Stanford Medicine Newsletter Updates For the Local Community

Winter 2012

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Samuel Strober, MD, is refining a process that eliminates the need for the many immunosuppresant drugs normally required after a transplant.

A delicate balance

Organ transplants can give patients a new lease on life. But to your immune system, the donated organ is a foreign invader. Carrying an organ that originated in someone else’s body means a lifetime regimen of drugs that work to keep your own immune system from attacking the new organ. These drugs are costly and can have serious, sometimes life-threatening side effects. Stanford researchers are making steady progress in finding ways to give kidney-transplant patients a life without immune-suppressing drugs. Read Story »

Did you know?

The strongest muscle in the body is the masseter muscle, which is located in the jaw.


Sound Bites

“The future is based on really understanding the molecular basis or the genetics and the DNA damage that causes cancers. And we’re trying to develop very, very specific drugs that target those specific abnormalities.

Michael Link, MD, the Lydia J. Lee Professor in Pediatric Cancer and president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, on the benefits of clinical trials for children with cancer.

PBS Newshour, Jan. 12

“A woman whose DNA sequencing shows she does not carry BRCA mutations that raise her risk of breast cancer might say, ‘Great, I don’t need mammograms.’ But a negative BRCA test reduces her risk from 12 percent to 11.96 percent. My dread is that they will misunderstand [genome sequence data] and do stupid things.”

Hank Greely, JD, at the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, on the psychological and physical harm if genetic tests are misconstrued.

Reuters, Jan. 10

“We’re looking at causes no one has explored, like weather patterns, crime statistics, genetic markers and characteristics of the placenta, and how these things may interact.”

Gary Shaw, MD, professor of pediatrics and co-principal investigator of the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center at Stanford, on ways to reduce the number of premature births.

Boston Globe, Dec. 19

“When it comes to weight gain, what matters most is how many calories are ingested.”

John Morton, MD, associate professor of surgery and director of bariatric surgery at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, on a new study that found calories cause weight gain when people overeat, not the amount of protein in the diet.

ABC News, Jan. 3

Culture change

It was an ordinary afternoon at Palo Alto’s Gunn High School, when a cluster of freshmen gathered in the frosh quad for lunch. Then something remarkable happened. A wave of upperclassmen suddenly descended on the ninth-graders and proceeded to, well, be nice. Read Story »

Transforming hospital design

They’re the crash-test dummies of modern medicine: two sets of full-scale hospital rooms, including operating rooms, recovery rooms and patient rooms, built to the architectural specifications of the new Stanford Hospital and expansion of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Read Story »

In case of emergency

Imagine that Homeland Security officials issue a warning about possible attempts to sabotage water supplies across California. That scenario was the focus of an emergency exercise in November by hundreds of employees at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, led by the hospitals’ Office of Emergency Management. Read Story »

Prepared for the worst

The safest place to be during a disaster might be Brandon Bond’s house. Channeling the best instincts of a Boy Scout and a citizen soldier, Bond is director of the Office of Emergency Management at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Read Story »

The heart of the matter

To mark American Heart Month, Stanford Medicine News sat down with Robert Robbins, MD, chair of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford, to discuss innovations in cardiac care and what the future holds. Read Story »

Sharing traditions, serving the spirit

Sherifa Ibrahim has a gentleness about her that is instantly apparent. Her voice is soft, warm in tone and soothing, exactly the balm that might be wanted by someone ill in the hospital. Yet talking is not Ibrahim’s first priority. In her work as a volunteer with Stanford Hospital’s Spiritual Care Service, her primary mission is to be an understanding listener. Read Story »

Women experience more pain than men, study finds

Stanford School of Medicine researchers have taken a first step toward developing a diagnostic tool that tracks patterns of brain activity to detect whether someone is in pain. More



Find out more about the events taking place at Stanford. More »


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