News & Announcements Archive
Cholera and starvation in Yemen are preventable, Stanford pediatrician says
Paul Wise, co-chair of the Preconception, Pregnancy, & Early Childhood working group and the Richard E. Behrman Professor in Child Health and a professor of pediatrics, was the co-author of a recent report on the cholera epidemic in Yemen. Here he discusses the epidemic and the widespread starvation that accompanies it.
How personalized medicine is transforming your health care
This piece investigates how gene research and data mining will affect clinical care. The work of Michael Snyder, co-chair of the PHS Gene Environment and the Stanford W. Ascherman, MD, FACS, professor and chair of genetics, is featured here. The story appears in the January 2019 issue, “The Future of Medicine.”
Teen vaping continues to rise while other drug use declines, survey finds
A new report shows vaping among America's teenagers continues to climb, while the use of other substances — such as alcohol and opioids — has declined in recent years. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, professor of pediatrics, provides comment in this article.
What we know about diet and weight loss
This piece discusses research on dieting and references a study led by Christopher Gardner, the Rehnborg Farquhar Professor and a professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and PHS' chair of the Food and Nutrition working group, which found that patients given either a low-fat or a low-carb diet lost about the same amount of weight after a year.
The hearbeat seat: Demoing new well-being technologies in a car
As part of a story for Stanford Medicine magazine, science writer Hanae Armitage tested out new technology that's meant to keep drivers more relaxed. The magazine piece focuses on work by Pablo Paredes, an instructor in radiology and in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, who is leading an effort rooted in "digital mindfulness," which harnesses technology to create and enhance a positive mental state.
40 million people with diabetes will be left without insulin by 2030, study predicts
Worldwide, the number of people with Type 2 diabetes is expected to rise to 79 million adults by 2030, but only half will be able to access insulin, if current trends continue, according to a new study. Lead author Sanjay Basu, assistant professor of medicine, faculty fellow at the Center for Population Health Sciences, is quoted here.
U.S. life expectancy declines again, a dismal trend not seen since World War I
Annual statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed drug overdoses and suicides contributed to a decline in U.S. life expectancy. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this piece.
Using technology to make commuters not-so-fast and not-so-furious
Pablo Paredes, an instructor in radiology and in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is leading an effort rooted in "digital mindfulness," which harnesses technology to create and enhance a positive mental state. His work is highlighted in the current issue of Stanford Medicine magazine.
Patients at high risk of HIV should take daily preventative drug, a task force recommends
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force is recommending that people at high risk of acquiring HIV take a daily pre-exposure prophylaxis known as PrEP. Douglas Owens is vice-chair of the Task Force. He is the Henry J. Kaiser, Jr. Professor and a professor of medicine and director of the Center for Health Policy and of the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research.
Air quality in California: Devastating fires lead to a new danger
As a result of the Camp Fire burning near Paradise in Northern California, the entire Bay Area is experiencing unhealthy air quality. This article discusses potential long-term health effects of large wildfires. Kari Nadeau, the Naddisy Foundation Professor of Pediatric Food Allergy, Immunology and Asthma, professor of medicine and of pediatrics, and director of the Parker Center, provides comment.
How to write a last letter to your loved ones
This piece features the Stanford Letter Project, which encourages people near the end of life to express their feelings to loved ones in letters. The project’s founder, VJ Periyakoil, associate professor of medicine and director of palliative care education and training, & faculty fellow, stanford center for population health sciences, is quoted here.
The FDA just approved an opioid 10 times more powerful than fentanyl!
Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences & chief of the Stanford Addiction Dual Diagnosis Clinic, & member of Population Health Sciences' Diseases of Despair working group is quoted in this piece.
Cancer surpasses heart disease as leading cause of death in many US counties
Cancer will replace heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States within two years, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projections referenced in a new study led by Latha Palaniappan, professor of medicine, & Population Health Sciences, associate faculty director of education . She is quoted here and in a HealthDay News story.
Here's an idea to improve the SNAP program
This article discusses a study that suggests modifying the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to encourage better food choices could improve recipients' health and cut billions of dollars in health care costs. Sanjay Basu, assistant professor of medicine and PHS' Health Disparities working group co-chair is author of a perspective piece and is quoted here.
How creative science is helping make neighborhoods healthier
Dr. Abby King is frustrated by our habit of blaming poor health choices on individuals. She believes instead that much of the blame often lies in our environment. The mHealth & Other New Technologies for Health working group co-chair Abby King is quoted in this article.
Word Bank Group leader addresses global health community at Stanford
World Bank president Jim Yong Kim shared insights from his experience at the helm of global health and financing organizations during a recent Conversations in Global Health event. Paul Wise, the Richard E. Behrman Professor in Child Health and professor of pediatrics and a core faculty member for the Center for Innovation in Global Health, interviewed Kim on stage. Michele Barry, senior associate dean for global health, is quoted in this piece.
