Published by
Stanford Medicine



Events, Stanford News, Technology

Big Data in Biomedicine technical showcase to feature companies’ innovations related to big data

Big Data in Biomedicine technical showcase to feature companies' innovations related to big data

big_dataIn an effort to spark collaboration among thought leaders across industry, government and academia, Stanford’s upcoming Big Data in Biomedicine conference is hosting a technical showcase where attendees can browse displays and demos highlighting public and private companies’ innovations related to big data.

Conference organizers are continuing to develop the program, but the current roster of companies committed to participating in the showcase range from industry giants to smaller ventures. Among the participants are multinationals firms, such as Samsung, SAP and General Electric Co. and emerging startups ClusterK, a cloud computing platform; StationX, a developer of software for scientists and clinicians working with genomics data; and Syapse, which aims to bring molecular profiling into standard medical use.

Part networking opportunity and part show-and-tell, the event is a new addition to this year’s conference and will be held on May 21 under a tent on the lawn of the medical school’s Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge. Conference-goers will have a chance to watch demos of biomedical analytical tools and large computing solutions for big data, as well as relevant ontologies that make for very effective information organization and retrieval.

Registration for the conference is now open on the Big Data in Biomedicine website. The event, which is co-sponsored by Stanford and Oxford University, will be held May 21-23.

Previously: Euan Ashley discusses harnessing big data to drive innovation for a healthier world, Registration opens for Big Data in Biomedicine conference at Stanford, Grant from Li Ka Shing Foundation to fund big data initiative and conference at Stanford and Big laughs at Stanford’s Big Data in Biomedicine Conference
Photo by Saul Bromberger

Events, Medicine and Literature, Medicine and Society

Intersection of arts and medicine a benefit to both, report finds

Intersection of arts and medicine a benefit to both, report finds

An article today on notes that, at least in Northeast Ohio, collaboration between medicine and the arts benefits both camps as well as the region’s economic health. A preliminary report from the non-profit Community Partnership for Arts and Culture looks at ways art and medicine enrich one another in Cleveland and provides recommendations for enhancing those partnerships. From the news piece:

The report identifies four principal ways in which the art and medicine intersect productively:

• The use of arts and culture in medical settings;

• Participatory programs that involve patients and communities in activities and therapies that promote positive medical outcomes and general wellness;

• The potential shown by arts and culture to serve as a rallying point from which public health and social equity can be addressed; and

• The enrichment of medical training.

Meanwhile, at Stanford, art and science lovers prepare for this evening’s Medicine and the Muse symposium, featuring author Khaled Hosseini, MD. Stay tuned for a recap on Scope next week.

Previously: Stanford’s Medicine and the Muse symposium features author of “The Kite Runner”, Literature and medicine at life’s end and Thoughts on the arts and humanities in shaping a medical career

Events, Medicine and Literature, Medicine and Society, Stanford News

Stanford’s Medicine and the Muse symposium features author of “The Kite Runner”

Stanford's Medicine and the Muse symposium features author of "The Kite Runner"

Hosseini SmallNext Wednesday, Stanford’s annual Medicine and the Muse symposium will bring together medical student art, music, photography and literature in a series of performances and exhibits. During the event, Khaled Hosseini, MD, bestselling author of The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed, will join Paul Costello, chief communications officer for the School of Medicine, in conversation. He will also be available for book signing.

This year’s Medicine and the Muse theme is “Renewal,” informed by Hosseini’s writing. The event “is an opportunity for medical students to share their artistic talents, and to hear from a physician who has followed his muse to success in writing,” said Grace Xiong, a member of the medical student committee organizing the event.

Medicine and the Muse takes place April 16, from 5:30-8:30 PM in Berg Hall of the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge on the Stanford campus. The event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are requested. To RSVP, e-mail, or call 650-725-3448.

Photo by Elena Selbert

Events, Stanford News

Tickets for TedxStanford 2014 go on sale Monday

Tickets for TedxStanford 2014 go on sale Monday

TedxStanford_040314On May 10, Stanford will host its third TEDxStanford event under the theme “Above and Beyond.” Tickets for the popular daylong conference will go on sale Monday and can be purchased online from the Stanford Ticket Office.

A recent Stanford News article highlighted some of the speakers for this year’s program, which includes a double-lung transplant recipient who plays the bagpipe, a Stanford student and championship-winning professional racecar driver and a pair of two-time U.S. amateur dance champions in American Rhythm. Melinda Saks, producer and organizer, described the event saying, “TEDxStanford is an intellectual variety show that reflects how humanities, technology, medicine and arts all intersect at Stanford University to create a remarkable day no one will want to miss.”

