Inaugural MCHRI Symposium, November 16

Symposium Speed Dating Session

Hosted by Stanford MCHRI Eureka

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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 University. Attendees will meet with faculty for 10 minutes each and may ask questions related to the faculty member’s career path, research, common research interests, or any desired topic.

Each faculty member will have six time slots available - every 10 minutes from 3:30 to 4:30pm. Attendees may sign up to meet with up to 6 different faculty members; however, attendees may only sign up for one time slot per faculty (and only one faculty per time slot). Attendees may sign up for fewer than 6 faculty if desired.

This will be an excellent opportunity for attendees to have informal and immediate interaction with faculty. This session is organized by the Stanford-affiliated graduates of the International Eureka Institute for Translational Medicine, who are now ambassadors of the Stanford MCHRI Eureka partnership.

Cristina M. Alvira, MD - Table #1

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Critical Care)

Dr. Alvira completed her medical degree at Tufts University, and then came to Stanford University School of Medicine to complete both her pediatric residency and her clinical fellowship in pediatric critical care medicine. After fellowship, Dr. Alvira pursued postdoctoral fellowship training with Dr. Marlene Rabinovitch, a preeminent vascular biologist. Dr. Alvira was recruited to Stanford School of Medicine in the University Tenure Line in 2010, and currently runs an NIH-funded basic research program aimed at identifying novel mechanisms that direct lung growth and repair in infants and children. Dr. Alvira is currently a Stanford Child Health Research Institute John and Tashia Morgridge Faculty Scholar in Pediatric Translational Medicine.

Dr. Alvira’s research program is focused on elucidating the molecular pathways that guide postnatal lung development and repair in infants and children. Currently, they are working to identify specific signaling pathways that direct pulmonary vascular growth, to understand how the lung microenvironment modulates the angiogenic phenotype of lung vascular cells, and how these dynamics are altered during acute injury. Their overall goal is to translate this knowledge into novel therapies to treat lung diseases in infants in children, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia, emphysema, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and others. Read more.>>

Rosa Bacchetta, MD - Table #2

Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Stem Cell Transplantation)

Dr. Bacchetta's professional goal as Pediatrician specializing in Immunology has always been to challenge the limits of “inexplicable” and “untreatable” diseases, to elucidate the mechanisms of impaired cellular and immune function underlying the clinical manifestations caused by gene mutations. The ultimate goal of her group is to develop curative treatments based on cell and gene-therapy strategies for patients affected with genetic immune diseases. 

Dr. Bacchetta's research focuses on Autoimmune Genetic Diseases and her work in the past ten years has significantly contributed, to dissecting the role of the FOXP3 gene and T regulatory cells in immune responses in humans, as well as to raising the interest of scientists and clinicians in investigating diseases with severe immune dysregulation, such as IPEX Syndrome (caused by FOXP3 mutation). She has contributed to a comprehensive clinical characterization of IPEX patients and defining new diagnostic tools, complementary to gene sequencing, that speed the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with immune dysregulation. Stanford is a unique environment in which to understand the genetic and immunological basis of pediatric autoimmunity and develop new therapies that, upon dissecting normal immune functions, advance treatment of currently un-curable diseases. Read more >>

Daniel Bernstein, MD - Table #3

Professor of Pediatrics (Cardiology)

Dr. Bernstein joined the faculty at Stanford in 1986, where he is now the Alfred Woodley Salter and Mabel G. Salter Endowed Professor of Pediatrics. He served as Chief of Pediatric Cardiology from 1994 to 2011, and Director of the Children’s Heart Center at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford from 2001 to 2011. He is currently Associate Dean for Medical Student Curriculum and Scholarship at the Stanford School of Medicine.

Dr. Bernstein has directed an NIH and AHA-funded basic science lab for over 30 years, focusing on the role of cell signaling pathways modulating cardiotoxicity and cardioprotection. With Brian Kobilka, he was part of the collaborative Stanford team that created some of the very first gene knockouts. His more recent work has focused on the connection between ß-adrenergic receptors and mitochondrial function and dynamics, and on the molecular mechanisms of right ventricular failure, a critical issue for children with congenital heart disease. He has developed novel methods for high-throughput single cell mitochondrial imaging, uncovering new mechanisms of cell injury. He is now applying the powerful tool of patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to study the mechanisms of pediatric cardiac diseases, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and for pharmacogenomic screening of patients for susceptibility to drug toxicity. Read more>>

Catherine Blish, MD, PhD - Table #4

Associate Professor of Medicine

Catherine Blish, MD, PhD, FIDSA, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Immunology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. As an undergraduate she studied biochemistry at the University of California, Davis, before completing her MD and PhD at the University of Washington. She completed residency in internal medicine and fellowship training in infectious diseases at the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She joined the Stanford faculty in in 2011, where her research is dedicated to learning how to harness the immune system to prevent and cure diseases.

