Notable People

april 2017

Amin Aalipour

Aalipour, an MD-PhD student, was named a 2017 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow. The fellowship of up to $90,000 is given to 30 immigrants or children of immigrants who are poised to make significant contributions to the nation through their work. A graduate of Stanford with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the School of Engineering, Aalipour is working in the lab of Sanjiv “Sam” Gambhir, MD, PhD, professor and chair of radiology, to develop early-cancer-detection technologies and immunotherapies.

Maria Filsinger Interrante

Interrante, an MD-PhD student, is part of a team of Stanford students that has won the “Cure it!” Lemelson-MIT Student Prize, which honors promising collegiate inventors in the United States. Her three-member team will share the $10,000 cash prize. The team engineered proteins that could help combat multi-drug-resistant bacteria.

Teri Klein, PhD

Klein was appointed professor (research) of biomedical data science and of medicine, effective March 1. Her research interests include pharmacogenetics, precision health, computational biology and bioinformatics.


William Newsome, PhD

Newsome, the Harman Family Provostial Professor, the Vincent V.C. Woo Director of the Stanford Neurosciences Institute and professor of neurobiology, was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Founded in 1780, the academy brings together leaders from the academic, business and governmental sectors to respond to challenges facing the nation and the world. Newsome is one of 228 new members, including 10 other Stanford faculty members, who will be inducted in October in Massachusetts. His research examines the neuronal processes that mediate visual perception and visually guided behavior.


Paul Nuyujukian, MD, PhD

Nuyujukian was appointed assistant professor of bioengineering and of neurosurgery, effective April 1. He directs the Brain Interfacing Laboratory. His research focuses on the use of brain-machine interfaces to study and treat a variety of brain-related medical conditions, such as stroke and epilepsy.


KT Park, MD

Park was promoted to associate professor of pediatrics, effective March 1. He is the co-director of the Stanford Children’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center. His research uses big data, patient-reported outcomes and decision science to improve the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of diagnostic tools and therapies for gastrointestinal diseases.


Sergiu Pasca, MD

Pasca, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was awarded a 2017 NARSAD Independent Investigator Grant in schizophrenia from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. The grants, which provide $50,000 a year for up to two years, are given to 40 mid-career scientists to fund basic research, new technologies, diagnostic tools and therapies for mental illness. Pasca will use a human 3-D brain-culture system developed in his lab to study glial and neural abnormalities in patients with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, a genetic condition that confers a high risk of schizophrenia.


Peter Tass, MD, PhD

Tass was appointed professor of neurosurgery, effective March 1. His research interests include computational neuroscience and therapeutic neurophysiology. He develops invasive and noninvasive stimulation techniques, including deep brain and sensory stimulation, for the treatment of brain disorders.


Daniel Chang, MD

Chang was promoted to professor of radiation oncology, effective March 1. His clinical focus is on gastrointestinal malignancies, and his research interests include developing stereotactic body radiotherapies for liver tumors and the use of functional imaging to gauge treatment response.


Chitra Dinakar, MD

Dinakar, clinical professor of medicine, will serve as an at-large representative on the board of directors of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Her term runs from 2017 to 2021. Her research and clinical interests include asthma, food allergies, therapy adherence, and health care disparities and outcomes.


Louanne Hudgins, MD

Hudgins, professor of pediatrics, was named president of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. Her two-year term began April 1. Hudgins is also the medical director of Stanford’s master’s program in human genetics and genetic counseling, the director of perinatal genetics and the medical director of the clinical genomics service at Stanford Children’s Health.


Michelle James, PhD

James was appointed assistant professor of radiology and of neurology and neurological sciences, effective March 1. Her research focuses on developing and evaluating molecular imaging agents to improve the detection and treatment of brain diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s disease.


David Liang, MD, PhD

Liang was promoted to professor of medicine, effective March 1. His clinical focus is on Marfan syndrome and other aortic diseases. His research focuses on cardiac imaging, particularly image guidance of procedures.


Geoffrey Lighthall, MD, PhD

Lighthall was promoted to professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine, effective March 1. His interests include the evaluation and stabilization of critically ill patients outside of the ICU and the use of patient simulation as an educational and training tool.