Among the speakers is Jill Helms, PhD, a professor in the Department of Surgery. Helms leads a team of researchers whose focus is activating a patient’s own stem cells at the site of an injury to speed up tissue healing. As explained on the TEDxStanford site, “The team’s strategy is to ‘commandeer’ the molecular machinery that regulates stem cell self-renewal and proliferation, and in doing so, stimulate tissue regeneration even in people whose own repair mechanisms aren’t working well.”

Previously: Krishna Shenoy discusses the future of neural prosthetics at TEDxStanford and Russ Altman discusses how genetics can impact your response to prescription drugs
Photo by Tamer Shabani

Events, Medical Education, Medicine and Society, Neuroscience, Stanford News

The brain whisperer: Stanford neurologist talks about his work, shares tips with aspiring doctors

The brain whisperer: Stanford neurologist talks about his work, shares tips with aspiring doctors

Parvizi at MS 101 - smallJosef Parvizi, MD, PhD, knows firsthand how art can influence medicine. While at a concert featuring music created by digitizing space sounds, he was inspired: “Why can’t we make music by digitzing brain waves?”

Parvizi, a neurologist who specializes in epilepsy, told local high-school students attending Stanford’s Med School 101 recently that the beauty of being a physician-researcher at Stanford is that you’re “surrounded by brilliant people in all areas.” So he took his literal brainstorm to Chris Chafe, PhD, in Stanford’s music department, and the result is a newly patented “brain stethoscope” that can translate brainwaves into music. Parvizi demonstrated the difference between normal brainwave music and the music produced by a brain experiencing a seizure in this YouTube video about the research.

In addition to the brain stethoscope, Parvizi has developed a procedure utilizing electrodes to detect the exact area of the brain that is causing the seizure, and then working with brain surgeons to operate on the affected area. At last week’s event he told the story of a patient who for 20 years had seizures that caused her leg to flail out to the side, greatly limiting her ability to do the things we take for granted every day, like driving or taking a shower. Showing a picture of the happy patient in her car holding up her driver’s license, Parvizi said, “This patient has been seizure-free for six years, driving and enjoying life like never before.”

Parvizi described being a physician-researcher this way: “Like riding two horses standing up with one foot on each horse, you have to keep your balance and it takes some skill.” But, he says, being a physician-researcher allows you to help thousands of patients with your research, and one patient at a time with the application of that research.

He advised the students to “do work you are excited about,” and in looking for a mentor, “be persistent, not pushy.” Parvizi told the story of how as a medical student he contacted the pioneering cognitive neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, MD, PhD, after reading his ground-breaking book, Descartes’ Error. “This was before the Internet, so I wrote to him and sent him faxes. I finally called him and told him I would be coming to the States and would like to meet with him. He told me he would give me 15 minutes. I told him, ‘I am coming all the way from Norway,’ and he said, ‘I will give you 15 minutes.’” That meeting set the course for Parvizi’s career, a career he clearly relishes.

“It took me 22 years of school and training, and that sounds like a lot, but it went by fast because everything is so interesting and exciting,” Parvizi told the group. Snapping his fingers and smiling, he said, “It went by just like that.”

Jacqueline Genovese is assistant director of the Arts, Humanities, and Medicine Program within the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics. Parvizi and Chafe will be demonstrating their brain stethoscope on April 29 from 5:30-7 PM at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, as part of  the program’s Recombinations series.

Previously: At Med School 101, teens learn that it’s “so cool to be a doctor”, How epilepsy patients are teaching Stanford scientists more about the brainImplanting electrodes to treat epilepsy, better understand the brain and Ask Stanford Med: Neurologist answers your questions on drug-resistant epilepsy
Photo by Norbert von der Groeben

Events, Medical Education, Stanford News

At Med School 101, teens learn that it’s “so cool to be a doctor”

At Med School 101, teens learn that it's "so cool to be a doctor"

Students exam brain of animals during the brain lab session at Medicine on the sidelines at Med School 101 at Stanford University School of Medicine on Friday, March 28, 2014. ( Norbert von der Groeben/ Stanford School of Medicine )

“I was once in high school,” anesthesiologist Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, told a roomful of ninth-through-twelfth-graders Friday at Med School 101. Now he runs a large NIH-funded lab, takes care of patients, makes scientific discoveries, and helps people get better. Mackey delivered his talk on pain and the brain to the aspiring medical professionals at a high level. “This is the same talk that I give a national audience of experts,” he said – for his younger audience he just explains the jargon. And he includes clips from The Princess Bride, selected with the help of his 17-year-old son, to illustrate certain pain points.

