About AST

Joanna Schaenman, MD, PhD

Speciality: 
Infectious Diseases
Graduated From: 
Harvard University (BA), University of Virginia (MD, PhD), Stanford University (MS in Epidemiology, residency, and infectious diseases fellowship)
Current Position: 
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Current Projects: 
My research focuses on understanding the determinants of immunologic control of clinically important viral infections in kidney transplant recipients, including CMV and BK virus. I am also studying the immunologic changes leading to increased vulnerability to infection in older transplant patients. These projects have been undertaken in collaboration with my laboratory mentor, Dr. Elaine Reed, Director the UCLA Immunogenetics Center.
What made you decide to work in transplantation?: 
I was drawn to Transplant ID because of the challenges of diagnosis and treatment in this complex patient population. I greatly enjoy the team-oriented structure of transplant medicine, with a diverse group of colleagues in medicine, surgery, nursing, and pharmacy, which serves to complement the diversity of the patients and their diseases.
What do you find to be the most valuable aspect of your work?: 

I hope that by improving our understanding of the factors leading to infection, we can apply noninvasive screening methods to customize immune suppression regimens and prevent both infection and rejection. This is especially important for the growing pool of older transplant recipients.

Fun Facts: 

When not at work, I enjoy playing tennis, soccer, and piano with my two sons.