Welcome to the biweekly electronic newsletter from Stanford Bio-X for members of the Bio-X Corporate Forum. Please contact us if you would like to be added or removed from this distribution list, or if you have any questions about Stanford Bio-X or Stanford University.



Bio-X NeuroVentures Equipment Grants

Bio-X NeuroVentures held a competition for the purchase or fabrication of equipment by interdisciplinary teams of scientists working on innovative new technologies for the study of the nervous system. A total of 7 out of 19 proposals were selected and awarded with funding from an anonymous donor and matching funds by Dr. Carla Shatz, Bio-X Director Discretionary Funds. These awards will provide state-of-the-art equipment for collaborative teams of investigators across the university, including the Schools of Medicine, Engineering and Humanities & Sciences. To view the different proposals that have been selected, please go here.


SEED GRANTS FOR SUCCESS - Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Program (IIP)

The Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Program represents a key Stanford Initiative to address challenges in human health. The IIP awards approximately $3 million every other year in the form of two-year grants averaging about $150,000 each. From its inception in 2000 through the fifth round in 2010, the program has provided critical early-stage funding to 114 different interdisciplinary projects, involving collaborations from over 300 faculty members, and creating over 450 teams from five different Stanford schools. From just the first 4 rounds, the IIP awards have resulted in a 10-fold-plus return on investment, as well as hundreds of publications, dozens of patents filed, and most importantly, the acceleration of scientific discovery and innovation.

In 2012, Stanford Bio-X selected 23 new seed grant projects as the winners of the 6th round. Please go here to view the list of awardees, along with the titles of their projects and the abstracts of the research. Competition was intense as the awardees were chosen from 118 Letters of Intent (LOIs). Selection criteria included innovation, high-reward, and interdisciplinary collaboration. (To view the 114 other IIP projects that have been funded from the first 5 rounds, please click here.) In addition, SANOFI has also funded 4 new Bio-X IIP Seed Grant projects from round 6!

** On February 25, 2013, Stanford Bio-X held its latest annual IIP Seed Grant Symposium at the Clark Center. It was attended by over 150 people, and the symposium included 8 podium presentations and 116 poster presentations. The podium talks represented research from a wide array of fields (such as gene delivery to interactive gaming in biology to tele-robotic systems to stem cells to hedgehog signal transductions and more), with each project exemplifying the Stanford Bio-X mission of crossing boundaries to bring about interdisciplinary research and solutions in the field of life bioscience. The talks for this symposium are posted here. To view previously recorded talks, please go here.

We are cultivating and are highly successful in building meaningful collaborations with numerous corporate colleagues. New collaborations through our seed grant projects are highly encouraged. To learn about how to get involved, please contact Dr. Hanwei Li or Dr. Heideh Fattaey.




Every year, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars of Bio-X affiliated faculty are highly encouraged to apply for the Bio-X Fellowships, which are awarded to research projects that are interdisciplinary and utilize the technologies of different fields to solve different biological questions. Students are encouraged to work collaboratively with professors of different departments, thus creating cross-disciplinary relationships among the different Stanford schools. Our fellows have conducted exciting research, resulting in publications in high-impact journals and have been offered excellent positions in industry and academia. To date, Stanford Bio-X has a total of 126 Bio-X Fellows.

THIS YEAR, ON JUNE 26TH IN THE CLARK CENTER AUDITORIUM, BIO-X WILL BE ANNOUNCING ITS NEWEST FELLOWS AT THE BIO-X FELLOWS SYMPOSIUM. There will also be four 15-minute oral presentations followed by one-minute spiels from current fellows. Please see below in "EVENTS" to view the complete agenda, or click on the "Bio-X Fellows Symposium" link above.

To view the numerous projects that have been awarded over the years, please click here.


The Bio-X Undergraduate Summer Research Program supports undergraduate research training through an award designed to support interdisciplinary undergraduate summer research projects. The program is an invaluable opportunity for students to conduct hands-on research, learn how to carry out experiments in the laboratory, and develop the skills to read and analyze scientific literature.

This program is eligible to Stanford students who want to work in the labs of Bio-X affiliated faculty. To date, 176 students have been awarded the opportunity to participate in the Bio-X Undergraduate Summer Research Program. This summer will be Stanford Bio-X's 8th round of USRP.

Participating undergraduates are also required to present poster presentations on the research that they've conducted during the program. Please click here for title lists of past posters that our undergraduates have presented.

Many fruitful collaborations and relationships have been established with industry through fellowships. Please contact Dr. Hanwei Li or Dr. Heideh Fattaey if you'd like to learn more about how to get involved with these fellowship programs.



