Featured News

Faculty Scholars explore impact of community-based intervention in the Tenderloin

Can teaching growth mindset to parents help alter their children's behavior and learning? Irene Loe, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, and Claudia Mueller, MD, associate professor of pediatric surgery, aim to find out in their collaborative research project based at a Bay Area elementary school.

MCHRI provides support and ‘second set of eyes’ for investigator to make an impact in maternal health research

The MCHRI awarded Stephanie Leonard, PhD, a postdoctoral fellowship and provided critical feedback during the review process to study the rise of pre-pregnancy health and cesarean delivery and the rise of life-threatening pregnancy complications.


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Developmental origins and emerging therapeutic opportunities for childhood cancer

Cancer is the leading disease-related cause of death in children in developed countries. In a recent Nature Medicine article, Michelle Monje, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology and neurological sciences and an MCHRI Faculty Scholar, is the co-author on this paper that reviews the developmental origins and emerging therapeutic opportunities for childhood cancer. 

Set of genes predicts severity of dengue

Purvesh Khatri, PhD, associate professor of medicine and of biomedical data science, and Shirit Einav, MD, associate professor of medicine and of microbiology and immunology, are co-authors on a paper that have identified 20 genes that can predict an individual’s likelihood of developing a severe form of dengue fever with about 80 percent accuracy. This project was supported by SPARK, a funded partner of the MCHRI. 

Congenital heart babies more likely to develop heart conditions as adults

An infant born with a relatively simple heart defect is far more likely to develop heart problems as an adult, according to Stanford researchers. James Priest, assistant professor of pediatrics and an MCHRI awardee, is the senior author of the paper summarizing the findings from the research.

Why are women affected by life-threatening complications in pregnancy and childbirth

Since 2004, the rate of life-threatening pregnancy complications has more than doubled, affecting more than 50,000 women in the U.S. Stephanie Leonard, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in pediatrics and an MCHRI awardee, is the lead author on a new study that uses California-wide data to try to figure it out.

Engineered immune cells target broad range of pediatric solid tumors in mice

In mouse studies, a Stanford-led team has developed an engineered immune cell that eliminates several types of childhood tumors. The study includes senior author, Crystal Mackall, MD, professor of pediatrics and of medicine, and several authors who are members of the MCHRI.

Predicting, preventing preterm births

Each year, 15 million babies worldwide are born prematurely, arriving at least three weeks before their due dates. Stanford’s top obstetricians, neonatologists, geneticists, microbiologists, immunologists, epidemiologists, health policy experts, and bioengineers are working together to help more babies arrive safely.

SPARK helps academic researchers bring new drugs for rare diseases to market

Stanford’s fast-growing drug-development program and MCHRI’s funded partner, SPARK, has given hundreds of academic researchers around the world the training and connections to get their discoveries out of labs and into the hands of doctors and patients. Read the news story and check Stanford Medicine’s summer article about SPARK.

MCHRI creates patient kits for Stanford Children’s Hospital

Over the summer, the MCHRI team learned about the need for art supplies at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, which are provided to patients to use throughout their stay. Through the Champions for Children program, the MCHRI set up an online registry campaign designed to collect materials from within the team and their associated communities. 

‘Chemo brain’ caused by malfunction in three types of brain cells

Three types of cells in the brain’s white matter show interwoven problems during the cognitive dysfunction that follows treatment with the cancer drug methotrexate, Stanford neuroscientists have found. Michelle Monje, associate professor of neurology and neurological sciences, is the senior author and an MCHRI Faculty Scholar.

Understanding the link between preeclampsia and heart disease later in life

Mark Hlatky, professor of medicine and of health research and policy, Virginia Winn, MD, PhD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and MCHRI Faculty Scholar, will lead an interdisciplinary study of the links.

Home videos of children can be scored to diagnose autism

Short home videos can be used to diagnose autism in children, according to a new Stanford study. MCHRI awardee, Dennis Wall, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics and of biomedical data science is the senior author.

5 Questions: Progress in peanut-allergy immunotherapy

As immunotherapy for peanut allergy advances, Sharon Chinthrajah, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine and of pediatrics discusses what that means for parents, providers and the future of allergy treatments.

 ‘DNA origami’ triggers tissue generation in early development

In trying to decipher the “DNA origami” responsible for the generation of transplantable human skin, Stanford researchers have uncovered a master regulatory hierarchy controlling tissue differentiation. Anthony Oro MD, PhD, professor of dermatology, is senior author of the study.

5 Questions: What parents should know about poliolike illness

Small clusters of cases of infectious paralysis are occurring in young children across North America. Pediatric neurologist and MCHRI member, Keith Van Haren, MD is working to understand the disease.

