2016-2017 Participants

Learn more about them and their strategic initiatives below.

Robson Capasso, MD

Associate Professor

Department of Otolaryngology

Global Biodesign Expansion

Stanford Biodesign faces growing demand from innovators, universities and governments in countries around the world for training opportunities and the creation of joint educational programs, however the center is self funded and as such, has limited resources. Creating, managing, and delivering training courses and joint educational programs is resource intensive, especially in terms of staff and faculty time.  More  Stanford Biodesign has as one of its main objectives to be helpful in training global innovators and help stimulate innovation, particularly in countries with underserved patient populations. But, it needs a strategy for prioritizing these opportunities and funding cost effective models to provide this type of support.

Proposed Strategic Initiative:

To assist Stanford Biodesign develop a global strategy that includes identification of expansion priorities, criteria for selecting new partners, and new training/education/support models. A key concern to be addressed is the educational model used for international programs. While a 6 months internship period at Stanford with fellows and/or foreign faculty is a great strategy, it may be resource, capital and personnel intensive. Alternative models, with in site training of local faculty and students via videoconferences, web-based modules and/or short term bootcamps may be a viable and desirable alternative in select cases. During the 18 month period we plan to have at least one test case to assess if a shortened curriculum is viable and effective in an established or new location. 

Specific aims:

  1. Assist Biodesign management and global teams in the creation and documentation of a new global strategy.
  2. Assess Biodesign's existing global approaches (affiliates, joint fellowships programs, and program development partnerships) to identify its strengths and opportunity for improvement.
  3. Benchmark other global university and best practices to stimulate new ideas.
  4.  Lead and execute a plan to pilot the top new idea(s).
  5. Increase my personal knowledge and fluency in teaching the Biodesign innovation process in anticipation of playing a key teaching role in new global programs
  6. Help optimize Biodesign’s global programs to benefit our Stanford-based fellows and students, including opportunities for these audiences to develop international projects, learn about non-US markets, stay abreast of global trends, and consider international careers


Loretta Chou


Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Improving Communication and Teamwork in the Hospital Wards

Orthopaedic Surgery residents receive more communication complaints than other departments. The complaints are reported on an anonymous online form for adverse events in the hospital.  An informal department survey of the residents found differences in the number of complaints between male and female residents.  More 

The purpose of this Strategic Initiative project is to improve the work environment for all Orthopaedic Surgery residents. There is an urgency because these complaints increase stress and add to a difficult work environment. The stress and work environment affects the health and wellbeing of residents, as well as their success.

My plan of action begins with building a coalition of stakeholders, including the Associate Chief Medical Officer who is in charge of all hospital adverse events complaints, chief of nursing, and physician/nurse educator coach. We will work together to identify the root cause and recommendations for improvement. The improvements will affect patient and staff safety, as well as communication and education of our hospital teams. The results and improvements will likely be useful to other departments; other department faculty and residents have stated they have had similar issues.

My vision for this Strategic Initiative project is to improve teamwork and communication, which will result in less complaints. This will ultimately increase the attractiveness of our residency program, especially for women. Attracting and retaining women residents is important for our medical school’s diversity, and because women continue to be a minority in the specialty of Orthopaedic Surgery, about 14% nationally.


Sumbul Ahmad Desai

Clinical Assistant Professor

Department of Medicine 

Digital Health

Digital Health is an emerging field that combines advancements in multiple technological, scientific, and medical fields.  Stanford has the advantage of deep biomedical expertise coupled with the resources and knowledge of the many disciplines throughout Stanford University. Stanford is strategically located in the heart of Silicon Valley and is well-poised to be a leader in the field.  More  We look to leverage our strengths at Stanford Medicine but also leverage school wide expertise as well. In addition, we also look to build on our relationships in the valley through alumni relations, corporate partners, and strategic partnerships.

Stanford’s expertise in mobile health, as well as telemedicine along with our core strength of preeminent research have created high demand for collaborations. Stanford as a brand is well-known globally. This recognition has created a wealth of opportunities nationally and internationally with both startups and large established technology companies to partner on projects that have the ability to change how both research is conducted and care is delivered.

The Center for Digital Health (CDH) will connect the efforts to advance digital health throughout the School of Medicine and University by creating a shared set of resources and infrastructure to allow rapid implementation of projects, ultimately affirming Stanford’s position as a world leader in digital health with 4 pillars:

Education: Foster a better understanding of healthcare, both clinically and operationally, for physicians, consumers, and industry to encourage the rapid development and adoption of innovative new products and delivery models.

