EPH Research News

Healthy eating and activity reverse aging marker in kids with obesity

January 19, 2024  – A new study led by EPH professor David Rehkopf finds a genetic marker linked to premature aging was reversed in children with obesity during a six-month diet and exercise program. 

New study finds metastatic breast cancer treatments have aided decline in deaths

January 17, 2024  – Dr. Allison Kurian, professor of medicine and of epidemiology and population health, is a co-senior author of a new study that finds deaths from breast cancer dropped 58% between 1975 and 2019 due to a combination of screening mammography and improvements in treatment. 

Parsonnet finds "normal" body temperature is personal

September 5, 2023  – A new study led by EPH professor Dr. Julie Parsonnet finds that normal body temperature varies from person to person, depending on their age, sex, height and weight, among other factors - and it fluctuates throughout the day. Researchers are hopeful that knowing when a person's temperature is outside their normal range could be helpful in signaling disease and getting a jump on treatment.

Unlocking the Potential of Genetic-Based Prostate Cancer Screening

September 28, 2023 - Prostate cancer is a complex disease with varying degrees of aggressiveness. Understanding of the disease and methods for screening and diagnosis have been rapidly evolving over the years, in part due to research by Stanford Medicine Epidemiology and Population Health professors John Witte and Linda Kachuri. In honor of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Witte and Dr. Kachuri discuss their genetic-based prostate cancer research and a groundbreaking approach changing the landscape of prostate cancer screening.

Bondy, Rehkopf to study effect of guaranteed income on cancer incidence in impoverished communities

June 26, 2023  – The National Cancer Institute awarded nearly $10 million to a collaboration between Stanford University, the University of California, San Francisco, and UC Davis to launch the UPSTREAM Research Center. The center will investigate whether and in what ways regular income supplementation for people living in poverty in several Northern California communities affect their health behaviors and cancer risk.
“Poverty limits people’s ability to be healthy,” said David Rehkopf, ScD, director of the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences and one of the center’s lead investigators. “When you’re living in poverty, paying your bills and getting food to eat takes time and resources and absorbs a lot of your mental bandwidth. The UPSTREAM Research Center will investigate what happens when we address poverty directly. If we mitigate some of this stress and give more resources to people, do we reduce cancer risk factors?”

Few patients receive recommended genetic testing after cancer diagnosis

June 5, 2023   – Epidemiology and Population Health Professor Allison Kurian is the lead author of a new study that finds suprisingly low genetic testing rates for cancer patients who may benefit, especially among Asian, Black and Hispanic patients. Despite guidelines that recommend genetic testing for the majority of cancer patients, far too few are tested. 

Personalized PSA levels could improve prostate cancer screening

June 1, 2023 -  Measuring PSA is the most common prostate cancer screening test - but it often suggests cancer where there is none. Epidemiology and Population Health Vice Chair John Witte and Professor Linda Kachuri find that calibrating PSA levels to each man's genetics can reduce overdiagnosis and better predict disease. 

Genes linked to familial brain cancer identified in study led by EPH Chair Melissa Bondy

May 17, 2023 -  EPH Chair Melissa Bondy and fellow researchers have identified several genes associated with familial glioma - two of which are also associated with ovarian and colon cancers. They also found mutations in three locations of the genome called non-coding regions that affect which genes are made into proteins. 

Antibiotics after breast cancer linked to poorer survival, Stanford Medicine-led study finds

April 20, 2023  – Women with triple-negative breast cancer who received multiple antibiotic prescriptions within three years after their cancer diagnosis were more likely to experience disease recurrance and to die from their cancer than those who took fewer courses of the drug, according to a study by Stanford researchers that was recently published in Nature Communications.

“These findings offer insight into the role of the immune system, and factors that may perturb its function, in fighting the most aggressive type of breast cancer,” said Allison Kurian, a senior author of the study and professor of medicine and epidemiology and population health at Stanford. “Gaining a better understanding of this process will be important to guide patient care.”

Effects of COVID Shelter-in-Place Confinement on Diabetes Prevention Health Behaviors

March 3, 2023  – Epidemiology and Population Health Assistant Professor Tainayah Thomas is the lead author in a new article in Preventative Medicine Reports about the impact of COVID’s shelter-in-place order on health behaviors among US adults with prediabetes. A high percentage of study participants with prediabetes reported decreases in health promotion behaviors and increases in stress due to the pandemic. Consequently, the pandemic could lead to increased diabetes incidence. This study shows that strategies to address mental health concerns among those at risk for diabetes are critical during and after the pandemic.

Reconciling between medication orders and medication fills for Lupus in pregnancy. 

