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Serena Pham, B.A.

Serena Pham, B.A.

MD Candidate at UCSF

Contact Information

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University of California San Francisco, School of Medicine, California, M.D. Expected in 2019

Seoul National University, Language Education Institute, Korean language, Seoul, South Korea | June 2009 – June 2012

Clark University, magna cum laude, Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Worcester, MA | August 2007 – June 2011

  • Kratz Lab
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Cardiac structural repair
  • Mechanical circulatory supports
  • Biologics engineering
  • Cardiac structural malformations
  • Genetic & molecular mechanisms in cardiac development & physiology
  • Genome editing

Serena T. Pham graduated in 2011 from Clark University magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry and molecular biology. At Clark, she collaborated with Nuclea Biotechnologies to establish levels of sensitivity of mouse alveolar macrophages to lipopolysaccharide stimulation in effort to molecularly characterize the pathophysiology of lung fibrosis.

In lieu of attending medical school, she received Fulbright funding in 2011-2012 to conduct an independent research study on Korean urban homeless and their unmet health care needs, while continued her community outreach works with orphanages and North Korean defectors in South Korea. Upon her return from Korea, she joined Dr. Robert Finberg's and Dr. Jennifer Wang's immunology & virology team at University of Massachusetts Medical School, where she collaborated with the DARPA, US Dept of Defense on developing an algorithm that predicts how the influenza virus evolves in response to specific environmental pressures. She also worked at Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research Biologics Center, where she engineered and generated high-quality monoclonal antibodies as therapeutics using hybridoma technology.

At UCSF, she has developed her interests in surgical repair of cardiac structural malformation and clinical outcome studies of mechanical circulatory supports, particularly extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Since 2015, she joined the Kratz lab to assess mortality risk factors prior to ECMO cannulation and long-term outcomes of survival to guide clinical decision and resource utilization in the inpatient setting.

Awards and Honors

Steinhart Award

University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine | March 2019 | $8000

A grant to selected medical students matching in surgery or surgical sub-specialties. 

Dean's Prize for Research 

University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine | November 2016

Top ten selected research topic and performance from UCSF School of Medicine Dean's Summer Research Fellowship. 

School of Medicine Dean's Summer Research Fellowship 

University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine | June 2016 – August 2016 | $3000

A summer research fellowship granted to develop and validate a prognostic model to predict the risk of 30-day mortality in patients undergoing initiation of ECMO. 

Fulbright Scholarship 

US Dept of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs | August 2011 – June 2012 | $ 19,250

A national competitive, merit-based scholarship to conduct an independent research on Korean urban homeless and their unmet health care needs. The research results served as preliminary data for further ongoing government-funded studies. 

Daniels Fund Scholarship 

Daniels Fund Foundation | August 2007 – June 2011 | $ 190,000

A four-year, full ride undergraduate study funding granted through selective process of evaluation, based on strength of character, academic promise, leadership ability, and potential to contribute to one's community. 

Boren Award for International Study

US Dept of National Security, Institute of International Education | June 2010 – August 2010 | $8000

A national competitive award granted to continue Korean language study that was essential to cofound two orphanages and to initiate service projects with the homeless, the disabled, and the North Korean defectors in Seoul, South Korea. 

The President's Volunteer Service Award 

The White House | November 2007

A civil award bestowed by the President of the United States – George W. Bush – to honor volunteers that set a standard for service, encouraged a sustained commitment to civic participation, and inspired others to make service a central part of their lives. 

Provided mentorship for children who were affected or infected with HIV, with the supports of Denver HIV/AIDS Children's Support Center & Volunteers of America.

In The News

  1. Pham ST, Woodard GA, Merrick SH, Kratz JR. A Prognostic Model Predicts Mortality after Initiation of Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation. Poster presented at the Dean's Summer Research Fellowship Symposium, University of California, San Francisco, CA 2016.


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