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PRISM Mentors

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PRISM supports all faculty in recruiting postdocs. The faculty listed on this page have expressed special interest in the PRISM program and most are actively recruiting. As you look for potential postdoc mentors, consider how faculty research interests align with your own.

We recommend starting with the faculty listed on this page and then expanding your search to other faculty across the university. 

For School of Medicine faculty, browse SoM Departments or find details about individual faculty members in the School of Medicine via Community Academic Profiles (CAP). For faculty outside of the School of Medicine, browse departments in the Natural SciencesEarth Sciences, or Engineering and find details about individual faculty members in these areas via Stanford Profiles.

Please check back often -- more lab profiles will be added throughout the application period. 

 

PRISM Faculty Opt-In   Displaying 1 - 50 of 224
Department: Anesthes, Periop & Pain Med
PRISM mentor Research Interests

Nima Aghaee Pour

Anesthes, Periop & Pain Med
Assistant Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

We are a machine learning lab with a primary focus on predictive modeling of clinical outcomes using multiomics biological assays. Our research covers a wide range of unconventional yet high-impact topics ranging from space medicine to the integration of mental health, physical health, immune fitness, and nutrition in various clinical settings. We are primarily a computational immunology research group but depending on the problem at hand, our datasets include clinical measurements, readouts from advanced wearable technologies, and various genomics and proteomics assays.
 
Our group has a strong commitment to translating research findings into actionable products. We encourage (and financially support) our postdoctoral fellows to receive extensive training in entrepreneurship and business management from Stanford’s School of Business. This provides an excellent opportunity for a candidate who is not only interested in participating in state-of-the-art academic research, but is also interested in exploring industrial and entrepreneurial career trajectories.

Eric Gross

Anesthes, Periop & Pain Med
Assistant Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

Our laboratory is developing tools to study genetic variants commonly found in Asians within the basic science laboratory including CRISPR mouse models, drug development/design, and protein chemistry. Most of our laboratory uses basic science techniques to study the cardiovascular system and we are funded through the NIH from NIGMS and NHLBI. Our NIGMS funded project focuses on genetic variants in Asians and developing precision medicine strategies for reducing perioperative organ injury and precision medicine strategies for delivering anesthesia and pain relievers such as opioids. Our NHLBI funded project is to study the cardiopulmonary effects of e-cigarettes in rodents and to further determine how a common genetic variant in East Asians may impact the cellular toxicity of e-cigarettes.

  • Anesthesia Training Grant in Biomedical Research

Sean Mackey

Anesthes, Periop & Pain Med
Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

Mission of our group is to “Predict, prevent and alleviate pain”. Broad range of human pain research topics including neuroimaging, transcranial magnetic stimulation, EEG, psychophysics, patient outcomes, learning healthcare systems across many NIH funded projects. Projects include mechanistic characterization of pain to novel treatment developments.

  • Anesthesia Training Grant in Biomedical Research
  • Interdisciplinary Research Training in Pain and Substance Use Disorders

Vivianne Tawfik

Anesthes, Periop & Pain Med
Assistant Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

Chronic pain affects 1 in 3 Americans at a huge cost to society. A more thorough understanding of the basic mechanisms contributing to chronic pain is crucial to the development of therapies that target the likely unique underlying causes of diverse pain conditions. Projects in the Tawfik Lab use clinically-informed basic science approaches to further understand the crosstalk between the nervous system and the immune system in several mouse models of perioperative injury. In particular, we have an interest in CNS glial cells (astrocytes and microglia) which, after injury, can contribute to central sensitization and persistence of pain. Preclinical use of glial modulators has been successful at reversing existing pain, however, translational efforts have thus far failed. We strive to further understand glial subtypes and functional phenotypes in order to better tailor glial-directed therapies. Our projects involve collaborations with several other labs in Neurology, Radiology and Anesthesiology in a collegial environment focused on rigorous science and close mentorship.

Department: Anthropology
PRISM mentor Research Interests

Duana Fullwiley

Anthropology
Associate professor

Medical anthropology, constructs of race, critical studies of science, medicine, the body. Africa, France, colonial legacies.

  • Other
Department: Biochemistry
PRISM mentor Research Interests

Rhiju Das

Biochemistry
Associate Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

We develop algorithms to predict and design the structures and energetics of RNAs and RNA/protein complexes. We test these ideas through community-wide blind trials; by enhancing NMR, crystallographic, and cryoelectron microscopy methods; and by designing new complexes. Upcoming projects involve directly visualizing how natural RNA machines work inside human cells and designing molecules that might enable RNA-based optogenetics, self-replication, and sequence-controlled synthesis of novel polymers.