October 17, 2022 – E&PH associate professor Julia F. Simard is the lead author in a new article in ACR Open Rheumatol. “Most studies consider either medications ordered or filled, but not both,” Dr. Simard explains, “which is often a consequence of what data are available.” Simard and her colleagues examined prescription orders and fills to quantify primary medication adherence in a cohort of prevalent systemic lupus erythematosus pregnancies. The study found that most patients filled at new order for lupus medication in pregnancy at least one, but that a considerable proportion of patients had no standing or new orders for the common medication, hydroxychloroquine.

Associations among romantic and sexual partner history and muscle dysmorphia symptoms, disordered eating, and appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs and supplement use among cisgender gay men

March 1, 2022. The journal Body Image just published the latest findings from The PRIDE Study. This study is important because it is one of the first to investigate how relationship status and number of sexual partners may be related to eating and body disorders among cisgender gay men. This study suggests that discussions about sexual partners and muscularity pressures among gay men could help explain study findings. Authored by E&PH faculty researchers Juno Obedin-Maliver and Mitchell Lunn and collaborators. 

Do Ask, Tell, and Show: Contextual Factors Affecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Disclosure for Sexual and Gender Minority People

January 21, 2022. "Sexual and gender minority (SGM) people—including members of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities—remain underrepresented in health research due to poor collection of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data. [In this paper, E&PH faculty researchers Mitchell Lunn (pictured here) and Juno Obedin-Maliver] sought to understand the contextual factors affecting how SGM research participants interact with SOGI questions to enhance participant experience and increase the accuracy and sensitivity of research findings."

The Role of Citizen Science in Promoting Health Equity

November 1, 2021. E&PH faculty researchers Lisa Goldman Rosas [pictured here], Patricia Rodriguez Espinosa and Abby King and colleague collaborated on this new publication in Annual Review of Public Health, summarizing the literature on citizen science and making recommendations for future efforts. 

Public health impacts of an imminent Red Sea oil spill

October 11, 2021. Members of the E&PH research community, including Ben Huynh (first author), Mathew Kiang and David Rehkopf, model the immediate public health impacts of a simulated massive oil spill in the Red Sea, which is "increasingly likely." 

A Novel Model for Generating Creative, Community-Responsive Interventions to Reduce Gender-Based Violence on College Campuses

August 24, 2021. E&PH researchers Sophia Graham, Abby King, and Mike Baiocchi, and Stanford colleagues, released a new publication on a gender-based violence project undertaken here at Stanford, employing an Our Voice citizen science model for understanding college campus community factors affecting sexual violence risk. The article was recently published in the International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health. [The Our Voice logo is pictured here].

Prevalence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), United States, 2016

August 23, 2021. In this Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration study, E&PH community researchers Lorene Nelson [pictured here] and Barb Topol and colleagues estimate the prevalence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in the United States for 2016 using data from the National ALS Registry. 

Putative pathogen-selected polymorphisms in the PKLR gene are associated with mycobacterial susceptibility in Brazilian and African populations

August 15, 2021. In this PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases study, E&PH faculty researcher Ann Hsing and colleagues examined an example of an evolutionary trade-off in which genetic variants in the PKLR gene putatively selected for malaria resistance influence the susceptibility to mycobacterial diseases (leprosy and tuberculosis) in Brazilian population and Mozambique. 

Association between contact with a general practitioner and depressive symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown: a large community-based study in Hangzhou, China

August 13, 2021. E&PH researchers Yan Min [pictured here], Ann Hsing and colleagues aimed to determine the association of general practitioner (GP) contact with depressive symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown in China in this BMJ Open study.

Clinical Outcomes, Echocardiographic Findings, and Care Quality Metrics for People Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Rheumatic Heart Disease in Uganda

August 12, 2021. Epidemiology & Clinical Research PhD Student, Andrew Chang, MD, and colleagues published the first epidemiologic profile of the longitudinal outcomes of people living with both rheumatic heart disease and HIV in Clinical Infectious Diseases

The timed 25-foot walk in a large cohort of multiple sclerosis patients

June 8, 2021. E&PH researchers, including lead author Anissa Kalinowski, Nina Bozinov, Jessica Hinman, Mike Hittle, Michelle Odden (pictured here), and Lorene Nelson, and colleagues released recent findings in Multiple Sclerosis that support the continued use of the timed 25-foot walk (T25FW) in clinical practice and clinical trials.

Contact the SOM Research Office

E&PH works with the Office of the Senior Associate Dean for Research to develop policies and practices to advance rigorous and transformational research at the School of Medicine. Serving as a resource and providing support services for researchers to advance cutting edge ideas, the Research Office aims to accelerate discovery and amplify the impact of Stanford innovation to lead the biomedical revolution in Precision Health.