Older fathers associated with increased birth risks

A decade of data documenting live births in the U.S. links babies of older fathers with a variety of increased risks at birth according to a new study. Michael Eisenberg, MD, associate professor of urology and MCHRI member, is the senior author of the study.

Eight scientists awarded NIH grants for high-risk, high-reward research

Eight School of Medicine researchers, including several CHRI members and awardees, will receive $32 million over five years to fund explorations of cancer, the brain, the aging process, chromosomes and the development of cells.

Concussion researchers study head motion in high school football hits

A research team led by concussion experts and CHRI members, David Camarillo, PhD, and Gerald Grant, MD, is outfitting the players with mouthguards that measure the motion of the head during impacts sustained in practices and games.

Turning molecules into medicine with SPARK

An article in Stanford Medicine magazine profiles SPARK, an international program founded at Stanford that provides training and connections to help turn lab discoveries into treatments. CHRI partners with SPARK to fund projects related to maternal and child health research.

CHRI Funds Six Biodesign Faculty Fellows

The CHRI has funded six Biodesign Faculty Fellows for fiscal year 2019. The Institute partners with the Stanford Biodesign Faculty Fellowship program to support motivated Stanford faculty members with advanced training and mentoring in health technology innovations and fund maternal and child health projects.

Neuroimaging studies linked to neurological developmental challenges of extremely preterm infants

Results from the Neuroimaging and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes (NEURO) School Age Follow-Up Study were recently published in Pediatrics. Neonatologist and CHRI Faculty Scholar, Susan Hintz, MD, MS Epi, is the lead author on the paper.

Faculty Scholars lead the way in advancing pediatric cancer cellular therapy program

Pediatric hematologist/oncologists and CHRI Faculty Scholars, Kara Davis, DO, and Norman Lacayo, MD, are leading the way in developing cancer cellular therapy programs at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford to help patients, like Jesus Sanchez-Romero, receive life-saving treatments.

CHRI Announcement: New funding opportunity for instructors on NIH K-awards

The Instructor K Award Support provides supplemental support for instructors who pursue an NIH K-award. The CHRI will match departmental commitments of up to $25,000 per year, providing a total combined CHRI/departmental support of up to $50,000 per year for up to two years.

Inaugural research symposium set for November 16

The inaugural CHRI Symposium, scheduled for Friday, November 16th at the Stanford University Li Ka Shing Center for Learning & Knowledge, will highlight the latest developments in maternal child health research from across the campus. Registration is now open.

The new, improved world of infant care

Six research centers are finding new ways to prevent premature birth, which affects one in 10 infants and can cause serious and costly mental and physical disabilities.

How blood will soon tell us everything

Recent studies show you can predict a woman’s due date within a two-week window from a blood test. Bill Gates highlights the work of Stephen Quake, a professor of bioengineering and of applied physics, and how noninvasive blood tests are the future of health care.

CHRI awards $800K to four Transdisciplinary Disciplinary Initiative Projects in 2018

The CHRI awards a total of $800,000 to four Transdisciplinary Disciplinary Initiative research projects led by teams from different schools to work together on innovative projects with significant impact in maternal and child health. Read more.

CHRI awards $3.3.M to 44 clinical fellows, postdocs, and master’s students in 2018

The CHRI awards a total of $3,364,982 to 26 clinical trainees, 14 postdoctoral researchers, and 4 master’s students who are pursuing clinical and translational research in maternal and child health. Read more.

CHRI awards over half a million dollars to 16 Pilot Grants in 2018

The CHRI awards a total of $541,026 to 16 pilot grants in three categories: Early Career Pilot grants for instructors and assistant professors, New Ideas grants for mid to senior investigators, and Clinician Educators grants for clinical instructors or above. Read more.

Stanford Medicine honors Christopher Dawes, a transformational leader

The longtime CEO of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, Christopher Dawes, has retired after nearly three decades of shaping health care for children and expectant mothers.

How Stanford research is making MRI scans safer for kids

Shreyas Vasanawala, professor of radiology, is tailoring MRI equipment to children. In this Q&A, he discusses how his work allows young patients to receive faster MRI exams that require less anesthesia.

A closer look at the powerhouses of the cell, mitochondria

Daniel Bernstein, MD, the Alfred Woodley Salter and Mabel G. Salter Endowed Professor, recently gave a lecture at the CHRI Seminar Series on an imaging technique for assessing the diversity of mitochondria. 

Stanford study shows how head and neck positioning affects concussion risk

Stanford researchers are working with a model they developed in David Camarillo’s lab to stimulate how head and neck positioning during an impact affects rotational acceleration resulting from the impact. 

CHRI awardees Ricardo Dolmetsch and Sergiu Pasca venture into the emerging field of molecular psychiatry 

Neuroscientists Ricardo Dolmetsch, PhD, and Sergiu Pasca, MD, each received funding from the CHRI early on to help support their collaborative and innovative work in understanding the development of human brain disorders.