Dan Herschlag

Biochemistry
Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

To understand biology, we need chemistry and physics as the physical and chemical properties of biomolecules enable and constrain what biology can do and how it has evolved. We are particularly interested in questions of: (i) how enzymes work; (ii) how RNA folds; (iii) how proteins recognize RNA; (iv) RNA/protein interactions in regulation and control; and (v) the evolution of molecules and molecular interactions. Our interdisciplinary approaches span and integrate physics, chemistry and biology, employ a wide range of techniques, and are question driven. We have new projects in each of the above areas as we:
• Pioneer high-throughput quantitative approaches to study enzymes—to address how an entire protein contributes to its function, how allosteric signals are propagated, how different human alleles affect function and/or stability, and ultimately how to design new enzymes (with Polly Fordyce);
• Work to understand the evolution of enzyme function and stability via functional, genome-scale analyses, and experimental evolutionary studies;
• Pioneer the determination of enzyme conformational ensembles—and linking these to function via novel “ensemble¬–function” studies;
• Develop a quantitative and predictive model for RNA tertiary folding thermodynamics and kinetics, building from the “RNA Reconstitution Model”;
• Provide the first quantitative and complete descriptions of the affinity and specificity of RNA binding proteins for all possible RNA sequences and structures (with Will Greenleaf);
• Pioneer Quantitative Cellular Biochemistry (QCB) to bring together the power of biochemistry and genomics to the study molecular interactions and function in cells, with the goal of providing quantitative and predictive models for molecular function and regulation in cells.

Suzanne Pfeffer

Biochemistry
Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

Activating mutations in the LRRK2 kinase cause Parkinson's disease, and the major substrates of LRRK2 kinase are a subset of proteins called Rab GTPases.  Together with our collaborators, we have discovered that phosphorylation of Rab proteins completely changes the partner proteins with which they interact and leads to a blockade in the formation of critical signaling structures called primary cilia.  We are using biochemical, cell biological and genome-wide approaches to study the molecular cell biology of Parkinson's Disease by focusing on the consequences of Rab GTPase phosphorylation.  We are also studying  cholesterol transport out of lysosomes and lysosome dysfunction in neurodegenerative disease.

Rajat Rohatgi

Biochemistry, Med: Oncology
Associate Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

Our lab uses cellular, biochemical, and genetic approaches to understand the mechanism by which developmental signaling pathways, such as the WNT and Hedgehog pathways, function and how they are damaged in disease states. We use a broad range of approaches in our work: genome-wide CRISPR screens, proteomics, imaging, and both protein and lipid biochemistry.

Julia Salzman

Biochemistry, Biomedical Data Sciences
Assistant Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

Statistical algorithms for genomics, RNA biology, splicing, cancer genomics, spatial transcriptomics

Aaron Straight

Biochemistry
Associate Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

Our laboratory studies the dynamics and organization of eukaryotic genomes. Every eukaryotic cell must compact its DNA into the nucleus while maintaining the accessibility of the DNA to the replication, repair, expression and segregation machinery. Eukaryotes accomplish this feat by assembling their genomes into chromatin and folding that chromatin into functional compartments. We are studying four key processes in the eukaryotic nucleus: 1) the genetic and epigenetic basis for centromere formation that enables chromosome segregation, 2) the role of noncoding RNAs in structuring the genome and regulating gene expression, 3) the formation of silent heterochromatin and its role in genome organization and 4) the activation of the embryonic genome at the maternal to zygotic transition. We rely on biochemistry, quantitative microscopy and genomics to probe genome dynamics in vitro and in living systems. Our goal is to uncover the core principles that organize eukaryotic genomes and to understand how genome organization controls organismal function.

Ellen Yeh

Biochemistry, Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
Associate Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

The Yeh Lab studies the apicoplast, a unique plastid organelle in Plasmodium falciparum parasites that cause malaria. We are particularly focused on unbiased chemical and genetic screens to discover new cell biology and therapeutic targets for this important global health disease. Our work highlights the untapped opportunities in exploring divergent biology in non-model organisms, a theme we plan to expand in the lab by studying ocean algae (malaria's cousins!) and their role in the global ecosystem.

  • Molecular Basis of Host Parasite Interaction
Department: Bioengineering
PRISM mentor Research Interests

Michael Fischbach

Bioengineering
Associate Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

Small molecules from the human microbiota. Many of the most widely used human medicines come from soil and marine bacteria, including treatments for cancer, infectious disease, diabetes, and organ transplant. We have recently found that bacteria from a surprisingly underexplored niche -- the human body -- are prolific producers of drug-like small molecules. We are identifying small molecules from gut- and skin-associated bacteria, studying their biosynthetic genes, and characterizing the roles they play in human biology and disease. 
 
Using synthetic ecology to control microbiome metabolism. One of the most concrete contributions the microbiome makes to human biology is to synthesize dozens of metabolites, many of which accumulate in human tissues at concentrations similar to what is achieved by a drug. We are engineering gut and skin bacterial species to produce new molecules, and constructing synthetic communities whose molecular output is completely specified.

Alison Marsden

Pediatrics, Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering, Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering, Cardiovascular Med Institute
Associate Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

The Cardiovascular Biomechanics Computation Lab  develops fundamental computational methods for the study of cardiovascular disease progression, surgical methods, treatment planning and medical devices.  We focus on patient-specific modeling in pediatric and congenital heart disease, as well as adult cardiovascular disease.  Our lab bridges engineering and medicine through the departments of Pediatrics, Bioengineering, and the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering. We develop the SimVascular open source project.

