From our Center
Articles, News, Press Releases
“Symposium on Rare But Fatal Disease to Bring Worldwide Experts to Stanford”
“Physicians are dedicated to the concept of doing no harm, but we have found that therapies we believe are helpful can actually be harmful. We expect this symposium to raise awareness by highlighting the unintended consequences of drugs and their toxicities, specifically on the pulmonary vasculature,” says Roham Zamanian, MD, professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine.
The conference will also focus on the global burden of methamphetamine abuse and its toxicity. “Not to downplay the needed attention on the opioid epidemic, but we want to remind people that illicit use of methamphetamine also is an epidemic of huge proportions,” Zamanian adds.
Drug-induced Pulmonary Hypertension Symposium: Applying Lessons Learned from The Aminorex Epidemic
2nd Meeting of the International Collaborative
April 13-14, 2023 • Hoover Institution - David & Joan Traitel Building, Stanford, CA
HYBRID (In-person or Virtual)
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a rare and fatal cardiopulmonary disease which disproportionately impacts women. Despite the progress in the diagnosis, clinical care, and treatment of PH patients, unique etiological factors are still being discovered. Iatrogenic forms of PH are one of the leading but under-appreciated causes of the disease in the modern era.
The rationale for this symposium is to leverage subject-matter expertise from international academic centers and Stanford University, engage the broader academic communities, global organizations (World Health Organization, United States Food and Drug Administration, European Medicines Agency), and stake-holders (patients, industry partners, etc) to develop a deeper understanding of “drug induced pulmonary hypertension” and establish pharmacovigilance protocols for monitoring drug safety and rapid identification of PH in at-risk populations.
Symposium Steering Committee
Roham Zamanian, MD, FCCP
Associate Professor, Pulmonary
Allergy & Critical Care Medicine, Stanford University
Director, Adult PH Program
Irene Lang, MD
Professor, Vascular Biology, at the Medical University of Vienna
Gérald Simonneau, MD, PhD
Université Paris-Saclay, France
Marc Humbert, MD, PhD
Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the Université Paris-Saclay in Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France
Meinhard Kneussl, MD
Professor of Respiratory Medicine
Medical University of Vienna,
Chair of Cardio-Respiratory Medicine
Sigmund Freud University of Vienna
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Dr. Vinicio de Jesus Perez, recently featured in Telemundo broadcast “Entrenamientos gratis de CPR para la comunidad hispana.”
Dr. Vinicio de Jesus Perez, Associate Professor, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and Wall Center faculty, was recently featured in a Telemundo article “Entrenamientos gratis de CPR para la comunidad hispana.”
Read the original broadcast script
Trasnslated via Google Translate:
Free CPR Trainings for the Hispanic Community
The American Heart Association seeks, through free courses, to educate the Hispanic community on how to react when a person suffers a heart attack or cardiovascular accident.
“Particularly us Hispanics who suffer a lot from heart disease, complications such as diabetes that we are at risk of these conditions, having members of this community who can intervene and save lives is something that helps,” said Vinicio de Jesús Pérez, a pulmonologist at Stanford .
Hispanics and black people are the most likely to die from a heart attack since their environment does not usually know how to act and the consequences are greater.
“60% of cases where heart attacks occur, usually occur at home in a public place, in a shopping center, in a place outside,” said Dionicio Palencia, CPR instructor of the American Heart Association.
For this reason, they are promoting “Heroes Saving Hearts” courses in synergy with the Red Cross where they hope to turn the community into saviors during an emergency.
“It can be the difference between life and death,” said de Jesús Pérez.
The goal of these trainings is for people to be able to identify the signs of a heart attack.
Congratulations to Dr. Vinicio de Jesus Perez on receiving $3.5M NIH Grant addressing Pulmonary Vascular Disease
Stanford Clinical Center for the NIH Lung Transplant Consortium Awarded NIH Lung Transplant Consortium Center Grant (U01)
Welcome 2022-2023 Fellows
Lea Steffes, MD: Pediatric eBay Fellow in Pulmonary Vascular Disease
Congratulations, Dr. Marsden!