Research: Serve as a comprehensive clinical trials research center for digital health focused on the advancement of faculty projects and industry-sponsored research.

• Encourage collaboration with industry through pilots and large research studies

• Validate and investigate disease outcomes, cost-effectiveness, engagement, and utilization.

Clinical Care: Design new care delivery models and improve outcomes through the thoughtful incorporation of digital health tools while advancing digital health by creating more effective products more efficiently through utilization of experienced Stanford faculty and staff.

Connector: CDH will provide a centralized organization for connecting our faculty leaders internally and externally to digital health opportunities, and can ensure that relationships, learnings, and efficiencies are leveraged across the School of Medicine and Stanford.  As compared to ad hoc projects, a unique organizational unit creates expertise, common processes, efficiencies, more effective relationships, and greater support for partnerships with our faculty. Internally, the CDH will provide faculty with a means of interacting with the health system to better coordinate and drive the implementation of digital health initiatives. Externally, it will provide faculty with a means to interact with external companies and share their expertise and knowledge to change the way health care is delivered.


Aaron Gitler, PhD    

Associate Professor

Department of Genetics    

Empowering Neurodegenerative Disease Research - The Stanford Brain Rejuvenation Program  

As human life expectancy continues to increase, neurodegenerative diseases are increasing in prevalence, posing a growing threat to public health worldwide. These diseases include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS (also called Lou Gehrig’s disease), and others. Novel treatments and therapeutic interventions are desperately needed. There is currently no unified initiative focused on neurodegenerative disease research and clinical care at Stanford.  More 

I propose a project to bridge Stanford expertise in genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, clinical care, engineering, chemistry, brain imaging, immunology, regenerative medicine, and basic neurobiology, all focused on elucidating neurodegenerative disease mechanisms and innovating effective therapeutic interventions. I have teamed up with Dr. Tony Wyss-Coray (Neurology and Neurological Sciences) with the five-year goal to transform neurodegenerative research at Stanford, by bringing the campus together to mount an attack on some of the most devastating human diseases to face mankind.

We propose the Stanford Brain Rejuvenation Program, as a ‘Big Ideas” initiative of the Stanford Neurosciences Institute. The project will facilitate the funding of collaborative interdisciplinary research projects focused on neurodegenerative disease and brain rejuvenation. We will also foster more interactions on campus by holding informal dinners to discuss neurodegenerative disease research, a mini-symposia series, and we aim to create the leading annual symposium to bring world leaders in neurodegenerative disease research together. The overall impact of the Stanford Brain Rejuvenation Program will be to transform the face of aging and neurodegenerative disease research at Stanford. We will bring diverse and highly innovative approaches and, importantly, we will engage the entire campus on a mission to unravel the mysteries of neurodegenerative diseases and to be at the cutting edge of inventions that help us discover novel mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases and eventually to treat diseases using novel disease-modifying therapeutic targets.


Gerald Grant, MD, FACS

Associate Professor

Department of Neurosurgery 

Quality and Safety in Pediatric Neurosurgery

Our mission is to provide the highest quality of neurosurgical care to the children we treat at Stanford Children’s. There is growing emphasis on health-related quality of life outcomes as well as evidence-based medicine. However, there is very little standardization or consensus about which outcome measures should be used in the pediatric population.  More We propose to track the quality of surgical care for the top three pediatric neurosurgical procedures performed at Stanford: 1) Chiari decompression, 2) shunt for hydrocephalus, and 3) craniosynostosis. We will develop, validate, and incorporate disease-specific patient based instruments in the ambulatory setting to improve the quality of research and care of these patients. 

A systematic literature review of Chiari I related clinical outcomes was performed to identify articles in multiple domains defined a priori as integral to reporting outcomes in patients undergoing a Chiari I decompression. We will repeat this search for patients with hydrocephalus and craniosynostosis. I propose to develop disease-specific instruments that we could implement in the ambulatory care setting and prospectively validate these metrics to ensure they accurately reflect the range of outcomes seen in these children. I then will engage Stanford and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital leadership to develop a business plan around organizing an analytics team dedicated to this effort. This team would integrate these metrics into epic and track our outcomes and resource utilization on a regular basis. The success of this innovative project will be measured by the 1) seamless integration of quality metrics into our daily workflow; 2) improve patient care and outcomes; and 3) lead to a national collaborative multi-institutional effort focusing on quality outcome metrics in pediatric neurosurgery.

