Mitchell R. Lunn, M.D. is a Clinical Fellow in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a Resident Physician in Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (both in Boston, MA). He plans to subspecialize in critical care medicine and nephrology.
Dr. Lunn graduated cum laude with highest thesis honors from Tufts University (Medford, MA) with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in biology and French in 2004. At Tufts, he served as a Tufts University Citizenship and Public Service Scholar (now Tisch College Citizenship and Public Service Scholar) and designed the Tufts Undergraduate Biological Research Opportunities Database. In conjunction with the Provost and Dean of the Colleges, he also designed, developed, and implemented the Tufts Summer Scholars Program in 2003. Designed to engage undergraduates in research/scholarship endeavors at any of Tufts' eight schools, the program also fosters student-professor relationships and builds bridges between Tufts' campuses. This University-wide initiative was widely received during its first years, has become a Tufts institution, and has received significant endowment from the Tufts University Board of Trustees. During every admissions cycle, Dr. Lunn interviews prospective Tufts students for admission to the undergraduate schools as part of the Tufts Alumni Admissions Program (TAAP) through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
Prior to starting medical school, Dr. Lunn researched the rare and fatal pediatric genetic disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in the laboratory of Brent R. Stockwell, Ph.D. at Columbia University (New York, NY) and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (Cambridge, MA). Using a forward chemical genetic approach, Dr. Lunn worked to discover novel small molecules that increase the amount of 'survival of motor neuron' (SMN) protein, which is lacking in SMA patients. Identified small molecules can also be used as chemical tools to probe this biological system and characterize proteins involved in disease pathogenesis. Dr. Lunn led the team that discovered indoprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor, which was found to increase levels of endogenous SMN protein in severe SMA fibroblasts via a COX-independent mechanism and to cause a trend towards increased SMA mouse model viability (MR Lunn et al., Chemistry & Biology, 11: 1489-93). Indoprofen was picked up The SMA Project, a United States government-backed program to develop SMA therapeutics, and is currently in clinical development. He has published five articles on SMA in renowned peer-reviewed journals, including The Lancet.
Dr. Lunn graduated in June 2010 from Stanford University School of Medicine (Stanford, CA) with a concentration in the Molecular Basis of Medicine. While at Stanford, Dr. Lunn was involved in several novel research endeavors. He served as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Medical Research Training Fellow from 2007-2008 in laboratory of Karla A. Kirkegaard, Ph.D. of Department of Microbiology and Immunology, where he worked to characterize Dengue viral genetics and protein functions in order to develop novel antiviral therapies for Dengue virus infection. Working with Dr. José G. Montoya (Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine), Dr. Lunn assisted with a novel, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of oral valganciclovir therapy in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and elevated antibody titers against Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6). Dr. Lunn continues to study viral reactivation in and therapeutic options for patients with chromosomally integrated HHV-6.
A long-time activist in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities, Dr. Lunn and his colleagues recognized the need for comprehensive practical research regarding LGBT health-related content in medical schools and for creating data and tools needed to affect change in LGBT patient care. In October 2007, they founded the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Medical Education Research Group at Stanford University School of Medicine, which strives to improve the health and well-being of LGBT patients and healthcare providers by conducting groundbreaking research to affect change in today's medical curricula. The group recently completed two international studies of Deans of Medical Education and medical students to assess the current state of LGBT-related content in medical curricula. The group has grown to 13 student, resident, and faculty members and continues to develop novel and innovative research and educational projects to reduce the health and healthcare disparities that members of the LGBT communities face.
Dr. Lunn was born at 3:36 PM on August 14, 1981 in Fargo, ND as the only child of Dr. Gerry M. Lunn, a physician, and Karen A. (Powell) Lunn, an intensive care unit nurse. He was educated in the Bismarck Public Schools - District #1, attending Rita Murphy Elementary School, Simle Middle School, and Century High School, where he was valedictorian of the graduating class in 2000.
An avid basic science and clinical researcher, Dr. Lunn plans to pursue a career in academic medicine combining patient care, research, teaching, and administration.