Stanford Cancer Institute Directory

Translational Oncology Profiles

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    Assistant Professor of Genetics
    Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor, by courtesy, of Radiology and of Chemical and Systems Biology


    Professor Carolyn Bertozzi's research interests span the disciplines of chemistry and biology with an emphasis on studies of cell surface sugars important to human health and disease. Her research group profiles changes in cell surface glycosylation associated with cancer, inflammation and bacterial infection, and uses this information to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, most recently in the area of immuno-oncology. Dr. Bertozzi completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Harvard University and her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, focusing on the chemical synthesis of oligosaccharide analogs. During postdoctoral work at UC San Francisco, she studied the activity of endothelial oligosaccharides in promoting cell adhesion at sites of inflammation. She joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1996. A Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator since 2000, she came to Stanford University in June 2015, among the first faculty to join the interdisciplinary institute ChEM-H (Chemistry, Engineering & Medicine for Human Health). Named a MacArthur Fellow in 1999, Dr. Bertozzi has received many awards for her dedication to chemistry, and to training a new generation of scientists fluent in both chemistry and biology. She has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and received the Lemelson-MIT Prize, the Heinrich Wieland Prize, and the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry, among many others. Her efforts in undergraduate education have earned the UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award and the Donald Sterling Noyce Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Today, the Bertozzi Group at Stanford studies the glycobiology underlying diseases such as cancer, inflammatory disorders such as arthritis, and infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. The work has advanced understanding of cell surface oligosaccharides involved in cell recognition and inter-cellular communication. Dr. Bertozzi's lab also develops new methods to perform controlled chemical reactions within living systems. The group has developed new tools for studying glycans in living systems, and more recently nanotechnologies for probing biological systems. Such "bioorthoganol" chemistries enable manipulation of biomolecules in their living environment. Several of the technologies developed in the Bertozzi lab have been adapted for commercial use. Actively engaged with several biotechnology start-ups, Dr. Bertozzi founded Redwood Bioscience of Emeryville, California, and has served on the research advisory board of GlaxoSmithKline.
    Professor of Pathology and of Microbiology and Immunology and, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology
    Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology and of Developmental Biology and, by courtesy, of Chemistry
    Professor of Medicine (Oncology) and, by courtesy, of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at the Stanford University Medical Center
    The J.G. Jackson and C.J. Wood Professor in Chemistry


    Professor Dai’s research spans chemistry, physics, and materials and biomedical sciences, leading to materials with properties useful in electronics, energy storage and biomedicine. Recent developments include near-infrared-II fluorescence imaging, ultra-sensitive diagnostic assays, a fast-charging aluminum battery and inexpensive electrocatalysts that split water into oxygen and hydrogen fuels. Born in 1966 in Shaoyang, China, Hongjie Dai began his formal studies in physics at Tsinghua U. in Beijing (B.S. 1989) and applied sciences at Columbia U. (M.S. 1991). His doctoral work under Dr. Charles Lieber at Harvard U. (Ph.D. 1994) focused on charge-density waves and superconductivity. During postdoctoral research at Rice U. with Dr. Richard Smalley, he developed carbon nanotube probes for atomic force microscopy. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1997, and in 2007 was named Jackson–Wood Professor of Chemistry. Among many awards, he has been recognized with the ACS Pure Chemistry Award, APS McGroddy Prize for New Materials, Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics and Materials Research Society Mid-Career Award. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, AAAS and National Academy of Sciences. The Dai Laboratory has advanced the synthesis and basic understanding of carbon nanomaterials and applications in nanoelectronics, nanomedicine, energy storage and electrocatalysis. Nanomaterials The Dai Lab pioneered some of the now-widespread uses of chemical vapor deposition for carbon nanotube (CNT) growth, including vertically aligned nanotubes and patterned growth of single-walled CNTs on wafer substrates, facilitating fundamental studies of their intrinsic properties. The group developed the synthesis of graphene nanoribbons, and of nanocrystals and nanoparticles on CNTs and graphene with controlled degrees of oxidation, producing a class of strongly coupled hybrid materials with advanced properties for electrochemistry, electrocatalysis and photocatalysis. The lab’s synthesis of a novel plasmonic gold film has enhanced near-infrared fluorescence up to 100-fold, enabling ultra-sensitive assays of disease biomarkers. Nanoscale Physics and Electronics High quality nanotubes from his group’s synthesis are widely used to investigate the electrical, mechanical, optical, electro-mechanical and thermal properties of quasi-one-dimensional systems. Lab members have studied ballistic electron transport in nanotubes and demonstrated nanotube-based nanosensors, Pd ohmic contacts and ballistic field effect transistors with integrated high-kappa dielectrics. Nanomedicine and NIR-II Imaging Advancing biological research with CNTs and nano-graphene, group members have developed π–π stacking non-covalent functionalization chemistry, molecular cellular delivery (drugs, proteins and siRNA), in vivo anti-cancer drug delivery and in vivo photothermal ablation of cancer. Using nanotubes as novel contrast agents, lab collaborations have developed in vitro and in vivo Raman, photoacoustic and fluorescence imaging. Lab members have exploited the physics of reduced light scattering in the near-infrared-II (1000-1700nm) window and pioneered NIR-II fluorescence imaging to increase tissue penetration depth in vivo. Video-rate NIR-II imaging can measure blood flow in single vessels in real time. The lab has developed novel NIR-II fluorescence agents, including CNTs, quantum dots, conjugated polymers and small organic dyes with promise for clinical translation. Electrocatalysis and Batteries The Dai group’s nanocarbon–inorganic particle hybrid materials have opened new directions in energy research. Advances include electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction and water splitting catalysts including NiFe layered-double-hydroxide for oxygen evolution. Recently, the group also demonstrated an aluminum ion battery with graphite cathodes and ionic liquid electrolytes, a substantial breakthrough in battery science.
    Associate Professor of Surgery (General Surgery) at the Stanford University Medical Center
    Assistant Professor of Medicine (Oncology) at the Stanford University Medical Center
    Professor of Medicine (Oncology) and of Pathology
    Colleen Haas Chair in the School of Medicine


    I conduct clinical research on a variety of gastrointestinal cancers and provide care for patients with those cancers. We have trials of combined modality therapy (surgery +/- radiation +/- chemotherapy) on gastric, esophageal, pancreas and rectal cancers. We also perform phase I and II trials of biologically targeted agents as well as newer immunotherapeutics. In collaboration with a number of colleagues, we conduct translational studies analyzing novel imaging (e.g. contrast enhanced ultrasound and perfusion scans) and molecular biomarkers (e.g. CDX2 as a prognostic and predictive factor in colon cancer and matrix metalloproteinases as prognostic factors in pancreas cancer). Neuroendocrine tumors, pancreas, colorectal and gastro-esophageal cancers have been areas of particular research focus with multiple therapeutic and translational studies devote to each. Examples of recently completed trials include a randomized phase III trial of a vaccine (algenpantucel) for resected pancreas cancer, phase Ib trial of anti-PD-L1 and separate phase II trials using PD-1 antibody for tumors with micro satellite instability and chemotherapy with angiogenesis inhibitors for advanced neuroendocrine tumors and gastro-esophageal adenocarcinomas. Currently active areas of study include combining immunomodulating antibodies in combination therapy and randomized phase II colon cancer trials of an antibody to interleukin 1 or a first in class agent known as RadioRx. Participation and leadership in NCI cooperative group protocols gives our patients access to the randomized trials that hope to establish new standards of care for a variety of GI cancers.