Dr. Alison Marsden, Professor and Wall Center scholar in the departments of Pediatrics, Bioengineering, and, by courtesy, Mechanical Engineering, was recently appointed Nola Leishman Professors in Cardiovascular Diseases. Her work focuses on the development of numerical methods for cardiovascular blood flow simulation, medical device design, application of optimization to large-scale fluid mechanics simulations, and application of engineering tools to impact patient care in cardiovascular surgery and congenital heart disease.
Credit: The Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute (PVRI)
Wall Center Faculty Attend the 15th PVRI Annual World Congress on PVD in Athens, Greece
Congratulations 2022 Graduating PH fellows
Congratulations and a huge thank you to our 2022 graduating PH fellows: Noura Alturaif, MBBS, Raquel Lyn, MD, and Ege Ozdemir, MD. We are so proud of the physicians you are and have become!
The Wall Center Participates at the Stanford Wellness Fair
After a 2 year haitus, the Wall Center participated in-person at the 2022 Wellness Fair on May 24, 2022, held at Koret Plaza. The Wellness Fair is a celebration of wellness and healthy lifestyle choices. Wall Center staff were on-hand to answer questions about the center, pulmonary hypertension and to promote the 22nd Race Against PH.
Congratulations, Dr. Vinicio de Jesus Perez!
Human Cell Atlas Cover Feature on Science Magazine
Dr. Krasnow signs Registry of Membership at the National Academy of Sciences
Mark Krasnow, MD, PhD, a 2019 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) inductee/now member, signed the Registry of Membership at the National Academy of Sciences 159th Annual Meeting. The ceremony was elayed due to pandemic. Dr. Krasnow, serves as the Executive Director, Wall Center for Pulmonary Vascular Disease.
"NAS membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive. Members are elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research."
2022 Years of Service Awards
The Wall Center’s success is directly attributed to the support and contributions of its team members. This year we recognize and congratulate the following people for their service:
- Stephen Chang, MD, PhD
- Aileen Lin, RN, MSN, FNP-BC
- Avin Veerakumar, MD & PhD Candidate
- Jordan Sloan, PA-C, MMS (2021)
- Aiqin Cao, PhD
- Yon Sung, MD, FCCP
- Francois Haddad, MD
- Michelle Ogawa, RN, MSN, PNP
Dr. Vinicio de Jesus Perez gives the 2022 Charles Hales honorary lecture at Massachusetts General Hospital
Dr. Vinicio de Jesus Perez, Associate Professor, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine recently gave a lecture about the "Role of Dysfucntional Angiogenesis in Pulmonary Hypertension: Implications for Novel Therapeutics" at the Massachusetts General Hospital Ether Dome for the annual Dr. Charles Hales Memorial Lecture.
Congratulations to Dr. Vinicio de Jesus Perez and his team
The Wall Center is pleased to congratulate Dr. Vinicio de Jesus Perez, Associate Professor, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and his team for receiving a $3M NIH R01 grant evaluating the pathogenesis of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). In their original R01, his team confirmed a key role for the Wnt7a/ROR2 signaling pathway in lung angiogenesis and how the loss of this mechanism is a feature of PAH vascular pathology.
The renewal grant will focus on elucidating the transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms governing the behavior of diseased endothelial cells with implications for how the right ventricle adapts in this lethal condition.
Congratulations to Dr. Roham Zamanian and Dr. Kristina Kudelko
The Wall Center is pleased to announce the Appointment of Dr. Roham Zamanian as Associate Director and of Dr. Kristina Kudelko to the Steering Committee. We are incredibly grateful to all those who serve on our committees and lead the Wall Center’s mission and vision.
To eradicate pulmonary vascular disease by discovering fundamental causes, developing innovative therapies, disseminating crucial knowledge, and delivering transformative care.
To transform the way pulmonary vascular disease is understood and treated, both locally and globally.
