Jean E. Schaffer, MD, is the Virginia Minnich Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Director of the Diabetes Research Center at Washington University in St Louis. Dr. Schaffer’s research focuses on lipid metabolism and cardiometabolic disease. Her laboratory has developed novel models of diabetic cardiomyopathy and used genetic screens in cultured mammalian cells to identify loci that are critical determinants of tissue responses to lipid overload. The latter approach led to the discovery of a new role for non-coding RNAs in the response to metabolic stress. She and her group are translating their findings in human studies to identify lipid biomarkers of cardiovascular disease and to test whether treatments aimed at lowering triglycerides improve cardiac function in patients with diabetes.
Schaffer earned her undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard, completed clinical and post-doctoral training at Harvard and MIT, and joined the Washington University faculty in 1995. She is a recipient of the American Heart Association’s Established Investigator Award and Louis N. Katz Prize and the Heinrich Wieland Prize for Lipid Research.