Her lab is perhaps best known for redefining our understanding the diversity of human natural killer (NK) cells, a critical first line of defense against viruses and tumors. Her lab explores how human natural killer cells sense and respond to a diverse array of pathogens, including HIV, dengue virus, and influenza. She divides her time between research, clinical practice in infectious diseases, teaching, and her role as an Associate Director of the Stanford Medical Scientist Training Program. She has received numerous awards for research and mentoring, including the Stanford Immunology Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, the Beckman Young Investigator Award, the McCormick Faculty Award, the Baxter Faculty Scholar, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Scientist Development Award, the Tashia and John Morgridge Faculty Scholar in Pediatric Translational Medicine, the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, and the NIDA Avant-Garde Award for HIV/AIDS Research. She is an elected a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and an Investigator of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub. Read more>>

Mark R. Cullen, MD - Table #5

Director, Center for Population Health Sciences, Senior Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Medicine, of Biomedical Data Science, of HRP and Senior Fellow at SIEPR, Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Cullen is an expert in quantitative science and public health. He was recruited to Stanford in 2009 as Chief of General Medical Disciplines where he became increasingly interested in the potential for large observational data, merging EMR, biology, and physiology with available social and environmental data, to identify new pathways for discovery and translation, both at the bedside and through public policy. In April 2015, he was named inaugural Director of the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences, devoted to discovery of the pathways across the life-course by which social and physical environment and behavior lead to beneficial or harmful expression of genetic endowment. Dr. Cullen has been a pioneer in big data; long before the practice became popular, he was using large collections of data to study human health. Dr. Cullen’s goals include advancing science culture, building the stature of Stanford’s program in quantitative sciences and catalyzing the development of true team science. Over the years, Dr. Cullen has had the privilege of living and doing research in many parts of the world including Zimbabwe, Ecuador, South Africa, and Australia. Read more>>

Manisha Desai, PhD - Table #6

Professor (Research) of Medicine (Biomedical Informatics), of Biomedical Data Science and, by courtesy, of Health Research & Policy

Manisha Desai is Professor of Medicine and of Biomedical Data Science. She directs the Quantitative Sciences Unit, a collaborative group of over 25 data scientists, who work with clinical and translational investigators in the School of Medicine. Her research interests include the handling of missing data, incorporating mobile health data into clinical trials, the analysis of longitudinal data, and the translation of clinical trial findings to real-world populations. She collaborates with investigators across a wide array of biomedical areas that include child and maternal health, cardiovascular disease and oncology. Read more>>

Joachim Hallmayer, MD, Dr. Med - Table #7

Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science

Dr. Joachim Hallmayer has been involved in genetic studies of neuropsychiatric disorders for over 20 years and has conducted several genome wide linkage and association studies. During his career his work has emphasized neurodevelopmental disorders and encompasses the recruitment, the laboratory, and the analytic side, and specializes in integrating across basic and clinical domains.  Dr. Hallmayer has been the principal investigator of the largest population-based, socio-demographically diverse twin study that has used contemporary standards to diagnose autism. During the last years he expanded his focus on the genetic basis of neurodevelopmental disorders to include induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In collaboration with Dr. Dolmetsch they were among the first to study neurons derived from iPSCs from patients with known mutations associated with autism. He and his colleagues comprehensively characterized neurons from iPS cells from patients with 22q11deletion syndrome. More recently they expanded the study to children with autism of unknown etiology. Read more>>

