MCHRI Biodesign Faculty Fellows

MCHRI Funded Partner

The Maternal and Child Health Research Institute (MCHRI) has sponsored maternal and child health Biodesign Faculty Fellowships since fiscal year 2018.  The fellowship provides motivated Stanford faculty members from the schools of Medicine and Engineering with advanced training and mentoring in health technology innovation.

Over approximately 6 months, the program leads participants through a rigorous approach for identifying important innovation opportunities within or outside their departments, inventing cost-effective solutions, and—importantly—preparing to implement those inventions to improve patient care.

Through the experience, faculty members gain an understanding of technology translation challenges and opportunities, and also develop a robust network of health technology contacts within and outside the university. 

FY 2020 Fellows

Ritu Asija, MD
Clinical Associate Professor, Pediatrics (Cardiology) 

Project concept: A way to prevent catheter-associated deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in patients with PICC lines in order to reduce the need for systemic anticoagulation and preserve future vascular access.

Yael Gernez, MD, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor, Pediatrics (Immunology and Allergy)

Project concept: A way to detect early signs of an allergic reaction in patients with food allergy (FA) or at increased risk of FA in order to prevent anaphylaxis and admission to the Emergency Department.

Anita Honkanen, MD
Clinical Professor,  Anesthesiology, Perioperative & Pain Medicine

Project concept: A way to support skin and soft tissues in immobilized patients in hospital critical care settings to decrease incidence of pressure-related injuries.

Kunj Sheth, MD
Assistant Professor, Urology

Project concept: A way to allow continuous bladder drainage (urethral catheterization) in male patients that decreases urethral trauma. 

Past Fellows


“The knowledgeable instructors and large number of subject experts who donate their time is what makes the BFF such a phenomenal learning experience. As this program lays the foundation for clinicians and researchers who foresee biomedical device development as a part of their career, it is an invaluable educational opportunity.”

Thomas (Tony) A. Anderson, MD, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor,  Anesthesiology, Perioperative & Pain Medicine

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“The Stanford Biodesign Faculty Fellowship is truly one of the most transformational programs that I have experienced at Stanford. It really changed my perspective on how to think about problems that I encounter in clinical care. Highly recommend to faculty who would like to view clinical problems and their solutions in an innovative and design centered way.”

Sumit Bhargava, MD
Clinical Associate Professor, Pediatrics (Pulmonary Medicine)

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“It’s a terrific program! I looked forward to each week’s session and I would enroll again, if I could. We learned a hands-on, systematic, step-by-step process for medical innovation – from identifying and selecting needs to creating solutions, all with an eye to the various market, regulatory, IP, cost, and reimbursement concerns that will determine whether your ideas ever help a patient. It is certainly related but substantially different than innovating in the research setting. I now feel like I’m part of the larger biodesign community, an incredibly rich ecosystem to help me make medical innovations a reality.”

Thomas Robinson, MPH, MD
Professor, Pediatrics (General Pediatrics) of Medicine (Stanford Prevention Research Center) 

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“The Stanford Biodesign Program was an incredible experience which taught me the value of identifying the key need behind a medical problem in order that promising and innovative technologies can then be designed to improve patient care.  The course was well structured and provided me with numerous opportunities to learn about different aspects of the healthcare ecosystem ranging from coding and reimbursement to regulatory pathways.”

Avnesh Thakor, MD, PhD 
Assistant Professor, Radiology (Pediatric Radiology)