Martha S. Cyert
Dr. Nancy Chang Professor
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, Biochemistry (1992)
Ph D., UCSF, Genetics (1988)
A.B., Harvard University, Biochemistry (1980)
Dr. Martha Cyert directs a research lab that studies Ca2+-dependent signal transduction, focusing on calcineurin, the highly conserved Ca2+/calmodulin-regulated protein phosphatase that plays critical roles in muscle, immune and neural cells. Dr. Cyert pioneered studies of yeast calcineurin, where her work elucidated conserved aspects of substrate recognition and mechanisms by which the signaling network evolves. Her studies on human calcineurin uncovered the mechanism by which immunosuppressant drugs, FK506 and cyclosporine A, inhibit this enzyme. More recently, her lab established the human calcineurin signaling network, using both experimental and computational approaches, which uncovered many new functions and substrates for calcineurin, including a conserved role in regulating nuclear transport via the nuclear pore complex. Professor Cyert is also an active educator. She received the Stanford Biosciences Excellence in Mentoring award, developed an innovative, inquiry-based, introductory laboratory course for undergraduates that examines p53, and initiated a summer transition program for incoming freshman from under resourced schools. She directed an NIH-funded graduate training program in Cell and Molecular Biology (2009-2019), and was an instructor for Cell Biology workshops in Ghana that were sponsored by the ASCB. Her administrative roles include serving as Senior Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education from 2010-13, and Associate Chair of the Biology department (2014-2020), where she is now Chair. Dr. Cyert is a member of the Stanford Cardiovascular and Bio-X Institutes and plays leadership roles at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). She has been awarded fellowships from the American Cancer Society, the Life Sciences Research Foundation and the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust, and was named by Stanford University as a Terman Fellow, a Gabilan Fellow, and as the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford University Fellow in Undergraduate Education.