Spectrum awards more than $1.1 million in pilot grants to 32 projects

Stanford’s clinical and translational research center awards funds to teams of multidisciplinary investigators who are tackling health-care problems through novel approaches.

Thirty-two biomedical teams at Stanford have received about $1.1 million in research funding through the Spectrum pilot grant program.

Spectrum, the Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Education, is focused on accelerating the translation of medical research from bench to bedside. Its pilot grants are awarded to investigators with bold ideas that address health-care problems through novel approaches and multidisciplinary teams.

This year, grants were awarded in five areas: medical technologies; therapeutics; population health; community engagement; and predictive tools and diagnostics. Grants awarded through the Stanford Health Care Innovation Challenge, a new subcategory under population health, went to projects that improve the health of patient populations served by Stanford Health Care. The projects in this subcategory were funded by Stanford Health Care in partnership with Spectrum.

The investigators and projects receiving funds are as follows:

Community engagement

  • “The EARN-Health trial: Improving social determinants of health through a community-based savings and debt-reduction program.” Sanjay Basu, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine; Mark Cullen, MD, professor of medicine; David Rehkopf, ScD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine; Sepideh Modrek, PhD, instructor of medicine; Justin White, PhD, postdoctoral scholar in heart disease prevention.
  • “Early psychosis outreach and education in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties: A community-engaged, public health initiative.” Steven Adelsheim, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences; Nev Jones, PhD, postdoctoral scholar; Kate Hardy, ClinPsyD, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.
  • “Developing a novel clinic intervention to reduce substance use among detained youth.” Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, professor of pediatrics; Arash Anoshiravani, MD, MPH, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics; Maria Roditis, PhD, postdoctoral scholar in adolescent medicine.

Medical technologies

  • “Development of a novel monitoring system to prevent unnecessary blood product wastage.” Barrett Larson, MD, resident in anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine; Alex Macario, MD, MBA, professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine; Neil Shah, MD, clinical assistant professor of pathology.
  • “Study to evaluate a new, nonhormonal treatment for vulvovaginal atrophy in cancer survivors.” Shannon MacLaughlan, MD, clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology; Doug Blayney, MD, professor of medicine.
  • “High-yield, ultrasound-guided biopsy in the peripheral lung.” Arthur Sung, MD, clinical associate professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine; Ryan Van Wert, MD, clinical instructor of medicine; Ben Cohn, graduate student in electrical engineering; Vidya Bhat, graduate student in business.
  • “Predicting clinical pregnancy with embryo mechanics after in vitro fertilization.” David Camarillo, PhD, assistant professor of bioengineering; Barry Behr, PhD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology.
  • “A novel device for treating chronic wound infections.” Peter Lorenz, MD, professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery; Juan Rivas-Davila, PhD, assistant professor of electrical engineering; Johan Andreasson, PhD, postdoctoral scholar in genetics; Julie Saiki, MS, SPARK scholar; Luke Raymond, graduate student in electrical engineering; Michael Hu, MD, postdoctoral scholar in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Predictives and diagnostics

  • “Translating optical coherence tomography to diagnose Meniere’s disease.” John Oghalai, MD, associate professor of otolaryngology.
  • “Microendoscopic sarcomere visualization for the diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of ALS.” Scott Delp, PhD, professor of bioengineering and of mechanical engineering; Mark Schnitzer, PhD, associate professor of biology and of applied physics.
  • “Machine vision for broad microbial detection: A rapid and automated approach for identifying pathogenic bacteria through DNA melting.” Samuel Yang, MD, associate professor of surgery.
  • “Multiplex detection and sequencing of the viral repertoire in clinical samples.” Curt Scharfe, senior scientist in biochemistry; Justin Odegaard, MD, PhD, instructor of pathology; Benjamin Pinsky, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pathology and of medicine; Martina Lefterova, MD, PhD, clinical pathology resident.
  • “Creating a $150 autism diagnosis.” Dennis Wall, MD, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics; Maude David, postdoctoral scholar in pediatric systems medicine.

Population health sciences

  • “Real-time data capture of online epidemiologic data among South Asians: Is it feasible and acceptable for enhancing population-based health research?” Scarlett Gomez, PhD, MPH, consulting associate professor of health research and policy; VJ Periyakoil, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine.
  • “Probiotics in the U.S.: Integrating consumer reports, physician practices and patient behaviors to determine use patterns and implications.” Julie Parsonnet, MD, professor of medicine and of health research and policy; Randall Stafford, MD, PhD, professor of medicine; Catherine Ley, PhD, senior research scientist.
  • “The long-term effects of neighborhoods on health outcomes and behaviors: A quasi-experimental study.” Justin White, PhD, postdoctoral scholar in heart disease prevention; Sanjay Basu, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine; Rita Hamad, MD, MPH, instructor of family medicine; Mads Melbye, MD, DMSc, consulting professor of medicine; Laust Mortensen, PhD, MSc, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Copenhagen.
  • “Mapping access to surgical care: An investigation using geographic information systems for surgery and public health.” Thomas Weiser, MD, MPH, assistant professor of surgery; Micaela Esquivel, MD, surgical resident and research fellow; Tarsicio Uribe-Leitz, MD, MPH, surgery research fellow.
  • “The impacts of educational attainment on population health: An instrumental variables analysis.” Rita Hamad, MD, MPH, instructor of family medicine; David Rehkopf, ScD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine.
  • “Using Google Street View to assess neighborhoods for population health research.” Salma Shariff-Marco, PhD, MPH, consulting assistant professor of health research and policy; Scarlett Gomez, PhD, MPH, associate professor of health research and policy; Abby King, PhD, professor of health research and policy and of medicine.