Finding answers for patients with rarest of rare diseases
More than 100 patients afflicted by mysterious illnesses have been diagnosed through a network of detective-doctors who investigate unidentified diseases, reports a study conducted by scientists at the School of Medicine and multiple collaborating institutes. The Undiagnosed Diseases Network — a program created by the National Institutes of Health — now has 12 clinics nationwide, including one at Stanford. Jon Bernstein, associate professor of pediatrics & PHS' Special Populations & Rare Diseases co-chair, was interviewed for segments that aired on CBS This Morning and ABC 7 News (KGO-TV).
DNA databases are too white. This man aims to fix that
In this Q&A, Carlos Bustamante, professor of biomedical data science and genetics & co-chair for PHS' Health Disparities-Global & Domestic working group, discusses insights from his work identifying genetic variations among people with different ancestries.
Juul users more likely to get hooked, Stanford study of young vapers finds
Teens and young adults who use Juul brand e-cigarettes are failing to recognize the product’s addictive potential despite using it more often than their peers who smoke conventional cigarettes, according to a new study by Stanford researchers. Senior author Bonnie Halper-Felsher, professor of pediatrics, is quoted in this story. The study’s co-authors, Mike Baiocchi, assistant professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, and Karma McKelvey, a postdoctoral researcher, are also referenced here.
Mark Cullen Appointed to University Leadership Role
Mark Cullen, senior associate dean for research & director of PHS, has been appointed senior associate vice provost for research. Dr. Cullen’s commitment to interdisciplinary discovery and Precision Health make him the ideal person to help promote and shape the university’s research mission, and I’m grateful for his ongoing dedication to the school and our investigators.
A look at how colds and chronic disease affect DNA epression
Michael Snyder, co-chair of the PHS Gene Environment and the Stanford W. Ascherman, MD, FACS, professor and chair of genetics, has tracked the expression of his genes for three years, focusing on changes in response to chronic or acute disease.
Stanford experts spotlight climate and health at Global Climate Action Summit
Stanford experts discuss the linkages between climate change and health, an area that will be a focus of Stanford-led events at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. Marshall Burke, faculty fellow, Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences will be presenting at the summit.
The most essential books for wrapping your head around the opioid crisis
This piece highlights a selection of books about the opioid crisis and inludes "Drug Dealer, MD" written by PHS' diseases of despair working group member, Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.
Big data confirm Type 2 diabetes treatment approach
As a second-line treatment in addition to metformin, dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors may have some advantages over other therapies for Type 2 diabetes, a new study has found. Nigam Shah, associate professor of bioinformatics and PHS's Analytics working group co-chair, is included here. (subscription may be required; please contact Becky Bach at email@example.com for a copy)
Study: More children die in Africa from after effects of war than from war itself
Stanford-led analysis of the indirect impact of armed conflict in Africa shows that as many as 3.5 million infants born within 30 miles of combat were killed over two decades. PHS affiliated faculty member, Eran Bendavid, associate professor of medicine the Senior author, is quoted here and in articles from Deutsche Welle, Global News, NPR, and Reuters.
Courts and the opioid crisis
Law professors, Michelle Mello, PHS Diseases and Despair working group member and Nora Freeman Engstrom discuss the legal implications of the U.S. opioid epidemic for companies and physicians.
Stemming the opioid crisis
Members of the PHS Diseases and Despair working group have acknowledged the opioid crisis along with Stanford researchers. Increasing the availability of naloxone, cutting opioid prescriptions by 25 percent and expanding drug-treatment programs could reduce opioid-related deaths by 6,000 over 10 years, Stanford researchers estimate.
Advance directives: How to talk with patients about
This post describes the approach and content of the online physician education module "Planning for End-of-Life Decisions with Your Patients." PHS' faculty fellow, VJ Periyakoil, associate professor of medicine and director of palliative care education and training, wrote the module and provides comment here.
State approves $15 million for youth mental health centers
The clinic, which has yet to be named, is inspired by a model in Australia called headspace, which provides early-intervention services — from physical and mental health to alcohol and other drugs, work and academic issues — to young people at low or no cost. There are similar youth mental health centers in Canada and Ireland, but none yet in the United States. PHS' Adolescent Health working group chair, Steven Adelsheim, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing, is quoted.
Milk myth busting
Milk used to be simple, but not anymore. Christopher Gardner, the Rehnborg Farquhar Professor and a professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and PHS' chair of the Food and Nutrition working group cuts through the confusion and clarifies misconceptions about milk.
