Neonatal & Dev Medicine in the department of pediatrics

Developmental and Neonatal Biology Training Program (NIH T32 HD007249)




The mission of the Training Program in Developmental and Neonatal Biology is subsumed by the overall mission of the NICHD and is focused to ensure that Stanford supplies a diverse pool of highly- trained scientists in research areas which address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs related to the fetus and newborn. Thus, the prime objective of the Program is the education and training of basic and clinician investigators from diverse backgrounds for academic careers in the developmental sciences and neonatology. The program is designed to encourage the cross-fertilization of ideas that will enrich the research of the basic, laboratory-based, and the clinically-oriented scientist. For those trainees interested in clinical training, the program offers intensive clinical experiences with newborns, including the opportunity for clinical investigation, as well as the opportunity for advanced study in developmental biology, especially at the cellular and molecular level. For those trainees interested in the basic sciences, the program offers exposure to clinical problems that stimulate curiosity in human development and enhance the translation of bench research discoveries to bedside clinical solutions. The objective of this combined Training Program is to build bridges between investigators in basic science departments and physicians in clinical departments, sharing as a common goal an in-depth understanding of the development of organ systems. Predoctoral trainees receive their degrees from one of the six Ph.D. granting academic units (the Departments of Biological Sciences, Developmental Biology, Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Molecular Pharmacology, and Neurobiology) as well as from the Combined Admissions Mode in the Medical School. Trainees for this component of the Program are selected by the Predoctoral Committee. Postdoctoral trainees have completed a Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent degree and are nominated by a preceptor following a formal application procedure.Babies under quilt Candidates for support are evaluated by the Postdoctoral Committee. Postresidency trainees have completed residency training in General Pediatrics and possess the knowledge and skills of a Board-certified general pediatrician. Trainees, therefore, assume increasing clinical responsibilities in the care of critically ill premature and full-term neonates. Trainees also choose a research laboratory and preceptor from the Program faculty after selection by the Postresidency Committee. Because of the overlap in research interests among faculty, trainees have the opportunity to interact with each other and with preceptors within a program representing a wide range of interests in Developmental Biology, from the most basic to the applied sciences, enhancing the breadth and depth of their training experience. Trainees will also gain awareness of public health issues.



Mentor Research Interests

Ann M. Arvin, M.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Infectious Diseases
Research: Host-virus interactions of herpes viruses in the fetus and newborn.

Ben A. Barres, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Neurobiology
Research: Neuron-glial interactions, translational neuroscience

Barry Behr, Ph.D., H.C.L.D.
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility
Development of improved embryo culture conditions in vitro. Blastocyst cultures. Embryo metabolism in vitro. Embryo maternal dialogue. Clinical application and integration of extended embryo culture systems. Monozygotic twinning. Prevention of multiple pregnancies. Sperm motility enhancers. Fluorescent and non-fluorescent markers of sperm morphology and viability. Oocyte cryopreservation. Fertility preservation. Improving IVF outcome.

Gill Bejerano, Ph.D.
Department of Developmental Biology
The Bejerano Lab studies the cis-regulatory (promoter/enhancer) architecture
of the human genome. Our experimental work focuses on the early development
of the forebrain and the placenta. We study how the genome patterns the
development of these two tissues, and explore the genomic contribution to
human disease (including preterm birth and brain disorders) and evolution.

Richard D. Bland, M.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine
Research: Dr Bland's research program (sponsored by 2 NIH grants) focuses on the pathogenesis and prevention of neonatal chronic lung disease (bronchopulmonary dysplasia, BPD), with particular emphasis on understanding mechanisms that contribute to disordered elastin deposition and associated impairment of alveolar and pulmonary vascular development that occur in BPD. The research includes studies of various genes that are thought to regulate the synthesis, assembly and degradation of elastin in lung tissue obtained from lambs with chronic lung injury produced by 3-4 weeks of mechanical ventilation after premature birth. Studies have been done to investigate the impact of specific therapeutic interventions, including high-frequency mechanical ventilation, inhaled nitric oxide, retinol, and l-arginine, on the pathophysiology and histopathology of neonatal chronic lung disease in preterm lambs. A new element of this project examines the effects of prolonged, repetitive stretch and associated inflammation on extracellular matrix proteins, alveolar, and vascular development in lungs of newborn mice.

Helen M. Blau, Ph.D.
Department of Genetic Pharmacology Program in Gene Therapy
Research: Molecular basis for the genetic regulation of cell differentiation during development and disease; using muscle as a model system; gene therapy.

Atul Butte, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Systems Medicine
Application and development of computational technologies to convert immunological and cardiovascular data into diagnostics, therapeutics, and new insights into human disease

Chang-Zheng Chen, Ph.D.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Research: MicroRNAs in lymphoid development and cancer.

Christopher H. Contag, Ph.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine
Research: Our laboratory is interested in studying a variety of biological processes using a non-invasive approach for monitoring functional changes in living animal models of human development and disease. These biological processes include infection and treament, tumor progression and therapy, and normal and pathologic gene expression.