Stanford (Pulmonology) Ranked #7 in Newsweek's World's Best Specialized Hospitals 2022
Congratulations to the Stanford Chest Clinic (Pulmonology), including Wall Center faculty Mark Nicolls, MD, Professor, Roham Zamanian, MD, Associate Professor and Director of the Adult Pulmonary Hypertension Program, Vinicio de Jesus Perez, MD, Associate Professor, Edda Spiekerkoetter, MD, Associate Professor, Kristina Kudelko, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Fellowship/Educational Director, Yon Sung, MD, FCCP, Clinical Assistant Professor, and Andrew Sweatt, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, on ranking #7 in the World's Best Specialized Hospitals 2022-Pulmonology! We applaud your dedication to offer the highest level of care.
Stanford Adult PH Program Receives Reaccreditation as a Center of Comprehensive Care
Congratulations to the Stanford Adult PH Program, on receiving the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) reaccreditation as a Center of Comprehensive Care, led by Roham Zamanian, MD, Associate Professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and Director of the Adult Pulmonary Hypertension Program. The designation as a leading PH Care Center in the United States continues to be a major achievement made possible by the efforts of the clinical and research teams, especially during the last 2 years challenged by a global pandemic.
“The Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s Scientific Leadership Council, 28 global leaders in the field of pulmonary hypertension, have spearheaded the PHA-Accredited PH Care Centers (PHCC) initiative to establish a program for accreditation of centers with special expertise in pulmonary hypertension (PH), particularly pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), to raise the overall quality of care and outcomes in patients with this life-threatening disease.”
Andrew Sweatt, MD
Roham Zamanian, MD, FCCP
Marlene Rabinovitch, MD
Congratulations Drs. Sweatt, Zamanian and Rabinovitch!
Congratulations to Wall Center Facuty Andrew Sweatt, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine in Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Roham Zamanian, MD, Associate Professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and Director of the Adult Pulmonary Hypertension Program, and Marlene Rabinovitch, MD, Dwight and Vera Dunlevie Professor of Pediatrics, Cardiology, in their collaborative effort on the article Severe Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Is Characterized by Increased Neutrophil Elastase and Relative Elafin Deficiency, recently published in Chest.
Alison Marsden, PhD and Melody Dong, PhD
Helping children with cardiovascular defects
Dr. Alison Marsden, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Bioengineering and Vera Moulton Wall Center Faculty, and Stanford Bio-X Fellow Melody Dong, discuss how Bio-X has supported their research using fluid dynamics simulations to study blood flow in pulmonary arterial hypertension due to congenital heart defects. They hope that this work will lead to new treatments for children with pulmonary hypertension.
Read: Image-based scaling laws for somatic growth and pulmonary artery morphometry from infancy to adulthood
Rachel K. Hopper, MD
Dr. Rachel Hopper impacts the lives of children through CRIB Program
Wall Center faculty Rachel K. Hopper, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Pediatric Cardiology and co-director of CRIB (Cardiac and Respiratory Care for Infants with BPD) Program, was recently featured in two patient stories highlighting the benefits of sub-specialty collaborations and multidisciplinary team approaches, for infants born prematurely with Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and pulmonary hypertension (PH), or PH risk factors.
Read the articles:
Learn more about Cardiac and Respiratory Care for Infants with BPD (CRIB) Program
Vinicio de Jesus Perez, MD
Congratulations Dr. Vinicio de Jesus Perez!
Congratulations to Wall Center Facuty Vinicio de Jesus Perez, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine in Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine who has been named as the first Stanford Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Director of Faculty and Fellow Diversity and Inclusion. In this role, Dr. de Jesus Perez "will work with Department of Medicine leadership on initiatives that will continue to promote diversity and equality for fellows and faculty. We learned in 2020 that our ICUs, hospital wards, and clinics are a stage upon which societal ills meet medical care; our discipline is on the frontline of this challenging interface".
Ananya Chakraborty, PhD
Vinicio de Jesus Perez, MD
Cournand & Comroe Early Career Investigator Award Finalist
Congratulations to Ananya Chakraborty, PhD, postdoctoral researcher, for being recognized as a finalist for the AHA Cournand & Comroe Early Career Investigator Award. Ananya is part of the de Jesus Perez Lab, led by Wall Center Facuty Vinicio de Jesus Perez, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine in Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine.