Heidi M. Feldman, MD, PhD - Table #8

Professor of Pediatrics

Heidi M Feldman, MD, PhD, is the Ballinger-Swindells Professor of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) at Stanford University.  She earned a PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of PA and then obtained an MD and completed pediatric residency at University of CA San Diego. Her fellowship was at Children’s Hospital of Boston.  Dr. Feldman’s research has focused on language and reading development in children with conditions that put learning at risk, including deafness, persistent ear infections, brain injury, and prematurity.  She has a passion for teaching; she served as PI on a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities grant and on Developmental-Behavioral Fellowship Training Grants at two institutions.  She has held several national leadership roles, including President of the Society for DBP.  Her book “Redesigning Health Care for Children with Disabilities: Strengthening Inclusion, Contribution and Health,” argues for new priorities in health care for children with disabilities. Read more>>

Calvin Kuo, MD, PhD - Table #9

Professor of Medicine 

Dr. Calvin Kuo is the Maureen Lyles D'Ambrogio Professor of Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He is currently the co-lead of the Cancer Biology Program at the Stanford Cancer Center and the Vice Chair in the Department of Medicine. He has focused much of his research career on studying the growth of normal tissues and tumor biopsy specimens as three-dimensional organoids for modeling cancer biology. Dr. Kuo received his medical and postdoctoral degrees in cancer biology from Stanford University and trained in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Kuo now runs the Calvin Kuo Laboratory at Stanford University and co-leads the Cancer Biology Program at the Stanford Cancer Center. Read more>>

David Maahs, PhD - Table #10

Professor of Pediatrics (Endocrinology), Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital Stanford

Dr. David M. Maahs is Professor of Pediatrics and Division Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology at Stanford University and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. He earned his MD followed by Pediatric Residency at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Maahs is the Associate Director for the recently formed and NIDDK P30 funded Stanford University Diabetes Research Center.

His scholarly interest is improving care and preventing complications in people with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Along with Dr. Peter Chase, he is author of the 12th and 13th editions of Understanding Diabetes, or ‘Pink Panther,’ which are the most widely used educational books for children newly diagnosed with T1D, distributed internationally by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF). More specifically, he has conducted epidemiologic studies that help generate hypotheses for clinical studies, including trials to develop artificial pancreas systems to improve glucose control, lower disease burden, and prevent diabetic complications. He is author or co-author of over 250 research publications. His multi-disciplinary research has been funded by the JDRF, the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the Helmsley Charitable Trust, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Read more>>

Lloyd B. Minor, MD - Table #11

Dean of Stanford University School of Medicine; Professor of Otolaryngology (Head & Neck Surgery Divisions) and, by courtesy, of Neurobiology and of Bioengineering

Lloyd B. Minor, MD, is a scientist, surgeon, and academic leader. He is the Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine, a position he has held since December 1, 2012. He is also a professor of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery and a professor of Bioengineering and of Neurobiology, by courtesy, at Stanford University.

As dean, Dr. Minor plays an integral role in setting strategy for the clinical enterprise of Stanford Medicine, an academic medical center that includes the Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care, and Stanford Children’s Health and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. He also oversees the quality of Stanford Medicine’s physician practices and growing clinical networks. Read more>>

Anthony Oro, MD, PhD - Table #12

Professor of Dermatology

Anthony E. Oro, M.D., Ph.D., is the Eugene and Gloria Bauer Professor of Dermatology, Associate Director of the Center for Definitive and Curative Medicine, and the co-director of the Child Health Research Institute. He is co-founder of the Program in Epithelial Biology, and an active member of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Children’s Health Research Institute, Bio-X, and the Program in Cancer Biology.  His research interests encompass cancer genomics and tumor evolution, stem cell biology and hair/skin development and regeneration, and definitive molecular and cellular therapeutics.  His clinical interests include hair biology, non-melanoma skin cancer, and stem cell-based therapies for genetic skin diseases. Read more>>

Julie Parsonnet, MD - Table #13

Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and of Health Research & Policy

Dr. Parsonnet specializes in adult infectious diseases. She has a particular interest in gastrointestinal infections, including H. pylori infection and diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis and illnesses with prolonged fever. Dr. Parsonnet also has an active research enterprise in which she studies the way infections contribute to the development of chronic diseases including cancer, allergy and obesity. She has had continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health for over 25 years and has served as a member of numerous advisory boards, professional societies, and scientific review committees. Read more>>

Maria Grazia Roncarolo, MD - Table #14

Professor of Pediatrics (Stem Cell Transplantation) and of Medicine (Blood & Marrow Transplantation)

Maria Grazia Roncarolo, MD is the co-director of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, the George D. Smith Professor in Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, Professor of Pediatrics and of Medicine (blood and marrow transplantation), chief of the Division of Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine, and co-director of the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases.  

