Latest News

Crystal Mackall awarded $11.9 million for anti-leukemia clinical trial

CRYSTAL MACKALL, professor of pediatrics and of medicine at the School of Medicine, was awarded $11.9 million by the governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to fund a clinical trial of immune cells genetically modified to recognize two proteins on the surface of leukemia and lymphoma cells.

Mackall directs the Stanford Center for Cancer Cell Therapy, where the trial will be conducted.

Alison Marsden - one of two from Stanford named 2018 SIAM Fellows

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) has named MARGOT GERRITSEN, professor of energy resources engineering, and ALISON MARSDEN, associate professor of bioengineering and of pediatrics, 2018 SIAM Fellows. The award recognizes exemplary research, as well as outstanding service to the community of professionals and academics in applied mathematics and computational science.

Dr. Marsden, Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Cardiology) and of Bioengineering, is being recognized for contributions to the development and clinical translation of cardiovascular patient-specific modeling, optimization, uncertainty and simulation methodology, and open source software development. She is also a member of ICME.

Precision health and growth mindsets at Childx

The third Childx conference was sponsored by Stanford's Child Health Research Institute, as was much of the research described in the sessions, added Mary Leonard, MD, the institute's director. "From its inception 10 years ago, the Child Health Research Institute has sought to marshal all the disciplines and expertise at Stanford to launch healthy lives," Leonard said.

One of the day's speakers whose work illustrates the power of cross-disciplinary thinking to benefit children was Carol Dweck, PhD, Stanford professor of psychology, who has spent her career investigating how having a growth mindset — the belief that traits such as intelligence or health are not fixed, but can be changed with effort — helps kids succeed.

Four faculty members at the School of Medicine have been appointed to endowed professorships.

GARY SHAW, DrPH, professor of pediatrics was appointed the NICU Nurses Professor, effective Dec. 5. His research interests include epidemiology of birth defects, nutrition during pregnancy and how the interactions between genes and the environment affect perinatal outcomes.


The professorship was created by an anonymous donor, who is an alumnus of the School of Medicine, to support a faculty member in the Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics. It will be renamed for David K. Stevenson, MD, upon his retirement or departure from Stanford. Known for his work in neonatal jaundice and prevention of preterm birth, Stevenson is senior associate dean for maternal and child health and co-director of the Child Health Research Institute.

Christopher Dawes, president and CEO of Stanford Children's Health announces retirement

Christopher Dawes, president and CEO of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Stanford Children’s Health, announced his retirement on March 20 after nearly 30 years with the organization.

Dennis P. Lund, MD, chief medical officer for Stanford Children’s Health, has been appointed interim CEO.

Stanford Medicine leaders introduce integrated strategic plan

More than 400 faculty, staff and students assembled March 23 to hear Stanford Medicine leaders lay out the principles of an integrated strategic plan aimed at aligning the goals and priorities of the medical school and hospitals.

Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine, and David Entwistle, president and CEO of Stanford Health Care, introduced an integrated strategic plan for the medical school and hospitals that constitute Stanford Medicine. The creation of this plan was a joint effort by Minor, Entwistle and Christopher Dawes, who recently retired as president and CEO of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Stanford Children’s Health.

Dianne and Tad Taube Commit $20 million to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford

Tad and Dianne Taube have committed $20 million to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford to support the opening of the new main building, which welcomed its first patients last December.

The newly renamed Tad and Dianne Taube Pavilion (the south tower of the new main building) houses state-of-the-art operating rooms, imaging suites and intensive care units in a child-friendly environment. 

This commitment will bring the couple’s total giving to Packard Children’s and the child health programs at the Stanford School of Medicine to more than $35 million. The Taubes now rank among the top five individual donors in Packard Children’s 26-year history since the original founding gift from David and Lucile Packard.


Graduating Medical Students Match to Residencies

Stanford medical students gathered together on Match Day to find out where they would serve their residencies for the next three or more years.

Twins Stephanie and Tiffany Chen on Match Day at Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge. A timer projected on a screen counted down the minutes and seconds until they and their fellow Stanford medical students could open envelopes with letters informing them where they would spend their residencies.  


The “remarkably successful” CAR-T cell therapy is giving new hope to the sickest cancer patients.  

CAR-T cell therapy is a rapidly emerging form of what’s known as cancer immunotherapy, and it’s been uncommonly successful. So successful, in fact, that in August the Food and Drug Administration fast-tracked its approval of a CAR-T cell treatment for children with relapsed or unresponsive acute lymphoblastic leukemia or ALL. Marketed as Kymriah by Novartis, it was the first cell-based gene therapy approved by the FDA for use in humans. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford recently entered a contract with Novartis to become a certified treatment center, making it one of a small handful of California hospitals to offer Kymriah to children and young adults who may be helped.

Stanford Medicine Magazine Winter 2018 issue: The Power of CRISPR

  • Researchers believe that the ability of the gene-editing tool CRISPR to quickly remove, delete and repair defective genes could improve the lives of millions of people with inherited disorders. But many fear the consequences if safeguards aren’t established. Those include the possibility of using it to create designer babies, or that ongoing experiments to alter the DNA of disease-spreading insects or genetically enhance crops could have unintended negative impacts.

High-Tech Imaging Could Reveal Mysteries of Bone Damage in Children with Chronic Disease

“High-resolution CT scans help us understand why the bones are weak,” Dr. Mary Leonard, MD, MSCE, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Physician-in-Chief of the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford said. “Is it because the shell of the bone is thin? Is it not dense enough? Does it have pores or holes it shouldn’t have?” These details are telling: Inflammation leaves one type of damage traced on the bone, steroid medications leave another. Vitamin D deficiency looks different, too. “If we understand the underpinnings of the fragility, it gives us insight into the mechanism of bone damage,” she said.

A key tool in Dr. Leonard's efforts is the Stanford Assessment of Bone and Muscle across the Ages (SAMBA) Center's high-resolution CT scanner that is designed to provide an extremely detailed view of the bone structure inside the arms and legs, and it uses much less radiation than a typical medical CT scanner.