Faculty Profiles in Excellence
Stanford Medicine faculty are at the cutting edge of patient care, research, and education.
Who are these amazing individuals and what do they do at Stanford?
Stanford wants people to be creative and entrepreneurial in the work they do. I also enjoy the availability of the arts and the humanities in addition to the sciences that our campus offers.
James Lock, MD, PhD
Psychiatry, Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics
Stanford has allowed me the freedom to explore the things that I have wanted as a scientist and as a clinician. Stanford wants people to be creative and entrepreneurial in the work they do. I also enjoy the availability of the arts and the humanities in addition to the sciences that our campus offers.
My major in college was philosophy and religion. During my time as a graduate student in comparative literature and philosophy at Emory University, I completed a project with schizophrenic patients living in shelters on the streets. It was quite a moving experience. From there, I went to medical school, and during residency, I worked with patients with eating disorders and began my work in child psychiatry.
I am a professor of child psychiatry and I am the Associate Chair in the Department of Psychiatry. My main work as a child psychiatrist has been in the development of treatments for eating disorders in youth using randomized clinical trials. Anorexia and bulimia onset early in life, usually ages 12 to 15. They are very serious psychiatric problems, but they also lead to medical morbidity and mortality. Anorexia is among the most lethal psychiatric disorders if it persists.
In addition to intervention research, we study the cognitive processes and vulnerabilities associated with the development and maintenance of these disorders. Once you have a treatment that works, getting it to people tends to be much harder than you might think. Lots of people that need treatment can’t get it. We are looking at using technology to create interventions that could be used on phones and computers.
I serve on the School of Medicine’s Diversity Cabinet, where I focus on how we can better support gender and sexual minorities. I think it’s important to look at the continuum from pre-med to patient care, and ask, “What are the things we can do for members of sexual or gender minority groups?” We need to continue to do more things to be welcoming. The goal is to promote belonging, not just tolerance.