Karl Staser, MD, PhD joined the Department of Medicine as Instructor in the Division of Dermatology on July 1, 2017.
Dr. Staser grew up in Evansville, Indiana and graduated from Reitz Memorial High School in 1998. In 2002, he graduated magna cum laude with an AB in American History and Literature from Harvard University. After a short stint in the business world, he decided to pursue medical school. During his post-baccalaureate pre-medical education, he worked as a research technician with Dr. Andy McMahon at Harvard and Dr. Sid Shaw at Indiana University studying the molecular circuitry of kidney development and Arabidopsis cytoskeletal arrangement, respectively. He then enrolled in the Indiana University School of Medicine, where he completed a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) “year-out” research fellowship for medical students and subsequently entered the Indiana University Medical Scientist Training Program under the supervision of Dr. Wade Clapp. In Dr. Clapp’s lab, Dr. Staser investigated normal and neurofibromin- (NF1)-deficient hematopoiesis, mast cell biology, and neurofibroma pathogenesis. He completed his MD/PhD training in 2013, earning distinction through his election to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.
Dr. Staser then joined the Physician Scientist Training Program at Washington University in St. Louis and completed his internal medicine internship and dermatology residency at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in 2017. He is now researching T cell biology, immunomodulation, and JAK inhibitors in Dr. John F. DiPersio’s lab at the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University in St. Louis. His specific disease research interests include novel therapies for treating and preventing graft-versus-host disease, for improving solid organ transplantation, and for treating cutaneous T cell lymphoma. He intends to establish and lead his own NIH-funded academic laboratory.
In the clinic, Dr. Staser is an instructor of dermatology specializing in the care of patients with skin diseases related to cancer, bone marrow transplantation, and solid organ transplantation. He holds particular interest in diagnosing and treating patients with graft-versus-host disease, patients being treated by an oncologist for any type of cancer, and patients who have received or plan to receive an organ transplant such as a liver, kidney, lung, or heart.