Current Lab Members

David N. Cornfield, M.D.

Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Pulmonary Medicine, Director-Center for Excellence in Pulmonary Biology, Department of Pediatrics and (by courtesy) Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine

Over the past 20 years, my research program has focused upon basic, translational and clinical research, with a primary focus on lung biology. As an active clinician-scientist, delivering care to acutely and chronically ill infants, I have noted the evolution of chronic lung disease of infancy in terms of disease manifestation, management and epidemiology. Even with dramatic improvements in neonatal care, prematurity dramatically increases the risks of chronic lung disease of infancy, infant morbidity and even mortality. Given our focus on child health and development, our laboratory considers how best to mitigate neonatal and infant morbidity and mortality and embarked on two distinct lines of research in wherein: (i) the primary cause of chronic lung disease infants and children might be prevented, prevention of premature birth; and the fundamental biology of chronic lung disease of infancy. Increasingly high-resolution imaging has greatly facilitated and advanced these undertakings in the neonatal lung. Over the past several years, we have also been increasingly focused on the understanding the molecular, cellular and physiologic underpinnings of uterine quiescence and activation in pregnancy and labor. Imaging that permits spatial resolution of structures deep within tissue will add meaningfully to the physiology, cell and molecular biology we routinely perform and in the creation of animal models and clinical research.


Elizabeth A. Barnes, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist

Dr. Elizabeth Barnes is a Senior Research Scientist in the Pediatrics Department at the Center for Excellence in Pulmonary Biology at Stanford University. She received her Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego; M.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego; and B.A. degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to joining Stanford University, Elizabeth was a Senior Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Surgery at the University of Washington, Seattle studying the development of lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) and a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego studying the development of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and TSC.

Currently, Dr. Barnes research is focused on the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms involved in the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and pulmonary hypertension (PH), with the future expectations of developing methods and resources to treat these diseases. BPD is a lung disease of infancy that affects those born prematurely and in need of oxygen therapy. The necessity for breathing assistance damages the fragile lungs of the preterm infant. PH is a lung disease defined by high blood pressure in the lungs. This condition is caused by multiple factors, including genetic, environmental, and pre-existing illnesses that predispose a patient to the development of PH. There is no cure for either PH or BPD, and both of these diseases have significant mortality rates.  


Xibing Che, Ph.D.

Basic Life Research Scientist

I received my PhD degree from Hebrew University of Jerusalem for Molecular Virology and completed post-doc training at Dr. Arvin’s lab at Stanford University. My research area of interest at Dr. Arvin’s lab is the host response and pathogenesis of Human Herpesviruses. I joined Dr. Cornfield lab at 2017, my research focus on epigenetics in individual lung cells at different lung’s developing stages.


Daiana Fornes, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Daiana Fornes is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Pediatrics at the Center for Excellence in Pulmonary Biology. Daiana obtained her MSc from the University of Buenos Aires School of Exact and Natural Sciences, Argentina. She obtained her PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine. During her PhD, Daiana assessed the programming of metabolic alterations in the offspring of rats with gestational diabetes (GDM) induced by intrauterine programming. Subsequently, she completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Buenos Aires where she explored the programming of paternal diabetes.

In Cornfield’s Lab, Daiana is working in the preterm labor research line, exploring the role of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 channel (TRPV4) as a modulator of myometrial contraction, a novel target to treat preterm labor and prevent prematurity, the major cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality across the globe.


Trang Dinh, M.D.

Pediatric Pulmonary Fellow - Incoming Clinical Assistant Professor

Dr. Trang Dinh is a pediatric pulmonary fellow in the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University. She received her M.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles, and trained in pediatric medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. In the Cornfield Lab, her research focuses on the roles that the CNN1 and BTG2 gene may play in regulating pulmonary vascular tone in diseased lungs.

Trang will be joining the division on as a Clinical Assistant Professor in October 2024.