Some viruses help protect harmful bacteria in CF patients

Some viruses sequester antibiotics in the lungs of CF patients, possibly helping drug-resistant bacterial infections develop in the face of large antibiotic doses, a Stanford-led study has shown. The study’s co-senior authors are Paul Bollyky, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine and of microbiology and immunology, and Carlos Milla, MD, professor of pediatrics. Milla and Burgener are pediatric pulmonologists at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, where they treat CF patients.

Three new Podcasts on Diversity

  1. Benji Laniakea, MD, a clinical assistant professor in primary care and population health
  2. Deb Karhson, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in psychiatry and behavioral sciences;
  3. Ayodele Thomas, PhD, associate dean for graduate and career education and diversity in the Stanford Biosciences' Office of Graduate Education.

A Look at the Pediatric Innovation Showcase

Scientists, innovators, venture capitalists and medical industry experts gathered at Stanford last week for the second annual Stanford Children's Health Pediatric Innovation Showcase, a daylong event highlighting new devices and developments in pediatric medicine.

The conference covered wide ground, including engaging patients with social media, better hospital design, commercialization of scientific innovations, the promises of gene therapy, and several medical uses of virtual reality. Capping the day, pediatric health innovators vied for funding in a pitch competition hosted by the UCSF-Stanford Pediatric Device Consortium. Of 80 entries, 13 finalists described the medical devices they are developing for babies and kids.

The Clinical Research Quality office released new procedures to enhance research quality, efficiency and compliance

The Clinical Research Quality office has just released a new library of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) aimed at helping groups conduct quality human-subject research more efficiently and in compliance with laws and regulations.

As a research institution, Stanford University must comply with laws, policies and regulations established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), the International Conference on Harmonization guidelines (ICH), and the State of California.

On March 15, Stanford's 85 medical students matched in 19 fields of training

Four-hundred flutes for sparkling wine and cider lined the tables, awaiting the morning’s celebratory toast. Hundreds of red, gold and white balloons were suspended on the ceiling like a held breath. With their loved ones close by, 85 Stanford medical students were about to learn where they would train to be doctors over the next several years.  

Match Day, the most suspenseful day of the year for medical students, is the day that medical students nationwide open envelopes at the same time - on the West Coast, that means 9AM - revealing where they will spend their residencies. This year, Match Day, fell on March 15.

With metabolic profiles of children, new center hopes to head off disease early

In a bid to understand the origins of many childhood diseases, a Stanford team plans to broadly characterize the metabolic profiles of thousands of patients treated at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Stanford Children’s Health clinics.

Researchers at the Metabolic Health Center, whose launch was approved by the dean’s office in February, will analyze patients’ blood and urine samples with mass spectrometry to measure about 1,500 small molecules per patient, with the ultimate goal of producing a detailed metabolic profile of every patient seen at the hospital or clinics. The metabolites, indicators of what the body’s cells are busy doing, will include nearly 800 individual lipids and an additional 700 nonlipid chemicals. The team plans to have their first 1,000 metabolic profiles completed by the end of 2019.

The mosquito trackers

  • Working in Kenya, Colombia and the United States, infectious disease expert and associate professor of pediatrics, Desiree Labeaud, MD, and her colleagues aim to predict and prevent deadly outbreaks of diseases that insects spread by better understanding how mosquitoes and humans interact.
  • “Humans can get anywhere in the world in 24 hours, and so can these infections,” LaBeaud said. “They come in us. We go on vacation, the virus gets in our blood, we come home and, if the vectors are there, it’s a perfect storm waiting to happen.
  • “We can no longer take a, ‘We are here in America, and the diseases stop at the border’ attitude,” she added. “Because of global travel and the way we’re changing our planet, with climate change and extreme weather events, there’s a lot of potential for these mosquito habitats to shift and spread and grow.”

Doctors are becoming happier with their work life

A recent survey found that doctors are feeling better about their jobs than three years earlier. About 44% of physicians who responded to a nationwide survey between October 2017 and March 2018 reported at least one symptom of burnout. In 2014, that number was about 54 percent.

Tait Shanafelt, MD, the director of Stanford’s WellMD Center and an advocate for physician wellness, offers some possible explanations: The unhappiest doctors have left the profession; 2014 was a bad year because of health system mergers and new administrative requirements; and, most optimistically, health care organizations are improving working conditions.

Physician-scientist navigates own health challenges to reach heights of 25-year career

Eric Sibley was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis just as his career in pediatric gastroenterology was taking off. But in his unique circumstances, he unlocked his potential as an academic advisor and role model.

For Eric Sibley, prevailing through adversity had a lot to do with those who’d cleared the path ahead of him, and his awareness that he could do the same. “There were times later in my career when there was no one like me in a role ahead of me, no one to advise or mentor me,” he said. “So it was important to me to be that role model, to be a person students and colleagues with similar challenges could look to for guidance and encouragement.”