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Immunology Highlights


  • – Scope

    Can we rejuvenate aging brains?

    A Stanford Medicine researcher discusses his neuroscience-driven investigation into aging and if it's possible to rejuvenate an aging brain. Neuroscientist Tony Wyss-Coray, PhD, has spent 20 years unearthing and examining various molecules with neuroprotective and neurodegenerative properties. These molecules are found in or on different cell types in the brain and on the blood vessels abutting it, or floating in the blood and the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes it. And they become increasingly important as we age.

  • – NBC Bay Area

    Stanford Researchers Looking Into Nasal Spray to Fight COVID-19 Spread

    It may be the vaccine of the future, a nasal spray that would entirely prevent COVID-19 infections by delivering a boost of immunity right where the virus enters. “You could have at the site of infection at your nose at your mouth. You have these antibodies that are just there and waiting, and ready to go as soon as you breath in this virus,” said Dr. Michal Tal, Principal Scientist at MIT and Stanford University Immunologist.

  • – ABC News

    Three myths about COVID-19 — and the biggest challenge that lies ahead

    With four decades of research on antibodies under my belt, I always felt like I had a pretty good handle on COVID-19. But when I caught the virus in May, my hubris quickly turned into humility, writes Professor Chris Goodnow.

  • – NBC Bay Area

    Stanford Researchers Looking Into Nasal Spray to Fight COVID-19 Spread

    It may be the vaccine of the future, a nasal spray that would entirely prevent COVID-19 infections by delivering a boost of immunity right where the virus enters. “You could have at the site of infection at your nos,e at your mouth. You have these antibodies that are just there and waiting, and ready to go as soon as you breath in this virus,” said Dr. Michal Talm, Principal Scientist at MIT and Stanford University Immunologist.

  • – Scope

    What can sea squirts tell us about neurodegeneration?

    Researchers have found parallels between the degeneration of a neurons in a tiny sea invertebrate and the human brain. As the tunicate, also known as a sea squirt, adapts to its new couch-potato lifestyle, it loses brain power: One of the two brains, its use for sea navigation now obsolete, begins to dissolve. The way the invertebrate's brain degenerates and disappears has important parallels to the way the brain degenerates in human neural disorders, said Irving Weissman, MD, director of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.


  • – News Center

    Stanford pathologists awarded several NIH awards

    Efforts to design a hepatitis C vaccine, understand the genetic causes of rare diseases, map genetic regulatory elements in organ systems and understand coronavirus immune responses garner over $40 million. The researchers are associate professor of pathology Scott Boyd, MD, PhD; professor of pathology Steven Foung, MD; associate professor of pathology and of genetics Stephen Montgomery, PhD; and assistant professor of pathology Ansuman Satpathy, MD, PhD.

  • – News Center

    Stanford Medicine to enroll 900 in NIH-funded long-COVID study

    Data suggest that between 10% and 30% of those who have had an acute SARS-CoV-2 infection will experience the persistent pattern of symptoms known as long COVID. Principal investigators of the Stanford Medicine site are Upinder Singh, MD, professor of infectious diseases and geographical medicine and of microbiology and immunology; PJ Utz, MD, PhD, professor of immunology and rheumatology; Catherine Blish, MD, PhD, professor of infectious diseases; and Yvonne Maldonado, MD, professor of pediatric infectious disease and of epidemiology and population health, as well as the Taube Professor of Global Health and Infectious Diseases. Additional collaborators within Stanford Medicine include the departments of Emergency Medicine and of Pediatrics.

  • – Scope

    Why are smokers at an increased risk for severe COVID-19?

    Tobacco smoke blocks airway cells from making a protein that protects against infection by the virus that causes COVID-19. Now researchers at Stanford Medicine, including former instructor of allergy and immunology, Ivan Lee, MD, PhD, otolaryngologist Jayakar Nayak, MD, PhD, and microbiologist and immunologist Garry Nolan, PhD, have traced the path of infection from the time the virus latches onto cells in the nasal passages through its seemingly inexorable march to the lungs.

  • – News Center

    Synthetic immunotherapy seeks out and destroys tumors in mice with aggressive cancers, study finds

    Stanford researchers have developed a synthetic, tumor-targeting molecule that promotes immune activation and tumor regression in laboratory mice after it’s injected into their bloodstreams. “We essentially cured some animals with just a few injections,” said Jennifer Cochran, PhD, the Shriram Chair of the Department of Bioengineering. “It was pretty astonishing. When we looked within the tumors, we saw they went from a highly immunosuppressive microenvironment to one full of activated B and T cells — similar to what happens when the immune-stimulating molecule is injected directly into the tumor. So, we’re achieving intra-tumoral injection results but with an IV delivery.” A paper describing the study published online Nov. 12 in Cell Chemical Biology. Cochran shares senior authorship with Carolyn Bertozzi, PhD, the Baker Family Director of Stanford ChEM-H, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and professor of chemistry; and Ronald Levy, MD, the Robert K. and Helen K. Summy Professor in the School of Medicine. The lead authors are graduate student Caitlyn Miller and instructor of medicine Idit Sagiv-Barfi, PhD.