Astrid Gillich, PhD
Ross J. Metzger, PhD
Mark Krasnow, MD, PhD
Congratulations to Wall Center researchers & faculty on their ground-breaking discovery
First author Astrid Gillich, PhD, a postdoc in the Krasnow Lab, and co-corresponding authors Ross Metzger, PhD, Instructor in Pediatrics-Cardiology, and Wall Center Executive Director Mark Krasnow, MD, PhD, along with co-authors Jeffrey Feinstein, MD, MPH, Professor in Pediatric Cardiology and Wall Center Director, Fan Zhang, Life Science Research Assistant in the Metzger Lab, and Kyle J. Travaglini, PhD Candidate in the Krasnow Lab, recently published a paper in Nature about the discovery of two new capillary cell types in the lung.
The first cell type, which the authors term the ‘aerocyte’, is specialized for gas exchange and immune cell trafficking, and is unique to the lung. The other cell type, termed gCap (‘general’ capillary), is specialized to regulate vasomotor tone, and functions as a stem cell in capillary homeostasis and repair. The two cell types develop from bipotent progenitors, mature gradually and are affected differently in disease and during ageing. Capillary cell-type specialization is conserved between mouse and human lungs but is not found in alligator or turtle lungs, suggesting it arose during the evolution of the mammalian lung. This discovery of cell type specialization in alveolar capillaries transforms our understanding of the structure, function, regulation and maintenance of the air–blood barrier and gas exchange in health, disease and evolution.
Roham Zamanian, MD
Dr. Zamanian discusses 'Why I Race' to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Race Against PH
Roham Zamanian, MD, FCCP, Associate Professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and Director of the Adult Pulmonary Hypertension Program discusses Stanford's 20th Annual Virtual Race Against PH 5K taking place on Sunday, November 1, 2020 and why she races for #pulmonaryhypertension patients.
Paige & Lindsey Doolan
Why I Race Podcast #2
Princess Paige & the PHunky Bunch gathered a team of over 50 family and friends at the 2019 Race Against PH.
In this episode, Lindsey Doolan and her daughter, Paige, who is a pediatric pulmonary hypertension patient discuss Paige's PH diagnosis and the importance of the 20th Annual Virtual Race Against PH 5K/Fun Run, taking place at Stanford on November 1st, 2020 #raph20virtual
Register for the 20th Annual Race Against PH 5K: med.stanford.edu/raceagainstph
Enter this week's Time For Burpees! Contest (Oct 12-16)
Yon Sung, MD
Dr. Sung discusses 'Why I Race' to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Race Against PH
Yon Kyung Sung, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and Director of Community Outreach at the Vera Moulton Wall Center discusses Stanford's 20th Annual Virtual Race Against PH 5K taking place on Sunday, November 1, 2020 and why she races for #pulmonaryhypertension patients.
Thank you @phaware for this wonderful podcast.
Kristina Kudelko, MD
Roham Zamanian, MD, FCCP
Vinicio de Jesus Perez, MD
Pulmonary Vascular Fellowship Training to Promote Excellence in PH Clinical Care: The Stanford Perspective
Wall Center faculty members Kristina Kudelko, MD, Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and Director of Education, Roham Zamanian, MD, FCCP, Associate Professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and Director of the Adult Pulmonary Hypertension Program, and Vinicio de Jesus Perez, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine in Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine recently authored a recently published commentary on the importance of adult PH education at the fellowship level in the American College of Cardiology.
Maya Kumar, PhD
Lea Steffes, PhD
Congratulations Kumar Lab
The Wall Center congratulates Maya Kumar, PhD, Instructor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and her lab team on their recent publication in Circulation, 'A Notch3-Marked Subpopulation of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells is the Cell of Origin for Occlusive Pulmonary Vascular Lesions.' Lab member Lea Steffes, PhD, Instructor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine, served as first author and Wall Center faculty and staff, Ross Metzger, PhD, Edda Spiekerkoetter, MD, and Fan Zhang served as co-authors.
