Stanford to work with Duke, Google on pilot study

Researchers are planning a comprehensive initiative to understand the molecular markers that are key to health.

Sanjiv Sam Gambhir

Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine and from the Duke University School of Medicine are working with Google [x] on a small pilot study of healthy people in Southern California in an effort to begin to understand the biological basis of health.

“This study is possible because of advances in technology and biomarkers, which will allow us to establish a baseline set of values that indicate health, and then to follow changes that may occur during disease development,” said Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD, chair of Stanford’s Radiology Department and director of the Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection. Gambhir will lead Stanford’s consulting role in the study.

The pilot study is meant to identify the types of biological questions researchers should explore more fully. It will also serve as the foundation for a larger research initiative at Stanford and Duke aimed at identifying the molecular parameters of a healthy physiology. The researchers believe the study will lead to important advances in understanding the development and progression of cardiovascular disease, cancer and other medical conditions.

“A baseline set of insights about health, including variation of biochemical parameters in the healthy population, will likely help in the prevention and earlier detection of disease with significant potential for improved health outcomes,” Gambhir said.

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