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Stanford Medicine community gathers for Health Matters event

Stanford Medicine community gathers for Health Matters event

Health Matters attendeeWhere else can you spend a Saturday morning learning from an NFL Hall of Famer what to look for when you suspect a concussion in your child, getting unique perspectives from a Pulitzer Prize-winning author about the biography of cancer or listening to tips on maintaining your cognitive health from an expert in the field?

On Saturday, Stanford Medicine hosted a free community day at the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge. Members of the communities surrounding the Stanford campus came to interact with School of Medicine faculty leaders, hear about the latest discoveries in medicine and explore an interactive pavilion that highlighted advances in medical technology, disease prevention and treatment. This year’s Health Matters, which also featured a Med School Morning program for teens, attracted more than 500 guests to the Stanford campus for a day of learning, fun and exploration.

The event featured keynote speaker Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, PhD, Pulitzer Prize winning author of the New York Times bestseller The Emperor of All Maladies. Mukherjee, who attended Stanford as an undergrad, shared his view of cancer being one of humanity’s greatest challenges and discussed the long-recorded history of the disease. Mukherjee, speaking from a stage in the Berg auditorium – named after his mentor, the Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul Berg, PhD – eloquently described cancer as “a disease in which normalcy and illness are intertwined.” But also remarked that, “There is hope as we enter the age of targeted therapy.”

Young and SteinbergOther Stanford Medicine faculty gave presentations on topics ranging from sleep health and dementia prevention to big data for biomedicine and mental health and well-being. One highly attended session included neurosurgeon Gary Steinberg, MD, PhD, and former San Francisco 49er Steve Young. The two, who discussed sports-related concussions and brain injuries, also introduced the new Stanford Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury Center. Set to open in the coming year, the center will provide a national center for the treatment of athletes, veterans and the community with state-of-the art diagnostic technology and availability 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Young said of the new center, “The fact that local parents will now have a resource,24/7 to bring their child and get some real help – that’s a really good thing.”

girl with FoldscopeIn addition to attending sessions, many explored the Health Pavilion exhibits featuring interactive displays from throughout Stanford Medicine. Guests were excited to see up-close the work of Manu Prakash, MD, PhD, to get hands-on with his revolutionary “Foldscope” and learn more about it’s potential applications. The Stanford Clinical Anatomy division’s virtual and 3D imaging technologies were a hit among kids and adults alike.  But the favorite of the day seemed to be Stanford Life Flight and their crew who, in celebration of the program’s 30-year anniversary, gave tours of the helicopter to many lucky guests.

To learn more about the program and speakers and view recordings of some of the sessions, visit the event website. For information on future community events and to hear more about wellness topics and medical innovations at Stanford Medicine, follow @StanfordHealth on Twitter.

Eileen DiFranco is director of communications and media in the Office of Medical Center Development at Stanford.

Previously: Stanford Life Flight celebrates 30 years, Stanford Medicine to open its doors to community during Health Matters event, Stanford bioengineer develops a 50-cent paper microscope and Cancer’s Pulitzer Prize winner: Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD
Photos by Alex Johnson

Events, Stanford News

Stanford Medicine to open its doors to community during Health Matters event

Stanford Medicine to open its doors to community during Health Matters event

Health Matters - smallOn Saturday, May 10, Stanford Medicine will host a free community day at the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge on the Stanford campus. During Health Matters, members of the communities surrounding the Stanford campus will have the opportunity to interact with School of Medicine faculty leaders while exploring the latest advances in medicine and learning about health topics that matter most to families. The event will feature presentations from Stanford Hospitals and Clinics physicians and other health experts, an interactive Health Pavilion and a med school morning for teenagers interested in a career in medicine.

Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, PhD, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the New York Time’s bestseller The Emperor of All Maladies, will be there to discuss the human genome, new medicine, and his perspectives on the future of cancer. Attendees will also hear presentations from other noted speakers, including:

  • Neurosurgeon Gary Steinberg, MD, PhD, and former San Francisco 49er Steve Young discussing “Sports, Brain Injury, and Neuroscience”
  • Rafael Pelayo, MD, on “Should “Sleeping like a Baby” Really be Our Goal?”
  • Euan Ashley, MD, PhD, presenting “Big Data. Big Deal.”
  • James Brooks, MD, and Maximilian Diehn, MD, PhD, co-presenting “Cancer Risk Factors: Revolutionary Genomic Techniques for Early Cancer Detection and Monitoring”
  • Frank Longo, MD, PhD, on “Strategies for Maintaining Cognitive Health and Preventing Dementia”
  • Laura Roberts, MD, MA, leading a panel discussion on “Well-being, Resilience, and Mental Health: Every Family’s Concern”

The sessions will run from 10 AM- 1 PM, and the Health Pavilion will be open from 9 AM – 2 PM. Among the features at the interactive pavilion: exhibits and booths highlighting the work of Manu Prakash, MD, PhD, creator of the revolutionary Foldscope; nutrition and wellness expert Christopher Gardner, PhD; and Stanford’s Life Flight helicopter crew.

Registration is strongly encouraged and available at the Health Matters website; the site also features detailed information on the day’s agenda, speakers and topics. For updates on content and related topics or to send in your questions to speakers on the day of the event, follow @StanfordHealth on Twitter.

Eileen DiFranco is director of communications and media in the Office of Medical Center Development at Stanford.

Previously: Registration opens for Big Data in Biomedicine conference at Stanford and Cancer’s Pulitzer Prize winner: Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD

Events, Science, Stanford News

A day in the lab: Stanford scientists share their stories, what fuels their work

A day in the lab: Stanford scientists share their stories, what fuels their work

Lab Crawl - smallRecently a notable group of Stanford faculty and students working in the basic sciences – where fundamental questions such as how we exist, how cells divide, and how the brain thinks – opened up their labs to a small group of visitors eager to learn more about their work.

Guests, including a number of aspiring young scientists, toured the labs and gained a rare, hands-on perspective of what it’s like to travel the journey of a basic scientist, a journey of sometimes unknown destination. Faculty, graduate, and post-doctoral students shared stories of how they came to do this type of work and what attracted them to the exploratory and collaborative nature of Stanford. Many spoke of frustration with the current trend of investing primarily in research with “proven outcomes” vs. the more fundamental, high-risk, high-reward work being done in labs like theirs.

A highlight of the day was a lunchtime talk by Adam de la Zerda, PhD. Adam is a talented young scientist who came to Stanford to study engineering but, spurred by a personal experience, he instead went on to bridge the gap between engineering and medicine to develop and patent a technology that converts light waves into ultrasound waves using nanoparticles. Called photoacoustic molecular imaging, the process generates images with unprecedented resolution compared to current methods such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. The technology, soon entering the human-trial phase, has the potential to revolutionize tumor detection and removal. Adam credits his success to the freedom he was given at Stanford to pursue his passion, thanks to early supporters and mentors who were willing to take a risk on his yet-unproven work and talents.

Lab Crawl2 - smallOther faculty members and students who shared their research that day were working on a wide variety of innovative projects, including developing new approaches to gene therapy, genetics, and deep sequencing; analyzing DNA breaks to anticipate disease; better understanding touch, the least understood of the five senses; and analyzing the effects of salmonella to more effectively prevent and fight the disease in developing areas.

Hosting the day was Dan Herschlag, PhD, senior associate dean of graduate education and postdoctoral affairs at Stanford, who told the visitors, “It’s this kind of research, focused on innovative but unproven avenues of investigation and disruptive ideas, that will bring us to places we’ve never known before, help launch new industries, and usher forth new drugs and therapies to treat the most intractable illnesses.”

Eileen DiFranco is director of communications and media in the Office of Medical Center Development at Stanford.

Previously: The lure of research: How Nobel winner Thomas Südhof came to work in the basic sciences, The “sky’s the limit” for young Stanford structural biologist, Funding basic science leads to clinical discoveries, eventually and Why basic research is the venture capital of the biomedical world
Photos by Steve Fisch

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