K. Christopher Garcia, Ph.D is a Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, and of Structural Biology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Tulane University, and his Ph.D in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Garcia was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2012, and the National Academy of Medicine in 2016.
Dr. Garcia’s interests reside at the cell surface, and his laboratory is investigating structural and functional aspects of cell surface receptor recognition and activation, in receptor-ligand systems with relevance to human health and disease. A common theme is that structural information on receptor-ligand complexes is used to engineer variant proteins and/or surrogates to manipulate receptor signaling and cellular function, as well as act as biological probes to perturb systems in vivo, with an eye towards therapeutic applications. The receptor systems studied derive principally from the immune system (TCR/MHC, cytokines, chemokine GPCR), but additionally encompass several systems that are also important in neurobiology (Neurotrophins, Semaphorins) and development (Notch, Wnt). Dr. Garcia has founded or co-founded several biotech companies that are attempting to clinically develop technologies from his lab, including ALXO (SIRP/CD7 antagonist), Synthekine (cytokine engineering), Surrozen (Wnt agonists), 3T (TCR antigen discovery), and Mozart (immune modulation by regulatory T cells).