News & Stories

Study finds stronger one-way fear signals in brains of anxious kids

Stanford study shows signals from the brain’s fear center make it more difficult for anxious and stressed children to regulate their emotions. Vinod Menon, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, is the senior author of this study supported in part by MCHRI. 

Virtual Summer Scamper, June 21

Join us to run, walk, roll skip, and Scamper to fundraise for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and the child and maternal health programs at Stanford School of Medicine! Fundraise for the Children’s Fund, which supports the work of MCHRI.

Inspired by her sister’s resilience, psychiatrist and MCHRI scholar aspires to instill hope in others

In this JAMA publication, Manpreet Singh, MD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and MCHRI scholar, draws inspiration from her sister - who was born prematurely with congenital heart disease and Down syndrome - as she strives to instill hope in people who feel hopeless. 

Stanford develops an experimental two-in-one shot that could aid diabetics 

A Stanford research team has developed a way to boost the effectiveness of the insulin injections people with diabetes routinely take to control their blood sugar. Eric Appel, MS, PhD, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, is senior author of this study funded in part by MCHRI. 

Helping children turn failures into success through growth mindset

This In the Spotlight features Irene Loe, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, who talks about her five-year passion project to help parents cultivate a growth mindset in their children. Dr. Loe is the Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Faculty Scholar. 

Young adults don’t know what’s in nicotine products they vape

Nicotine pods used for vaping need clearer labels to help young people understand what they are inhaling, a Stanford study concludes. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics, is the senior author, and Karma McKelvey, PhD, postdoctoral scholar and an MCHRI awardee, is lead author on the study. 

High risk of tuberculosis in kids exposed to the disease

Stanford study shows young children exposed to tuberculosis are at a high risk of developing the disease. The study’s lead author is Leonardo Martinez, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar, and the senior author is Jason Andrews, MD, assistant professor of medicine and an MCHRI member. 

MCHRI practices social distancing while still staying connected 

Staff members of MCHRI practice social distancing while using virtual tools to stay connected with colleagues and researchers. 

*New Funding Opportunity* MCHRI receives new gift to support clinician educator pilot grant dedicated to pediatric primary sclerosing cholangitis

Made possible by a donor gift to MCHRI, the Institute will offer a new funding opportunity within the Clinician Educator Pilot Grant Program focused on pediatric primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). The first grant will be offered this spring cycle with deadline on April 1st. 

Virtual Pediatric Grand Rounds: Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

Yvonne (Bonnie) Maldonado, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Diversity and Professor of Pediatrics and of Epidemiology and Population Health, presents updates on COVID-19. She is an MCHRI awardee.

Virtual Pediatric Grand Rounds: How Taiwan effectively responded to COVID-19

C. Jason Wang, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and of Medicine, describes how Taiwan responded quickly to protect its people from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in this webinar and recent JAMA study.  Dr. Wang is Co-Director of the PCHA-UHA Research and Learning Collaborative, a funded partner of MCHRI.

MCHRI welcomes new quantitative science faculty to facilitate maternal and child health research

MCHRI’s partnership with the Quantitative Sciences Unit leads to the appointment of a new pediatric faculty member, Maya Mathur, PhD, to facilitate maternal and child health research studies initiated by Stanford investigators.

*New Update* How to acknowledge MCHRI funding in your work

MCHRI has provided guidelines for communicating and acknowledging the Institute's funding in your presentations, papers, posters, and press releases. 

MCHRI streamlines research at Stanford Children’s Health 

MCHRI is co-leading a collaborative effort to make it easier to conduct research at Stanford Children’s Health, accelerating the incorporation of breakthrough discoveries into clinical care, a central goal of the hospital’s 2025 strategic vision.

Dr. Mary Leonard Elected to American Pediatric Society

Mary Leonard, MD, MSCE, professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics and director of MCHRI, has been elected to the American Pediatric Society (APS). She will serve as Vice-President from May 2020 to 2021 and President from May 2021 to 2022.

To prevent premature birth, computers ID drug that may help

A team of scientists trying to prevent premature births has turned to a new strategy: computer-assisted matchmaking. The Stanford-UCSF research suggests that a widely used antacid may be able to prevent pregnant women from going into labor early. Read more.

Teens vulnerable to social-media promotion of vaping

Social media posts promoting e-cigarettes appear able to make teens more willing to vape, new Stanford research has shown. The study's lead author is Erin Vogel, PhD, postdoctoral research fellow and an MCHRI member. 

Visionary gift support research initiative to treat and find cures for single ventricle heart disease

Thanks to visionary gift from Additional Ventures, MCHRI joins Stanford School of Medicine and Stanford Children's Health in promoting innovative research in single ventricle heart disease. 

