Research News

Research & Results

Tina Hernandez-Boussard: How data improves the quality of health care

June 14, 2021. A specialist in bioinformatics, DBDS faculty member Tina Hernandez-Boussard, explains that the tools of data science are delivering insights into health care outcomes and improving care as never before.


Patent citations could signal which biomedical papers lead to a real-world impact

June 10, 2021. By tracking which scientific papers are cited by patents, researchers can quantify which studies contribute to real-world applications. This study, published in Nature Biotechnology and authored by Stanford researchers, including DBDS faculty member James Zou (pictured here), uses millions of patent citations to study how biomedical innovations translate to practice.   

Media Coverage: 


AI for Predicting COVID-19 Prognosis

June 10, 2021. A Stanford team, including researchers in Olivier Gevaert's lab, used quantitative image analysis and data fusion to predict COVID severity in patients. The approach could prove useful beyond coronavirus. 


Debiasing artificial intelligence: Stanford researchers call for efforts to ensure that AI technologies do not exacerbate health care disparities

May 14, 2021. DBDS faculty member James Zou is featured in this Stanford News release. "Medical devices employing AI stand to benefit everyone in society, but if left unchecked, the technologies could unintentionally perpetuate sex, gender and race biases." Access the release

June 8, 2021 Update: Stanford Scope Blog released a condensed version of this story. Access the blog post


A Tale of Medical Mysteries Unraveled by Genetic Detectives

June 7, 2021. Euan Ashley is interviewed by Bob Harrington, MD, in this Medscape Cardiology video.


Cognoa Receives FDA Marketing Authorization for First-of-its-kind Autism Diagnosis Aid

June 2, 2021. We are thrilled to announce the machine learning tool that DBDS faculty member Dennis Wall (pictured here) designed for autism diagnosis just received clearance by the FDA. "Cognoa’s AI-driven device is the first FDA-authorized diagnosis aid designed to help primary care physicians diagnose autism in young children with the goal of shortening time-to-diagnosis and enabling initiation of earlier interventions." This represents a big step to translation for AI-medical devices, and a great case study for translational bioinformatics. 


Machine learning is booming in medicine. It’s also facing a credibility crisis

June 2, 2021. “We would like the AI to work responsibly and reliably for different patients in different hospitals,” said James Zou, a professor of biomedical data science at Stanford and co-author of a recent paper that highlighted the lack of prospective studies, or studies that examine future outcomes, conducted on even higher-risk AI products cleared by the FDA. “So it’s especially important to be able to evaluate and test the algorithm across these diverse kinds of data.”


Agile NLP for Clinical Text: COVID-19 and Beyond

June 1, 2021. “In early 2020, just as the SARS-CoV-2 virus was arriving in the United States, a team of Stanford researchers wondered if the natural language processing (NLP) framework they were developing might be nimble enough to help triage COVID-19 patients who visited the Stanford Hospital emergency room. 'There’s lots of useful information in doctors’ notes and unstructured textual medical records, and we wanted a fast way to get it out, given the COVID-19 pandemic situation,' says Nigam Shah, professor of medicine (biomedical informatics) and of biomedical data science at Stanford University and an affiliated faculty member of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence


Smartwatch data can predict blood test results, study reports

May 24, 2021. Stanford researchers, including DBDS faculty member Trevor Hastie, found that data from smartwatches can flag early signs of some health conditions and predict the results of simple blood tests. 


Bio Eats World: The Trials of Clinical Trials

May 18, 2021"Host Lauren Richardson talks to James Zou, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Data Science at Stanford University, and a16z general partner Vineeta Agarwala, physician and expert on real world data in healthcare, about new research from the Zou lab that uses AI-powered simulations of clinical trials and real world patient data to understand how different designs influence trial outcomes. In particular, looking for designs that can make trials more inclusive, which is key for getting patients access to potentially life-saving care and for running trials efficiently. The conversation covers the inherited rules and assumptions governing which patients can participate in trials, how Dr. Zou, lead author Ruishan Liu, and colleagues combined real world data and computer simulations to challenge these assumptions via a data-driven approach, and how this can inform smarter trial design.

The article at the center of this episode is: “Evaluating eligibility criteria of oncology trials using real-world data and AI” by Ruishan Liu, Shemra Rizzo, Samuel Whipple, Navdeep Pal, Arturo Lopez Pineda, Michael Lu, Brandon Arnieri, Ying Lu, William Capra, Ryan Copping & James Zou, published in Nature."


Can AI Create Faster, More Reliable MRI Scans?

May 17, 2021.  A new publication from Akshay Chaudhari and colleagues accepted as a long presentation in the upcoming International Conference on Machine Learning characterizes the robustness of supervised and unsupervised image reconstruction methods for rapid magnetic resonance imaging, leading the path towards reliable clinical translation. An extended description can be found in the following report by Stanford HAI. 


Unequal Treatment: How considering race sabotages care — and why change is imperative

May 15, 2021. DBDS faculty member Carlos D. Bustamante is featured in this Stanford Medicine Magazine story, which explores his recent efforts to understand how genetics influences immunity and response to COVID-19. "Variation in the genes linked to COVID-19 are not specific to a racial or ethnic groups, but rather shared across groups, said Bustamante." This story appears in the magazine's May 2021 "Closing the Gap: Addressing Racial Inequity in Medicine" special issue. 


Encouraging Sign: Many California Prisoners Willing To Be Vaccinated

May 12, 2021. "Two-thirds of the nearly 100,000 incarcerated residents in California's 35 prisons were offered COVID-19 vaccines and 66.5% of those accepted at least one dose, according to a new Stanford study — although uptake varied across different groups." Elizabeth T. Chin, the lead author of the study and a PhD candidate in biomedical data science, is featured in this story. 


Reconstructing co-dependent cellular crosstalk in lung adenocarcinoma using REMI

May 3, 2021. DBDS researchers Alice Yu (pictured here), Yuanyuan Li, Christine Yeh, Aaron Chiou, Sylvia Plevritis, & Stanford colleagues have released a new preprint, "Reconstructing co-dependent cellular crosstalk in lung adenocarcinoma using REMI."


Stanford postdoc enters her youngsters in vaccine COVID trial

April 30, 2021. "Anxious to protect her children, Stanford immunology researcher Zina Good has enrolled her two young children Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial for kids." Dr. Good is also a postdoctoral research fellow in Sylvia Plevritis's DBDS Lab.