Classes at Med School 101 tend to swing this way – with the instructors not mincing science while still making learning about medicine as fun as it is. In its eighth year, Med School 101 drew 140 students from 10 local high schools to Stanford’s Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge to try on white coats, so to speak. Ann Weinacker, MD, chief of staff at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, welcomed students in the morning and shared, “It is so cool to be a doctor.”

Sleep expert Rafael Pelayo, MD, explained to the students attending his lecture why we sleep and outlined some common sleep disorders in adults and children and how medical science has addressed them. “When I started at Stanford 20 years ago, we didn’t know what caused narcolepsy,” Pelayo said. “Now we know it’s an autoimmune disease.”

For her session on global health, Sherry Wren, MD, a professor of surgery, talked about her experience volunteering with Doctors Without Borders in Africa. She caught students’ attention with some sobering statistics: Only 3.5 percent of surgeries worldwide are done in low-income countries; 2 billion people have no access to surgery; and in Africa alone, 42 million people presently have problems that could be treated by surgery.

In the ever-popular session, “So you want to go to med school?” with Charles Prober, MD, senior associate dean of medical education, students named different specialties within medicine and Prober explained their functions and sub-specialties. Questions on preparing for a career in medicine, and on what it takes to get into a good medical school, flowed, with Prober telling the students that the name of their college doesn’t matter as much as what they do there. (Check out the @SUMedicine Twitter feed and the hashtag #SUMed101 for more.)

While Prober mentioned the “big three” list of uses for an MD – patient care, research and education – many of the presenting faculty described other ways to be involved in health care, including public health, nursing, and physician assistant roles.

One young lady told me she was in seventh grade when she got the idea that she might want to be a doctor, but really solidified her plans in eighth grade. Where is she now? “Ninth grade.”

Previously: Med School 101 kicks off on Stanford campus todayLive tweeting sessions at Stanford’s Med School 101Bay Area students get a front-row seat to practicing medicine, scientific research and A quick primer on getting into medical school
Photo, of students in a brain-focused session, by Norbert von der Groeben

Events, Medical Education, Stanford News

Med School 101 kicks off on Stanford campus today

Med School 101 kicks off on Stanford campus today

MS 101 lecture

As a reminder, our annual Med School 101 event kicks off this morning on the Stanford campus. At the day-long gathering, around 140 high school students from ten Bay Area high schools will participate in a variety of sessions on medicine and science-related topics at the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge.

We’ll be live tweeting two of the sessions: a talk on sleep and related disorders from Rafael Pelayo, MD, one of our leading experts; and a discussion on what it really takes to get into medical school from Charles Prober, MD, Stanford’s senior associate dean of medical education. Follow the coverage starting at 9 AM Pacific time on the @SUMedicine feed or by using the hashtag #SUMed101.

Previously: Live tweeting sessions at Stanford’s Med School 101
Photo from last year’s event by Norbert von der Groeben

Events, Medical Education, Stanford News

Live tweeting sessions at Stanford’s Med School 101

Live tweeting sessions at Stanford's Med School 101

MS 101 kids looking at brainsOn Friday, around 140 students from ten local high schools will once again come to the Stanford campus for our annual Med School 101 event.

This is the eighth year of the event, which is organized by the medical school’s Office of Communication & Public Affairs and sponsored by Stanford Hospital & Clinics and was designed to expose high-school students to medicine and related fields. At the day-long gathering, students will attend sessions at the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge on a range of medical and scientific topics, including disease-causing bacteria, food allergies, and traumatic brain injury.

We’ll be live tweeting two of the sessions: a talk on sleep and related disorders from one of our leading experts, and a discussion on what it really takes to get into medical school from Charles Prober, MD, Stanford’s senior associate dean of medical education. You can follow the coverage beginning at 9 AM Pacific time on the @SUMedicine feed or by using the hashtag #SUMed101.

Previously: Image of the Week: Studying brains at Stanford’s Med School 101, Bay Area students get a front-row seat to practicing medicine, scientific research, Med school: Up close and personal, A quick primer on getting into medical school, Teens interested in medicine encouraged to “think beyond the obvious” and High-school students get a taste of med school
Photo from last year’s event by Norbert von der Groeben

Events, Medical Education, Medical Schools, Stanford News, Technology

Using technology and more to reimagine medical education

Using technology and more to reimagine medical education

Over on The Health Care Blog, Michael Painter, MD, JD, shares his thoughts from a recent meeting at Stanford’s medical school inviting medical education leaders to debate big questions in their field. Painter, a senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, explained that meeting participants discussed ways that educators can use technology and other tools “to help create a durable culture of health for all.”