Our emphasis for this strategic initiative on optimizing quality metrics for pediatric neurosurgery will be an integrated effort to coordinate our vision between Neurosurgery, Stanford Healthcare, and Stanford Children’s Health, the Center for Health Policy at Stanford, and the Center for Quality and Clinical Effectiveness at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.                                                                  


Nicholas Leeper, MD

Associate Professor

Department of Surgery (Vascular Surgery) & Medicine (Cardiovascular Medicine) 

Enhancing Translational Medicine

A major focus of scientists and clinicians is to rapidly translate biomedical discoveries from bench to bedside.  Stanford prides itself on being a leader in the field of translational medicine, and has a rich history of supporting the development of new therapies based on insights generated by its world class scientists.  More  However, it is clear that advancing fundamental discoveries from mouse to man remains one of the most difficult aspects faced by scientists today, and there is evidence that many high-potential therapies never cross the so-called ‘Valley of Death’ or are evaluated in the actual clinical arena. Thus, the aim of this Strategic Initiative is to quantitatively assess the translational process as it exists today at Stanford, and develop a specific plan to enhance and accelerate the process. If successful, this program could solidify Stanford’s reputation as the top translational center in the world and directly support our mission to promote human health.

While the overarching aim of this project is to one day build a physical Stanford Translational Research Center, the specific goal of this 12-month Strategic Initiative is to perform a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the existing translational capabilities of Stanford University.  This will include interviews with Division Chiefs and Department Chairs across the School of Medicine and a review of the discoveries filed with the Office of Technology and Licensing over the last fifteen years. We will determine the fate of these scientific discoveries and inventions, including the frequency with which they are out-licensed, the rate at which they were advanced to human trials, the likelihood that they became approved therapies, and the market value ultimately generated relative to the royalties obtained by the University.  As possible, we will gather similar data from peer institutions, so as to perform benchmarking and to compare our effectiveness. Through this exercise, we aim to identify the points at which exciting scientific ideas have become derailed on their path to clinical development and areas where infrastructure investment and advisory support could have increased our capacity for translational success and financial return to the University. 

By the end of the Strategic Initiative, we intend to deliver a ‘white paper’ to the University’s leadership, with a specific plan for the development of a Translational Research Service that will formally advise, invest in, and support each step of the translational process from initial discovery to human proof-of-principle trial design. We anticipate identifying specific areas for improvement in the arenas of intellectual property protection, fund raising, company formation, in-house pharmacology-toxicology expertise, and first-in-human trial execution. Through this work, we hope to ensure that Stanford Medicine continues to not only lead the way in scientific discovery, but also becomes a role model for the translation of the next generation of medical therapies.


Steven R. Long, MD

Clinical Associate Professor

Department of Pathology

Community and Team Building Enhancement

The aim of this strategic initiative is to promote optimal interpersonal relations, and a positive, supportive sense of community within our department; which will stimulate good will, and build an environment that encourages cooperation, and an enhanced atmosphere for scholarly activity.  More 

Key components of this initiative include development of a lecture/workshop series, and effort to establish annual departmental awards (for faculty, staff and trainees) to recognize individuals working daily to promote positive, supportive environments in our work places.

An important aspect of the faculty awards will involve securing a commitment from the dean’s office to sufficiently recognize this award during the promotional process as a significant, and admirable contribution to the School of Medicine.  I will work with the A and P section of the dean’s office to try and promote an understanding to value and support this annual recognition.

Ideally the lecture/workshop series would raise awareness of the need to promote team/community building, and recognize that we as a profession have stressors and incentives in our daily practice’s that make us vulnerable to conflict and workplace discord.   Discussion of common pitfalls, and strategies for overcoming shortfalls will be the themes we will try to cover and explore.


Yasodha Natkunam, MD, PhD


Department of Pathology 

Telepathology for Global Cancer Care - A Pilot Project in Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Cancer is at the forefront of an emerging global health crisis. It is rapidly becoming a leading cause of death due to increasing urbanization, decreasing infectious disease burden and an aging population. There is an acute need for resources and medical expertise to combat cancer, particularly in low and middle income countries.  More  A recent report by the US Council on Foreign Relations on non-communicable diseases has issued an urgent call to action to address this need worldwide.