John Cooke, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Medicine
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Research: Our translational research program in vascular regeneration is focused on generating and characterizing vascular cells from human induced pluripotential stem cells. We are also studying the therapeutic application of these cells in murine models of peripheral arterial disease. In these studies we leverage our longstanding interest in endothelial signaling, eg by nitric oxide synthase (NOS) as well as by nicotinic cholinergic receptors (nAChR).

Gerald Crabtree, M.D.
Department of Developmental Biology
Department of Pathology
Research: Regulation in cell proliferation and differentiation, genetic regulatory mechanisms in T-lymphocyte activation; lymphoid development.

Heidi M. Feldman, M.D., Ph.D
Department of Pediatrics
Development and Behavioral Pediatrics
Research: Long-standing research interests in child language.  The study of typical development and variety of clinical conditions that put language learning at risk, either because the condition alters access to environmental input or to the neural substrates that usually process language.

Dean Felsher, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Medcine
Division of Oncology and Pathology
Research: Dr. Dean Felsher's expertise brings a new field of research for our program in the area of how oncogenes initiate and sustain tumorigenesis. He has developed model systems whereby he can conditionally activate oncogenes in normal human and mouse cells in tissue culture or in specific tissues of transgenic mice.

Andrew Fire, Ph.D.
Research: Our lab studies the mechanisms by which cells and organisms respond to genetic change. At the root of these studies are questions of how a cell can distinguish "self" versus "nonself" and "wanted" versus "unwanted" gene expression. Much of the current effort in the lab is directed toward a molecular understanding of the RNAi machinery and its roles in the cell. RNAi is not the only cellular defense against unwanted nucleic acid, and substantial current effort in the lab is also directed at identification of other triggers and mechanisms used in recognition and response to foreign information.

Margaret T. Fuller, Ph.D.
Department of Developmental Biology
Department of Genetics
Research: Regulation of Stem Cell Behavior, cell type specific transcription machinery and tissue specific gene expression; regulation of the meiotic cell cycle; cell morphogenesis. mechanism of cytokinesis.

Rona G. Giffard, M.D.
Department of Anesthesia
Research: Anesthetics and ischemic neuronal injury and astrocyte injury in vitro; primary cell culture; gene expression and protection from ischemic injury, stress proteins, Hsp-70, Bcl-2, role of astrocytes in brain injury and protection; neuronal astrocyte interactions.

Jeffrey B. Gould, M.D., M.P.H.
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine
Research: Looking at the impact of low cesarean section rates on morbidity and trying to develop a morbidity index that could be used to assess the quality of perinatal care.

Louis P. Halamek, M.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine
Research: The use of simulation-based and virtual reality-based technologies in medical education, human performance,and patient safety.

Mark A. Kay, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Genetics
Research: The focus is to develop gene transfer technologies and use them for hepatic gene therapy for the treatment of genetic and acquired diseases. The general approach is to develop new vector systems and delivery methods, test them in the appropriate animal models, and use the most promising approaches in clinical trials. Specifically, we work on a variety of viral and non-viral vector systems. Our two major disease models are hemophilia and hepatitis C virus infection.

Seung K. Kim, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Developmental Biology
Department of Medicine
Research: We study the genetics of pancreatic islet cell differentiation using molecular, embryologic and genetic methods in several model systems, including mice, embryonic stem cells, and Drosophila. Our work suggests that critical factors required for islet development are also needed to maintain essential functions of the mature islet. Our knowledge of genetic and cellular pathways governing islet formation has allowed us to use stem cell lines to produce functional islets in vitro.

David M. Kingsley, Ph.D.
Department of Developmental Biology
Research: My laboratory uses a variety of genetic, cellular, and molecular approaches to study skeletal development in humans, mice, and stickleback fish. Many of our studies begin with naturally occuring genetic traits that alter normal skeletal development. By isolating the genes responsible for these traits, it has been possible to identify key genetic pathways that control skeletal patterning and skeletal disease in mice and humans. Similar genetic studies in sticklebacks are making it possible to determine how new morphological and physiological traits arise during vertebrate evolution.

Mark A. Krasnow, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Biochemistry
Research: Genetic, genomic, and cellular analysis of epithelial morphogenesis in Drosophila and mouse.

Henry Lee, M.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Neonatal & Developmental Medicine
Perinatal epidemiology, neonatal health outcomes, neonatal health services, quality measurement, quality improvement.

David B. Lewis, M.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Immunology and Transplantation Biology
Research: My laboratory has three major research interests. First, to define cellular and molecular mechanisms that limit T cell responses to vaccines and pathogens during normal early postnatal development and in cases of inherited genetic immunodeficiencies. Second, to determine how exposure to respiratory viral infections, alters the development of allergen-induced asthma. Third, to determine how immune responses to cytomegalovirus may influence allograft rejection.