MCHRI fuels diverse research through partnership with Stanford Diabetes Research Center

By Laura Hedli

Since 2016, MCHRI has partnered with the Stanford Diabetes Research Center (SDRC) to fund projects related to maternal and child health. By establishing an institutional commitment early on, SDRC has dramatically expanded by obtaining impactful federal funding and is supporting a wide array of projects in maternal and child health.

Expanded program helps researchers engage study participants

In partnership with MCHRI’s Clinical Research Support Office, the Research Participation Program within in the School of Medicine’s Research Office provides resources and tools to help researchers with recruiting participants for studies.

Dr. Gary Shaw Receives SPR's Douglas K. Richardson Award

MCHRI member and panel chair of the Pilot Grants Program, Gary Shaw, DrPH, professor of pediatrics, is the recipient of the Society for Pediatric Research 2020 Douglas K. Richardson award. 

Parents can help build mental wellness in kids and teens at risk for bipolar

Involving parents in therapy boosts mental wellness among children and teens at risk for bipolar disorder, a Stanford-led study has found. Manpreet Singh, MD, MS, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and an MCHRI awardee, is one of the study's co-authors. 

Transdisciplinary approach to modeling heart mechanics

By Laura Hedli

Led by Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Bioengineering Alison Marsden, PhD, MCHRI TIP awardees combine mechanical and computational modeling with clinical data, leading to insights about pulmonary valve dysfunction. 

5 Questions with Stanford's Preeclampsia Research Team

Lead by Co-PIs Drs. Virginia Winn, MD, PhD & Mark Hlatky, MD along with members from 12 Stanford Departments, this team recently received a $6 million grant from the NHLBI to study the connections between preeclampsia in pregnant women and heart diseases in later life.

Broad range of MCHRI awards support Faculty Scholar to understand and combat arboviral disease

By Laura Hedli

MCHRI Faculty Scholar A. Desiree LaBeaud, MD, MS, associate professor of pediatrics, is looking at the risk factors and long-term health consequences of arboviral infections affecting children and pregnant women. 

*APPLY NOW* MCHRI Eureka Certificate Course in Translational Medicine

MCHRI is excited to announce its inaugural translational medicine course, MCHRI Eureka 2020 Certificate Course in Translational Medicine. This 5-day intensive course will be held at Asilomar Conference Center in Monterey, CA from February, 9 to February 13, 2020. 

Apply for funding opportunity in 22q11 Deletion Syndrome Research

The MCHRI Uytengsu-Hamilton 22q11 Neuropsychiatry Research Awards Program aims to promote research to improve the neurocognitive outcomes and behavioral symptoms of 22q11 Deletion Syndrome with immediate (within 5 years) and long term impact. 

5 Questions: Dennis Wall on new discoveries in autism genetics

Autism researcher discusses the findings of an analysis of the genome sequences for 2,308 people from 493 nuclear families affected by autism.


Registration open for MCHRI symposium

Stanford scientists, clinicians and others with an interest in maternal and child health are invited to attend the free symposium on campus November 15.

Now accepting abstracts for 2nd Annual Research Symposium, November 15

MCHRI invites you to its second annual research symposium on Friday, November 15, 2019! We are now accepting all abstracts focused in maternal and child health research which will be reviewed and selected to present during our poster sessions. Read more.

Register now for the 2nd Annual Research Symposium, November 15

Registration is now open for the second annual Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute Symposium, which will highlight the latest research in maternal and child health across campus. 

Research in real life: Concussion, teen vaping, predicting prematurity

The Packard Children’s News Spring issue features research, supported in part by MCHRI, on youth concussiontobacco use among adolescentsnon-invasive prenatal testingRead more.

Stanford-led team receives $10 million award for myosin research

The NIGMS has awarded a five-year, $10 million grant to a multidisciplinary team of scientists led by Stanford researchers that will try to understand a common cause of heart failure. 

Gender inequality and rigid norms linked with poor health, global research shows

Restrictive gender expectations hurt everyone's health, and understanding how this happens is the first step toward improving the situation around the world, according to a new series of papers published in The Lancet led by Gary Darmstadt, MD, professor of pediatrics and associate dean for maternal and child health. 

A second chance at life

Two young brothers were born with IPEX syndrome, a life-threatening genetic disease that causes patients' immune systems to attack their own healthy tissues. Stanford physician-scientists and MCHRI awardees, Rosa Bacchetta, MD, and Alice Bertaina, MD, PhD, helped these brothers get a second chance at life.