From the post:

In 2013 we extended a $312,000 grant to Stanford Medical School that will support work by five medical schools, Stanford, Duke, University of Washington, UCSF and University of Michigan, as they create a consensus knowledge map of the critical things medical students should learn.

Why a knowledge map? The simple answer: because there isn’t one, and we need one if we’re going to build massive core online medical education content.

Why change now? There’s building pressure on fortress academia: pressure to push health care toward high value, pressure for health care to center itself on the patient rather than the professional, and pressure from technology, specifically the ability to move previously closely held knowledge of the expert more efficiently to the learner.

Here’s where this mapping effort also starts to get interesting. It wouldn’t be that surprising if these education leaders ticked through all the reasons why change is too hard—why it can’t or won’t happen. Instead something marvelous is happening: they’re challenging each other to examine the time they spend with their students—asking if they ignite the kind of passion in their learners that others ignited in them.

An even more hopeful sign—these leaders want to connect the teaching of new healers—from the beginning—with the key partner: the patient. Their early reimagining is fixed on patient and story.

Previously: A closer look at using the “flipped classroom” model at the School of MedicineCombining online learning and the Socratic method to reinvent medical school courses, Using the “flipped classroom” model to re-imagine medical education and Stanford professors propose re-imagining medical education with “lecture-less” classes

Events, Genetics, Stanford News, Technology

Euan Ashley discusses harnessing big data to drive innovation for a healthier world

Euan Ashley discusses harnessing big data to drive innovation for a healthier world

Euan_AshleyElectronic patient records, clinical trials, DNA sequencing, and medical imaging and disease registries are a sampling of the sources contributing to the exponential growth of public databases housing biomedical information. Researchers hope mining this vast reservoir of data will accelerate the process of understanding disease while driving down the costs of developing new therapies.

But the challenge of harnessing big data to transform scientific research and improve human health is one that is so complex that it can’t be solved alone by a single person, institution or company; collaboration among government, academia and industry is imperative. To foster such partnerships, Stanford and Oxford University are sponsoring the Big Data in Biomedicine conference from May 21-23.

The conference is part of a big data initiative launched by Stanford and Oxford to solve large-number problems at a global scale to improve health worldwide. Euan Ashley, MD, who directs the effort at Stanford, has been involved in several major projects over the past few years to link an individual’s genome sequence to possible increases in disease risk. In the following Q&A, he shares insights about the upcoming conference program, provides an update on the initiative, and discusses how big data can drive innovation for a healthier world.

A collaborative effort between Oxford and Stanford aims to accelerate discovery from large-number data sets to provide new insight into disease and to apply targeted therapies on an unprecedented scale. In what ways are the universities currently working together to achieve this goal?

The Global Institute for Human Health Initiative is a very exciting new venture between these two universities. Catalyzed by the Li Ka Shing Foundation, the initiative draws on the complementary strengths of each institution. Stanford excels in innovation, technology and data management and analysis. Oxford has global reach through its School of Public Health. So it makes sense to work together.

One of our primary goals will be to build “bridges” between the largest databanks of health information in the world. These individual large-scale efforts are remarkable in their own way, but each one has by definition to focus primarily on its own data. This means that limited bandwidth is available to develop mechanisms of secure sharing and analysis. That bandwidth and expertise are things we hope to provide through the initiative. The seed grants awarded through our program in Data Science for Human Health are another way we have started to collaborate. Each one has an Oxford-Stanford collaboration at its heart.

Tell us more about those seed grants. How many have you awarded, and for what kinds of projects?

We received 60 applications and were able to award 12 grants totaling $807,171.48. Among the projects receiving funding were new methods for analyzing accelerometer data in smartphones, approaches to imaging data, and ideas for large scale data analysis, point of care testing for infectious disease and mobile application development. It was an amazing group of applications and I wish we could have funded more projects. At the conference, there will be a brief satellite meeting for the recipients to interact.

Let’s talk more about the upcoming conference. What else can attendees expect from it?

We have an exciting program with a number of high-profile speakers. I’m particularly pleased this year with the broad representation of presenters across sectors. There will be speakers across government, industry and academia, including representatives from the National Institutes of Health, Google, Intel, Mount Sinai and Duke.

We’ve also expanded our international reach, and one of the keynote speeches will be delivered by Ewan Birney, director of the European Bioinformatics Institute. Additionally, this year’s program includes two new topic areas: computing and architecture, which will be chaired by Hector Garcia Molina, PhD, and infectious disease genomics, a particular strength at Oxford. Another addition is the Big Data Corporate Showcase, where companies ranging from industry giants to start-ups will share their achievements and innovations related to big data. So, lots to look forward to!

Continue Reading »

Stanford Medicine Resources: