncology with Drs. Han Zhu, Joel Neal, and Ron Witteles, including performing a prospective study on biomarker surveillance for ICI myocarditis, identifying/recruiting patients with IRAEs for a study using deep immunophenotyping to investigate ICI myocarditis, and studying cardiovascular toxicities of targeted therapies for NSCLC and anti-HER2 therapies. She is a Specialty Content Editor for JACC CardioOncology and in 7/2023 will be starting fellowship in hematology/oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Mass General Brigham.
Miguel Julio Franquiz
Internal Medicine Resident
Miguel Franquiz is a resident physician in Internal Medicine at Stanford Hospital. He completed undergraduate training in general chemistry at Loyola University in Baltimore, MD, pharmacy training at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, pharmacy residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center, and medical school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, where he completed several projects focusing on leukemia at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. His research interests include optimization of pharmacotherapy for cardiovascular disorders and cardio-oncology. His work with the Zhu lab focuses on cardiac toxicities associated with antineoplastic agents.
Internal Medicine Resident
Dr. Maja Ivanovic is an Internal Medicine resident physician at Stanford Medicine. Her interests lie in the usage of clinical databases to optimize patient care. She has experience in data mining, statistical analysis, and clinical quality improvement. Her research with the Zhu lab has been in examining patient outcomes with prospective biomarker monitoring in immune checkpoint inhibitor associated cardiotoxicity.
Internal Medicine Resident
Dr. Hoda Sayegh is an Internal Medicine resident at Stanford Medicine. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago where she conducted research in Immunology on gamma-delta T cells. She continued her research career working at Massachusetts General Hospital, with a focus on breast cancer-related lymphedema. She then earned her medical degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she studied human papillomavirus-related cancers via immunological subtyping. She joined Stanford Medicine in 2022 where she continues to explore her research interests within the fields of oncology, cardiology, and immunology. In her free time, she enjoys making pottery on the wheel.
Dr. Fazal was born in Pakistan and grew up in Dubai. He attended college at McGill University where he received a BSc in Anatomy and Cell Biology. He completed his MS and MD from Boston University School of Medicine, graduating AOA and Magna Cum Laude. Fazal completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Stanford, where he studied the arrhythmia burden of tyrosine kinase inhibitors in patients using cardiac holter monitors and worked on using AI to predict arrhythmias in patients undergoing tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapies. He collaborated with the Zhu lab on the prospective study on biomarker surveillance for ICI myocarditis, assisting with population selection, data acquisition, and processing. He plans to continue working at the intersection of cardio-oncology and arrhythmias in his career as an academic cardiologist.
Antonia (Toni) Chan
Antonia (Toni) Chan is currently a fourth year medical student at Stanford Medical School. She previously graduated with a BA in Economics from Harvard University. While at Stanford, she developed a clinical and research interest in the treatment/monitoring of immune-related adverse events from cancer immunotherapy. Her work with the Zhu lab focuses on biomarker trends in myocarditis patients.
Ryan Batchelder is a Physician Assistant on the Cardio-Oncology team at Stanford. He earned his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He completed his Master of Health Sciences in PA studies at Quinnipiac University. Ryan spent his first clinical years as a PA in the Boston area, working on inpatient general cardiology teams. He works closely with Han Zhu and Paul Cheng in the Cardio-Oncology Clinic treating oncologic patients with various cardiovascular diseases. His clinical interests include cardio-oncology , heart failure, and coronary artery disease. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, hiking, and music.
Dr. Andrew T. Nguyen is an Internal Medicine resident physician at Stanford Medicine. He obtained his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program. During medical school, he completed an MD thesis in the lab of Benjamin Ebert, MD PhD where he studied clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP). His MD thesis characterized the role of immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) on the pathogenesis of TP53-CHIP. As a resident, he works with Dr. Zhu and studies cardiovascular toxicities of immune checkpoint inhibitors. He plans to pursue a career as a physician-scientist focused on cardio-oncology and the mechanisms of myocardial and vascular injury by cancer therapeutics. Andrew has now matched into the Stanford Cardiology Fellowship program and will be starting this upcoming summer.
Research Tech & Past Lab Manager
Daniel Lee is a Palo Alto local, graduating from Henry M. Gunn High School in 2015. He graduated with a biology degree from Cornell University and is currently pursuing a biomedical engineering degree at Johns Hopkins University. He was the lab manager for the Sean Wu Lab at Stanford University and worked closely with Dr. Han Zhu during his time at Stanford University using PD-1 genetic knockout mouse models to study ICI myocarditis. He is, in his own words, "honored to be one of Dr. Zhu's first mentees."
Clinical Research Coordinator
Julia Ryan is a Bay Area native and graduated from Santa Clara University in 2017. She received a Masters of Health Science from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2019, and worked in the lab of Dr. Sean Wu with Dr. Han Zhu from 2019-2021. While in Dr. Wu's lab, Julia worked closely with Dr. Zhu on patient recruitment for her ICI-induced myocarditis project. Julia is now a second year medical student at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and is currently interested in pediatric cardiology.