Hormone reduces social impairment in kids with autism

Social behavior improved in children with autism after they inhaled a hormone called vasopressin, according to a pilot study led by Karen Parker, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and Antonio Hardan, MD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. This research was supported by MCHRI. 

New research links common brain injury in premature babies to specific cells

Stanford researchers have identified a specific set of brain cells that are particularly susceptible to harm from low oxygen exposure in early development. The work was led by Sergiu Pasca, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and Anca Pasca, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics. Both are MCHRI awardees.

Tobacco and e-cig promotions spark teens’ use of nicotine products

Many teens own e-cigarette samples, coupons or branded promotional items, and these teens are more likely to try the products, a Stanford study found. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, professor of pediatrics and MCHRI member, is the study’s senior author.

Tad and Dianne Taube commit $6 million for pediatric cancer research

Philanthropists Tad and Dianne Taube have committed $6 million to the School of Medicine to establish the Taube Initiative in Pediatric Cancer Research. Their recent gifts include $1 million to support transdisciplinary research through MCHRI. 

Women getting C-sections best judge of own pain medication needs

A recent research tested an approach that allowed women to choose the level of pain management they wanted during a cesarean section. MCHRI Faculty Scholar Brendan Carvalho, MD, professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine, is lead author of the study.

How MCHRI is investing in research to reduce and prevent youth tobacco use

By Laura Hedli

Teen vaping is on the rise and researchers are searching for solutions to reduce and prevent tobacco use. MCHRI is supporting investigators to research the effects of e-cigarettes on the brain and body and to provide resources aimed at preventing the use of tobacco and nicotine among youth. 

How MCHRI supports research for clinician educator to improve the quality of care for patients and their families

MCHRI awarded Annette Nasr, RN, PhD, the Clinician Educator Grant to support her study in living donation and the long-term emotional and relationship impact for both the donor and the recipient. 

Treating parasite infections during pregnancy thought to boost babies’ immune responses

New research suggests that a specific change in prenatal care for pregnant women in developing countries may improve their babies’ vaccine responsiveness after birth. Desiree LaBeaud, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and an MCHRI awardee, is the co-author of this work describing the findings. 

With metabolic profiles of children, new center hopes to head off disease early

Stanford’s new Metabolic Health Center aims to study metabolic profiles of babies, children, and pregnant women to understand the origins of disease. Co-directors include David K. Stevenson, MD, professor of pediatrics, and Karl Sylvester, MD, professor of pediatric surgery, who are MCHRI executive committee members.

Some viruses help protect harmful bacteria in cystic fibrosis patients

A recent study has shown some viruses help protect harmful bacteria in cystic fibrosis patients. Lead author, Elizabeth Burgener, MD, instructor of pediatrics, and co-authors, Paul Bollyky, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine and of microbiology and immunology, and Carlos Milla, MD, professor of pediatrics, were supported by MCHRI. 

Stanford researchers outline the role of a deep brain structure in concussion

Through a combination of biometric tracking, simulated modeling and medical imaging, researchers detail how trauma to the side of the head cause concussion. This work was funded in part by MCHRI, with David Camarillo, PhD, assistant professor of bioengineering, as the co-lead author of the paper describing the findings.

Seed funding awarded at Pediatric Device Accelerator pitch competition

Last month, Stanford Children's Health, Stanford University School of Medicine, and MCHRI hosted the second annual Pediatric Innovation Showcase. The daylong event highlighted new devices and developments in pediatric medicine, as well as a pitch competition put on by the UCSF-Stanford Pediatric Device Consortium.

MCHRI provides support and ‘second set of eyes’ for investigator to make an impact in maternal health research

MCHRI awarded Stephanie Leonard, PhD, a postdoctoral fellowship and provided critical feedback during the review process to study the rise of pre-pregnancy health and cesarean delivery and the rise of life-threatening pregnancy complications.

Faculty Scholars explore impact of community-based intervention in the Tenderloin

By Laura Hedli

Can teaching growth mindset to parents help alter their children's behavior and learning? Irene Loe, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, and Claudia Mueller, MD, associate professor of pediatric surgery, aim to find out in their collaborative research project based at a Bay Area elementary school.

Developmental origins and emerging therapeutic opportunities for childhood cancer

Cancer is the leading disease-related cause of death in children in developed countries. In a recent Nature Medicine article, Michelle Monje, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology and neurological sciences and an MCHRI Faculty Scholar, is the co-author on this paper that reviews the developmental origins and emerging therapeutic opportunities for childhood cancer. 