Dr. Roncarolo leads efforts to translate scientific discoveries in genetic diseases and regenerative medicine into novel patient therapies, including treatments based on stem cells and gene therapy.

Dr. Roncarolo's goal at Stanford is to build the teams and infrastructure to move stem cell and gene therapy to the clinic quickly and to translate basic science discoveries into patient treatments. In addition, her laboratory continues to work on T regulatory cell-based treatments to induce immunological tolerance after transplantation of donor tissue stem cells. Read more>>

Clea Sarnquist, DrPH, MPH - Table #15

Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer in Pediatrics (infectious Diseases)

Dr. Sarnquist focuses on applied teaching and research on the development, implementation and evaluation of interventions to decrease gender-based violence, prevent HIV infection, and improve family planning access and uptake, especially among adolescents and children. she is particularly interested in rights-based approaches that tackle the complex interplay of factors that lead to poor health for many children and families. All of her work is applied, with direct links health practice and policy, and usually performed in conjunction with non-governmental organization and government partners. She works both globally and in the U.S., with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Read more>>

Gary M. Shaw, DrPH - Table #16

Professor of Pediatrics (Neonatal & Developmental Medicine) and, by courtesy, of Health Research & Policy and of Obstetrics & Gynecology (Maternal Fetal Medicine)

Dr. Gary Shaw’s research interests include epidemiology of birth defects; gene-environment approaches to perinatal outcomes; and nutrition and reproductive outcomes. He currently serve sas Co-PI of the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center at Stanford, PI of the California Center Finding Causes and Preventives of Birth Defects, and a PI for UC Berkeley/Stanford Children’s Environmental Health Center. Read more>>


Marius Wernig, MD, PhD - Table #17

Associate Professor of Pathology and, by courtesy, of Chemical & Systems Biology, and of Institute for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Wernig is an Associate Professor of Pathology at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University. He graduated with an M.D. and Ph.D. from the Technical University of Munich where he trained in developmental genetics in the lab of Rudi Balling. After completing his residency in Neuropathology and General Pathology at the University of Bonn, he then became a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research/ MIT in Cambridge, MA.In 2008, Dr. Wernig joined the faculty of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University where he has been ever since. He received an NIH Pathway to Independence Award, the Cozzarelli Prize for Outstanding Scientific Excellence from the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A., the Outstanding Investigator Award from the International Society for Stem Cell Research, the New York Stem Cell Foundation Robertson Stem Cell Prize, and more recently has been named a HHMI Faculty Scholar.

Dr. Wernig’s lab is interested in pluripotent stem cell biology and the molecular determinants of neural cell fate decisions. His laboratory was the first to generate functional neuronal cells reprogrammed directly from skin fibroblasts, which he termed induced neuronal (iN) cells. The lab is now working on identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying induced lineage fate changes, the phenotypic consequences of disease-causing mutations in human neurons and other neural lineages as well as the development of novel therapeutic gene targeting and cell transplantation-based strategies for a variety of monogenetic diseases. Read more>>

As part of our commitment to translational medicine, the Stanford MCHRI Eureka team aim to build a community of translational scientists at Stanford. As a first step toward building this community, we hope to develop more approachable, interdisciplinary, and effective guidance and mentorship in translational medicine. 

For more information, please contact:

  • Manpreet K. Singh, MD, MS - Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Melissa Mavers, MD, PhD - Instructor in Pediatrics (Stem Cell Transplantation)
  • Tamar Green, MD - Instructor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Sriram Vaidyanathan, PhD - Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Pediatrics (Stem Cell Transplantation)

Stanford MCHRI Eureka Team

This event is hosted by the Stanford MCHRI Eureka team: Manpreet K. Singh, MD MS; Melissa Mavers, MD PhD; Coralee Del Valle Mojica PhD; Sara Kreimer, MD; Marko Jakovljevic, PhD; Natalia Gomez-Ospina, MD,  PhD; Trung Hoang Pham, MD, PhD; Sriram Vaidyanathan, PhD; Anupama Narla, MD; Meena Kadapakkam, MD; Tamar Green, MD; William Goodyer, MD; Elizabeth Wall-Wieler, PhD; and Zachary Sellers, MD, PhD.