Typical kid behavior or a mental-health problem? It can be hard to decide.
Mental-health challenges are a serious - and growing - problem for teenagers. This piece examines how parents can recognize if their behavior is normal or something more serious. PHS' Adolescent Health working group chair, Steven Adelsheim, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing, is quoted.
Antianxiety drugs - often more deadly than opioids - are fueling the next drug crisis in U.S.
PHS' diseases of despair working group member, Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this article. Addiction to benzodiazepines — drugs commonly used to treat anxiety and other conditions — are on the rise.
Legal U.S. Immigrants may be scared to sign up for benefits
PHS' Health disparities working group member, Marcella Alsan, associate professor of medicine, co-authored the research. A new study has found that fewer Hispanic immigrants enrolled for benefits such as food stamps while an immigration program known as Secure Communities was active between 2008 and 2014.
AHA: Limit diet sodas and drinks, stick to water instead
New recommendations from the American Heart Association counsel against regular and long-term consumption of diet beverages and urge people to drink water instead. Christopher Gardner, the Rehnborg Farquhar Professor and a professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and PHS's chair of the Food and Nutrition working group provides comment on this article.
Scientists search for causes of preterm birth & better ways to test for risk
Two new predicitive tests for preterm birth developed at Stanford, including one that analyzes cell-free RNA circulating in the mother’s blood, have shown promising results. Preconception, Pregnancy and Early Childhood working group co-chair, Gary Shaw, NICU Nurses Professor and professor of pediatrics, and David K. Stevenson, the Harold K. Faber Professor of Pediatrics, both who are involved with the research, provide comment in this piece.
Blood sugar spikes seen in seemingly healthy people
A new Stanford study reveals that some people who don’t have diabetes and seem healthy may have fluctuations in their blood sugar levels. Senior author Michael Snyder, co-chair of the PHS Gene Environment and the Stanford W. Ascherman, MD, FACS, professor and professor and chair of genetics, is quoted in this article.
New Stanford algorithm could improve diagnosis of many rare genetic diseases
Stanford researchers have developed an algorithm that could cut down the time needed to diagnose rare genetic diseases by 90 percent. Gill Bejerano, associate professor of developmental biology, of computer science and of pediatrics; and Jon Bernstein, associate professor of pediatrics & co-chair of the Center for Population Health Sciences Special Populations and Rare Diseases working group are authors.
How more carbon dioxide in the air could lead to more human disease
The rising level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means that crops are becoming less nutritious, and that change could lead to higher rates of malnutrition that predispose people to various diseases. Dr. Sanjay Basu, assistant professor of medicine and Faculty Fellow at Stanford's Center for Population Health Sciences is one of the study's authors.
Breathing dirty air
Exposure to particulate matter in sub-Saharan Africa led to 400,000 otherwise preventable infant deaths in 2015, according to a new Stanford study. Marshall Burke, study co-author and faculty fellow, Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences is quoted in the article. PHS affiliated faculty member Eran Bendavid is a also a co-author on the study.
Distributional change of women's adult height in low- and middle-income countries over the past half century.
Adult height reflects childhood circumstances and is associated with health, longevity, and maternal–fetal outcomes. Mean height is an important population metric, and declines in height have occurred in several low- and middle-income countries, especially in Africa, over the last several decades. This study examines changes at the population level in the distribution of height over time across a broad range of low- and middle-income countries during the past half century. Ivan Mejia-Guevara, senior research scientist with the Center for Population Health Sciences, has recently published a paper.
Research shows that the prevalence of dementia has fallen in the United States
New research about "cognitive life expectancy" - how long older adults live with good vs. declining brain health - shows that after age 65, men and women spend more than a dozen years in good cognitive health on average. Amal Harrati, an instructor of medicine provides comment in this article.
At 94, Stanford Victor Fuchs celebrates his new book, dispenses wisdom
Victor Fuchs, the Henry J. Kaiser, Jr., Professor of Economics and of Health Research and Policy, emeritus, known for his lifelong contributions to health economics, recently celebrated the publication of his new book “Health Economics and Policy: Selected Writings” with a talk on campus.
Consumer DNA testing promises more than it delivers
This piece discusses the increasing popularity of at-home genetic testing. Christopher Gardner, the Rehnborg Farquhar Professor and a professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and PHS's chair of the Food and Nutrition working group provides comment on this article.
Antiviral treatments reduce cancer risk for HIV patients
A new study shows that long-term antiretroviral therapy cuts the risk of cancer in HIV patients as they age. Lesley Park, instructor in medicine and associate director, research and data strategy, Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences is the study author.
