Hear from leading Stanford faculty about the latest advances in medicine.

Health Talks

Euan Ashley, MD, PhD
Associate Dean at the School of Medicine
Professor of Medicine (Cardiovascular), of Genetics, of Biomedical Data Science and, by courtesy, of Pathology

Euan Ashley has a passion for rare genetic disease. In 2010, he led the team that carried out the first clinical interpretation of a human genome. They now routinely apply genome sequencing to the diagnosis of patients at Stanford Health Care, where Dr. Ashley directs the Clinical Genome Program and the Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease. His group focuses on the science of precision medicine. He was also the first co-chair of the steering committee of the Undiagnosed Diseases Network.

Dr. Ashley is a recipient of the National Innovation Award from the American Heart Association and the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. He was recognized by the Obama White House for his contributions to personalized medicine and in 2018 was awarded the American Heart Association Medal of Honor for Genomic and Precision Medicine. He just released his first book, The Genome Odyssey.

Born in Scotland, Dr. Ashley studied physiology and medicine at the University of Glasgow, and completed his medical residency and a PhD at the University of Oxford before moving to Stanford, where he trained in cardiology and advanced heart failure, joining the faculty in 2006.

Michael Fischbach, PhD
Associate Professor of Bioengineering and of Medicine (Microbiology and Immunology)

Dr. Michael Fischbach’s laboratory uses a combination of genomics and chemistry to identify and characterize small molecules from microbes, with an emphasis on the human microbiome. The human microbiome is linked to a range of phenotypes in the host, but it remains difficult to test causality and explore the mechanisms of these interactions. His lab focuses on studying host-microbiota interactions at the level of molecular mechanism.

Dr. Fischbach is a recipient of the NIH Director's Pioneer and New Innovator Awards, an HHMI-Simons Faculty Scholars Award, a Fellowship for Science and Engineering from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, a Medical Research Award from the W.M. Keck Foundation, a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award, and a Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging.

Dr. Fischbach received his PhD as a John and Fannie Hertz Foundation Fellow in chemistry from Harvard in 2007. After two years as an independent fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Fischbach joined the faculty at UCSF, where he founded his lab before moving to Stanford in 2017.

Sun Kim, MD, MS
Associate Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology, Gerontology, and Metabolism)
Group Leader, Stanford Diabetes Research Center

Dr. Kim is a board-certified endocrinologist who specializes in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and obesity. She is particularly devoted to helping individuals change their lifestyles and achieve sustained improvements in their health.

Dr. Kim works closely with the reproductive endocrinology group to help women improve their health, lose weight, and maximize their chances for a successful pregnancy. She also conducts research to better understand risk factors and to develop better treatments for diabetes.

She received her medical degree at UC San Diego, completed her residency at the University of Texas, and received fellowship training at Stanford, before joining the Stanford faculty.

Latha Palaniappan, MD
Professor of Medicine (Primary Care and Population Health) and, by courtesy, of Health Research and Policy (Epidemiology)
Co-Director, Center for Asian Health Research and Education (CARE)

Dr. Palaniappan is an internist and clinical researcher focused on the study of diverse populations, chronic disease, and prevention. She specifically seeks to address the knowledge gap in the health of Asian subgroups and other understudied racial and ethnic minorities. During her time at Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), she led the organization-wide initiative to collect patient race/ethnicity and language information, enabling PAMF researchers to conduct disparities research using electronic health records. She was also the co-founder of PRANA, a South Asian Wellness program.

Her current work examines the clinical effectiveness of structured physical activity programs for diabetes management, and the implementation of evidence-based genetic and pharmacogenetic testing in primary care clinics. She serves as the scientific director of Precision Genomics and Pharmacogenomics in Primary Care, and is the faculty director of the Precision Health Biobank, a population-based biobank designed to accelerate genetic and other “omics” discoveries. She co-founded the Center for Asian Health Research and Education at Stanford in 2018.

Paul Wise, MD, MPH
Richard E. Behrman Professor of Child Health and Society
Professor of Pediatrics and Health Policy

Dr. Paul Wise’s research focuses on health inequalities, child health policy, and global child health. He leads a multidisciplinary initiative, Children in Crisis, which is directed at integrating expertise in political science, security, and health services in areas of civil conflict and unstable governance.

Dr. Wise is a senior fellow in the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law and the Center for International Security and Cooperation at the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is also co-director of the March of Dimes Center for Prematurity Research.

Dr. Wise received his medical degree from Cornell University, a Masters of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, and completed pediatric residency training at the Children’s Hospital in Boston. Before coming to Stanford, he was director of Emergency and Primary Care Services at Boston Children’s Hospital, director of the Harvard Institute for Reproductive and Child Health, and vice-chief of the Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He served as special assistant to the U.S. Surgeon General, and was steering committee chair for the NIH Global Network for Women’s and Children’s Health Research. He is currently a member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. 

Med School Morning

Iris Gibbs, MD, FACR
Associate Dean for MD Admissions; Professor of Radiation Oncology (Radiation Therapy), and, by courtesy, of Neurosurgery

As a first-generation college student and the first in her family to become an academic physician, Dr. Gibbs embraces Stanford’s values and mission toward academic excellence through innovation and diversity. After completing her radiation oncology residency at Stanford, Dr. Gibbs accepted a faculty position, and served as a senior leader in both adult and pediatric neuro-oncology. She was also the founding co-director of the Stanford Cyberknife Radiosurgery Program, where her innovations have contributed to new treatments for brain and spinal tumors.

Dr. Gibbs served as the residency program director and director of education in the Department of Radiation Oncology with oversight of the medical student clerkship and fellowship programs. She serves on the American Board of Radiology and is currently on the executive board of the Section on Radiology of the National Medical Association and is current president of the Radiosurgery Society. Dr. Gibbs has been named among the prestigious Best Doctors of America since 2006 and was a fellow of the American College of Radiology and the American Society of Radiation Oncology. She earned a BS in Chemistry at the University of Delaware and received her medical degree at Stanford. 

Steve Smith
Stanford Medicine Community Council Member,
former NASA Astronaut, and Executive

From age seven, Steve Smith dreamed of becoming an astronaut, a goal he attained after four rejections from the United States Astronaut Corps (USAC) and a medical disqualification from the Air Force and NASA. He considers himself a resilient optimist.

After selection by NASA, Steve was the first assigned to fly in his class. He flew on four space shuttle missions and performed seven spacewalks, including five to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. He ranked third on the all-time historical world spacewalk duration list at the completion of his flight career, and served as deputy chief astronaut for the USAC.

Steve traveled 16 million miles in space, but he was a Stanford MBA first. He also has two electrical engineering degrees from Stanford, serves as director on multiple boards, and consults with Silicon Valley venture capitalists. At IBM, he led an R&D team in semiconductor fabrication and co-led a product and sales force rollout. He also served as a diplomat for the United States’ space station.