Susan Jennings, PhD

Oct 03, 2018

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. She has worked in the biotechnology industry and has spent many years volunteering, including for the Association for Women in Science, Girl Scouts of America, and her local school district.

Since 2009, Dr. Jennings has served on The Mastocytosis Society, Inc. (TMS) Research Committee, first as Co-Chair with Dr. Nancy Russell for seven years, and as Chair since the beginning of 2017. She serves as an adviser to our TMS Board of Directors, attends medical conferences as a representative of TMS, in both a scientific capacity and as a resource at TMS booths, and works closely with other Research Committee members, our TMS Board of Directors and our TMS Medical Advisory Board. Also as part of the Research Committee, Dr. Jennings works with other organizations, specialty physicians, government entities, and industry on joint TMS projects and in an advisory role as a representative of TMS. She serves, with Valerie Slee, RN, BSN, Chair, TMS Board of Directors, on the Mast Cell Disorders Committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), of which TMS is a Lay Organization. Her activities with this committee resulted in the first ICD-10-CM code set for mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) variants and updated codes for mastocytosis. Dr. Jennings has co-authored mast cell disease research and review articles and research presentations on behalf of TMS, including the publication of two research articles based on findings from our 2010 TMS Mast Cell Disorder Patient Survey, in collaboration with mast cell disorder specialists and others from TMS. Her latest research involves a 2018 MCAS Patient Survey, findings of which were presented at the National Institutes of Health in September 2018.

Dr. Jennings feels very strongly that, as a rare disease organization, bringing together groups within and affecting the mast cell disorder community, to explore and address the challenges these parties face, is an important way that TMS can help to improve the lives of patients, their families, and caregivers. She is highly dedicated to the successful formation of the American Initiative in Mast Cell Diseases, a future mast cell disease network within the Americas actively partners with others to develop TMS educational material for health care professionals and patients, and works to help TMS provide much-needed funding for mast cell disease research.