The ability to render accurate, real-time, tissue-based pathology diagnosis is at the core of providing care for patients with all types of cancers. Establishing the breath of pathology expertise necessary for cancer care in low and middle income countries is prohibitive, and therefore, it is imperative to find effective alternatives.

My vision is to leverage recent technological advances in digitized imaging and cloud-based resources to optimize a telepathology platform for cancer diagnosis. To serve as a prototype, I have selected Jaffna Hospital, which is the main teaching hospital and referral center for the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, serving a population of approximately one million. A recent needs assessment conducted at the Jaffna Hospital, identified the lack of subspecialty expertise in pathology as a considerable obstacle for cancer care. Since cancer treatment strategies including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are already available at that center, providing subspecialty pathology expertise to the local pathologists in Jaffna through telepathology would bring about a pivotal change in the current management of cancer patients.

Positioning this initiative in the context of the Jaffna Hospital will allow me to engage stakeholders in Jaffna and Stanford to establish a partnership for building a robust cancer care program. The impact of telepathology at this hospital is likely to be far reaching not only for enhancing routine diagnostic services but also to establish cancer screening, surveillance and early detection. In addition to clinical care, it will pave the way for well-annotated tissue resources for collaborative research to better understand tumor/host interactions in cancer subtypes such as lymphoma. Telepathology will also be of utility in teaching medical students, laboratory staff and other healthcare providers and function as a conduit to transfer knowledge and technology for a future generation of pathologists in Sri Lanka and elsewhere.    


Suzann Pershing, MD    

Assistant Professor

Department of Ophthalmology 

Bridging Science and Humanism across Specialties and Stages of Training - Growing Alpha Omega Alpha

Stanford Medicine stands out as a leader nationally and internationally. There are few areas in which Stanford Medicine does not have a presence, let alone lead; however, since 1990, it has been one of the few medical school campuses in the country without an active Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) medical honor society chapter.  More  The Stanford ideal to continually strive for excellence across all domains is mirrored in AOA’s mission, which highlights a commitment to education, research, teaching, leadership, humanism, and service—with a goal and charge to be worthy to serve the suffering.

AOA was founded in 1902, as an initiative by medical students who were driven to promote pursuit of excellence in medicine in a pre-Flexner era. This fundamental drive has held constant over the past century, even as the nature of medicine has changed in many ways. Members are elected to the organization on the basis of academic achievement and other contributions to medicine, primarily at the medical student level, and membership is both a recognition and a lifelong expectation to support the ideals of the organization. AOA is unique in that it spans all medical specialties and all stages of training and practice—from medical student members to longstanding emeritus faculty. It also has a uniquely broad mission, to support the best of goals and aspirations in medicine across both scientific and humanistic domains.

AOA has had a largely dormant presence at Stanford over the past 2 decades; however, with over 600 existing members (primarily faculty and residents or fellows elected at other institutions), the potential for contribution is significant. Feedback from members has suggested that the time is ripe for a revitalized organization. Based on a needs assessment, there are potential roles for AOA in facilitating multi-level mentorship, establishing links across departments (especially at the postgraduate trainee level), supporting scholarship, and emphasizing service and medical humanities. The goal of this initiative will be to develop an active organization that is recognized and meaningful in Stanford Medicine, led by postgraduate trainees, supported by senior faculty advisors, and involving Stanford medical students. It is an opportunity for Stanford to lead in AOA nationally—particularly in a national focus area to improve resident and fellow engagement.

Aims of the Strategic Initiative include:

  1. Develop and support active organization leadership by trainees at the resident and fellow level
  2. Establish and implement a fundraising plan for the newly-established AOA fund
  3. Design and execute a scaled process for election of more new resident and fellow members, Stanford having been selected as one of 7 national pilot sites for expanded elections.
  4. Engage medical students in organization activities
  5. Increase AOA presence on the medical campus, with a trend to more active projects and programs, driven by the membership


Nigam H. Shah, MBBS, PhD

Associate Professor

Department of Medicine (Biomedical Informatics)

Performing an Informatics Consult

Most medical decisions are not based on randomized clinical trials due to the cost and complexity of performing trials. In the absence of good evidence, clinicians rely on their personal experience and the collective experience of their colleagues leading to an “inferential gap” between available evidence and the needed evidence. The advent of the electronic health record (EHR) creates the potential to fill this inferential gap by algorithmically checking the records of similar cases and comparing outcomes.  More  We have a tremendous opportunity to learn from the experiences of patients by querying the data for “patients like mine.”