Michael Longaker, MD

Longaker, the Deane P. and Louise Mitchell Professor and a professor of surgery, is part of a consortium that has received $12 million in funding over three years from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to investigate dental, oral and craniofacial tissue regeneration. The funding will support a new California-based project called the Center for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Tissue and Organ Regeneration. C-DOCTOR will focus on facilitating tissue-regeneration clinical trials.


Sergiu Pasca, MD

Pasca, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, has received the 2017 Jordi Folch-Pi Award from the American Society for Neurochemistry. The honor recognizes a young investigator who has significantly contributed to the understanding of neurochemistry and has a high potential for future accomplishments. The award includes a $1,500 prize and was presented this month at the ASN meeting in Arkansas. Pasca’s focus is on generating 3-D brain models from stem cells to understand development and capture mechanisms of disease.


VJ Periyakoil, MD

Periyakoil was appointed associate professor of medicine, effective March 1. She directs Stanford Palliative Care Education Training and is the associate director of palliative care services at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. She is the founder of the Letter Project, an effort to promote advance-care planning.


Maria Polyakova, PhD

Polyakova, assistant professor of health research and policy, has received one of two 2017 Distinguished CESifo Affiliate Awards in applied microeconomics from the CESifo Group in Germany. The award is given to independent investigators within the first five years of their PhD. Polyakova was honored for her work on consumer choices in insurance markets.


James Priest, MD

Priest was appointed assistant professor of pediatrics, effective March 1. His focus is on understanding the genetics and pathogenesis of congenital heart disease using translational genomics, big data and vertebrate models of cardiac development.


Maria Grazia Roncarolo, MD

Roncarolo, professor of pediatrics and of medicine, chief of pediatric stem cell transplantation and regenerative medicine, and co-director of the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases, will receive the 2017 Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, the society’s highest honor. Roncarolo is being recognized for her contributions to the field of gene and cell therapy. She will accept the award in May in Washington, D.C., at the organization’s annual meeting.


Manish Saggar, PhD

Saggar was appointed assistant professor (research) of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, effective March 1. He is also a faculty member at Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, or d.school. He is a computational neuroscientist who examines brain dynamics at rest and during learning.


Thomas Weiser, MD

Weiser was promoted to associate professor of surgery, effective March 1. He is a general and trauma surgeon and a surgical intensivist. Weiser’s research focuses on evaluating postoperative outcomes and barriers to surgical access in resource-poor settings and on developing interventions to improve safety and reliability of care.


March 2017

Renumathy Dhanasekaran, MD

Dhanasekaran, instructor of medicine, has received one of three 2017 Junior Faculty Development Awards from the American College of Gastroenterology. The award, which provides $100,000 a year for three years, supports junior investigators working toward independent careers in clinical research in gastroenterology or hepatology. Dhanasekaran’s project is “Plasma glycoproteomic biomarkers for invasive human hepatocellular carcinoma,” and her mentor is Dean Felsher, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and of pathology.


Alfredo Dubra, PhD

Dubra was appointed associate professor of ophthalmology, effective Oct. 1, 2016. His focus is on using ophthalmologic imaging technologies to reveal ocular, vascular, neurodegenerative and systemic diseases.


David Kingsley, PhD

Kingsley, professor of developmental biology, has received the 2017 Genetics Society of America Medal. The award honors outstanding contributions to the field of genetics in the past 15 years. Kingsley was recognized for his experimental work, beginning with different species of three-spine stickleback fish, which provided insights into how vertebrates evolve in natural environments. He has now expanded his inquiry into understanding human traits, including aspects of skin, skeletal and brain evolution.


Karim Sallam, MD

Sallam, clinical instructor of medicine, has received the American College of Cardiology’s William W. Parmley Young Author Achievement Award. The award recognizes two papers published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology by authors early in their careers. Sallam’s paper, published Nov. 8, 2016, was “Patient-specific and genome-edited induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes elucidate single-cell phenotype of Brugada syndrome.” His mentor is Joseph Wu, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and of radiology and director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute.


Robson Capasso, MD

Capasso was appointed associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, effective Feb. 1. He is the chief of sleep surgery and an adviser for Stanford Biodesign. His interests include the use of smartphone applications for sleep-disordered breathing, biomarkers for obstructive sleep apnea, presurgical evaluation of sleep-apnea patients and post-surgery upper-airway changes in those patients, and the development and validation of new medical devices and digital health concepts.