Wall Center contributes to Consortium Research
Congratulations to current (Mark A. Krasnow, MD, PhD, Christin S. Kuo, MD, Maya Kumar, PhD, Ross Metzger, PhD, F. Hernán Espinoza, PhD, Astrid Gillich, PhD, Kyle J. Travaglini, Fan Zhang) and past (Douglas Brownfield, PhD, Ahmad N. Nabhan, PhD) Wall Center faculty, staff, and affiliates that are part of the Tabula Muris Consortium on their recent publications in Nature 'A single-cell transcriptomic atlas characterizes ageing tissues in the mouse' and 'Ageing hallmarks exhibit organ-specific temporal signatures'.
François Haddad, MD
Congratulations Dr. François Haddad!
The Wall Center congratulates François Haddad, MD, on being appointed as Clinical Professor of Medicine in Cardiovascular Medicine. Dr. Haddad specializes in the field of cardio-vascular imaging, pulmonary hypertension, advanced heart failure and transplantation. Dr. Haddad has over 18 years of experience in the field of cardiology. He directs the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute Clinical Biomarker and Phenotype Core Laboratory (BPCL), dedicated to translational studies in cardiovascular medicine.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Haddad on this accomplishment!
Ryan Anderson, MD, Kristina Kudelko, MD, & Roberto J. Bernardo, MD, MS
Congratulations 2020 Clinical PH Fellows
The Wall Center congratulates Dr. Roberto J. Bernardo, MD, MS, 2019-2020 eBay Fellow in Pulmonary Vascular Disease and Ryan Anderson, MD, 2019-2020 Pulmonary & Critical Care Fellow on an unforgettable year of training.
The Vera Moulton Wall Center fellowship program is headed by, Kristina Kudelko, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and Director of Education, Vera Moulton Wall Center.
Andrew Sweatt, MD
Congratulations to Dr. Sweatt, new recipient of an NIH K23 Award!
Andrew Sweatt, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine recently authored an already highly-cited Circulation Research study which effectively illustrates how machine-learning approaches can be used to organized complicated data sets (in this case, inflammatory biomarkers) to classify pulmonary hypertension phenotypes in an unprecedented manner. By using artificial intelligence methodologies, new discoveries are rapidly being made, and Stanford, a pioneering site for the development of this field.
For this training award, Roham Zamanian, MD, FCCP, Associate Professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and Director of the Adult Pulmonary Hypertension Program will be serving as his mentor.
Myriam Amsallem, MD, PhD
Congratulations Dr. Amsallem!
Myriam Amsallem, MD, PhD, Instructor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and member of the Vera Moulton Wall Center, recently published “Quantifying the Influence of Wedge Pressure, Age, and Heart Rate on the Systolic Thresholds for Detection of Pulmonary Hypertension” in the Journal of the American Heart Association. This invasive study supports lower systolic pulmonary arterial pressure thresholds for pulmonary hypertension diagnosis in patients with higher pulmonary artery wedge pressure (such as patients with left-sided heart failure), which has a direct implication for imrpoving the detection of pulmonary hypertension.
Jonah, Paige, and Oliver presenting the Splash Bag for Paige's PH pump at the Science and Engineering Expo at Oliver and Jonah's elementary school.
Elementary School Students Change the World, One PH pump at a Time
Recently, we received the following inquiry to borrow a CADD MS3 pump, the device used to administer continuous subcutaneous infusion of prostacyclin medication:
Edda Spiekerkoetter, MD
Congratulations Dr. Edda Spiekerkoetter and the HHT Team
The Wall Center congratulates Edda Spiekerkoetter, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine in Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Co-chair of the Research Subcommittee at the Vera Moulton Wall Center and Director of the recently designated Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) Center of Excellence at Stanford Health Care. HHT, is a little-known disorder causing malformed blood vessels that can affect the skin and other organs.
Read more: Patients turn to Stanford’s Center of Excellence for Treatment of Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia
Yon Sung, MD
Congratulations Dr. Yon Sung!
The Wall Center congratulates Yon Sung, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine in Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and Director of Community Outreach for the Vera Moulton Wall Center Education Subcommittee, winner of the 2020 Teaching Award for the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine.
Kristina Kudelko, MD
Congratulations Dr. Kristina Kudelko!