Set of genes predicts severity of dengue

Purvesh Khatri, PhD, associate professor of medicine and of biomedical data science, and Shirit Einav, MD, associate professor of medicine and of microbiology and immunology, are co-authors on a paper that have identified 20 genes that can predict an individual’s likelihood of developing a severe form of dengue fever with about 80 percent accuracy. This project was supported by SPARK, a funded partner of the MCHRI. 

Congenital heart babies more likely to develop heart conditions as adults

An infant born with a relatively simple heart defect is far more likely to develop heart problems as an adult, according to Stanford researchers. James Priest, assistant professor of pediatrics and an MCHRI awardee, is the senior author of the paper summarizing the findings from the research.

Why are women affected by life-threatening complications in pregnancy and childbirth

Since 2004, the rate of life-threatening pregnancy complications has more than doubled, affecting more than 50,000 women in the U.S. Stephanie Leonard, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in pediatrics and an MCHRI awardee, is the lead author on a new study that uses California-wide data to try to figure it out.

Engineered immune cells target broad range of pediatric solid tumors in mice

In mouse studies, a Stanford-led team has developed an engineered immune cell that eliminates several types of childhood tumors. The study includes senior author, Crystal Mackall, MD, professor of pediatrics and of medicine, and several authors who are members of the MCHRI.

Predicting, preventing preterm births

Each year, 15 million babies worldwide are born prematurely, arriving at least three weeks before their due dates. Stanford’s top obstetricians, neonatologists, geneticists, microbiologists, immunologists, epidemiologists, health policy experts, and bioengineers are working together to help more babies arrive safely.

SPARK helps academic researchers bring new drugs for rare diseases to market

Stanford’s fast-growing drug-development program and MCHRI’s funded partner, SPARK, has given hundreds of academic researchers around the world the training and connections to get their discoveries out of labs and into the hands of doctors and patients. Read the news story and check Stanford Medicine’s summer article about SPARK.

MCHRI creates patient kits for Stanford Children’s Hospital

Over the summer, the MCHRI team learned about the need for art supplies at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, which are provided to patients to use throughout their stay. Through the Champions for Children program, the MCHRI set up an online registry campaign designed to collect materials from within the team and their associated communities. 

Neuroimaging studies linked to neurological developmental challenges of extremely preterm infants

Results from the Neuroimaging and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes (NEURO) School Age Follow-Up Study were recently published in Pediatrics. Neonatologist and CHRI Faculty Scholar, Susan Hintz, MD, MS Epi, is the lead author on the paper.

Faculty Scholars lead the way in advancing pediatric cancer cellular therapy program

Pediatric hematologist/oncologists and CHRI Faculty Scholars, Kara Davis, DO, and Norman Lacayo, MD, are leading the way in developing cancer cellular therapy programs at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford to help patients, like Jesus Sanchez-Romero, receive life-saving treatments.

CHRI awardees Ricardo Dolmetsch and Sergiu Pasca venture into the emerging field of molecular psychiatry 

Neuroscientists Ricardo Dolmetsch, PhD, and Sergiu Pasca, MD, each received funding from the CHRI early on to help support their collaborative and innovative work in understanding the development of human brain disorders.

Faculty Scholar shares experience in the Eureka program for translational medicine

The CHRI sponsored several Stanford faculty, including hematologist/oncologist Anupama Narla, MD, to attend a seven-day course in translational medicine at the Eureka Institute for Translational Medicine in Siracusa, Italy.

The long-term vision in science: Faculty Scholar finds her Eureka moment as a translational scientist 

Psychiatrist and behavioral scientist Manpreet Singh, MD, MS, shares her journey as translational researcher and the impact of the multiple awards she has received from the CHRI in her work, including the most recent opportunity to attend an intensive course at the Eureka Institute for Translational Medicine in Siracusa, Italy. 

CHRI Faculty Scholars team up to transform the science and treatment of concussion 

By Laura Hedli

David Camarillo, PhD and Gerald Grant, MD are among the nation’s foremost concussion experts and teaming up to transform the science and treatment of head injuries. They are CHRI Faculty Scholars and have received several grants towards concussion-specific research efforts. 

Transformative Science Requires Risk

By Laura Hedli

Michelle Monje, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Endowed Faculty Scholar and recipient of several Child Health Research Institute grants, takes a dynamic approach to studying brain tumor growth and potential treatments.

Building successful futures:  CHRI Transdisciplinary Initiatives Program awardee investigates the health of immigrant families and children

By Laura Hedli 

Fernando Mendoza, a professor of pediatrics and the primary investigator on a CHRI Transdisciplinary Initiatives Program (TIP) grant, explores the health and well-being of children in immigrant families in California, as well as the impact of federal, state, and local policies on health outcomes.