  • Mechanisms in Innovation in Vascular Disease
  • Multi-Disciplinary Training Program in Cardiovascular Imaging at Stanford

Mark Skylar-Scott

Bioengineering
Assistant Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

The Skylar-Scott Lab specializes in cardiovascular tissue biomanufacturing, seeking to push the complexity and scale at which tissue can be designed and manufactured on demand. By integrating high-throughput culture of designer organoids with new machines and methods for advanced 3D bioprinting, our laboratory seeks to enhance the maturation and function of vascularized cardiac tissues in vitro and in vivo.

Our lab is embedded at the intersection of synthetic biology, tissue engineering, and 3D printing. We are always seeking new students and postdocs with a demonstrated passion for rethinking how we make things, with relevant expertise in bioengineering, mechanical engineering, or materials science.

Bo Wang

Bioengineering
Assistant Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

Flatworms include more than 44,000 parasites, many of which are pathogenic to humans or livestock, with flukes, tapeworms, and hookworms as notorious representative species. They typically transmit through multiple hosts using several drastically different body plans specialized for infecting and reproducing within each host. Although flatworms’ complex life cycles were established over a century ago, little is known about the cells and genes they use to optimize their transmission potential, thereby limiting our ability to develop effective therapeutic and preventive strategies. We aim to develop a comprehensive cellular and molecular understanding of the stereotypical life cycle of a blood fluke, Schistosoma mansoni, and identify novel targets to block it. Schistosomes cause one of the most prevalent but neglected infectious diseases, schistosomiasis. With over 250 million people infected and a further 800 million at risk of infection, schistosomiasis imposes a global socioeconomic burden comparable to that of tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. This project will use novel single-cell technologies to build a schistosome "cell atlas", and map the developmental states of their stem cells as they produce all other cell types in the schistosome body plans.

Peter Yang

Orthopedic Surgery, Materials Sci & Engineering, Bioengineering
Associate Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

Biomaterials, medical devices, drug delivery, stem cells and 3D bioprinting for musculoskeletal tissue engineering

Department: Biology
PRISM mentor Research Interests

Dominique Bergmann

Biology
Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

The overall goal of my research program is to understand how stem cell-like populations are created and maintained in the context of an intact and environmental responsive tissue.  We use the Arabidopsis stomatal lineage for these studies as this epidermal cell lineage distills many of the features common to all tissue development: stomatal precursor cells are chosen from an initially equivalent field, they undergo asymmetric and self-renewing divisions, they communicate among themselves to establish pattern and they terminally differentiate into stable, physiologically important cell-types.  In the past decade, we have developed the stomatal lineage into a conceptual and technical framework for the study of cell fate, stem-cell self-renewal and cell polarity. Currently, we are especially interested in: (1) using new single-cell technologies to capture transcriptomic and chromatin state information about cells as they transit through various identities (stem cell-like, committed, differentiated, and reprogrammed); (2) using new ‘in vivo biochemical’ approaches to identify plant-specific cell polarity complexes and how these guide changes in cell shape, size and fate; (3) computational modeling of pattern formation in the epidermis, and (4) testing how environmental information impacts developmental choices and robustness.

Xiaoke Chen

Biology
Associate Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

Our lab study neural circuits underlying motivated behaviors. We currently focused on a thalamic nucleus: the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT). The PVT is reciprocally connected with regions involved in top-down control, such as the prefrontal and insular cortices. It also receives extensive inputs from the hypothalamus and brainstem which convey motivational arousal and homeostatic states. The PVT is the only thalamic nucleus that innervate all structures in the extended amygdale system. Combining the Pavlovian conditioning paradigm and in vivo recording, we found PVT response to both appetitive and aversive stimuli and their predicting cues. Its response amplitudes are proportional to stimulus intensity and modulated by changes in homeostatic state or behavioral context. Optogenetic inhibition of the PVT activity suppresses associative learning (Zhu et al., 2018, Science, in press). In the context of drug-associated learning and memory, we found PVT-to-NAc pathway as a prominent neuronal substrate mediating the physical signs and negative emotion accompany with opiate withdrawal. We further established a causal link between morphine-induced plasticity in the PVT-to-NAc circuits and the expression of withdrawal symptoms (Zhu et al., 2016, Nature).

Martha Cyert

Biology
Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

By studying calcineurin, the conserved Ca2+/calmodulin-regulated protein phosphatase, we aim to discover and elucidate new Ca2+-regulated signaling pathways in humans. The calcineurin phosphatase dephosphorylates proteins only when Ca2+ signaling is triggered, for example by a hormone, growth factor, neurotransmitter etc. Previous work from the Cyert lab discovered how calcineurin allows yeast cells to survive environmental stress (Goldman et al, 2014, Molecular Cell). Currently, we are studying human calcineurin which is ubiquitously expressed and plays critical roles throughout the body, but especially in the nervous, cardiac and immune systems. Calcineurin is best known for activating the adaptive immune response by dephosphorylating the NFAT transcription factors, and is the target of widely prescribed immunosuppressant drugs, FK506 (tacrolimus) and Cyclosporin A. However, these drugs cause many adverse effects due to inhibition of calcineurin in non-immune tissues, where the majority of calcineurin substrates and functions remain to be discovered. We are using a variety of experimental and computational strategies to systematically map human calcineurin signaling pathways in healthy and diseased cells. We have uncovered surprising roles for calcineurin in Notch signaling, regulation of transport though nuclear pores, and at centrosomes. See our recent paper (Wigington, Roy et al, 2020, Molecular Cell) to learn more about our studies.