Rosenkranz Prize winner hopes to develop malaria vaccine for pregnant women

Prasanna Jagannathan, MD, assistant professor of medicine, received the 2018 Rosenkranz Prize, which he hopes to use to develop a malaria vaccine for pregnant women. He received a CHRI award for his pilot work on malaria chemoprevention in pregnancy and transfer of antimalarial antibodies to newborns.

Google Glass helps kids with autism read facial expressions

Children with autism were able to improve their social skills by using a smartphone app paired with Google Glasses, according to a study led by senior author and CHRI member, Dennis Wall, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics and of biomedical data science.

New CEO of Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health appointed

Cynthia Brandt Stover has been appointed president and CEO of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. The foundation directs all fundraising for the Stanford Children’s Hospital and for the maternal and child health programs at the School of Medicine.

Brain scans yield more clues to autism

Children with autism have structural and functional abnormalities in the brain circuit that normally makes social interaction feel rewarding, according to a recent study. Vinod Menon, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is the senior author.

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford among the nation’s best pediatric hospitals

U.S. News & World Report once again ranks Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford among the nation’s best pediatric hospitals for the 14th consecutive year.

Dr. Yvonne Maldonado celebrated for her accomplishments in pediatric research

Yvonne Maldonado, MD, senior associate dean for faculty development and diversity and professor of pediatrics, is celebrated for her perseverance and accomplishments in pediatric research.

A rare disease inspires a Stanford team to develop a new test

Fanconi anemia is a rare but deadly disease and there are no good drugs to treat its root cause, but Stanford researchers, including Eric Kool, PhD, and Kenneth Weinberg, MD, and collaborator Daria Mochly-Rosen, PhD, are developing a test that could help kids with the disease.

Separation from parents removes children’s most important protection

Stanford psychologist Ian H. Gotlib discusses the psychological effects of early-life stress and parental separation. Gotlib’s research has shown that children need their parents for their own emotional well-being.

Genetic variation in progesterone receptor tied to prematurity risk

Humans have unexpectedly high genetic variation in the receptor for a key pregnancy-maintaining hormone, according to research led by Stanford scientist. Gary Shaw, DrPH, and David Stevenson, MD, both professors of pediatrics, share senior authorship of this study.

CHRI Announcement: Funding Increase for the Postdoctoral Support Program FY 2019

The CHRI is pleased to announce an increase in funding through its Postdoctoral Support Program to match the campus-wide minimum for postdoctoral fellows. 

Faculty Scholar shares experience in the Eureka program for translational medicine

The CHRI sponsored several Stanford faculty, including hematologist/oncologist Anupama Narla, MD, to attend a seven-day course in translational medicine at the Eureka Institute for Translational Medicine in Siracusa, Italy.

The long-term vision in science: Faculty Scholar finds her Eureka moment as a translational scientist 

Psychiatrist and behavioral scientist Manpreet Singh, MD, MS, shares her journey as translational researcher and the impact of the multiple awards she has received from the CHRI in her work, including the most recent opportunity to attend an intensive course at the Eureka Institute for Translational Medicine in Siracusa, Italy. 

Ms. Hosna Omarzad receives Donna Schurr Spirit Award

The CHRI is proud to announce Ms. Hosna Omarzad as the recipient of the 2018 Donna Schurr Spirit Award, given by the Department of Pediatrics at the Stanford School of Medicine for an outstanding staff member for their outstanding performance and dedication.

Blood test might predict pregnancy due date and preterm birth

A Stanford-led team has developed a blood test that can give a reliable estimate of the baby’s due date and can predict if the baby will arrive prematurely. Study included co-senior author Stephen Quake, PhD, a professor of bioengineering and of applied physics.

CHRI Faculty Scholars team up to transform the science and treatment of concussion 

By Laura Hedli

David Camarillo, PhD and Gerald Grant, MD are among the nation’s foremost concussion experts and teaming up to transform the science and treatment of head injuries. They are CHRI Faculty Scholars and have received several grants towards concussion-specific research efforts. 

Transformative Science Requires Risk

By Laura Hedli

Michelle Monje, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Endowed Faculty Scholar and recipient of several Child Health Research Institute grants, takes a dynamic approach to studying brain tumor growth and potential treatments.

Building successful futures:  CHRI Transdisciplinary Initiatives Program awardee investigates the health of immigrant families and children

By Laura Hedli 

Fernando Mendoza, a professor of pediatrics and the primary investigator on a CHRI Transdisciplinary Initiatives Program (TIP) grant, explores the health and well-being of children in immigrant families in California, as well as the impact of federal, state, and local policies on health outcomes.