Maternal & Child Health Research Institute Symposium

Li Ka Shing Center for Learning & Knowledge - Berg Hall

The Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute invites you to its inaugural research symposium! This event will bring together faculty, staff, trainees, postdocs, students and all members of the community to explore the latest developments and innovations in maternal and child health research. Attendees will learn about the research funded by the Institute across campus, the programs and resources available to advance research in this area, and the researchers and scientists who are making an impact in the maternal and child health community. 

This event will feature keynote speaker, Sean Morrison, Ph.D., the director of the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at the University of Texas Southwestern, the Mary McDermott Cook Chair in Pediatric Genetics, the Kathryne and Gene Bishop Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Research, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. He will deliver his keynote address on “Stem Cell Niches in the Bone Marrow.” 

The symposium will include poster presentations where attendees can interact directly with those who are advancing maternal and child health research. 

Attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for an exciting speed dating session at the symposium. Attendees may "speed date" with one or more of our 17 faculty participants and ask questions related to their career path, research, common interests, or just say a friendly hello.

Questions? Please contact Roxanna Van Norman


This event is free and open to all including faculty, staff, trainees, postdocs, students, and all other interested members of the community. 

  • 8:30am-9:00am - Registration and Light Breakfast 
  • 9:00am-9:10am - Opening Remarks by Mary Leonard, MD, MSCE, Stanford Maternal & Child Health Research Institute; Cynthia J. Brandt, PhD, Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health; Lloyd B. Minor, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • 9:10am-10:00am – Welcome Introductions by Anthony Oro, MD, PhD, Stanford School of Medicine
    Keynote Address by Sean J. Morrison, PhD, Children’s Medical Center Research Institute, University of Texas, Southwestern

10:00am-10:40am - Session 1: CHRI Faculty Scholars Program

Moderator: Harvey J. Cohen, MD, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics 

  • 10:00am-10:20am - Why are Pregnant Women More Susceptible to Complications from Influenza? Catherine Blish, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine; Tashia and John Morgridge Faculty Scholar in Pediatric Translational Medicine 
  • 10:20am-10:40am - Cellular Reprogramming to Model and Treat Pediatric Myelin Diseases - Marius Wernig, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pathology and, by courtesy, of Chemical & Systems Biology, and of Institute for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine; Tashia and John Morgridge Faculty Scholar in Pediatric Translational Medicine 

10:40am-11:15am - Break (Poster Session Open)

11:15am-12:15pm - Session 2: CHRI Partners Program

Moderator: Mark R. Cullen, MD, Professor of Medicine, of Biomedical Data Science, and of Health Research & Policy 

  • 11:15am-11:30am - A New Perspective in the Early Diagnostics and Cure of IPEX Patients - Rosa Bacchetta, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics; Recipient of SPARK Award
  • 11:30am-11:45am - Preventing Mental Health Challenges and Violence Among Adolescents in Informal Settlements in Nairobi, Kenya: Can Empowerment Programs Do Both? - Clea Sarnquist, DrPH, MPH, Senior Research Scholar, Global Child Health Program, Department of Pediatrics; Recipient of Global Child Health Equity Seed Grant Award
  • 11:45am-12:00pm - Physiologic Evolution: Growing up in a Modern, Clean WorldJulie Parsonnet, MD, Professor, Department of Medicine and of Health Research & Policy; Recipient of Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection Grant Award
  • 12:00pm-12:15pm - Stem Cells in Human AML - Ravindra Majeti, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine; Recipient of Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine Grant Award

12:15pm-1:15pm - Lunch (Poster Session Open)

1:15pm-2:15pm - Session 3: Early Career Investigators and Trainees

Moderators: Daniel Bernstein, MD, Professor of Pediatrics (Cardiology) and Associate Dean for Curriculum and Scholarship, Stanford School of Medicine; Natalia Gomez-Ospina, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Pediatrics (Medical Genetics); Melissa Mavers, MD, PhD, Instructor, Pediatrics (Stem Cell Transplantation)

  • 1:15pm – 1:27pm - Decoding p53-driven Developmental Syndromes - Margot Bowen, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Radiation Oncology; Recipient of Postdoctoral Support Fellowship
  • 1:27pm – 1:39pm - MTSS1/Src Family Kinase Dysregulation Contributes to Multiple Neurodegenerative Disorders - Alexander Brown, PhD, Research Scientist, Department of Dermatology
  • 1:39pm – 1:51pm - Beta-globin Gene Correction in Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cells to Cure Sickle Cell Disease - Daniel Dever, PhD, Instructor, Department of Pediatrics; Recipient of Postdoctoral Support Fellowship
  • 1:51pm – 2:03pm - An Ensemble Learning Method for Early Detection of Autism and Other Developmental Delays in Bangladeshi Children using Crowdsourced Video Annotations - Scott Fleming, Graduate Student, Department of Medicine, Center for Biomedical Informatics Research
  • 2:03pm – 2:15pm - Role of Drp 1/Fis 1 - Mediated Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Septic Cardiomyopathy - Bereketeab Haileselassie, MD, Instructor, Department of Pediatrics; Recipient of Pilot Early Career Award

2:15pm-3:15pm - Session 4: CHRI Faculty Pilot Grant & Transdisciplinary Initiative Program

Moderator: Leslee L. Subak, MD, Professor and Chair of Obstetrics & Gynecology 

  • 2:15pm-2:30pm - Autism Spectrum Disorder: from Genes to NeuronsJoachim Hallmayer, MD, Dr. Med, Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences; Recipient of Faculty Pilot Award
  • 2:30pm-2:45pm - Developmental Regulation of Pulmonary Angiogenesis by the Lung Microenvironment - Cristina M. Alvira, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics; Recipient of Transdisciplinary Initiative Program Award
  • 2:45pm-3:00pm - Reciprocal Insights into Stem Cell Biology from Organoids and Animals - Calvin Kuo, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Medicine; Recipient of Transdisciplinary Initiative Program Award
  • 3:00pm-3:15pm - Gene Modification and Gene Replacement in Neuromuscular DiseaseJohn W. Day, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Neurology & Neurological Sciences; Recipient of Transdisciplinary Initiative Program Award

3:15pm-3:20pm - Closing Remarks

Closing Remarks by Anthony Oro, MD, PhD, Stanford School of Medicine

3:20pm-4:00pm - Poster Session Open

3:20pm-4:30pm - Wine and Cheese Reception

3:30pm-4:30pm - Speed Dating Session

Speed Dating Session 

The goal of the Speed Dating Session is to create an informal environment to promote collegial interactions and raise awareness of translational research occurring at Stanford. Sign up to "speed date" with one or more of our 17 faculty and ask questions related to their career path, research, common interests, or just say a friendly hello. See who's on the faculty list

Poster Session 

The Poster Session highlights the research and scholarly activities of scientists and researchers within the maternal and child health community across the Stanford campus. More than 125 abstracts were selected to present at this year's inaugural symposium. Read more about the Poster Session.

Children's Book Drive

The Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute is running a children's book drive and donating all books to the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Please bring your favorite book, new and unused, for children of all ages to the symposium and drop it off at the registration table. Check out this list of favorite books for the Children’s Hospital!


Berg Hall, Li Ka Shing Learning Center

291 Campus Drive
Stanford CA 94305 USA


Mary Chen, Administrative Director
(650) 736-9783,

Hosna Omarzad, Program Coordinator
(650) 724-6891,

Roxanna Van Norman, Marketing Manager
(650) 498-5444,