Kara Davis, DO

Davis was appointed assistant professor of pediatrics, effective Jan. 1. Her research uses single-cell studies in primary patient samples to identify features of leukemia populations associated with patient outcomes.


Adam Frymoyer, MD

Frymoyer, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics, was named an Early Career Investigator by Pediatric Research. His paper “High-dose erythropoietin population pharmacokinetics in neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy receiving hypothermia” will appear in the May issue. His research focuses on understanding sources of variation in drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in children and applying this understanding to guide therapeutic decision-making.


David Gaba, MD

Gaba, professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine, will receive the 2017 Dr. Larry Zaroff Man of Good Conscience Award from the American Medical Women’s Association. The honor, which will be presented at the association’s annual meeting in April, is given to a man who is a champion and supporter of women in medicine. In addition, Gaba received the Pioneer in Simulation Award from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare in January. He was recognized for developing the technology for one of the first human patient simulators, for using simulation to support teamwork in health care and for serving as the founding editor-in-chief of the journal Simulation in Healthcare.


Aida Habtezion, MD, Sidhartha Sinha, MD, and Justin Sonnenburg, PhD

Habtezion, assistant professor of medicine; Sinha, instructor of medicine; and Sonnenburg, associate professor of microbiology and immunology, have received a $200,000 Synergy Award from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation for their project investigating how secondary bile acids modulate intestinal inflammation. The funding is given to support collaborative research projects on inflammatory bowel disease that have the potential to yield transformative discoveries and major insights.

Poonam Hosamani, MD

Hosamani, clinical assistant professor of medicine, has received the 2017 Clinician Educator Award from the California-Hawaii Region of the Society of General Internal Medicine. The award recognizes early- or mid-career clinicians who focus on medical education. Her interests include hospital medicine and undergraduate and graduate medical education.


Hadi Hosseini, PhD

Hosseini was appointed assistant professor (research) of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, effective Feb. 1. His research focuses on investigating structural and functional brain networks, known as connectomics, in several neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders using neuroimaging and graph theoretical and multivariate pattern analysis techniques. He is also developing neurofeedback interventions to enhance executive functions in children and older adults with neurocognitive deficits.


Yuhei Kobayashi, MD

Kobayashi, a postdoctoral scholar in cardiovascular medicine, has received a Young Author Achievement Award from the American College of Cardiology. The honor recognizes the publication of outstanding research. Kobayashi’s paper “The influence of lesion location on the diagnostic accuracy of adenosine-free coronary pressure wire measurements” appeared in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions. His mentor is William Fearon, MD, professor of medicine. 

Scott Lambert, MD

Lambert, professor of ophthalmology, has been named the co-chief of pediatric ophthalmology at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, effective Feb. 1. His clinical focus is treating children and adults with strabismus, and his research interests include improving care for children with congenital cataracts.


Natalie Lui, MD

Lui was appointed assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery, effective Feb. 1. She is a thoracic surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive thoracic and foregut operations, tracheal surgery and thoracic outlet syndrome. Her research focuses on thoracic oncology.


Koen Nieman, MD, PhD

Nieman was appointed associate professor of medicine and of radiology, effective April 1. His research focus is on cardiac imaging.


Kathleen Poston, MD

Poston was promoted to associate professor of neurology and neurological sciences, effective Feb. 1. Her research focuses on developing neuroimaging biomarkers to understand cognitive impairment and dementia in people with Parkinson’s disease.


Kristan Staudenmayer, MD

Staudenmayer was promoted to associate professor of surgery, effective Feb. 1. Her interests include trauma surgery, general surgery and determining the extent of injuries in older adults.


Kristen Yeom, MD

Yeom was promoted to associate professor of radiology, effective Jan. 1. Her research focuses on the development and validation of MRI-based techniques for the pediatric and neonatal brain, as well as clinical translation of MRI methods to improve the understanding of normal childhood brain development and neuropathology, including brain tumors, injury and the neurotoxic effects of some treatments.


February 2017

Beth Beadle, MD, PhD

Beadle was appointed associate professor of radiation oncology, effective Jan. 1. She specializes in radiation therapy for head and neck cancers. Her research interests include improving patient outcomes through technology and developing automated radiation treatment techniques for low- and middle-income countries.


Tina Cowan, PhD

Cowan was promoted to professor of pathology, effective Jan. 1. She’s a biochemical geneticist who is working to improve testing to diagnose and monitor patients with metabolic disorders.


