Principal investigator

Stephen Stone, MD

Stephen Stone, MD

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Endocrinology and Diabetes

Stephen Stone, MD is a graduate of the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, Illinois. After earning his medical degree, he traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to complete his residency in general pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin / Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin program. From there, Stone moved to St. Louis, Missouri to complete his fellowship training in pediatric endocrinology at Washington University School of Medicine / St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Stone joined the faculty at Washington University in 2016, where he practices pediatric endocrinology. He is board certified in both general pediatrics and pediatric endocrinology.

During this fellowship training, Stone worked in the lab of Fumihiko Urano, MD, PhD. There he studied Wolfram syndrome, a rare genetic form of diabetes. This work inspired Stone to realize the power of modern genetics and molecular biology in the study of rare diseases. Now that Stone is starting his independent research program, he hopes to apply similar principles of genetics and precision medicine towards other rare diseases. With the guidance of Dr. David Ornitz, MD, PhD, Stone has shed light on a rare syndrome of extreme insulin resistance, insulin-mediated pseudoacromegaly.

Stone also has an interest in the interface of diabetes and technology. He is interested in studying mobile technologies, insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors, and closed-loop algorithms. He promotes concepts of patient centered design to the care of diabetes and other endocrine diseases.

Current personnel

Aluet Borrego-Alvarez, MSc

Aluet Borrego-Alvarez, MSc

Staff Scientist

Aluet graduated in 2002 as a MSc in Clinical Biochemistry from the University of Havana, Cuba. Moving from Havana to Toronto, Canada and finally , St louis, Missouri, she has built a diverse career with translational studies and disease- targeted research as a common denominator. Nowadays, she is very interested in metabolic syndrome and severe insulin resistance phenotypes. Outside of the lab, she enjoys books, family and her dog.

Katie Liu, BS

Katie Liu, BS

Research Technician II

Katie graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. Her interest in diabetes research started when she learned about the biochemical relationship between nutrition and health, as well as the development and treatment of metabolic syndromes. She has worked with Dr. Alicia McDonough at the USC Keck School of Medicine and performed research on the role of empagliflozin on chronic kidney disease in rats with hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Katie aspires to attend medical school and become a family practice physician.

McKinlee Gobble, BS

McKinlee Gobble, BS

Research Technician II

McKinlee is a graduate of the University of Kansas, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. While at KU, she actively participated in research focused on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and also served as a Mammalian Physiology Teaching Assistant. Her involvement in these roles sparked a deep passion for furthering scientific research. With a goal to attend medical school and become a physician in the future, McKinlee is driven to make a positive impact on healthcare. Outside of her professional pursuits, McKinlee finds joy in spending quality time with friends, immersing herself in books, exploring thrift stores, and watching movies.

Aahil Merchant

Aahil Merchant

NIDDK summer medical student

Aahil Merchant is a rising second-year medical student at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville. He is joining the lab as a participant in the NIDDK Medical Student Research Program. He received his BA in Economics from WashU in 2017, and he subsequently worked for the Federal Reserve in St. Louis for 4 years prior to pursuing a career in medicine. His interest in diabetes and obesity research stems from his time volunteering at a local free clinic in the St. Louis area. He is an avid film photographer, and he enjoys trying new restaurants with friends and family.

Join our team!

We study severe insulin resistance syndromes. Come join our amazing group.

Past trainees

Christopher Ayala-Griffin

TL-1 summer scholar

Christopher is a Pharmacology PhD Student at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus. He is participating at a 2022 TL-1 Summer Scholar. Christopher is interested in translational and pharmacogenomic research, thriving to work on projects with a direct impact on underrepresented minorities.

Joanna Dearman

Pre-health undergraduate student

Joanna is a rising sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis, and a participant in the Pediatric Student Research Program (PSRP) in 2021. She is Pre-Health and plans on majoring in microbiology and minoring in speech and hearing sciences. She has lived in St. Louis her entire life and is thrilled to pursue her college education and research in the city she grew up in!

Kathryn Leighty

Pediatric Summer Research Program participant

Kathryn is a rising senior at Washington University in St. Louis, where she is majoring in Biology and minoring in Spanish. She is also on the pre-medical track. Kathryn grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, and enjoys reading, running, and the casual study of languages in her spare time.

Michelle (Nhung) Phan, BA

Post-baccalaureate researcher

Michelle is a candidate for the post-baccalaureate program at Washington Univeristy. She is from Hanoi, Vietnam and just graduated from Augustana College with a Bachelor of Art in Biochemistry. Her research interest focuses on obesity and diabetes. Her plan is to pursue a PhD with a goal of developing therapeutic targets for metabolic syndromes. Outside the lab, she enjoys going to the coffee shops, cooking, and watching TV shows.

Megha Verma, BS

Pediatric Summer Research Program student

Megha Verma is a recent graduate of Saint Louis University where she majored in Neuroscience. She participated in the 2021 Pediatric Student Research Program (PSRP). In the lab, Megha reviewed medical records to publish a case report on a novel HNF1A variant in Monogenic Diabetes Type 3. Megha gained a better understanding of the genetic etiology of diabetes and the diagnostic utility of genetic testing. She matriculated to medical school at St. Louis University in 2021 at the conclusion of her PSRP.

Samantha Wolfgang

STEP-UP participant

Samantha is a rising pre-medical senior at Washington College in Maryland and is majoring in Biology and minoring in German. She is a summer 2023 participant of the “Short-Term Research Experience Program to Unlock Potential” (STEP-UP) at Washington University through the NIDDK branch of the National Institute of Health (NIH). She has also worked with Dr. Krystal Hans analyzing the role of weather on forensic entomological activity and the decomposition process of a body. Samantha grew up in rural Delaware and is looking to go to medical school for infectious disease or pathology. She enjoys running, camping, and cross stitch.