School of Medicine

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  • Natalia Gomez-Ospina

    Natalia Gomez-Ospina

    Clinical Instructor, Pediatrics - Medical Genetics

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests Dr. Gomez-Ospina is a physician scientist and medical geneticist with a strong interest in the diagnosis and management of genetic diseases. Her primary research focus is to develop a novel, genome-editing based approach for treatment of lysosomal storage disorders.
    She also works in collaboration with other researchers at Stanford to develop point-of-care testing for serum ammonia levels. Such device will greatly improve the quality of life of children and families with metabolic disorders with hyperammonemia. She has also participated in multi-institutional collaborations to discover the genetic causes of neonatal and infantile cholestatic liver disease.

  • Marianne Goodwin

    Marianne Goodwin

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Stem Cell Transplantation

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests Developing novel gene editing therapies for genetic autoimmune diseases, including IPEX and IPEX-like syndromes. Generating humanized mouse models of IPEX syndrome to investigate disease pathogenesis and enable therapeutic development.

  • Nicholas Haber

    Nicholas Haber

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Systems Medicine

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests My research lies at the intersection of medicine, artificial intelligence, and mathematics. Most of my current activities are devoted towards a collaborative project with a multidisciplinary group of researchers, aimed at developing a wearable device with automatic facial expression recognition technology for the purpose of autism therapy. Many on the autism spectrum struggle in reading facial expressions, and the standard cognitive behavioral therapy for this essentially amounts to flashcards ? examples of facial expressions for memorization, without larger context. This therapy works, often, but it is a slow, painstaking process. In the creation of such a device, we look to bring this learning effort to the real world, allowing the user to practice recognizing facial expressions of their family and friends with the help of cues and hints from the software. One hypothesis is that a system which simply informs the user that the person they are talking to looks happy, surprised, or sad will lead to much more rapid development, but it could also be the case that more nuanced help, such as being able to tell when the other person is engaged or confused or nervous, will produce the most powerful learning effects. It is difficult to predict what will happen when such therapeutic tools are deployed in the home, and we are very excited to see the sort of data we will observe in upcoming studies.

    My particular contributions to this project primarily involve the core expression recognition. I design and use algorithms that learn how to recognize facial expressions from video and image data. So-called affective computing is a growing field of study with many difficulties. The art of teaching a computer to recognize the facial expressions of a person it has never seen before is very imperfect, and in a project such as this, it is imperative that recognition succeeds nearly all of the time. I thus draw on my background in mathematics and machine learning to explore new methods by which we might create more accurate recognition. Towards this, I have been working on convolutional neural network methods, and I am interested in creating novel related architectures and in exploring the properties of convnet training.

    More broadly, I see myself as a mathematician looking to bring his skills over to medicine in order to make impactful contributions to diagnosis and therapy. For instance, I have been advising an effort by researchers to develop machine learning classifiers that discern those on the autism spectrum from those with ADHD using phenotypic data. This could potentially lead to more rapid, cheaper diagnoses.

    I maintain an active interest in mathematics, both in the sorts of research I have pursued throughout my career (mathematical physics, in particularly that which pertains to the foundations of quantum theory) and in the general promotion of mathematical literacy in the sciences.

  • Derek Holman

    Derek Holman

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Medical Genetics

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests I am currently applying bioinformatic transcriptomic analysis and fourier-transform infrared spectromicroscopy to better understand the consequences of redox stress in cells derived from control patients, and patients with inherited mitochondrial dysfunctions.

  • Melissa Mavers

    Melissa Mavers

    Postdoctoral Medical Fellow, Hematology-Oncology

    Bio I am a physician-scientist currently in my third year of fellowship training in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, with a research focus and clinical interest in stem cell transplantation. I completed my MD degree and PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology through the combined MD/PhD Program at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, during which time I joined the laboratory of Dr. Harris Perlman (now Chief of Rheumatology at Northwestern University/Feinberg School of Medicine). For this project, I investigated the role of the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor p21 in suppression of inflammatory cytokine production and treating inflammatory diseases and gained experience in molecular biology and immunology research techniques. This project led to the publication of several first-author and middle-author publications as well as an invited review article. I then completed my Pediatrics Internship and Residency training at the University of California Los Angeles/Mattel Children?s Hospital, and subsequently entered the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology fellowship program at Stanford University/Lucile Packard Children?s Hospital. I am conducting my post-doctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Negrin (Division Chief of Blood and Marrow Transplantation at Stanford University Hospital and former President of the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation). For this project, I am investigating expansion and enhancement of function of regulatory T and invariant natural killer T cells in stem cell transplantation to prevent or reduce acute graft-versus-host disease. These experiences have helped to shape my career goal of using cutting edge technology to investigate methods of immune modification in the prevention or reduction of graft versus host disease.

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