School of Medicine
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The J.G. Jackson and C.J. Wood Professor in Chemistry
Bio Professor Dai’s research spans chemistry, physics, and materials and biomedical sciences, leading to materials with properties useful in electronics, energy storage and biomedicine. Recent developments include near-infrared-II fluorescence imaging, ultra-sensitive diagnostic assays, a fast-charging aluminum battery and inexpensive electrocatalysts that split water into oxygen and hydrogen fuels.
Born in 1966 in Shaoyang, China, Hongjie Dai began his formal studies in physics at Tsinghua U. (B.S. 1989) and applied sciences at Columbia U. (M.S. 1991). He obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard U and performed postdoctoral research with Dr. Richard Smalley. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1997, and in 2007 was named Jackson–Wood Professor of Chemistry. Among many awards, he has been recognized with the ACS Pure Chemistry Award, APS McGroddy Prize for New Materials, Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics and Materials Research Society Mid-Career Award. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Sciences (NAS), National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and Foreign Member of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The Dai Laboratory has advanced the synthesis and basic understanding of carbon nanomaterials and applications in nanoelectronics, nanomedicine, energy storage and electrocatalysis.
The Dai Lab pioneered some of the now-widespread uses of chemical vapor deposition for carbon nanotube (CNT) growth, including vertically aligned nanotubes and patterned growth of single-walled CNTs on wafer substrates, facilitating fundamental studies of their intrinsic properties. The group developed the synthesis of graphene nanoribbons, and of nanocrystals and nanoparticles on CNTs and graphene with controlled degrees of oxidation, producing a class of strongly coupled hybrid materials with advanced properties for electrochemistry, electrocatalysis and photocatalysis. The lab’s synthesis of a novel plasmonic gold film has enhanced near-infrared fluorescence up to 100-fold, enabling ultra-sensitive assays of disease biomarkers.
Nanoscale Physics and Electronics
High quality nanotubes from his group’s synthesis are widely used to investigate the electrical, mechanical, optical, electro-mechanical and thermal properties of quasi-one-dimensional systems. Lab members have studied ballistic electron transport in nanotubes and demonstrated nanotube-based nanosensors, Pd ohmic contacts and ballistic field effect transistors with integrated high-kappa dielectrics.
Nanomedicine and NIR-II Imaging
Advancing biological research with CNTs and nano-graphene, group members have developed π–π stacking non-covalent functionalization chemistry, molecular cellular delivery (drugs, proteins and siRNA), in vivo anti-cancer drug delivery and in vivo photothermal ablation of cancer. Using nanotubes as novel contrast agents, lab collaborations have developed in vitro and in vivo Raman, photoacoustic and fluorescence imaging. Lab members have exploited the physics of reduced light scattering in the near-infrared-II (1000-1700nm) window and pioneered NIR-II fluorescence imaging to increase tissue penetration depth in vivo. Video-rate NIR-II imaging can measure blood flow in single vessels in real time. The lab has developed novel NIR-II fluorescence agents, including CNTs, quantum dots, conjugated polymers and small organic dyes with promise for clinical translation.
Electrocatalysis and Batteries
The Dai group’s nanocarbon–inorganic particle hybrid materials have opened new directions in energy research. Advances include electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction and water splitting catalysts including NiFe layered-double-hydroxide for oxygen evolution. Recently, the group also demonstrated an aluminum ion battery with graphite cathodes and ionic liquid electrolytes, a substantial breakthrough in battery science.
Clinical Associate Professor, Medicine - Oncology
Bio Dr. Das specializes in the treatment of thoracic malignancies. She sees and treats patients both at the Stanford Cancer Center and at the Palo Alto VA Hospital. She is Chief of Oncology at the Palo Alto VA and also leads the VA thoracic tumor board on a biweekly basis. She has a strong interest in clinical research, serving as a principal investigator for multiple clinical and translational studies at the Palo Alto VA, and also as a co-investigator on all of the lung cancer trials at Stanford. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and running.
Clinical Assistant Professor, Medicine - Endocrinology, Gerontology, & Metabolism
Bio Dr. Kaniksha Desai is a board-certified endocrinologist and clinical assistant professor of endocrinology at Stanford University. She completed her endocrinology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, with an emphasis on the management of patients with thyroid cancer. Dr. Desai’s clinical practice focuses on the management of patients with thyroid diseases, including thyroid nodules and thyroid cancers, and the management of patients with pituitary disorders. She also maintains board certification in neck ultrasonography and internal medicine.
Frederick M. Dirbas, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery (General Surgery) at the Stanford University Medical Center
Current Research and Scholarly Interests My research interests are focused on minimizing the impact of breast cancer from a diagnostic and therapuetic standpoint. Breast MRI is a powerful tool to facilitate the screening for and staging of breast cancer, and can be valuable adjunct to guide breast surgery. Oncoplastic surgical techniques optimize cosmesis after breast cancer surgery. Accelerated radiotherapy after lumpectomy decreases radiotherapy treatment times from 6 weeks to just 1 to 5 days.