Ron Kopito

Biology
Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

The Kopito laboratory seeks a molecular understanding of how cells maintain the fidelity of their proteomes. Unlike DNA, which can be repaired if damaged or incorrectly made, proteins cannot be mended. Instead, damaged or incorrectly synthesized proteins must be rapidly and efficiently destroyed lest they form toxic aggregates. Our laboratory use state-of-the-art cell biological, genetic and systems-level approaches to understand how proteins are correctly synthesized, folded and assembled in the mammalian secretory pathway, how errors in this process are detected and how abnormal proteins are destroyed by the ubiquitin-proteasome system.

  • Institutional Training Grant in Genome Science
  • Stanford Training Program in Aging Research

Ashby Morrison

Biology
Associate Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

The regulation of chromatin structure is essential for all eukaryotic organisms. Our research interests are to determine the contribution of chromatin to mechanisms that maintain genomic integrity and metabolic homeostasis in the context of disease and development. We utilize a varied experimental approach that includes computational, biochemical, molecular and cellular assays in both yeast and mammalian systems to ascertain the contribution of chromatin remodelers and histone modifiers to carcinogen susceptibility and metabolic gene expression. We hope to contribute to the formulation of epigenetic therapies that treat genomic and metabolic dysfunction, which influence cancer, heart disease, and diabetes to name a few.

  • Cancer Etiology, Prevention, Detection and Diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Training Program
  • Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism
  • Institutional Training Grant in Genome Science
  • Postdoctoral Training in the Radiation Sciences
  • Stanford Training Program in Aging Research
  • Stanford Training Program in Lung Biology

Lauren O'Connell

Biology, Neuroscience Institute
Assistant Professor

We study how genetic and environmental factors contribute to biological diversity and adaptation. We are particularly interested in understanding (1) how behavior evolves through changes in brain function and (2) how animal physiology evolves through repurposing existing cellular components.
Our mission is to perform rigorous, ethical, and ecologically relevant science across many areas of organismal biology. We aspire to maintain an environment that fosters creativity, diversity, and inclusion as well as engagement with communities in the areas where we work.
We stand in solidarity with the BlackLivesMatter Movement. Scientists and the institutions we work in are complicit in centuries of racism and we will hold ourselves and our institutions accountable by using lab meetings to reflect on our own privileges and by demanding action from Stanford University. We will continue supporting the careers of our Black colleagues by inviting them to seminars, reading their papers, and promoting their work through collaboration and our social media spaces. We are committed to including classrooms in predominantly Black neighborhoods to our Froggers School Program.

Kabir Peay

Biology
Associate Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

I study how ecological communities assemble and influence ecosystem processes, focusing on the role of microbial symbioses, which are ubiquitous in plants and animals. My research is driven primarily by intellectual curiosity about the unseen organisms that shape our planet, but is also aimed to provide knowledge that can be used to better manage ecosystem responses to global change, agriculture, and human health.
My lab uses a combination of ecological theory, molecular biology techniques, and field and laboratory experiments to study microbial communities. Our lab works across a large range of systems, both geographically and ecologically. We work on a number of local projects in the SF Bay Area, across North America, and in tropical rainforests of South American and Southeast Asia. We also study a wide range of interactions, from decomposer bacteria and fungi that are key agents of elemental cycling, to pathogenic fungi  and mutualistic fungi. While I am open to working on a variety of systems, a large portion of my work has  focused on root-fungal mutualisms, known  as mycorrhizal symbiosis, because nearly all plants species, including >98% of all trees, use these partnerships to acquire the soil macronutrients that most limit plant growth and ecosystem productivity. While we now know that such microbial mutualisms are common, there has been far less ecological research on mutualisms compared with antagonistic interactions, such as competition and predation. I ask (a) what controls mycorrhizal community assembly across spatial scales, (b) how mycorrhizal symbiosis structures plant communities, and (c) how mycorrhizal symbiosis is linked to ecosystem processes. By integrating these three topics I seek to build a roots-to-biomes understanding of ecological communities and ecosystem function.

Jan Skotheim

Biology
Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

My overarching goal is to understand how cell growth triggers cell division. Linking growth to division is important because it allows cells to maintain a specific size range to best perform their physiological functions. For example, red blood cells must be small enough to flow through small capillaries, whereas macrophages must be large enough to engulf pathogens. In addition to being important for normal cell and tissue physiology, the link between growth and division is misregulated in cancer.