White House recognizes Butte, Endy as open science Champions of Change
Bio-X Affiliated Faculty Atul Butte and Drew Endy

Two Stanford faculty members have been named Champions of Change for "promoting and using open scientific data and publications to accelerate progress and improve our world," according to a statement from the White House. Atul Butte, MD, PhD, chief of systems medicine and associate professor of pediatrics and of genetics, and Drew Endy, PhD, assistant professor of bioengineering, were among the 13 entrepreneurs, academics and researchers honored June 20 at the White House. They were chosen for making an impact across disciplines — from archaeology and the humanities to astronomy and biomedical research — and for helping make "open" the default in scientific research. "We in Stanford Medicine are honored that Atul Butte and Drew Endy have been recognized among President Obama's Champions of Change," said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. "Professors Butte and Endy are driving scientific progress not just through their innovative ideas but through their innovative approaches to sharing these ideas broadly."

Voices may not trigger brain's reward centers in children with autism, study shows
Bio-X Affiliated Faculty Vinod Menon

In autism, brain regions tailored to respond to voices are poorly connected to reward-processing circuits, according to a new study by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The research could help explain why children with autism struggle to grasp the social and emotional aspects of human speech. "Weak brain connectivity may impede children with autism from experiencing speech as pleasurable," said Vinod Menon, PhD, senior author of the study, published online June 17 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Menon is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford and a member of the Child Health Research Institute at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. "The human voice is a very important sound; it not only conveys meaning but also provides critical emotional information to a child," said Daniel Abrams, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in psychiatry and behavioral sciences who was the study's lead author. Insensitivity to the human voice is a hallmark of autism, Abrams said, adding, "We are the first to show that this insensitivity may originate from impaired reward circuitry in the brain."

Cortical Control of Arm Movements: A Dynamical Systems Perspective
Publication with Bio-X Affiliated Faculty Krishna Shenoy in Annual Review of Neuroscience

Our ability to move is central to everyday life. Investigating the neural control of movement in general, and the cortical control of volitional arm movements in particular, has been a major research focus in recent decades. Studies have involved primarily either attempts to account for single-neuron responses in terms of tuning for movement parameters or attempts to decode movement parameters from populations of tuned neurons. Even though this focus on encoding and decoding has led to many seminal advances, it has not produced an agreed-upon conceptual framework. Interest in understanding the underlying neural dynamics has recently increased, leading to questions such as how does the current population response determine the future population response, and to what purpose? We review how a dynamical systems perspective may help us understand why neural activity evolves the way it does, how neural activity relates to movement parameters, and how a unified conceptual framework may result.



Cardiovascular Institute
June 25, 2013, 12 pm - 1 pm
LKSC Rm 205/206, Stanford, CA
“Notch signaling functions in lymphatic development and sprouting angiogenesis”
Speakers: Jan Kitajewski, PhD, Columbia University
Neurology & Neurosciences
June 28, 2013, 8 am - 9 am
300 Pasteur Drive/LKSC 120, Stanford, CA
"Topic-Non-Parkinson's DBS Applications"
Speaker: Helen Bronte-Stewart, MD, Stanford
Bio-X Fellows Symposium 2013
June 26, 2013 from 2-5 pm in the Clark Center Auditorium

Introduction by Dr. Carla Shatz

On Growth and Form - A Bacterial Perspective
Carolina Tropini (Biophysics)

Using Robotics to Understand How the Brain Coordinates Motion
Samir Menon (Computer Science)

Viral and Molecular Tools to Constrain Gene Delivery in the Brain
Joanna Mattis (Neurosciences)

Optogenetic Control of Pain
Kathryn Montgomery (Bioengineering)

One-minute introduction by fellows and introduction of new Bio-X and Bio-X SIGF Fellows by Dr. Carla Shatz

Reception - Clark Center Courtyard



Stanford University
Stanford Bio-X
Bio-X Seed Grants
The Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Program (IIP) provides seed funding for high-risk, high-reward, collaborative projects across the university, and have been highly successful in fostering transformative research.
Office of Technology and Licensing "Techfinder"
Search the OTL Technology Portal to find technologies available for licensing from Stanford.
Stanford Center for Professional Development
- Take advantage of your FREE membership!
- Take online graduate courses in engineering, leadership and management, bioscience, and more.
- Register for free webinars and seminars, and gets discounts on courses.
Stanford Biodesign Video Tutorials on how FDA approves medical devices
A series of video briefs recently produced by the Stanford Biodesign Program teaches innovators how to get a medical device approved for use in the United States. This free, online library of 60 videos provides detailed information on the Food and Drug Administration regulatory process, short case studies and advice on interacting with the FDA.

To learn more about Stanford Bio-X or Stanford University, please contact Dr. Hanwei Li, the Bio-X Corporate Forum Liaison, at 650-725-1523 or lhanwei1@stanford.edu, or Dr. Heideh Fattaey, the Executive Director of Bio-X Operations and Programs, at 650-799-1608 or hfattaey@stanford.edu.

Release Date: 
June 24, 2013