Manisha Desai, PhD

Desai was promoted to professor of medicine and of biomedical data science, effective Feb. 1. She is the founder and director of the Quantitative Sciences Unit, which supports researchers by providing expertise in biostatistics and informatics. She is developing team-based approaches to collaborate with clinical and translational investigators. Her research interests include the treatment of missing data, the processing and analysis of accelerometer data and the analysis of longitudinal studies.


Diana Do, MD

Do was appointed professor of ophthalmology, effective Jan. 1. She is a retina surgeon, and her research interests include developing new treatments for age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. 


Anthony Doufas, MD, PhD

Doufas was promoted to professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine, effective Dec. 1. His research focuses on pain responses and clinical opioid pharmacology in surgical patients suffering from sleep-disordered breathing.


Michael Jeng, MD

Jeng was promoted to professor of pediatrics, effective Jan. 1. His research and clinical practice focus on pediatric hematology. He is currently investigating histiocytic disorders, including Langerhans cell histiocytosis, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis and vascular anomalies.


Mark McGovern, MD

McGovern was appointed professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, effective Jan. 30. His research focuses on developing and implementing integrated behavioral health services for patients with psychiatric disorders or addiction disorders, or both, who present in general medical settings. He also conducts research on expanding access to addiction medications and improving outcomes for patients with opioid addictions.


Quan Dong Nguyen, MD

Nguyen was appointed professor of ophthalmology, effective Feb. 1. He is a retina surgeon who specializes in the management of uveitis, ocular inflammatory diseases and vitreoretinal disorders. He has conducted clinical trials on macular edema, neovascular age-related macular degeneration and ocular inflammatory and uveitic diseases, as well as contributed to the development of several pharmacotherapeutic agents.


Kavita Sarin, MD, PhD

Sarin was appointed assistant professor of dermatology, effective Jan. 1. Her research interests involve integrating genetic and clinical patient data to inform disease susceptibility prediction, stratify prognoses and direct treatments for dermatologic disease.


Jay Shah, MD

Shah was appointed associate professor of urology, effective Jan. 1. He will also serve as cancer-care program leader for genitourinary oncology. He is a urologic oncologist who focuses on bladder cancer and uses both robotic and open surgery to treat patients. He conducts outcomes research on patients undergoing bladder removal surgery.


Gary Steinberg, MD, PhD

Steinberg professor and chair of neurosurgery, was among the recipients of Stroke’s 2016 Progress and Innovation Award. He won third prize for the paper “Clinical outcomes of transplanted modified bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells in stroke: a phase 1/2a study.” The prize includes a $1,000 and travel award to attend the 2017 International Stroke Conference. Steinberg is the Bernard and Ronni Lacroute-William Randolph Hearst Professor in Neurosurgery and Neurosciences.


Yang Sun, MD, PhD

Sun was appointed associate professor of ophthalmology, effective Feb. 1. His clinical work focuses on the medical and surgical management of glaucoma. His research interests include inositol metabolism and primary cilia signaling in eye development and disease.


Steven Frick, MD

Frick was appointed professor of orthopaedic surgery, effective Dec. 1. He is the chief of pediatric orthopaedic surgery at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and vice chair for education for the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. His clinical interests include clubfoot and disorders of the foot and ankle, complex fracture care, hip dysplasia, osteogenesis imperfecta and neuromuscular disorders. 


Aaron Gitler, PhD

Gitler, associate professor of genetics, was awarded one of 30 new R35 Research Program Awards from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The grants, which are intended to promote creative research by providing stable funding, finance five years of research with a potential three-year extension. Gitler will use the funding to explore ways of innovating yeast and human genetic approaches to define mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease.


Susan Hiniker, MD

Hiniker was appointed assistant professor of radiation oncology, effective Oct. 1. Her research interests include pediatric cancer, brain and central nervous system tumors, and Hodgkin’s disease.


Arden Morris, MD

Morris was appointed professor of surgery, effective Sept. 1. Her clinical work includes surgeries of the colon and rectum, and she uses mixed-methods research to focus on the quality of and disparities in surgical care. She directs the new Stanford-Surgery Policy, Improvement Research and Education Center.


January 2017

Kay Chang, MD

Chang was promoted to professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, effective Nov. 1. He is a pediatric otologist with research interests in the prevention of ototoxicity, neonatal hearing screening, the genetics of hearing loss and pediatric cochlear implants. 