Today, thanks to decades of research into the question of how cells control division, we have an extensive, likely nearly complete parts-list of key regulatory proteins. Deletion, inhibition, or over-expression of these proteins often results in changes to cell size. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms for how growth triggers division are not understood.  How do the regulatory proteins work together to produce a biochemical activity reflecting cell size or growth? Since we now have most of the parts, the next step to solving this fundamental question is to better understand how they work together.

Zhiyong Wang

Biology
Associate Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

The goal of our research is to illucidate the signaling mechanisms that regulate plant growth and environmental responses. Plants have remarkable ability to alter growth and development in response to environmental signals. In fact, this ability is essential for their survival in nature as sessile organisms and is also a major target for breeding high-yield crops. My lab has dissected the signaling networks that integrate hormonal (brassinosteroid, auxin, gibberellin), environmental (light, temperature, pathogens), and nutritional (sugar) signals in regulating plant growth. We use a wide range of approaches including proteomic, genomic, and genetic approaches in Arabidopsis and algae. Our research has focused on the brassinosteroid (BR) signaling pathway, which is the best understood receptor kinase signaling pathway in plants. We have elucidated how this steroid signal is transduced from the receptor kinase BRI1 to the transcription factor BZR1, and how BR crosstalks with other growth hormones, light, temperature, pathogen, and sugar signals in optimizing shoot and root growth. Current focuses of our lab include: (1) How does nutrient signaling through O-linked glycosylation (O-GlcNAc and O-fucose modifications) regulate plant growth? (2) How does sugar-dependent O-glycosylation crosstalk with BR-dependent phosphorylation in regulating transcription, RNA splicing, and translation? (3) How do GSK3 kinase and BSU phosphatase regulate cell division and membrane trafficking? (4) How do receptor kinases maintain cell wall integrity during cell growth and under stress?

Department: Cardiothoracic Surgery
PRISM mentor Research Interests

Ngan Huang

Cardiothoracic Surgery
Assistant Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

Dr. Huang’s laboratory aims to understand the chemical and mechanical interactions between extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and pluripotent stem cells that regulate vascular and myogenic differentiation. The fundamental insights of cell-matrix interactions are applied towards stem cell-based therapies with respect to improving cell survival and regenerative capacity, as well as engineered vascularized tissues for therapeutic implantation. Current projects focus on the role of naturally-derived ECMs to enhance endothelial differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells on two-dimensional ECM microarrays of varying substrate rigidity. The knowledge gained from understanding cell-ECM interactions are applied towards engineering prevascularized skeletal or cardiac muscle constructs using nanotopographical cues derived from nanofibrillar ECMs. We have an opening currently for a postdoctoral fellow to develop vascularized skeletal muscle tissues for treatment of traumatic muscle injury.

  • Mechanisms in Innovation in Vascular Disease
  • Training in Myocardial Biology at Stanford (TIMBS)
Department: Chemical and Systems Biology
PRISM mentor Research Interests

James Chen

Chemical and Systems Biology
Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

Our laboratory integrates synthetic chemistry, genetics, and developmental biology to investigate the molecular mechanisms that control tissue formation, regeneration, and oncogenic transformation. Our research group is currently focused on three major areas: (1) small-molecule and genetic regulators of the Hedgehog signaling pathway; (2) optochemical and optogenetic tools for studying tissue patterning with spatiotemporal precision; and (3) zebrafish models of vertebrate development.

Department: Chemical Engineering
PRISM mentor Research Interests

Monther Abu-Remaileh

Chemical Engineering
Assistant Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

We are interested in identifying novel pathways that enable cellular and organismal adaptation to metabolic stress and changes in environmental conditions. We also study how these pathways go awry in human diseases such as cancer, neurodegeneration and metabolic syndrome, in order to engineer new therapeutic modalities.


To address these questions, our lab uses a multidisciplinary approach to study the biochemical functions of the lysosome in vitro and in vivo. Lysosomes are membrane-bound compartments that degrade macromolecules and clear damaged organelles to enable cellular adaptation to various metabolic states. Lysosomal function is critical for organismal homeostasis—mutations in genes encoding lysosomal proteins cause severe human disorders known as lysosomal storage diseases, and lysosome dysfunction is implicated in age-associated diseases including cancer, neurodegeneration and metabolic syndrome.


By developing novel tools and harnessing the power of metabolomics, proteomics and functional genomics, our lab will define 1) how the lysosome communicates with other cellular compartments to fulfill the metabolic demands of the cell under various metabolic states, 2) and how its dysfunction leads to rare and common human diseases. Using insights from our research, we will engineer novel therapies to modulate the pathways that govern human disease.

