Dr. Leila Valanejad Kiefer is a pharmaceutical scientist with expertise in both basic and translational research. She has led several large-scale translational research projects that targeted the gap between benchtop basic research and bedside clinical care. Dr. Kiefer’s doctoral research focused on the mechanisms that underlie bile acid synthesis dysregulation with respect to metabolic disorders. Dr. Kiefer then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in the Division of Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery. There she explored the molecular mechanisms that drive chemotherapy resistance within aggressive pediatric liver cancer (hepatoblastoma) using in vitro and in vivo models of liver cancer to elucidate specific targets for pre-clinical studies. Dr. Kiefer served as an integral member of the hospital’s Liver Tumor Program where she contributed her scientific findings towards the development of an internal pediatric relapsed hepatoblastoma clinical trial. Dr. Kiefer subsequently served as a Senior Scientist at Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory where she led a team in identifying novel biomarkers of breast cancer proliferation for early diagnosis. In her free time Dr. Kiefer enjoys volunteering, dancing, and spending time with her family, friends, husband and son.
Education: B.S. in Food Science from North Carolina State University; M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from North Carolina Central University; Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from University of Rhode Island