Health Research and Policy

Current/Completed Projects

Stanford Cancer Center Research Database (SCCRDB)

The Stanford Cancer Center Research Database has a rich set of data which integrates many resources including: EPIC, STRIDE, specialized databases in surgical pathology and radiation oncology, the Stanford Cancer Registry, and the Social Security Death Index (SSDI).


The Stanford Asian Pacific Program in Hypertension and Insulin Resistance (SAPPHIRe) is part of the Family Blood Pressure Program (FBPP) network and is funded by NHLBI. The first phase of this project was a collaboration among Stanford University, Hawaii and Taiwan. In 2000, this project entered a second follow-up phase. Dr. Thomas Quertermous, William G. Irwin Professor in Cardiovascular Medicine, is the principal investigator.

The DCC is involved in data entry, management and reporting for this project. The initial application used a Sybase database with a Perl/CGI interface. The application was completely rewritten and ported to a modern Java/Oracle interface and in the process a number of enhancements and new features were added to this project.


This is an NIH-funded clinical trial headed by Dr. Bryan Myers, Professor and Chief, Division of Nephrology, Stanford University School of Medicine in collaboration with Robert G. Nelson of NIH. In this study on the population of PIMA Indians in Arizona, individuals are entered into a randomized, controlled trial of losartan plus standard care versus standard care over several years. The DCC is involved in building data entry and reporting systems for the entire project.


This study deals with the manipulation of the nitrous oxide synthase pathway in arterial disease using L-arginine. It consists of two parts, one a dose-ranging study and another a randomized controlled clinical trial. The DCC is involved in designing the data entry systems and reporting systems for the entire project.

Dr. John Cooke, Professor of Medicine and Director, Section of Vascular Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine is the principal investigator.

Genetic Determinants of PAD

This is a large study of the genetic determinants that increase the propensity of an individual to develop hemodynamically significant atherosclerosis in the arteries of a lower extremity. Through these efforts investigators will also examine the interactions of genetic determinants with known risk factors for atherosclerosis. Principal Investigator is Dr. John P. Cooke, with co-PI Dr. Thomas Quertermous. This project therefore dovetails well with the SAPPHIRe and NOPain projects and with the Reynolds Center in that DCC technologies brought to bear upon the earlier projects will enable our work here. Expertise at finding SNPs, as in SAPPHIRe and the Reynolds Center, will figure here, and so, too, will microarray analysis. This project will be somewhat different from the others in that genotyping will be done in the Cardiovascular Research Center on the Stanford Campus proper. Our approach via the Web will once again prove important.


The Children's Health Initiative (CHI) funded a project for creating a pediatric cardiac surgery database. The goal is to build a database that is geared both to research and to patient care.
Our main contact is Dr. Daniel Bernstein, Professor and Chief, Division of Cardiology in the Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine . The project is currently under development and is expected to go live sometime in June 2003.

Hypoxic Cytotoxins

This project consists of four sub-projects each dealing with a different aspect of cytotoxic drug treatment for cancer. Project 1 seeks to design, synthesize and further develop several series of small-molecule drugs for each of the other projects. Project 2 will develop new prodrugs that become activated to cytotoxic anticancer drugs by the nonpathogenic obligate anaerobe C sporogenes genetically engineered to express the prodrug-activating enzymes. Project 3 aims to develop an improved analog of the hypoxia-selective cytotoxin tirapazamine (TPZ) and the last, Project 4 hopes to find drugs that are preferentially toxic to cells expressing the hypoxia inducible transcription factor, HIF-1a.

This is an effort led by Dr. Martin Brown, Professor of Radiation Oncology, in collaboration with researchers in New Zealand. The project is currently under development and expected to go live some time in June 2003.

The Reynolds Center at Stanford

The aim of the Donald W. Reynolds Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center at Stanford University is to provide better care for patients with heart disease through the application of modern genetic approaches. Dr. Mark Hlatky, is Director of the Center, which has a strong collaboration with Kaiser Research in Oakland. Projects seek to utilize the techniques of modern molecular biology to identify genes for which abnormalities predispose to heart disease in a specific way. These genes will then be examined for unique mutations that can serve as markers to track disease in larger populations. The project is large in scope and consists of several subprojects. The DCC is involved in many activities of the Reynolds Center. We have built systems for recruitment, scheduling clinic visits, generating reports and result letters, clinical visit data collection, barcode generation, and sample tracking. As the analysis phase of the project ramps us, the DCC is the place where the final summary data will reside. Systems are under development to tailor reports to authorized users of the data for scientific analysis.

Prospective Randomized Study of Elective Colon and Rectal Surgery

, With and Without Mechanical Bowel Preparation This study is undertaken with the leadership of Drs. Mark Welton and Andrew Shelton of the Department of Surgery. The goal is to compare rates of infectious complications and rates at which bowel re-attachments separate in elective colon and rectal surgery, with and without mechanical cleansing (purging) of the bowel. Again, we in the DCC work with the investigators to design forms and to enable entering data over the Web, as well as successfully to archive the data for future purposes.

Dr. Ronald Levy's Lymphoma Program

The Levy Lab, under the direction of Dr. Ronald Levy, has been studying the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, improving therapy of this cancer, understanding their pathogenesis and studying normal lymphoctye biology. Research in monoclonal antibody therapies and tumor vaccines is ongoing. The DCC will work with investigators to design forms and to enable entering data over the Web, as well as successfully to archive the data for future purposes.

TA: Viral and Host Mechanisms

Pathophysiology of transplant coronary vasculopathy focusing on the role of diabetes and CMV infection. Noninvasive diagnosis of cardiac allograft rejection; pathobiology of graft rejection.

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