The Wall Center congratulates Kristina Kudelko, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine in Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine on being appointed as the Director of Clinical Educator Career Development and Clinician Educator (CE) Track Fellows Curriculum, effective immediately. In this role, Dr. Kudelko will devote her efforts to strengthen the CE faculty and fellows career pathways in an academic environment. She will work with the clinically focused faculty to ensure their successes within Stanford, as well as preparing clinically aspiring fellows for careers in any academic institutions.
Dr. Kudelko has been a stalwart of clinical teaching to trainees both in pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary consultative service. She is also a key leader responsible for educational curriculum of the PH fellowship.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Kudelko, and we look forward to the successes of this important initiative.
Vinicio de Jesus Perez, MD & Serena Zhang
Congratulations Dr. Vinicio de Jesus Perez and Serena Zhang!
The Wall Center congratulates Vinicio de Jesus Perez, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine in Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, for being elected to membership in the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), as well as the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society.
We also congratulate Serana Zhang, a student in the de Jesus Perez Lab, who has been chosen as a semifinalist in the 2019 Regeneron National Science Competition, for her project focused on the genetic characterization of pericytes in PAH.
Katie Malca, 2019 Adult PH Courage Award Recipient
Sponsored by Stanford Federal Credit Union, on behalf of the Wall Center at Stanford University, School of Medicine
Katie Malca is not an ordinary superhero, she is a superstar PH Superhero.
With the help of her incredible family (mother, father, two sisters) and trusted canine friends (Lucky and Bryn), she has beat the odds and survived more than 15 years with her PH diagnosis.
At age 13, while on a family holiday in Thailand, Katie’s mother noticed something was considerably wrong. Katie’s lips had turned blue as they trekked up a mountain. She immediately had her daughter sit down and Katie’s PH journey began.
Upon returning home to the Philippines, Katie’s aunt recommended a well-known cardiologist, who made the PH diagnosis immediately, which was officially corroborated at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital. Even today Katie is amazed at how quickly it happened, since there are physicians in the world today who struggle with pulmonary hypertension detection and diagnoses. More
Pushing on as an international school student, Katie started treatments and continued to battle her illness, following closely the advice of her family, “You can choose to be happy with what you have, or be angry.” She still incorporates that motto in her advice to other PH survivors.
“Don’t let it get you down. You can cry about it for a while, but then you need to choose to have a happy life, accepting your diagnoses. If you focus only on the bad stuff, you won’t have much of a life.
As a young PH patient, Katie recalls the trouble she created for herself when she ignored her PH treatments. “You can really get yourself into serious problems, by not taking your meds.” She internalized that lesson and made a personal decision to do her best. That same ‘can-do attitude’ permeates every core of her being today, making her a role model for other PH patients.
Throughout Katie’s schooling, she has met the demands of her illness with grace and courage. She thanks her parents and sisters emphatically for the support they have provided. Katie remembers being pulled out of school for months at a time, including the 4-months her family spent in Melbourne, Australia. That was time away from school for her sisters as well, and yet they rallied to her side.
In her high school years, Katie’s family heard of Stanford’s PH program and moved to the Bay Area to access the best care they could find for her. Since that time, Katie has lived in Israel, excelled in her favorite subjects (English Literature and Art), and taken on art commissions (mainly show dogs and horses), all while being a PH patient at Stanford.
Katie Malca embodies the Courage Award’s spirit of ‘determination, honesty and resolve in battling this disease.’
She is a ‘patient who validates the journeys of hundreds of others by being truthful in her own journey: acknowledging the hardships, cherishing the poignant moments of hope, looking forward to the promise of therapies on the horizon.
A patient who surfaces as a natural leader and mentor and inspires all of us to press on fighting, press on teaching, press on researching, press on healing.
A patient who serves as a powerful beacon of optimism for fellow patients, families, clinicians and scientists alike.’
Katie is a true PH hero.