  • – the Guardian

    ‘This is such an important moment’: how stem cell research is transforming medicine

    A new documentary shines a light on the breakthroughs that are being made or are close to being made in finding cures to previously incurable diseases. In Experts such as Irving Weissman, the director of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University, offer some academic context to the individual stories and attests to the heated cultural wars that have stilted scientific progress.

October 7, 2021 - The Edge
How can technology help you track real time data about your health and wellbeing? And why should you track anyway? In this episode, Michael Snyder, professor of genetics, talks about how tracking can help you gain deeper understanding of what is going on in your body at a physiological level. Often, illnesses begin developing in our bodies quietly, before any symptoms begin to show up. Snyder’s research shows that by tracking on a regular basis, we can pre-empt diseases. Health data collection using wearable tech can help us take a proactive approach toward prevention of disease. And like they say, prevention is better than cure.

  • – Scope

    What to do (and not do) when you win the Nobel Prize

    Three of Stanford Medicine's Nobel laureates, including Andrew Fire, George D. Smith Professor of Molecular and Genetic Medicine and Professor of Pathology and of Genetics, offer advice to future winners about hearing the news and what to expect next in their careers.

  • – The Scientist Magazine

    When the Immune Response Makes COVID-19 Worse

    If the immune system makes mistake--reacting late or getting the target wrong--it can amplify the damage wrought by SARS-CoV-2.

  • – News Center

    Statins may be effective treatment for patients with ulcerative colitis

    People with ulcerative colitis who are also taking statins have about a 50% decreased risk of colectomies and hospitalization, according to a Stanford Medicine study. Purvesh Khatri, PhD, associate professor of medicine and of biomedical data science, and his team tracked down a connection between a handful of drugs and decreased symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

  • – Business Insider

    Why Stanford is spending millions to incorporate Apple Watches and Fitbits into medical care

    Stanford is exploring consumer wearable devices, including Apple Watches and Fitbits, to monitor heart rates and predict COVID-19 symptoms. Michael Snyder, professor of genetics, leads many of the health systems' wearable projects and says it's up to health systems to quickly figure out whether the data's useful to doctors and how to efficiently extract it from the devices.

  • – Scope

    Blood test predicts chances of lymphoma relapse after therapy

    Stanford Medicine Scientists have devised a blood test to predict some cancer relapses after patients have already been treated.To understand whether ctDNA tracking might hint at relapse, Miklos, who heads Stanford Medicine's Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy division, Matthew Frank MD, PhD assistant professor of medicine, and their labs enrolled 72 patients with large B-cell lymphoma, who had received CAR-T cell therapy, which involves genetically engineering certain immune cells to find and eliminate specific cancer cells.

June 23, 2021 – NBC Bay Area

NBC Bay Area: COVID-19 and brain inflammation

Stanford researchers have found signs of inflammation, genetic changes and impaired circuitry in the brains of people killed by COVID-19, important clues to the mysterious “brain fog” and mental struggles reported by many patients. Tony Wyss-Coray, professor of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford Medicine provides comments.

  • – MarketWatch

    How COVID vaccine's mRNA technology could help cure other diseases

    Scientists and companies are trying to harness the mRNA technology to develop vaccines against cancer and other diseases. Bali Pulendran, Violetta L. Horton Professor And Professor Of Microbiology And Immunology and of Pathology, comments on the future on vaccines.

  • – News Center

    Stanford researchers find signs of inflammation in brains of people who died of COVID-19

    A detailed molecular analysis of tissue from the brains of individuals who died of COVID-19 reveals extensive signs of inflammation and neurodegeneration, but no sign of the virus that causes the disease. Tony Wyss-Coray, PhD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford, shares senior authorship with Andreas Keller, PhD, chair of clinical bioinformatics at Saarland University.

  • – News Center

    Climate change linked to longer allergy season in Bay Area, Stanford study finds

    Air levels of pollen and mold spores in the San Francisco Bay Area are elevated for about two more months per year than in past decades, and higher temperatures are to blame, a Stanford Medicine study has found, led by senior author, Kari Nadeau, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and of pediatrics at Stanford School of Medicine.

  • – Stanford Today

    Faculty Women’s Forum announces 2021 award winners

    The 2021 Faculty Women’s Forum Awards honor individuals for their outstanding work supporting women at Stanford through role modeling, allyship, leadership and sponsorship. Stanford Immunology faculty Dr. Joy Wu, an associate professor of medicine (endocrinology, gerontology and metabolism) in the School of Medicine is honored in the Allyship Award category.

  • – News Center

    Smartwatch data can predict blood test results, study reports

    Stanford researchers found that data from smartwatches can flag early signs of some health conditions and predict the results of simple blood tests. Scientists from the lab of Michael Snyder, PhD, professor and chair of genetics, tracked data from smartwatches, blood tests and other tests conducted in a doctor’s office in a small group of study participants.