Liqun Luo, Ph.D.
Department of Biological Sciences
Research: Molecular genetics in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and rodents to study how neurons elaborate their dendrites and guide their axons, and how neural circuits are formed during development.

David Magnus, Ph.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Genetic testing, gene therapy, genetically engineered organisms, and the history of eugenics. Stem cell research and cloning, and egg procurement. Examining ethical issues in reproductive technologies. Organ transplantation including donation after cardiac death, ethics of listing decisions. End of life issues in both adults and children.

Susan McConnell, Ph.D.
Department of Biological Sciences
Research: Exploring the mechanisms by which neurons in the mammalian
central nervous system achieve their normal fates during development.

Elizabeth D. Mellins, M.D.
Department of Pediartrics
Division of Immunology and Transplantation Biology
Research: Molecular mechanisms and intracellular pathways of antigen processing and presentation; structure/function of HLA-DR, -DM, -DO; pathogen evasion of the class II pathway.

Daria Mochly-Rosen, Ph.D.
Department of Molecular Pharmacology
Research: We are studying the mechanism of protein kinase C-mediated signal transduction in several disease models. Based on our recent data, we proposed a working hypothesis that activated PKC isozymes bind to intracellular receptor proteins located at different subcellular sites, and that these receptors differentially bind specific PKC isozymes.

Nihar Nayak, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine
Research: Molecular basis of endometrial angiogenesis and vascular
remodeling during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, particularly vascular
abnormalities in implantation that may lead to various complications of
pregnancy, including preeclampsia.

Garry P. Nolan, Ph.D.
Department of Molecular Pharmacology
Research: Biochemistry of NF-kB/IkB factors, nuclear oncoproteins p50 and Bc1-3; Rel/ankyrin proteins, and HIV regulations.

Roeland Nusse, Ph.D.
Department of Developmental Biology
Research: The elucidation of the mechanism of action of oncogenes in embryogenesis and to extrapolate these findings to cancerous growth.

Charles G. Prober, M.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Infectious Diseases
Research: The epidemiology and management of perinatal viral infections.

Marlene Rabinovitch, M.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Cardiology
Research: We investigate mechanisms regulating vascular cell development to discover novel ways to reverse cardiovascular and pulmonary disease. Our approaches include targeted gene therapy, transgenic mouse models, and gene arrays. Our focus is on novel vascular elastase and chymase gene, regulation of their transcription factors which include AML1; expression of a calcium binding protein, Mts1; and on a microtubule-associated protein regulating mRNA translation.

Kristy Red-Horse, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
Embryonic development produces a highly complex organism containing innumerable cell types derived from a single fertilized egg.  The first functional organ system to emerge during embryogenesis is the cardiovascular system.  They use cardiovascular development as a model to study the signals that instruct cell fate and guide morphogenesis during organ formation in the mammalian embryo. 

Renee A. Reijo Pera, Ph.D.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Research: The Reijo Pera Laboratory is focused on understanding key cell fates in the embryo, including the generation of pluripotent stem cells, somatic and germ cell lineages.

Matthew P. Scott, Ph.D.
Department of Developmental Biology
Department of Genetics
Research: Genetic regulation of animal development and human disease. We study homeobox genes, hedgehog/patched signaling and its links to skin and brain cancer, development of the neural tube and cerebellum, Wnt signaling, and heart development.

Gary Shaw, DrPH
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Neonatal & Developmental Medicine
Research: Primary research interests include 1) epidemiology of birth defects, 2) gene-environment approaches to perinatal outcomes, and 3) nutrition and reproductive outcomes.

Eric Sibley, M.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Gastroenterology
Research: Transcriptional Regulation of Lactase During Intestinal Development. The mammalian gastrointestinal tract matures from a primitive tube into morphologically and functionally distinct regions during development. The mature small intestine functions in the digestion and absorption of ingested nutrients.

David K. Stevenson, M.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine
Research: Heme and bilirubin metabolism in the neonate utilizing non-invasive technologies combined with developmental biochemistry approaches.

William S. Talbot, Ph.D.
Department of Developmental Biology
Research: We use genetic and genomic approaches to investigate the molecular basis of cell fate specification and morphogenesis in the zebrafish embryo. Other projects include the genetic dissection of myelination and functional genomics in zebrafish.

Hannah Valantine, M.D.
Department of Medicine
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
The Valantine laboratory focuses on understanding the mechanism mediating acute and chronic allograft failure, in particular on the role of microvascular injury in acute allograft failure and the mechanisms of mediating transplant coronary artery disease.

Krisa Van Meurs, M.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine
Dr. Van Meurs' research interests include persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, hypoxic respiratory failure, inhaled nitric oxide therapy, ECMO, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, neonatal clinical trials, and the use of aEEG and NIRS to detect brain injury.

Irving L. Weissman, M.D.
Department of Developmental Biology
Research: Developmental biology and function of lymphocytes using multiple disciplines to study these cells, ranging from molecular biology to the whole animal.

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