The digital evolution of health at Big Data in Precision Health
At the Big Data in Precision Health conference last week, a panel of speakers, including Leanne Williams, discussed the ways digital health is enhancing health care. Williams is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and the Center for Population Health Sciences' Health and Behavior working group co-chair.
New risk calculator could change the aspirin, statins and blood pressure medications some people take
Sanjay Basu, assistant professor of medicine and PHS' Health Disparities working group co-chair, and his colleagues have come up with new calculations to help physicians decide whether to prescribe aspirin, blood pressure or statin medications by estimating the risk a patient may have for a heart attack or stroke.
WHO calls for elimination of trans fat in foods by 2023
The World Health Organization has launched an inititiative called REPLACE that will provide guidance for all countries on how to remove artificial trans fats from their foods. Christopher Gardner, the Rehnborg Farquhar Professor and a professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and PHS's chair of the Food and Nutrition working group provides comment on this article.
Cod and 'immune broth': California tests food as medicine
A state-funded clinical trial will test whether nutritious daily melas for chronically ill people can improve health and reduce medicial costs. Stanford is mentioned in the article and quotes Sanjay Basu, assistant professor of medicine and PHS' Health Disparities working group co-chair, who will be involved in this study.
Artificial intelligence in medicine - predicting patient outcomes and beyond
In this article, Analytics working group co-chair, Nigam Shah, associate professor of medicine and of biomedical data science discusses a new Stanford study in which artificial intelligence accurately predicted unexpected hospital readmissions, long stays, and in-hospital deaths more than previous approaches.
Can precision medicine do for depression what it's done for cancer? It won't be easy
This piece discusses the idea of using precision medicine in diagnosing and treating depression and mentions the newly-established Center for Precision Mental Health and Wellness at Stanford. Leanne Williams, co-chair of the PHS Health Behavior working group is quoted in this article.
World's fastest delivery drones are saving lives
Zipline drones can deliver up to four pounds of blood or other medical supplies over distances of up to 50 miles, potentially savings lives by bringing critical medial services to clinics in remote areas. PHS' faculty fellow & clinical associate professor of medicine and director of the Stanford Palliative Care Education & Training Program, VJ Periyakoil offers comment in this piece.
How social media can reveal overlooked drug reactions
Social networks and online patient communites can help researchers and clinicians discover unreported side effects from medications. Analytics working group co-chair, Nigam Shah, associate professor of medicine and of biomedical data science, included in this article as one of the study authors.
Laura Carstensen elected to National Academy
The academy elected Stanford faculty members Laura Carstensen, Christopher Garcia, Mark Krasnow, Mark Musen and Thomas Rando to its membership.
AI can immmprove diagnostics and help docotors make better decisions
Artificial intelligence can be helpful, but physicians and scientists should carefully consider ethical issues related to its use, a team of Stanford Medicine researchers wrote in a perspective piece. Analytics working group co-chair, Nigam Shah, associate professor of medicine and of biomedical data science contributed to this article.
Diet wars: How low-carb and low-fat weight-loss schemes are based on the same homespun wisdom
Stanford researchers have found that, contrary to previous studies, insulin levels and specific genotype patterns don’t predict weight-loss success. Christopher Gardner, chair of the Food and Nutrition Health working group is the lead author on the study.
Growth failure, child dietary diversity, & clusters of stunted children in India
Ivan Mejia-Guevara, senior research scientist with the Center for Population Health Sciences, has recently published papers on; Anthropometric status & growth failure in low & middle-income countries, Ecological & social patterning of child dietary diversity in India, and Distinct clusters of stunted children in India.
Matching DNA to a diet doesn't work: We didn't even come close
A new study that compared low-fat and low-carb diets did not find a difference in weight loss. The study also did not find a correlation between insulin levels or a specific genotype pattern and weight loss. Christopher Gardner, chair of the Food and Nutrition Health working group is the senior author on the study.
Vic Fuchs on healthcare: A diagnosis, a proposal
At age 94, with an extensive collection of health policy research and publications under his belt, Victor Fuchs has a lot to say about the health care system. The high cost. The uninsured. The fragmentation. During a speech at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), the pioneering health economist narrowed his gaze to whether a single-payer system is the fix to those problem
No evidence for increased cardiovascular risk factors with higher living wages
A higher socioeconomic status corresponds to better health in high income coutries, but the opposite is often argued for poorer nations where an increase in income is said to cause obesity and related health issues. David Rehkopf, Faculty Fellow, Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences & Assistant Professor of Medicine (Primary Care & Population Health), observed in a recent study with colleagues.
Health Leadership award from India Community Center (ICC)
Latha Palaniappan, Associate Faculty Director, Education with the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences & Professor of Medicine (Primary Care & Population Health) was recently awarded the Health Leadership award from India Community Center (ICC) for representing understudied communities, espeically Asian communities, in medicine.