Zhenan Bao

Chemical Engineering
Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

Skin-inspired electronics, stretchable, self-healing and biodegradable electronic materials and devices, wearable electronics, implantable electronics, polymer for battery applications, conductive metal-organic-framework, high surface area carbon materials, carbon nanotube electronics, organic transistors, sensors, solar cells, soft electronics for neuro-interface

Chaitan Khosla

Chemistry, Chemical Engineering
Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

Research in this laboratory focuses on problems where deep insights into enzymology and metabolism can be harnessed to improve human health.
For the past two decades, we have studied and engineered enzymatic assembly lines called polyketide synthases that catalyze the biosynthesis of structurally complex and medicinally fascinating antibiotics in bacteria. An example of such an assembly line is found in the erythromycin biosynthetic pathway. Our current focus is on understanding the structure and mechanism of this polyketide synthase. At the same time, we are developing methods to decode the vast and growing number of orphan polyketide assembly lines in the sequence databases.

For more than a decade, we have also investigated the pathogenesis of celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine, with the goal of discovering therapies and related management tools for this widespread but overlooked disease. Ongoing efforts focus on understanding the pivotal role of transglutaminase 2 in triggering the inflammatory response to dietary gluten in the celiac intestine.

Chaitan Khosla

Chemistry, Chemical Engineering
Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

My research interests lie at the interface between chemistry and biology. While ongoing research in my lab focuses on multiple problems, all of these efforts are motivated by the twin goals of shining light on fundamentally new molecular mechanisms in biology and leveraging these insights to address unmet challenges in human health. Two examples of ongoing research themes in my lab are outlined below:

I] Assembly-line biosynthesis of polyketide antibiotics: The primary objective of this longstanding research project in my lab is to understand the enzymatic mechanisms of assembly-line polyketide synthases (PKSs). Having defined the physical boundaries and chemical reactivity of individual domains and modules, our goal now is to understand these assembly lines as integrated metabolic systems. We also seek to understand the genetic mechanisms for extraordinary evolutionary diversification of this family of multifunctional enzymes.

II] Chemical approaches to understanding celiac disease pathogenesis: Over the past two decades, we have made significant contributions to an understanding of celiac disease (CeD) pathogenesis. Furthermore, at each step along the way, we have sought to translate these emerging molecular insights into enhanced disease management tools for CeD patients and their doctors, as illustrated by the translation of two experimental therapeutics from our lab into advanced preclinical/early clinical studies, and the translation of a biomarker discovered in our lab into CeD patients.
 

Danielle Mai

Chemical Engineering
Assistant Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

The Mai Research Group engineers biopolymers, which are the building materials of life. We seek to develop functional biomaterials and to enhance understanding in the physics of soft materials. Molecular-scale biopolymer design presents a unique opportunity to rationally design materials based on biomolecular templates. Moreover, biopolymer engineering incorporates the rich functional landscape of biological systems into responsive biomaterials. We are especially interested in connecting properties across multiple length scales (molecular, microscopic, macroscopic) using experimental methods. We integrate rational biomolecular design, biological and chemical synthesis, and multi-scale characterization techniques to engineer biopolymers with tunable mechanics, stimuli-responsive behavior, and self-healing properties. Initial research efforts address biological systems where deformation is significant, with specific project areas including: (i) muscle-mimetic materials from polypeptides, (ii) biolubricants from bottlebrush polymers, and (iii) selective filters from programmable hydrogels.

Elizabeth Sattely

Chemical Engineering
Associate Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

My laboratory is focused broadly on plant chemistry and is deeply invested in pathway discovery. Despite the important roles of plant natural products in plant and human health, very few complete plant biosynthetic pathways are known. This lack of knowledge limits our understanding of natural product mode of action in plants and prevents access to engineered pathways. New plant genome sequences and synthetic biology tools have enabled three research areas in my lab: 1) methods for accelerating pathway discovery in plants (especially for clinically used therapeutics), and 2) discovering new molecules from plants that are important for plant fitness, and 3) using metabolic engineering in plants as a tool to systematically and quantitatively determine the impact of plant molecules on human and plant health and ultimately optimize plant fitness and crop nutrient load. I am looking for postdocs who are interested in joining an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers to discover how plant natural products are made and their mode of action, and develop new tools for engineering biosynthetic pathways. Our vision is to use engineered biosynthesis to reveal mechanisms by which natural products from plants contribute to plant fitness and human health.

Department: Chemistry
PRISM mentor Research Interests

Bianxiao Cui

Chemistry
Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

My research objective is to develop new biophysical methods to advance current understandings of cellular machinery in the complicated environment of living cells. We bring together state-of-the-art nanotechnology, physical science, engineering and molecular and cell biology, to advance current understandings of biological processes.  Currently, there are two major research directions: (1) Developing nanoscale tools to probe electric activities and cellular processes at the cell-material interface. In this area, we have developed nanoscale electric probes, structural probes and optical probes with high sensitivity and subcellular localization. We identify membrane curvature as one of the crucial biochemical signals that translate nanoscale surface topography into intracellular signaling. (2) Employing optical, magnetic, and optogenetic tools to understand nerve growth factor (NGF) signaling in neurons.  By adapting a variety of microscopy, optogenetic, nanotechnology and biochemical tools, we aim for a deeper understanding of NGF signaling in normal neurons and neurodegenerative diseases.

