Faculty Profiles in Excellence
Stanford Medicine faculty are at the cutting edge of patient care, research, and education.
Who are these amazing individuals and what do they do at Stanford?
I love the people that I work with at Stanford. The surgeons, the hepatologists, the staff, it’s a fun group of people. There are always intellectual questions.
Nishita Kothary, MD
I am an interventional radiologist, which means minimally invasive, catheter-based surgery. My own interest and niche is in liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma, or HCC).
In my work, I follow the physician-scientist model. On the basic science side, we do research looking for genomic markers for hepatocellular carcinoma. We also do animal studies looking at imaging parameters and a lot of clinical work in terms of treatment effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. Research to me is asking why real life observations don’t seem to make sense. Treatments may work for some patients but not others, for example, and I wonder why. This approach to research applies to basic, translational, and clinical research.
There’s no single answer to what I enjoy about seeing patients. Medicine is different from other professions in the sense that you help people when they’re at their weakest, and you go home thinking that you’ve done something bigger than yourself.
I love the people that I work with at Stanford. The surgeons, the hepatologists, the staff, it’s a fun group of people. There are always intellectual questions. The cross-science collaboration is exceptional. I can go to somebody across campus, and we can find a project to work together. Stanford is a place where you will find a lot of cross-community talk.
Finally, amongst all medical specialties—every one of them—interventional radiology (IR) has the fewest number of women. I recently wrote an article for the Society of Interventional Radiologists about what it means to be swimming upstream in a male-driven field. I tried to impart information about having kids and balancing work life. Along these lines, I have two other studies. One is about the challenges women in surgical specialties encounter. Women in surgery are empowered, but they may be one of a few women faculty in a male-driven field. There is a different kind of attitude that is needed to be okay working in a specialty that is mostly composed of members of the opposite sex. The second study is about maternity leave in IR. Women may be concerned about going into IR because they are afraid of radiation or because they are worried about having to defer motherhood, so I have to debunk these myths.