Korey Hood, PhD

Hood was appointed professor of pediatrics and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, effective Nov. 1. His research and clinical efforts aim to improve the health and quality of life of people with diabetes and other chronic diseases.


John Leppert, MD

Leppert was promoted to associate professor of urology, effective Nov. 1. His research and clinical work focuses on kidney cancer surgery, kidney cancer detection and responses to cancer therapy.


S.V. Mahadevan, MD

Mahadevan was promoted to professor of emergency medicine, effective Dec. 1. He is the interim chair of emergency medicine. His research and clinical interests include emergency medicine education, trauma, emergency medical services and global health.


Elizabeth Mormino, PhD

Mormino was appointed assistant professor (research) of neurology and neurological sciences, effective Jan. 1. Her research interests include brain imaging with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease and aging.


Heather Moss, MD, PhD

Moss was appointed assistant professor of ophthalmology, effective Nov. 1. Her research aims to identify and develop markers of impaired optic nerve structure and function that can guide management of idiopathic intracranial hypertension to prevent blindness. Her clinical focus is on neuro-ophthalmology, including the diagnosis and treatment of brain, nerve and muscle disorders that affect vision.


Jochen Profit, MD

Profit was promoted to associate professor of pediatrics, effective Dec. 1. His research focuses on improving the design of health care systems to improve outcomes for sick newborns.


Hua Tang, PhD

Tang was promoted to professor of genetics, effective Dec. 1. In her research, she develops statistical and computational approaches to delineate the evolutionary history of the human population and to examine the genetic architecture of complex traits and diseases in minority populations.


Wen-Kai Weng, MD, PhD

Weng was promoted to associate professor of medicine, effective Dec. 1. His clinical focus is blood and marrow transplantation, and his research focuses on lymphoma, including immunotherapy and efforts to understand its pathobiology.


Lacramioara Bintu, PhD

Bintu was appointed assistant professor of bioengineering, effective Jan. 1. Her research focuses on understanding the dynamics of gene and chromatin regulation to improve mammalian cell engineering.

Thomas Cherpes, DVM, MD

Cherpes was appointed assistant professor of comparative medicine, effective Dec. 1. His research interests include the effect of female hormones on immune responses to genital-tract pathogens, host responses to chlamydia infection and the development of cellular immunotherapies for cancer.


Maximilian Diehn, MD, PhD

Diehn, assistant professor of radiation oncology, was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He was recognized for his work using sequencing to analyze circulating tumor DNA. The society includes more than 3,000 physician-scientists from all medical specialties who are selected for their significant research accomplishments.


Prasanna Jagannathan, MD

Jagannathan was appointed assistant professor of medicine, effective Jan. 1. His research focuses on the mechanisms of protective immunity in malaria and on immunogenic therapies and vaccines.


Thomas Robinson, MD

Robinson was awarded the 2016 Bloomberg Manulife Prize for the Promotion of Active Health administered by McGill University. The prize, which includes a research award of 50,000 Canadian dollars (about $37,777), recognizes researchers who enhance the understanding of how physical activity, nutrition or psychosocial factors affect health. Robinson, the Irving Schulman, MD, Professor in Child Health and a professor of pediatrics and of medicine, was honored for his work combating childhood obesity.


Sui Wang, PhD

Wang was appointed assistant professor of ophthalmology, effective Jan. 1. Her research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying retinal diseases and retinal development by investigating gene regulatory networks.


Katja Weinacht, MD, PhD

Weinacht was appointed assistant professor of pediatrics, effective Oct. 1. Her clinical work focuses on genetic immune diseases and immune dysregulation. Her research examines the relationship between mitochondrial bioenergetics and cell development and explores the use of stem cell therapy for patients with DiGeorge syndrome.


J. Bradley Zuchero, PhD

Zuchero was appointed assistant professor of neurosurgery, effective Jan. 1. His research interests include the developmental biology of glia and diseases of the nervous system.


Noteable People Archive

Leading in Precision Health

Stanford Medicine is leading the biomedical revolution in precision health, defining and developing the next generation of care that is proactive, predictive and precise. 

A Legacy of Innovation

Stanford Medicine's unrivaled atmosphere of breakthrough thinking and interdisciplinary collaboration has fueled a long history of achievements.