Why you should talk to your doctor about your bucket list
A Stanford study has found that a majority of people make bucket lists and suggests they can be useful in doctor-patient discussions about care plans. Faculty Fellow with the Center for Population Health Sciences, VJ Periyakoil, clinical associate professor of medicine, is quoted in this article.
Stanford's AI predicts death for better end-of-life care
In this article, Analytics working group co-chair, Nigam Shah, associate professor of medicine and of biomedical data science is referenced. Stanford researchers are using artificial intelligence algorithms to predict the mortality of patients in time for palliative care physicians to identify and treat patients who could benefit from end-of-life care.
One family's story illuminates the Bay Area housing crisis
As the home prices and rents soar in the San Francisco Bay Area, many families are struggling to keep their children healthy and retain access to medical services. Lisa Chamberlain, Associate Faculty Director, Policy and Advocacy with the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences is quoted in this magazine article and video.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
Douglas K. Owens, the Henry J. Kaiser, Jr. Professor and director of both the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research in the Department of Medicine and the Center for Health Policy at Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, was named vice chairperson of the task force in spring 2017. He will serve as vice chair for two years, then chair the independent body of experts who issue evidence-based guidelines about preventive care.
Mobile devices help remove barriers to fresh food
It's just a third of a mile from the East Palo Alto farmers' market to Runnymede Garden Apartments-the city's only housing facility for seniors and adults with disabilities-but to the building's residents, it might as well be a trek up Mount Everest.
Bye-bye TV: Safety-net clinic unveils new mural to support learning
In partnership with Stanford's Pediatric Advocacy Program, MayView Community Health Cener has replaced the televisioin in the chirdren's waiting room with a colorful, new mural, promoting learning and literacy for children. Lisa Chamberlain, Associate Faculty Director, Policy and Advocacy with the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences is quoted in this article.
VA bests Medicare in end-of-life care for cancer patients
According to a new Stanford and VA study, Medicare is more likely to provide excessive end-of-life care for cancer patients than Veteran Affairs. The Learning Health System and the Science of Care Delivery working group co-chair Steven Asch is quoted in this Stanford Medicine press release.
Integrative prediction model uses "omics", histopathology to improve cancer prognosis
Michael Snyder, co-chair of the PHS Gene-Environment Interaction working group led a group of researchers which have developed a new technique to examine cancer cells from biopsies that combines histopathology with "omics" information, including genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics.
Controversial sugar industry study on cancer uncovered
A new paper published in the journal PLOS Biology, reveals that a 1960's study, which suggested a link between a high-sugar diet & high blood cholesterol levels & cancer in rats, was sponsored by the sugar industry. Health Disparities working group co-chair Sanjay Basu provides comment.
Personalized Health Conference cultivates international, interdisciplinary collaborations
Michael Snyder, co-chair of the PHS Gene-Environment Interaction working group was one of the guest lecturers at the conference, which explored the use of biomedical data to improve the precision of health care.
Physician-academics help assess humanitarian and medical response in war-torn Iraq
Paul Wise, co-chair of the Preconception, Pregnancy, & Early Childhood working group recently returned from Iraq where he witnessed what humanitarian health care workers and Iraqi physicians were up against during the grueling battle for Mosul. A new health and security initiative at Stanfor aims to address the humanitarian needs in populations that are affected by conflict and political stability.
How one small change helped people make healthier choices
Health Disparities working group co-chair Sanjay Basu's illustrates how enviornmental factors affect health behaviors. Our health is affected by the decisions we make every day, and promoting healthy choices could dramatically stem the growing tide of chronic disease around the world.
Welcome to the new academic year from PHS Faculty Director, Mark Cullen
PHS Faculty Director Mark Cullen welcomes PHS members and friends to the new academic year by highlighting the Center's upcoming events, exciting new research partnerships (in India, the Czech Republic, and with the Federal Statistics Research Data Center) and new leadership staff.
Alcoa and work-life policy
Alcoa data provides a rich source of occupational exposure, health, medical claims, human resources, and workplace safety information spanning over 20 years for a cohort of 230,000 manufacturing workers and their spouses/dependents. Linkages to other national datasets allow researchers to investigate cradle-to-grave life course questions such as the role of early life, job exposures, company wellness and insurance policies, and more on health and economic outcomes. See the policy brief linked below for an example of the results and policy implications of three recent Alcoa studies of workplace exposures and work longevity. For more information about Alcoa data, contact Erika Tribett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exploring the capitation reimbursement model for primary care
Health Disparities working group co-chair Sanjay Basu's research examined whether capitation payment models could help primary care practices shift from traditional fee-for-service systems to ones based on population health management.