Consider a hypothetical situation of choosing the right blood pressure medication for a 55 year old Vietnamese woman, who already has asthma. There are no clinical trials to draw upon, and we’d be left with having to pick a drug to start with; and then find a one that is good by trial and error.  If we could interrogate the records of millions of patients, we could find a few thousand Vietnamese women, some of whom would also have co-morbid asthma, and calculate the time to getting diastolic pressure under control for the blood pressure drugs being considered. Simultaneously, we would ascertain what other characteristics associated with that outcome as well as summarize the patient set on which the recommendation is based.

At Stanford, we have developed a search engine to find similar patients from the patient data in the Stanford clinical data warehouse. For example, we can search for, and, in under one second, find relevant patients by searching across diagnosis, billing and procedure codes, concepts extracted from textual data, laboratory test results, vital signs, as well as visit types and duration of inpatient stays. Such rapid querying across diverse data types for cohort-building is not possible at any other academic medical center in the country.

In my strategic project, we plan on offering access to this search engine, as well as support for analyses of the resulting patient set, on a pilot basis. We will test the feasibility of an informatics consult service where a clinician can describe a specific case, and in one day receive a report with a descriptive summary of similar patients in Stanford’s clinical data warehouse, the common treatment choices made, and the observed outcomes after specific choices.  We will conduct the pilot test as an institutional review board approved study to perform one hundred consults over one year. We will track the clinical specialties that generate the most questions, the disease areas where there are is a high volume of questions as well as enough patient data to produce useful reports, and the number of situations where the result of the consult successfully augments clinical decision making.  This project will explore a unique opportunity to generate actionable insights from the large amounts of health data that are routinely generated as a byproduct of clinical processes.

If successful, we will transform the way in which existing EHR data is used to inform a learning healthcare system, and will drive precision in the practice of medicine as part of Stanford Medicine’s vision for precision health.


Christina D. Smolke, PhD

Associate Professor

Department of Bioengineering

Developing a Sustainable Model for the Stanford Bioengineering Graduate Student Program

The Bioengineering Department was founded in 2002 as a joint department between the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering. Bioengineering graduate students play a critical role in the vitality and success of the department based on their roles as researchers in faculty laboratories and teaching assistants (TAs) in departmental courses.  More 

As the faculty size has grown, so has the graduate student program. The size of the incoming graduate class has fluctuated from year to year, although generally been on an increasing trend, which has led to changing policies with regard to graduate student funding and TA requirements that have had negative implications on the graduate student training experience and the department more broadly in certain situations.

This strategic initiative will engage key stakeholders to develop a sustainable, strategic plan for Bioengineering’s graduate program in terms of PhD student numbers, funding policies, and put in place transparent communication regarding these policies.


Aaron Straight, PhD

Associate Professor

Department of Biochemistry 

Stanford Medicine Academic-Industrial Collaborative Exchange

Many of the most innovative and cutting edge biotechnology companies foster a vibrant and exploratory research effort, not unlike those found in the academic research laboratories at Stanford. The research efforts and capabilities within the biotechnology sector are often opaque to Stanford research scientists. Similarly, the emerging ideas and technologies developed in academic labs can take years to influence research efforts in industry.  More 

The goal of this initiative is to develop a new program for collaborative interaction between forward thinking bioscience companies and cutting edge academic researchers at Stanford. It is not uncommon for Stanford researchers to patent and license technologies developed in Stanford research laboratories or to start new companies based on newly developed technologies. In cases where industrial partners have resources or methods in place (e.g. screening or analytical platforms) that can be applied to a research problem, Stanford faculty will occasionally take time away from Stanford to apply those technologies to their own research interests.

This initiative aims to a different goal than these more focused efforts. Instead, our mission is to enable researchers to develop and explore new avenues of research within the structure of industrial bioscience and to make it possible for scientists working in industry to take advantage of the resources at Stanford to pursue ideas outside of the industrial framework. We take as inspiration for this initiative the vibrant, innovative and productive research environments, such as Xerox PARC or Bell Laboratories, that combine the depth of academic research with the resources and infrastructure of industry to make groundbreaking discoveries.