In Katie’s own words:
“Having been in Packard as a kid and then at Stanford Hospital as an adult, it's been incredible seeing some of the same friendly faces year after year, and meeting all new ones. Chronic illnesses aren't exactly fun, but the amazing people at Stanford have made hospital visits a pleasure. Coming in to smiling faces at all hours of the day has made such a difference, as has the attention and consideration of people who work here. I took this for granted until I moved to a facility with a horrible doctor who had no time for his patients or his job. Patients would be waiting six hours for a five minute meeting and getting yelled at by the secretary. Contrarily, Stanford's doctors, nurses, patient transporters, and everyone else I've encountered have been a delight. Doctors are actively working to improve your quality of life, and they care about their patients, which apparently is not something that's standard issue in the health profession. Stanford and everyone inside it has been invaluable to me and my family, and I owe everyone a huge thank you to everyone for all that they've done over the years!”
Yon Sung, MD
I'm Aware That I'm Rare: Dr. Yon Sung
Yon Sung, MD is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care at Stanford Medicine and specializes in the care of pulmonary hypertension patients. She also serves as the Director of Community Outreach for the Vera Moulton Wall Center for Pulmonary Vascular Disease at Stanford and in this position, has the goal of increasing awareness of PH and providing clinical support and education to clinicians and patients alike. In this episode, she discusses the 19th Annual Race Against PH 5K, taking place at Stanford on November 3rd, 2019.
Mark Nicolls, MD
New study funded by the Vera Moulton Wall Center and NIH, shows the relationship between inflammation and genetic mutations in pulmonary hypertension.
In a new study by Wall Center research scientists, it was discovered ‘that inflammation in the lungs of rats, triggered by something as simple as the flu, may wake up a silent genetic defect that causes sudden onset cases of pulmonary hypertension, a deadly form of high blood pressure in the lungs’ (Stanford News Center, August 2019). Co-authors of the study include:
Faculty Members: Mark Nicolls, MD, Marlene Rabinovitch, MD, Yon Sung, MD, FCCP, Roham Zamanian, MD, FCCP
Research Scientists: Aiqin Cao, PhD, Lingli Wang, MD
Research Assistant: Yesl Kim
Edda Spiekerkoetter, MD
Congratulations Dr. Edda Spiekerkoetter and Team!
The Wall Center congratulates Edda Spiekerkoetter, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, for the official accreditation of The Stanford Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) Program as a Center of Excellence by the Cure HHT Foundation! Dr. Spiekerkoetter will serve as the center's director, and David Stevenson, MD from LPCH Medical Genetics will be the associate director. A huge thanks also goes out to Aileen Lin, NP, nurse practitioner for the Adult Pulmonary Hypertension Program and PH/HHT nurse coordinator Sheetal Vaghela.
Mark Krasnow, MD, PhD
Wall Center Executive Director Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Mark Krasnow, our Executive Director. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). This is a prestigious honor and he joins a highly select group of scientists from around the world (2,347 active members).
Eric Austin, MD, MSCI
11th Dunlevie Lecture – April 5, 2019
Sex and PAH: Exploring Susceptibility to Develop Novel Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Approaches
Thank you to Dr. Eric Austin, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatrics Pulmonary at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, who served as the guest lecturer for the 11th Dunlevie Lecture presented by the Vera Moulton Wall Center in Association with Pediatric Grand Rounds. More
Dr. Austin received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and his MD from Emory University School of Medicine where he graduated cum laude. He completed his general pediatrics training at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and then pursued a fellowship in pediatric pulmonary medicine at Vanderbilt University where he also obtained a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI). Here, he began his work in pulmonary vascular diseases in the Vanderbilt University Pulmonary Vascular Research Program. His work has focused on evaluating the manner in which genetic, biochemical, environmental, and other factors promote the phenotypic expression of pulmonary hypertension. In particular, he has studied the interaction between estrogen metabolites in the development of heritable pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) as well as how mutations in Caveolin-1 and Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptor II (BMPR2) are associated with penetrance and severity of PAH. Additionally, his lab is using next generation sequencing techniques for the discovery and assessment of genetic and genomic variation in PAH.
He is currently the Director of the Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertension Program and the Director of the MSCI at Vanderbilt. He is also the recipient of numerous awards including the Robert B. Mellins, MD Outstanding Achievement Endowed Award from the American Thoracic Society for achievement in scholarship in pediatric pulmonary medicine.
Dr. Austin is a prolific clinical researcher, a dedicated educator, and an internationally recognized leader in the field of pediatric pulmonary vascular disease.
