Susan Jennings, PhD

Susan Jennings, PhD

Research Co-Chair

Co-Chair Research Committee

Dr. Jennings received her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego and her PhD in Cancer Biology from Stanford University School of Medicine. Her earlier research interests focused on harnessing the power of the human immune system to fight disease and improve patient health, specifically related to mechanisms of T cell-mediated cytotoxicity and the development of immune system-targeted gene therapies as a scientist in biopharma. 

Since 2009, Dr. Jennings has served on The Mastocytosis Society, Inc./The Mast Cell Disease Society, Inc. (TMS) Research Committee, as both Co-Chair and Chair, and currently is Co-Chair with Celeste Finnerty, PhD. Over the years, she has represented TMS at many medical conferences, collaborated in the development of educational material, and played active roles in grant review, establishment of the American Initiative in Mast Cell Diseases (AIM) and TMS partnerships with biopharma. Along with TMS colleagues, Dr. Jennings worked with specialist physicians from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and others on development of an ICD-10-CM code set for mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) variants and updated codes for mastocytosis. She has played a critical role in multiple TMS projects to identify and amplify the patient voice, including the 2010 TMS Mast Cell Disorder Survey, 2018 TMS MCAS Survey, 2020 TMS Survey on Impact of COVID-19 on Mast Cell Disease and the 2020 TMS Mast Cell Disease Needs Assessment Survey. On behalf of TMS and patients with mast cell diseases, Dr. Jennings has co-authored research and review articles and presented in multiple forums on TMS survey data and the experiences and perspectives of patients.

During the last several years, she has collaborated internationally with patient advocates and with specialist physicians from the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM) and AIM to identify the needs of those impacted by mast cell disease around the world, resulting in the first publication of its kind in this disease-specific field. Working to explore and address the challenges faced by patients provides a critical path forward for TMS to help improve the lives of patients, their families, and caregivers.