Our Current Research

COVID-19 vaccine trials for children under 12

Yvonne Maldonado, MD and Jenna Bollyky, MD

Stanford Medicine is a test site for Pfizer’s nationwide trial of a COVID-19 vaccine in children younger than 12.Stanford Medicine researchers have started enrolling children younger than 12 in clinical trials to evaluate their response to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Read More.

COVID-19 prevalence in San Francisco Bay Area

Yvonne Maldonado, MD and George Rutherford, MD (UCSF), Principal Investigators

A consortium of researchers from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, UCSF and Stanford University , will investigate COVID-19 prevalence in the Bay Area. Led by principal investigators Yvonne A. Maldonado, MD (Stanford), and George W. Rutherford, MD (UCSF), the 9-month study will recruit and test a representative sample of roughly 4,000 Bay Area residents who have previously tested negative for COVID-19. They will then re-test the participants monthly through both polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic testing and serological (“antibody”) testing to investigate transmission dynamics and prevalence. Read More.

Validation of specimen self-collection vs. collection by health care worker for COVID-19 testing

Yvonne Maldonado, MD; Jonathan Altamirano; Prasanthi Govindarajan, MD, and Andra Blomkalns, MD

Maldonado, Altamirano, Govindarajan, and Blomkalns are investigating three swab techniques used during COVID-19 testing: a self-collected nasal swab performed with the aid of an instruction sheet; a health care worker-collected nasal swab; and a health care worker-collected oropharyngeal swab. Should self-collected nasal swabs prove as effective as those collected by health care workers, patients may be able to safely and effectively collect specimens outside of health care settings.  Read more

Natural history of shedding and household transmission of COVID-19: Constructing patterns of viral spread and evolution

Yvonne Maldonado, MD; Jonathan Altamirano; Prasanthi Govindarajan, MD, and Andra Blomkalns, MD

Maldonado’s team will combine genomic and epidemiologic data to address questions about the transmission and evolutionary dynamics of COVID-19. Her team plans to use whole-genome sequencing to understand how COVID-19 mutates during the early stages of infection, as well as generate a bio-repository of specimens and associated clinical and epidemiologic data for use in understanding the transmission of COVID-19. In addition to this study, the Maldonado research group is working on validating a COVID-19 home swab test kit for an upcoming antiviral clinical trial.  

Read more about this project on the American Pediatric Society website.

NIAID R21: A genomic tool for identifying pathogenic circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses

This study will utilize Sanger and whole genome sequencing to characterize the specific mutations that develop in live OPV serotypes from time-dated sequential human stool samples obtained after live polio vaccination campaigns in three small Mexican communities. Specific OPV variants may serve as important markers for the development and identification of circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses, which can cause paralytic polio.

Acute Flaccid Myelitis

The overall objective of the study is to create a biorepository of specimens and associated clinical and outcome data for use in future studies of AFM, including virologic or immunologic assessments.

OPV transmissibility in communities after cessation of routine OPV immunization

The Maldonado Group received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a 2.5 year study investigating the dynamics of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) household and community transmission in 3 communities in Orizaba, Veracruz, Mexico. Mexico provides a unique environment to study OPV transmission. Currently, Mexican children receive inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) in their primary vaccination series. In addition, children ≤5 years old who have received at least 2 doses of IPV are eligible to receive OPV during biannual National Immunization Weeks. Our study will specifically assess the impact of different OPV vaccination rates during the February 2015 National Immunization Week on intra- and inter-household transmission of OPV. The outcome of this project will inform public policy decision-making regarding OPV cessation and the polio end-game.

In the News

"Emerging form of poliovirus threatens hopes for eradication." Stanford Medicine News. April 3, 2015


For more information, contact Jonathan Altamirano.

Precision Health

Bonnie Maldonado is principal investigator of Stanford Precision Health for Ethnic and Racial Equity (SPHERE), an NIH-funded program. Learn more on the SPHERE website.

Updated 5/8/20