Zuzana Tothova ’01

unnamedZuzana Tothova ‘01 is a physician scientist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. When she is not treating patients with leukemia, she performs research on the biology of blood cancers with the goal to identify new treatments for patients.

Zuzana majored in Biology and Chemistry and developed her interest in cancer biology while working in Dr. Wendy Raymond’s laboratory, studying the mechanisms of exit from mitosis in yeast. To this day she recalls her Williams senior honors thesis to be one of the most intellectually stimulating and fun experiences of her academic training, and it had a strong influence in further developing her interest in academic research. In addition, Zuzana developed her love of teaching while at Williams, both in a role of a teaching assistant for a number of courses, as well as a peer tutor for students in introductory Biology and Chemistry classes. She has continued to teach undergraduates, medical school and graduate school students to date. After graduating from Williams, Zuzana enrolled in the Health Sciences and Technology (HST) MD program at Harvard Medical School and MIT, and a PhD program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Harvard Medical School. During her graduate studies in the laboratory of Dr. Gary Gilliland, Zuzana became very interested in hematopoietic stem cell and leukemia stem cell research, and, in particular, its applications to understanding human disease and how to find new therapies for patients with leukemia. She completed residency training in internal medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and fellowship training in adult hematology and oncology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Zuzana’s current research in the lab of Dr. Benjamin Ebert ’91 at the Broad Institute focuses on understanding biology and therapeutic vulnerabilities of blood cancers, such as myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), with goal to improve treatments for patients.

Zuzana’s career goal is to become a physician-scientist focused on understanding of the pathogenesis of human malignancies that may lead to improved treatment options for patients.