Wall Center Celebrates World Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) Day
The Wall Center celebrated World PH Day early with some gelato on the beautiful Stanford campus. Today, we are honoring our wonderful patients as well as clinicians and researchers who are working tirelessly to care for and one day find the cure for PH.
World Pulmonary Hypertension Day is an annual global event to raise awareness of pulmonary hypertension (PH), a severe condition affecting the lungs and heart.
Edda Spiekerkoetter, MD and Ross Metzger, PhD
Congratulations to Edda Spiekerkoetter, MD, Ross Metzger, PhD and Astrid Gillich, PhD
Edda Spiekerkoetter, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, is the recipient of a new Department of Defense (DOD) grant addressing hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), a condition associated with significant pulmonary vascular disease. This is a joint study with Dr. Spiekerkoetter serving as the principal investigator and Ross Metzger, PhD Instructor in Pediatric Cardiology), Astrid Gillich, PhD (Biochemistry) and David Stevenson, MD (Medical Genetics), as co-investigators. Edda and colleagues are establishing a HHT Center of Excellence at Stanford, and this grant will be instrumental in supporting the basic research as well as clinical translational approaches for the new Center.
Mark Nicolls, MD
Congratulations Mark Nicolls, MD
Congratulations to Dr. Mark Nicolls, Chief of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and a steering committee member for the Wall Center, and Amy Tian for being awarded a new $2.3M NIH R01 grant evaluating the role of inflammation in lymphedema. Together with Dr. Stan Rockson, the Nicolls' group recently published a study in the journal JCI Insight (October 2018) showing the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory therapy (ketoprofen) for this disease. Lymphedema is a chronic condition affecting hundreds of millions around the world (and is thematically linked to PAH research). It is particularly troublesome to patients who have had lymph node resection for breast cancer and is caused by lymphatic obstruction which leads to disfigured and swollen extremities. Targeted anti-inflammatory therapy is a promising new approach for this disorder.
Andrew Sweatt, MD
Congratulations Andrew Sweatt, MD
The Vera Moulton Wall Center congratulates Dr. Andrew Sweatt, Instructor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Stanford, on first-author high-impact publication: "Discovery of Distinct Immune Phenotypes Using Machine Learning in PAH".
Maya Kumar, PhD
Congratulations to Maya Kumar, PhD, Recipient of Child Health Research Institute Grant for 2019
The grant was titled "Defining molecular mechanisms driving neointima growth in a mouse model of pulmonary hypertension” and is focused, not surprisingly, on identifying the molecules and interactions that promote the growth of neointima cells.
Though PH is complex disease with many different causes, in all forms of PH pulmonary artery pressure is thought to rise in large part due to vessel remodeling, including the formation of so called ‘neointimal lesions’ in which abnormal cells accumulate between the lining of the blood vessels and the normal artery More wall. Those neointima cells then rapidly expand to narrow and stiffen the arteries, leading to elevated pulmonary arterial pressures and increased stress on the heart. Available PH therapies consist largely of vasodilators, which have little effect on artery remodeling. A major opportunity to develop more effective PH therapies is to identify the mechanisms that drive neointimal expansion. The aim of this grant is to uncover the signals that drive neointimal expansion in PH, with the long-term goal of identifying ways to halt or reverse artery remodeling in the pediatric PH population.
(L-R) Elya Shamskhou, Leah Verghese, Vinicio de Jesus Perez, MD
Congratulations to Leah Varghese, who was selected as a Society for Science Regeneron Science Talent Scholar!
Dr. Vinicio de Jesus Perez, Co-Director of the Stanford Translational Investigator Program (TIP) and Staff Physician of the Stanford Adult Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic of the Vera Moulton Wall Center, proudly served as Leah's mentor in a project looking at risk of PAH with HIV and methamphetamine abuse. Also, the Wall Center congratulates Elya Shamskhou, BA, Life Science Research Assistant in the de Jesus Perez Research Group at Stanford, who supervised her in the lab.
The Regeneron Science Talent Search (Regeneron STS), a program of Society for Science & the Public (the Society) is the nation’s most prestigious science research competition for high school seniors.