Successful annual SPHERE Mini-Symposium
On August 14, 2017, Stanford Precision Health for Ethnic and Racial Equity (SPHERE) held an annual meeting and Mini-Symposium to showcase community, clinical, and expert perspectives on precision health. SPHERE is one of five centers nationwide to address precision health and health disparities, with the goal of reducing disease in minority population. The Symposium was attended by a diverse audience of 275 included SPHERE leaders, collaborating partners, Stanford Healthcare and research community, and community members surrounding Stanford. For those who were unable to attend the Symposium, the following YouTube videos capture the events of the day.
Differential DNA methylation and lymphocyte proportions in a Costa Rican high longevity region
PHS Faculty Fellow and Gene-Environment working group co-chair, David Rehkopf, has recently published a paper exploring an interesting group of individuals who may possess unique immune cell proportions as well as distinct diferences in their epigenome, at the level of DNA methylation.
Does the answer to better patient care lie in machine learning?
Researchers are integrating machine learning techniques into patient care to help doctors make better decisions. In this article, Analytics working group co-chair, Nigam Shah, associate professor of medicine and of biomedical data science, comments on a new approach developed by researchers at MIT.
Immune system changes during pregnancy are precisely timed
Preconception, Pregnancy and Early Childhood working group co-chair, Gary Shaw, recently co-authored a study which completed the first-ever characterization of the meticulously timed immune system changes in women that occur during pregnancy. The findings, which were published Sept. 1 in Science Immunology, reveal that there is an immune clock of pregnancy and suggest it may help doctors predict preterm birth.
New data portal
PHS is proud to announce a revamped portal! The new data portal includes an updated look, improved structure of the content, and most importantly, tools that allow you to explore our datasets with more ease and speed than ever before. You can now view summary statistics of any variable in large datasets and join tables to create your cohorts in seconds rather than hours. For any questions, suggestions, feedback or comments, please email us., reveal that there is an immune clock of pregnancy and suggest it may help doctors predict preterm birth.
Doctors must dig into gender difference to improve women's health care
PHS Sex and Gender working group co-chair, Marcia Stefanick, addresses gender bias in medical research, drug development and health care in a recent article featured in Scientific American. Subscription is required to view the article. Please contact Alyssa Tamboura at email@example.com for a copy.
Researchers help develop technique for assessing, reducing risk of future stroke
PHS Faculty Fellow and Analytics working group co-chair, Nigam Shah, in conjunction with his collaborators, have used data from thousands of stroke patients to develop an algorithm to help predict which patients should be monitored for a second stroke.
India's government imposes 40% sin tax on colas to discourage use
India has instituted a tax on sweetened beverages to discourage consumption and prevent the negative health impacts of products with high sugar content. Sanjay Basu, assistant professor of medicine and Health Disparities working group co-chair, provides comment in this piece.
Austerity measures have led to significant health declines
Health Disparities working group co-chair Sanjay Basu argues in this commentary in Social Science & Medicine that austerity measures adopted after the global financial crisis has led to significant health declines among those whose leaders don't conisder them worthy of economic aid.
Citizen Science Effort is Empowering Communities to Advance Health Equity
This blog post and accompanying video hightlight the efforts of Stanford's Our Voice, a program that facilitates local comunities' efforts to make healthy changes. The mHealth & Other New Technologies for Health working group co-chair Abby King leads the program.
Foreign aid cutbacks could harm health of Americans, Stanford health policy researcher argues
PHS affiliated faculty member Eran Bendavid writes that "U.S. forgeign aid for health has arguably been the single most important driver of the last 20 years' health improvements in developing countries."
Investing in food as medicine: Food pharmacies debut from coast to coast
"Doctors theselves are an important target population in all of this. We want them to practice what they are then able to preach." Christopher Gardner, chair of the Food and Nutrition Health working group is quoted in this story.
The problem with fitness studies based on activity APPS
PHS working group co-chair Abby King and Scott Delp found by analyzing data captured by smartphones, Stanford Researchers have identified gaps in activity levels and obesity levels between genders and countries.
Articles: Counting Steps, Large-scale physical activity
Population Health Sciences awards $275,000 in pilot grants to 11 projects
The Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences has awarded 11 additional pilot grants to investigators with studies that seek to improve population and community health, bringing the year's total to 16.
U.S. malaria donations saved almost 2 million African children
The President’s Malaria Initiative, started in 2005, has saved the lives of nearly two million children, according to a new analysis of mortality rates in 32 countries. PHS affiliated faculty member Eran Bendavid has written an accompany editorial and is quoted in the NYT article- Malaria control adds to the evidence for health aid effectiveness.