As a pilot project we will identify 1-3 industry collaborators interested in partnering with Stanford Medicine to develop an exchange program between Stanford faculty and corporate bioscience. Our target is to establish a two-way exchange between Stanford and Industry that is well aligned with the objectives of the researchers and industrial partners but that is without tight constraints on the experimental approach or development of research ideas. We anticipate some logistical challenges with respect to intellectual property and funding structures, which can be addressed as the nature of the partnership develops. A metric of success will be the active participation of Stanford faculty in this program as a route to developing new research approaches and topics and interaction of industry research scientists and management with Stanford Medical School.


Matthew Strehlow, MD

Clinical Associate Professor

Department of Emergency Medicine

Establishing a Division of Emergency Critical Care

Collaborate with leadership from the emergency department (ED), intensive care unit (ICU), and hospital to establish a Division of Emergency Critical Care within the Department of Emergency Medicine, the first such division within Stanford’s newest academic department, with the dual goals of improving the quality of care of critically ill ED patients and fostering emergency department critical care research.  More 

Over the past decade, a growing need for a broader collaboration between emergency medicine practitioners and their critical care colleagues has become evident.  The positive impact early resuscitation has on downstream care and overall patient outcomes has been demonstrated repeatedly across a wide range of conditions, including trauma, cardiovascular disease, and sepsis.  Furthermore, hospital crowding has led to protracted emergency department stays for critically ill patients resulting in potentially serious adverse outcomes, prolonged mechanical ventilation, and increased mortality. Taken together, the establishment of a Division of Emergency Critical Care provides a unique opportunity to improve patient care at Stanford while simultaneously laying the foundation to become a national leader in emergency critical care research.

Specific Aims

  1. Develop the structure, human resources, and financial strategy for a Division of Critical Care within the Department of Emergency Medicine
  2. Create an ED-based critical care team that initiates best practices during the transition from the ED to the ICU
  3. Foster emergency critical care research at Stanford by streamlining opportunities for ED research and strengthening research collaborations with surgery, medicine, and anesthesia


An Emergency Department Critical Care Team will be piloted in the ED in late 2016.  This pilot will help establish the operational structure and financial strategy for the Division of Emergency Critical Care.  Combining experience from the pilot with best practices from the handful of academic institutions with similar programs around the country, we will develop the infrastructure to launch the clinical program and academic division in fall 2017.  


Leanne Williams, MD


Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 

Development of a Precision Mental Health Center for Rapidly Integrating Neuroscience and Clinical Translation

There is a fierce urgency to develop Precision Health for mental disorders. This initiative focuses first on depression as an area of staggering disability and disparity, serving as a prototype for expansion to other areas of need. Major depression affects at least 1 in 10 people across the lifespan, is the leading cause of disability globally, is too often fatal and accounts for 1 in 5 primary care visits.  More  Suicide rates related to depression have increased by 30%.

We need to get treatment right the first time.  Right now, only one third of people get the right treatment quickly enough to recover.  For the majority a trial-and-error process over many years leads to chronic disability. The current diagnostic system gives us reliable information about symptoms of mental disorder but tells us little about the rest of the person in regard to the organ of interest (the brain), genetic risk and interactions with life experience and behavior.  We could not imagine guiding cancer treatment decisions or managing chronic cardiovascular disease over time if we did not know about organ system function, genetics and behavioral vital signs.

Our vision is to use modern neuroscience to transform this situation. Already completed are three early successes that show brain imaging, targeted genotyping and assessment of early adverse life events can predict with precision which patient is likely to benefit from which treatment and why - shifting the needle from chance to well over 70% probability of getting better.

We aim to capitalize on these successes, and accelerate the rate at which they are translated into the educational curriculum and into real world practice. Based on the early successes, we target specific “biotypes” of depression.  We will undertake the worlds’ first prospective trial to guide treatment choice according to these biotypes, focusing first on medications and then expanding to behavioral treatments and novel techniques for neuromodulation. We seek to hand our patients’ clarity.

Addressing the translational gap between cutting-edge mental health research insights and their translation into real world training and practice is recognized as a national and global imperative.  Although other academic centers have launched “grand challenge” initiatives in this area, Stanford is ideally poised to seize the lead. Our initiative leverages Stanford’s unique concentration of intellectual and technological expertise spanning mental health, neuroscience, imaging, big data science, clinical trials and public health. We will work in a close partnership spanning multiple medical scientific disciplines and research-practitioner collaborations. With this partnership we will make advances in multiple missions: advancing science, clinical translation, outreach and training the future generation.