Chaitan Khosla

Chemistry, Chemical Engineering
Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

My research interests lie at the interface between chemistry and biology. While ongoing research in my lab focuses on multiple problems, all of these efforts are motivated by the twin goals of shining light on fundamentally new molecular mechanisms in biology and leveraging these insights to address unmet challenges in human health. Two examples of ongoing research themes in my lab are outlined below:

I] Assembly-line biosynthesis of polyketide antibiotics: The primary objective of this longstanding research project in my lab is to understand the enzymatic mechanisms of assembly-line polyketide synthases (PKSs). Having defined the physical boundaries and chemical reactivity of individual domains and modules, our goal now is to understand these assembly lines as integrated metabolic systems. We also seek to understand the genetic mechanisms for extraordinary evolutionary diversification of this family of multifunctional enzymes.

II] Chemical approaches to understanding celiac disease pathogenesis: Over the past two decades, we have made significant contributions to an understanding of celiac disease (CeD) pathogenesis. Furthermore, at each step along the way, we have sought to translate these emerging molecular insights into enhanced disease management tools for CeD patients and their doctors, as illustrated by the translation of two experimental therapeutics from our lab into advanced preclinical/early clinical studies, and the translation of a biomarker discovered in our lab into CeD patients.
 

Chaitan Khosla

Chemistry, Chemical Engineering
Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

Research in this laboratory focuses on problems where deep insights into enzymology and metabolism can be harnessed to improve human health.
For the past two decades, we have studied and engineered enzymatic assembly lines called polyketide synthases that catalyze the biosynthesis of structurally complex and medicinally fascinating antibiotics in bacteria. An example of such an assembly line is found in the erythromycin biosynthetic pathway. Our current focus is on understanding the structure and mechanism of this polyketide synthase. At the same time, we are developing methods to decode the vast and growing number of orphan polyketide assembly lines in the sequence databases.

For more than a decade, we have also investigated the pathogenesis of celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine, with the goal of discovering therapies and related management tools for this widespread but overlooked disease. Ongoing efforts focus on understanding the pivotal role of transglutaminase 2 in triggering the inflammatory response to dietary gluten in the celiac intestine.

Tom Markland

Chemistry
Associate Professor
View in Stanford Profiles

Our research focuses on the theory and simulation of chemical systems to address problems at the interface of quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics, with applications ranging from chemistry and biology to geology and materials science. Our research frequently explores theories of hydrogen bonding, the interplay between structure and dynamics, systems with multiple time and length-scales, and quantum mechanical effects. Particular current interests include proton and electron transfer in materials and enzymatic systems, atmospheric isotope separation, and the control of catalytic chemical reactivity in heterogeneous environments.

Todd Martinez

Chemistry
Professor
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Current research in the Martínez Group aims to make molecular modeling both predictive and routine. New approaches to interactive molecular simulation are being developed, in which users interact with a virtual-reality based molecular modeling kit that fully understands quantum mechanics. New techniques to discover heretofore unknown chemical reactions are being developed and tested, exploiting the many efficient methods that the Martínez group has introduced for solving quantum mechanical problems quickly, using a combination of physical/chemical insights and commodity videogaming hardware.

Grant Rotskoff

Chemistry
Assistant Professor
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Department: Civil and Environ Engineering
PRISM mentor Research Interests

Rishee Jain

Civil and Environ Engineering
Assistant Professor
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The Stanford Urban Informatics Lab & SLAC Grid Integration, Systems, and Mobility (GISMo) group are seeking a post-doctoral fellow to work on the Department of Energy sponsored Impact of Demand Response on short and long term building Energy Efficiency Metrics (IDREEM) project. The goal of this project is to answer the following research questions: Does developing DR capabilities within a building generally lead to more or less efficient buildings (over periods of years)? Does implementing EE strategies within a building generally lead to more or less demand response capacity from those buildings (over periods of years)? Do buildings providing grid services via load shifting consume more energy (over the day) than they would have if not providing services? If so, what are the expected long-term energy impacts? The key outcomes are the establishment of comprehensive long-term DR/efficiency trends; assessment of the system-wide cost, efficiency, and emissions associated with DR; add-ons/extensions to commercial building software models that capture the trends; and a variety of reports, papers, and software documenting our models, methods, and results.

Department: Dermatology
PRISM mentor Research Interests

Eleni Linos

Dermatology, Health Research and Policy
Professor
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Our team’s research spans the fields of dermatology, technology and public health. One of our main projects is centered on developing innovative skin cancer prevention interventions using social media. Another project area is the use of shared decision-making, mobile app technology for monitoring and optimal care of low risk skin cancers. We collaborate closely with colleagues in bioinformatics and computer science on use of visual Artificial intelligence methods to skin image monitoring. Additionally, we advocate for diversity and gender equity in medicine by writing both original data articles and perspective pieces on these topics. We collaborate with epidemiologists, clinicians, biostatisticians, basic, computer and social scientists at Stanford University as well as other institutions.