One in five 'healthy' adults may carry disease-related genetic mutations
Michael Snyder, co-chair of the PHS Gene-Environment Interaction working group, is the author on a recently published study arguing that whole-genome sequencing should be "automatically" incorporated into primary care."
Effective, Scalable, and Affordable Strategies for Mental Health
Leanne Williams, co-chair of the PHS Health Behavior group is one of the co-investigators participating in Strategies for Mental Health. The Stanford Catalyst for Collaborative Solutions funds interdisciplinary teams in bacterial diagnostics, sustainable oceans and mental health.
How sex and gender differences should be part of medical education, research and care
The practice of medicine would be so much simpler if humans came in only one sex — and for most of the past century, doctors and researchers have behaved as if that were the case. One challenge for researchers is simply measuring gender, said Marcia Stefanick, PhD, director of the Stanford Women and Sex Differences in Medicine Center.
Algorithms will drive future health gains, Dean of Stanford Medical School predicts
Medical science blazed new paths of innovation with the development of vaccines and antibiotics, and new ways of treating heart disease and cancer. Going forward, continued advances in medicine and health increasingly will be tied to the ability to interpret massive amounts of data, according to Dr. Lloyd Minor, dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine. “We are now at the point where innovation is at the algorithmic level,” he said.
Fitness trackers accurately measure heart rate but not calories burned
PHS affiliated faculty member and cardiology researcher Euan Ashley, with his team, have conducted a study to determine how accurately seven types of fitness trackers measure heart rate and energy expenditure. The study showed that six out of seven devices measured heart rate within 5 percent. None, however, measured energy expenditure well.
Scientists crowdsource data to pinpoint autism resource gaps in U.S.
PHS pilot grant award winner, Dennis Wall, has created a new crowdsourcing tool aimed to map all the locations around the world, beginning with the United States, where individuals with autism live to determine which communities need more resources for diagnosis and treatment of condition.
Steve Asch appointed editor-in-chief of world's premiere primary care journal
The Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM) has appointed Stanford Health Policy's Steve Asch as an editor-in-chief. JGIM is the highest rated journal for primary care research in the world. It publishes research on health services, implementation science, medical education and the humanities in addition to primary care.
Want to solve a health challenge? Ask for help
Stanford School of Medicine Dean, Lloyd Minor, showcases the importance and proven advantages of cross-disciplinary collaboration in a recent post on LinkedIn. As a guiding principle at the Center for Population Health Sciences, we too agree that "the individual and institutional benefits of different brains interacting and iterating together is defining the future of innovation."
Stanford psychiatrists take to the stage
In Palo Alto, where Asian Americans make up nearly 40 percent of the student population, they also make up roughly 40 percent of youth suicides. Members of PHS' Adolescent Health working group are working to change that statistic - and turning to an unlikely art form to start the conversation: theater.
Invited speaker at United Nations
Ivan Mejia-Guevara, senior research scientist with the Center for Population Health Sciences & member of the Mexican Delegation (Advisor) was invited to present his work "Intergenerational Transfers, Economic Growth, and Equity in Mexico" at the recent United Nations Commission on Population & Development 50th Session.
5 Questions: Steven Adelsheim on Santa Clara County youth suicide report
Steven Adelsheim, chair of the Adolescent Health working group, has been involved in several efforts to improve mental health care for young people in the Bay Area. Dr. Adlesheim recently shared his thoughts on a new federal report on suicides among youth in Santa Clara County.
Stanford joins the University of California BRAID health-research alliance
Stanford University has joined five University of California campuses in a consortium dedicated to removing administrative barriers to sharing research resources, talent, productivity tools and bioinformatics expertise.
PHS Data Partner and Health Disparities co-chair win SPRINT Data Analysis Challenge awards
PHS Data Partner Clalit Health Services and Health Disparities working group co-chair Sanjay Basu have won first and third place respectively in the SPRINT Data Analysis Challenge. The Challenge, hosted by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) seeks to explore the potential of clinical trial data sharing by bringing together trialists, data analysts and patients to advance health.
Human health already suffers from climate change and the effects are getting worse, Stanford scholars say
Marshall Burke, chair of the Enviroment and Health working group and Eran Bendavid, PHS affiliated faculty member, discuss what we can expect and how we can mitigate the effects of climate change on health.
Dean Lloyd Minor cites population health science as a shining light in an uncertain future
In a recent article penned by the Dean of the Stanford School of Medicine, Lloyd Minor highlights the work of PHS Faculty Director Mark Cullen and the ever-growing importance of population health science.
Stanford researchers aim to create global conversations about long, healthy living
The Stanford Center on Longevity's Laura Carstensen, co-chair of the Work-Life, Retirement, Disability Aging and Cognitive Decline working group, has launched an interactive website is designed to further research and to encourage officials, entrepreneurs and members of the public to think about ways of redesigning the human life.
Spectrum awards $1.74 million in pilot grants to 43 projects
Stanford’s clinical and translational research center has awarded funding to teams of multidisciplinary investigators who are tackling health care problems through novel approaches. Spectrum awarded grants in six areas: population health sciences; learning health care innovation; community engagement; medical technologies; predictive tools and diagnostics; and therapeutics.
Stanford receives $1.8M from the Sloan Foundation to build an infrastructure for research using “Big Data”
Building on the work of the Analytics working group, the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences has received a grant from the Sloan Foundation to build a model Data Core which will address current impediments and regulatory hurdles often faced by researchers. Datasets will be presented in readily discoverable formats and documented on user-friendly portals; useable at low cost and presented with a wide array of analytic tools. To learn more about the project, visit out PHS Data Portal and Initiatives page.
Clalit Partnership Launched
On January 18, PHS welcomed Dr. Ran Balicer, director of the Clalit Research Institute, to Stanford. This visit marked the beginning of a research partnership, including the signing of a memorandum of understanding (pictured). During Dr. Balicer’s visit, PHS engaged researchers from across campus and initiated collaborations for population health research between Stanford and Israel. To learn more about the project, visit out PHS Data Portal and Initiatives page.
Lack of health care, food and shelter typically kill more civilians than bombs and bullets
Paul Wise, co-chair of the First 1,000 Days of Life working group, has published an essay titled "The Epidemiologic Challenge to the Conduct of Just War: Confronting Indirect Civilian Casualties of War" in the Winter 2017 edition of Daedalus. The American Academy of Arts & Sciences devoted its Fall 2016 and Winter 2017 issues of its journal to the theory of Just War. It held its 204th annual meeting at Stanford University in November, with Wise reviewing the main points of his essay.
Wearable sensors can tell when you are getting sick.
New research from Stanford shows that fitness monitors and other wearable biosensors can tell when an individual’s heart rate, skin temperature and other measures are abnormal, suggesting possible illness. Michael Snyder, PhD, Professor and Chair of Genetics and Co-Chair of the GenexEnvironment working group is the senior author of the study.
Stanford receives $2.4M from the Gates Foundation for two population health studies.
Building on the momentum of the Adolescent Health, Sex and Gender and The First 1,000 Days working groups, Stanford has received $2.4M from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for two studies, which will be led by PHS affiliated faculty member, Gary Darmstadt. The first study will analyze existing data to assess the relationship between gender norms and the well-being of adolescent girls. The second study will evaluate the effectiveness of a novel maternal and child health intervention in Bihar.
Targeted approach to type 2 diabetes management proves effective in low-income and middle-income countries.
Sanjay Basu, co-chair of the Health Disparities – Global and Domestic working group, has published a paper “Comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of treat-to-target versus benefit-based tailored treatment of type 2 diabetes in low-income and middle-income countries: a modelling analysis" in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal. The paper explores ethnic variations in diabetes complications and compares a precision-medicine approach to preventing such complications to a standard one-size-fits-all target-based approach.
Stanford researchers find 15 million children in high-mortality hotspots in Sub-Saharan Africa
PHS affiliated faculty member Eran Bendavid has co-authored a study determing that more than 15 million children are living in high-mortality hotspots across 28 Sub-Saharan African countries. The study, published online Oct. 25 in The Lancet Global Health, is the first to record and analyze local-level mortality variations across a large swath of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Laura Carstensen elected to National Academy of Medicine
PHS working group co-chair Laura Carstensen has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine along with Stanford faculty members Christopher Garcia, Mark Krasnow, Mark Musen and Thomas Rando.
Juggling her duties as a clinician and an instructor in family medicine, Rita Hamad is closer than ever to her goal of a research career, with the help of an early-career program and pilot grants.
Sex matters: Why we shouldn't conduct basic research without taking it into account
In a PNAS opinion piece, published last week, two Stanford faculty are among the authors arguing that sex shouldn't be overlooked in basic research studies. Marcia Stefanick, professor of medicine and director and co-founder of the Stanford Center for Health Research on Women and Sex Differences in Medicine, and Londa Schiebinger, director of the Gendered Innovations in Sciences, Health & Medicine, Engineering program, take issue with the fact that much of the research that leads to drugs, devices and our conclusions about biology comes from studies conducted on non-human animals and cell cultures without considering their sex.
To live longer, men need to embrace their femininity, new research suggests
In cultures where women excel — racking up academic, professional and extracurricular accomplishments equalling or topping men — men live longer too, said Mark Cullen, MD, the first author of the recently published study that also appears in an abridged, reader-friendly form on Vox.
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