Latest News

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.  


Tad and Dianne Taube Gift $14.5 Million to Launch Youth Addiction and Chidren's Concussion Initiatives

Tad and Dianne Taube of Taube Philanthropies made two gifts totalling $14.5 million to the Stanford School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford to address addiction and concussions - two of the most significant issues affecting the health and well-being of children and adolescent.  


New Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford is now open!

Over a decade in the making, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford opened its new main building grounds on Dec. 9. The more than 521,000 sq. ft. building more than doubles the size of the existing pediatric and obstetric hospital campus. The new building adds 149 patient beds for a total of 361 beds. This enables the hospital to serve more patients than ever before and allows it to deploy


Spotlight on Kids

The Fall 2017 issue of Stanford Medicine highlights the ways specialists are using the latest technology and treatments to put children and their families at the center of care.  This was produced in collaboration with the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. It shows how physicians, researchers, and caregivers are transforming pediatric care to ensure that treatment puts children- and their families - at the center of their health care more than ever before.


Clinical trial suggests new cell therapy for relapsed leukemia patients

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the National Cancer Institute found that a significant proportion of children and young adults with treatment-resistant B-cell leukemia who particiapted in a small study achieved remission with the help of a new form of gene therapy.

The therapy is similar to but distinct from CD19-targeted chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, or CAR T-cell therapy, in which a patient’s T cells are genetically modified to target a molecule called CD19 on the surface of the cancer cells. This therapy was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of some types of blood cancers.

The new therapy genetically modifies a patient’s T cells to target a different molecule called CD22. The new approach is helpful because the cancer cells of some patients who undergo CD19-directed CAR T-cell therapy stop expressing the CD19 molecule on the cell surface.


Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford appoints two new members to the Board of Directors

November, 2017

Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford has appointed two new board members: Tonia Karr and Randy Livingston.

Tonia Karr is a community volunteer and current member of the Stanford Board of Trustees. She is currently on the Graduate School of Education Advisory Council at Stanford.

Randy Livingston is chief financial officer and vice president for business affairs at Stanford University.

Board chair, Jeffrey Chambers, said Karr and Livingston will bring unique and valued perspectives to the board.


Good leadership, self-compassion key to tackling physician burnout

October 17, 2017

At the 2017  American Conference on Physician Health in San Francisco, which attracted 425 attendees, mostly physicians, from 44 states and seven countries, featured a range of speakers, from medical students to experts on physician burnout. They shared personal experiences, presented research and offered tips on coping with stress.

Tait Shanafelt, MD, the chief wellness officer at Stanford Medicine, noted that nearly half of physicians — 45 percent — currently show at least one symptom of burnout. Not only do burned-out physicians provide lower-quality care, but also replacing physicians who leave because of burnout costs the United States $5 billion a year. He added that the problem can spiral within an organization: “There’s an infectious component of burnout,” he said. Other members of the care team “learn cynicism.”

Conference speakers agreed that administrative requirements — such as entering information into electronic health records, or EHRs, and filling prescriptions — contribute to physician unhappiness. But they also blamed a toxic culture in many health care organizations, along with a tendency among physicians to deny their own suffering.


Stanford School of Medicine researcher awarded a grant of $5.2 million from The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to lay the groundwork for a clinical trial of a possible treatment for sickle cell disease.

October, 2017:

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) grant will be used to fund work that needs to be done before asking the Food and Drug Administration to sign off on the potential treatment as an investigational new drug.

Matthew Porteus, MD, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics, has shown that he can take human blood stem cells with the gene defect that causes sickle cell disease and use gene-editing tools to repair the faulty gene. He also showed that he could successfully transplant those repaired blood stem cells into mice.

“We are extremely excited that, with CIRM support, we may be able to use gene correction to treat this terrible disease,” Porteus said.



Stanford School of Medicine Celebrates the Opening of D-CORE

October 2, 2017:

The School of Medicine’s Diversity Center of Representation and Empowerment (D-CORE) — the school’s first center of its kind —  officially opened in Lane Library for use by School of Medicine (SoM) trainees, residents, students, faculty and non-SoM affiliates.

Promoting diversity and inclusion are essential for achieving the goals of Stanford as a world leader in medicine and the biosciences, Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine, said in remarks at the center’s opening.

 “We know that in less than a decade, the minority populations in the United States will be the majority,” Minor said. “We have to represent the population we serve.”

Minor added he believes it’s part of his role to work toward these goals “to make us a better community, country and world.”