Dr. Chase Anderson – Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco
I am a physician-scientist with interests regarding how minority stress, identity and identity formation, and discrimination affect the mental health of LGBTQ+ and minoritized children and youths. My career as a scientist began during college at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I joined The Gerald N. Wogan Laboratory to study melanoma resistance to chemotherapeutics. Under the expert tutelage of Dr. Wogan, Dr. Luiz Godoy, and Laura J. Trudel, I examined the effects of S-nitrosation and nitric oxide radical scavenging upon the susceptibility of melanoma cells to cisplatin. The experience taught me foundational techniques necessary for being a bench researcher, and I would be listed as second author on our paper in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Endogenously Produced Nitric Oxide Mitigates Sensitivity of Melanoma Cells to Cisplatin.”
During my years as a master’s student researcher at MIT with Wogan Laboratory, I crafted my own project, this time examining the effects of exogenous nitric oxide upon melanoma cells and their vulnerability to chemotherapeutics. I studied the effects that exogenous nitric oxide has upon the pro- and anti-apoptotic pathways involved in cancer cell survival, and specifically studied the upregulation and downregulation of pathways involving MEK, ERK1/2, p53, and MiTF. Those years honed my skills as a researcher, not only in regards to my work around specific studies in laboratory work, but also in terms of crafting my own project. Later, in my time as a medical student at The Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, I worked with Dr. Achenbach and his laboratory group. We examined the effects that DNA Prime and recombinant adenovirus 5 boost had on the neutralizing antibody titers in patients living with HIV. The work, and resultant paper, signaled my transition from bench researcher to research involving patients.
My time as a physician-scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital & McLean Hospital signaled a culmination – a coming together – of both my advocacy work and scientific work. Although I had advocated for minoritized populations across my life, and been an African-American, gay physician-scientist who worked for changes for minoritized people in academia, I saw another way to utilize my privileges to help minoritized people on a larger scale than only at the academic centers where I trained. I began to publish articles that spoke to minority stress, discrimination, and facets of identity, including an article in The New England Journal of Medicine. While in fellowship for child and adolescent psychiatry at The University of California, San Francisco, I have published over twenty articles on these topics and others in journals such as Newsweek, WBUR/NPR, STAT News, and Scientific American. Each article was written to bring the touch of humanity to the science already established and engage the public sphere. The planned work for the Sorensen Fellowship, under the mentorship of expert scientists and researchers Dr. Lisa Fortuna, Dr. Marina Tolou-Shams, and Dr. Michelle Porche, represents the next step in my career – becoming a scientist who will further the field and study of intersectionality, identity, and minority stress with primary research while also adding those human components through qualitative analysis to engage the public sector as well.