Stanford Health Care Innovation Challenge

  • “Evaluation of a primary-care model for high-risk, high-cost patients.” Ann Lindsay, MD, clinical professor of medicine; Mark Cullen, MD, professor of medicine; Donna Zulman, MD, instructor of medicine; Alan Glaseroff, MD, clinical professor of medicine; Kathan Vollrath, MD, MPH, clinical associate professor of medicine; Allison Pitt, graduate student in management science and engineering; Kenny Shum, PhD, statistical data analyst.
  • “Implementing electronic clinical decision support to improve emergency care for children.” Daniel Imler, MD, clinical assistant professor of surgery and of pediatrics; Paul Sharek, MD, MPH, associate professor of pediatrics; Christopher Longhurst, MD, clinical associate professor of pediatrics and of medicine; James Quinn, MD, professor of surgery; Nancy Ewen Wang, MD, associate professor of surgery.
  • “Evaluating the impact of emergency department-based community partnerships to address social determinants of health.” Jennifer Newberry, JD, MD, instructor of surgery; Nancy Ewen Wang, MD, associate professor of surgery.
  • “Closing the learning-health-care system loop:  Production and usability testing of a clinical decision support interface powered by expertise data-mined from electronic medical records.” Jonathan Chen, MD, PhD, postdoctoral scholar in medical informatics; Russ Altman, MD, PhD, professor of bioengineering, of genetics and of medicine; Mary Goldstein, MD, professor of medicine; Steven Asch, MD, MPH, professor of medicine.
  • “Effectiveness of a novel virtual primary care clinic: A population-based study.”  Sumbul Desai, MD, clinical assistant professor of medicine; Lauren Cheung, MD, MBA, clinical instructor of medicine.
  • “Pain clinic optimization of patient experience: Leveraging open-source learning-health-care system platform for prescriptive analytics approach to patient satisfaction.” Ming-Chih Kao, MD, PhD, clinical assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine; Beth Darnall, PhD, clinical associate professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine; Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine; Rachel Moericke, MS, research coordinator; Ravi Prasad, PhD, clinical associate professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine.
  • “Pioneering genomic medicine at Stanford: Developing a personalized medicine practice.” Latha Palaniappan, MD, clinical professor of medicine; Mark Cullen, MD, professor of medicine; and 16 Stanford Medicine co-investigators.

Therapeutics

  • “Next-generation selective AAK1 and GAK inhibitors for combating emerging viral infections.” Shirit Einav, MD, assistant professor of medicine and of microbiology and immunology; Mark Smith, PhD, ChEM-H senior research scientist; Vijay Pande, PhD, professor of chemistry.
  • “Development of novel beta-1-adrenergic receptor agonists as novel medication for Alzheimer’s disease.” Mehrdad Shamloo, PhD, associate professor of neurosurgery; Pooneh Memar Ardestani, MD, PhD, postdoctoral scholar in neurosurgery; Bitna Yi, PhD, postdoctoral scholar in neurosurgery; Alam Jahangir, consultant.
  • “Developing a novel therapeutic targeting the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor for treatment of hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia post-bariatric surgery.” Tracey McLaughlin, MD, associate professor of medicine; Colleen Craig, MD, postdoctoral scholar in endocrinology.
  • “Development of peptide vaccines for the treatment of glioblastoma using a chemical biology approach.” Albert Wong, MD, professor of neurosurgery; Allis Chien, PhD, director of Stanford University Mass Spectrometry.
  • “Repurposing of a pump inhibitor as an immune-enabling anti-tuberculosis drug.”  Niaz Banaei, MD, associate professor of pathology and of medicine; Rajiv Gaur, PhD, pathology research associate.
  • “Developing novel inhibitors for the treatment of tuberculosis and clostridium difficile infection.” Irimpan Mathews, staff scientist; Irishi Namboothiri, PhD, professor of chemistry at Indian Institute of Technology; Amnon Kohen, PhD, professor of chemistry at the University of Iowa.

Spectrum pilot grants are administered by Stanford Biodesign (medical technologies), SPARK (therapeutics), Population Health Sciences, the Office of Community Health (community engagement) and the Stanford Predictives and Diagnostics Accelerator, called SPADA, (predictives and diagnostics). Primary funding comes from Spectrum’s $45.3 million Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health.


Stanford Medicine integrates research, medical education and health care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care (formerly Stanford Hospital & Clinics), and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. For more information, please visit the Office of Communication & Public Affairs site at http://mednews.stanford.edu.

Leading in Precision Health

Stanford Medicine is leading the biomedical revolution in precision health, defining and developing the next generation of care that is proactive, predictive and precise. 

A Legacy of Innovation

Stanford Medicine's unrivaled atmosphere of breakthrough thinking and interdisciplinary collaboration has fueled a long history of achievements.