Stanford Medicine Newsletter Updates For the Local Community

Spring 2014

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Michael Levitt, PhD, (left) and Thomas Südhof, MD, were recognized for their influential research.

Double Nobels

The year 2013 was a banner year for the School of Medicine, as two faculty members were honored with the 2013 Nobel Prize, medicine's most coveted prize.

Thomas Südhof, MD, professor of molecular and cellular physiology, was recognized for his research in understanding how nerve cells communicate.

Michael Levitt, PhD, professor of structural biology, was honored for his work in developing sophisticated algorithms to build models of complex biological molecules. Read Story »

Sound Bites

“Don't think it makes up for a bad diet — that you can eat a lot of fast food and then take a bunch of supplements. That's not a good idea."

Stephen Fortmann, MD, professor emeritus in disease prevention, describing the use of supplements and multivitamins to prevent chronic conditions as a waste of money.

New York Times, Dec. 16

“Men are suffering! They aren't as resistant. Women are superior. There's no way around it.”

Mark Davis, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology, on his finding that high testosterone levels in men may make them more prone to getting the flu

NBC News, Jan. 7

“I really want to know what makes these people tick. What makes these people so special? Why are they doing this?"

Eswar Krishnan, MD, assistant professor of medicine, on the health of ultra-runners

San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 22

“It's important to look at how to increase hours of sleep among teenagers.”

Iris Litt, MD, professor of pediatrics emerita and a specialist in adolescent medicine, on a study that found that too little sleep might be a sign of — or contribute to — emotional problems and anxiety among teens.

Reuters, Jan. 17

“The FDA walks a tightrope, and until now we haven't had a huge amount of information about how they're doing that. It's a difficult balancing act that requires constant monitoring."

Steven Goodman, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and of health research and policy, and associate dean for clinical and translational research, on how not all FDA-approved drugs get the same level of testing.

HealthDay, Jan. 21

Merging biology and computation

Michael Levitt explains how he helped bring together the worlds of computation and biology, and discusses how the marriage of these two fields might help scientists better understand disease. Read Story »

Insights in cellular communication

Although Thomas Südhof's research on the communication between nerve cells takes place on the laboratory bench, he explains how the work is giving insights into disorders such as autism, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Read Story »

Family matters

Two of the five children in the Bergh family are affected by type-1 diabetes, and a third is likely to develop the disease, which has forced the family to adapt to a daily regimen of insulin injections, blood sugar monitoring and dietary changes. But family members have come to manage the routine well, with guidance from physicians at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. Read Story »

Neuroscience building designed to transform patient services

Stanford Hospital & Clinics is set to break ground on a new building that will bring all neurology and neurosurgery services under one roof, a move that is expected to transform care for patients with conditions such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis and stroke. Read Story »

A conversation with cancer's biographer

Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, PhD, a cancer physician and researcher and author of The Emperor of all Maladies, is the featured speaker at Stanford Medicine's Health Matters program May 10. In this interview, he discusses the "puzzle" of cancer, how understanding and treatment of the disease have evolved over the years and future directions for therapy. Read Story »

Sports concussion symptoms vary for boys and girls

The incidence of concussion is on the rise among girls, who may experience symptoms that are different – though no less serious - than boys. It's important for coaches, players and parents to be aware of the differences and take steps to protect young athletes, experts say. Read Story »

Volunteer cuddlers offer comfort to infants and parents

During 16 years of volunteering to cuddle babies in the intensive-care nurseries at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, husband-and-wife psychologists Pat Rice and Claire Fitzgerald have developed a few trade secrets for calming fussy infants. They are part of a program that provides extra pairs of loving arms for sick infants. Read Story »

Consuming raw-milk products not worth the risk

Pregnant women, infants and young children should avoid raw or unpasteurized milk and milk products and consume only pasteurized products, according to a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics. More »



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


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