  • Clinical Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases

Kevin Wang

Dermatology
Assistant Professor
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The Wang Lab takes an interdisciplinary approach to studying fundamental mechanisms controlling gene expression in mammalian cells. Our work shows how epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, chromatin modifications, and RNA influence chromatin dynamics to affect gene regulation. OUR LAB IS CURRENTLY FOCUSED ON: How various dynamic epigenetic changes in chromatin structure impact gene expression during stem cell pluripotency/self-renewal, cellular differentiation, and reprogramming; How three-dimensional chromosomal structure and dysregulation contribute to development of diseases such as aging and cancer; and How to create novel genome engineering tools to interrogate the noncoding genome and the epigenome.
 
The long-term goal of The Wang Lab is to translate our understanding of these complex mechanisms to studies of human diseases.

Department: Developmental Biology
PRISM mentor Research Interests

Alistair Boettiger

Developmental Biology
Assistant Professor
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Our lab focuses on the role of three-dimensional genome organization in regulating gene expression and shaping cell fate specification during development. We pursue this with advanced single-molecule imaging and transgenic techniques in Drosophila and mammalian cell culture.

Anne Villeneuve

Developmental Biology
Professor
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Anne Villeneuve’s laboratory investigates the molecular and cellular events underlying the faithful inheritance of chromosomes during meiosis, the specialized cell division program by which diploid organisms generate haploid gametes. These events are crucial for reproduction, since failure to execute them correctly leads to aneuploidy, one of the leading causes of miscarriages and birth defects in humans. One major goal is to understand the mechanisms and regulation of genetic recombination, which is responsible both for reassortment of genetic traits and for promoting segregation of homologous chromosomes during meiosis. An inter-related goal is to understand how meiosis-specific chromosome organization is established, maintained, and remodeled to bring about successful genome inheritance. Dr. Villeneuve approaches these issues using the nematode C. elegans, a simple organism that is especially amenable to combining sophisticated microscopic, genetic and genomic approaches in a single experimental system. Dr. Villeneuve’s research interrogates the process of meiosis at multiple different scales: 1) at the level of the DNA repair complexes that assemble at the sites of meiotic recombination; 2) at the level of the meiosis-specific chromosome structures that promote, regulate and respond to meiotic recombination events and 3) at the level of DNA organization at the whole-chromosome scale.

  • Institutional Training Grant in Genome Science
Department: Environ Earth System Science
PRISM mentor Research Interests

Alexandra Konings

Environ Earth System Science
Assistant Professor

Our group in Stanford's Department of Earth System Science, led by Prof. Alexandra Konings, studies how ecosystems and the carbon cycle respond to variations in water availability at large scales, and how ecosystems will change under future climate. Our research questions principally focus on plant hydraulics, water-carbon coupling in the tropics, and the role of spatial variability in plant traits. In order to answers these questions, we primarily use remote sensing data analysis and model development. In particular, we often use new microwave measurements of vegetation water content. We believe that a deep understanding of remote sensing techniques helps us do better science and therefore also work on developing new remote sensing datasets and their validation.

David Lobell

Environ Earth System Science
Professor

Food security; Agriculture; Data science; Remote Sensing

Department: Graduate School of Education
PRISM mentor Research Interests

Jason Yeatman

Pediatrics, Graduate School of Education
Assistant Professor
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Mission: Our mission is to both use neuroscience as a tool for improving education, and use education as a tool for furthering our understanding of the brain. On the one hand, advances in non-invasive, quantitative brain imaging technologies are opening a new window into the mechanisms that underlie learning. For children with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, we hope to develop personalized intervention programs that are tailored to a child’s unique pattern of brain maturation. On the other hand, interventions provide a powerful tool for understanding how environmental factors shape brain development. Combining neuroimaging with educational interventions we hope to further our understanding of plasticity in the human brain.
The Lab: The Brain Development & Education Lab is located in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University and represents a collaboration between the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics within the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Education and the Wu Tsai Neuroscience Institute (we recently moved from The University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences). The focus of the lab is understanding the interplay between brain maturation and cognitive development.  The lab is interdisciplinary, drawing on the fields of neuroscience, psychology, education, pediatrics and engineering to answer basic scientific and applied questions.  Current projects focus on understanding how the brain’s reading circuitry develops in response to education and how targeted behavioral interventions prompt changes in the brain’s of children with dyslexia. A major component of this work is the development of software to measure properties of human brain tissue, localize differences and quantify changes over development.

Department: Electrical Engineering
PRISM mentor Research Interests

John Pauly

Electrical Engineering
Professor
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My group does medical imaging research.  Particular areas of interest are image guided interventions, image reconstruction, and fast imaging methods. We are particularly interested in the application of machine learning methods for

Ada Poon

Electrical Engineering
Associate Professor
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I am interested in how we could use electronics to treat diseases. I am particularly interested in diseases where currently, there is no drug to cure it (Alzheimer's disease), drug has side effects (obesity), and drug is too expensive (diabetes). For the obesity project, I have a hypothesis on the plasticity of white adipose tissue. I am looking for postdoc students to validate the hypothesis and then build the device making use of the hypothesis to treat obesity.

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