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.


Three researchers earn Pasarow Awards

Three professors at the School of Medicine have been named recipients of the 25th annual Robert J. and Claire Pasarow Foundation Award, which includes a monetary prize of $20,000.

KARL DEISSEROTH, MD, PhD, the D. H. Chen Professor and a professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and CARLA SHATZ, PhD, the Sapp Family Provostial Professor and professor of biology and of neurobiology, were recognized for their work in neuropsychiatry research. MATTHEW SCOTT, PhD, professor of developmental biology, of genetics and of bioengineering, was recognized for his work in cancer research.

The foundation was established in 1987 to celebrate significant achievements in basic or clinical research, or both, with the key aim of increasing public awareness of critical disease areas such as cancer, heart disease and psychiatric disorders.


Seed Grant Program

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 will be posted online shortly for viewing. 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, including the 18 newest Fellowship awardees announced at last year's BIO-X FELLOWS SYMPOSIUM. Currently, Bio-X is in the process of reviewing its 10th year of applications and we look forward to continuing the support of our students' graduate training in interdisciplinary biosciences.

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.


To date, 176 students have been awarded the opportunity to participate in the Bio-X Undergraduate Summer Research Program. Currently, Stanford Bio-X is in its 8th call for applications. This is eligible to Stanford students who wants to work in the labs of Bio-X affiliate faculty.

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.



Study finds aspirin reduces risk of melanoma in women
Bio-X Affiliated Faculty Jean Tang

In the largest study ever to explore new ways to prevent melanoma, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered that women who took aspirin on a regular basis reduced their risk of developing this skin cancer. Results also showed that the longer women took aspirin, the lower their risk. The study was published online March 11 in the journal Cancer. ... The Stanford researchers found that those who took aspirin decreased their risk of developing melanoma by an average of 21 percent. Moreover, the protective effect increased over time: There was an 11 percent risk reduction at one year, a 22 percent risk reduction between one and four years, and as much as a 30 percent risk reduction at five years and beyond. “There’s a lot of excitement about this because aspirin has already been shown to have protective effects on cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer in women,” said Jean Tang, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of dermatology and senior author of the study. “This is one more piece of the prevention puzzle.”

Mining consumers’ web searches can reveal unreported side effects of drugs, researchers say
Bio-X Affiliated Faculty Russ Altman and Nigam Shah

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Microsoft Research have revealed that the Internet search history of consumers can yield information on the unreported side effects of drugs or drug combinations. By analyzing 12 months of search history from 6 million Internet users who consented to share anonymized logs of their Web searches for research purposes, the team was able to pinpoint an interaction between two drugs that was unknown at the time of data collection. "Seeking health information is a major use of the Internet now," said co-author of the new paper Russ Altman, MD, PhD, Stanford professor of bioengineering, of genetics and of medicine. "So we thought people are likely typing in drugs they are taking and the side effects they are experiencing and that there must be a way for us to use this data." The study was published March 6 in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

A high-resolution endoscope as thin as a human hair
Electrical Engineering Faculty Joseph Kahn

Engineers at Stanford have demonstrated a high-resolution endoscope that is as thin as a human hair with a resolution four times better than previous devices of similar design. The so-called micro-endoscope is a significant step forward in high-resolution, minimally invasive bio-imaging with potential applications in research and clinical practice. Micro-endoscopy could enable new methods in diverse fields ranging from study of the brain to early cancer detection. The new endoscope was developed by a team under the direction of Joseph Kahn, professor of electrical engineering at the Stanford School of Engineering. The results were published recently in the journal Optics Express and showcased in the Optical Society of America’s Spotlight on Optics. Their prototype can resolve objects about 2.5 microns in size, and a resolution of 0.3 microns is easily within reach. A micron is one thousandth of a millimeter. By comparison, today’s high-resolution endoscopes can resolve objects only to about 10 microns. The naked eye can see objects down to about 125 microns. ... Looking ahead, Kahn is excited about the potential of working with biomedical researchers to pioneer these applications, but being a physicist and an engineer at heart, he is most enthralled by the technical challenges of creating a flexible single-fiber endoscope.

Novel anti-clotting drug more effective than Plavix in coronary procedures, study says
Medicine Faculty Robert Harrington

An experimental drug has been shown to be significantly more effective at preventing blood clots during coronary stenting procedures compared to the anti-clotting agent now typically used, according to an international, multicenter study whose senior author is at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Given intravenously, the novel anti-clotting drug, called cangrelor, reduced the odds of complications from stenting procedures — primarily blood clots, but also heart attacks and strokes — by 22 percent when compared with the routinely used anti-platelet drug clopidogrel, said the study, published online March 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine. “We are pleased the trial delivered such clear results,” said senior author Robert Harrington, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Medicine at Stanford. “This study examined a very wide spectrum of patients, which suggests the results likely apply to a substantial percentage of patients undergoing stent procedures around the world.”



Cardiovascular Institute
March 19, 2013, 12 pm - 1 pm
LKSC Bldg, 2nd floor, Paul Berg Hall, Stanford, CA
"Developmental Basis of Mammalian Cardiac Regeneration"
Speaker: Sean Wu, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medicine - Cardiovascular Medicine
March 21, 2013, 11 am - 12 pm
Clark Center Auditorium, Stanford, CA
"Investigating biochemical circuitry with programmable cell-free systems"
Speaker: Erik Winfree, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology
March 28, 2013, 3 pm - 4 pm
Beckman Center, Munzer Auditorium, Stanford, CA
Frontiers in Gene and Molecular Therapies - "Generation of endodermal stem cells from human pluripotent stem cells"
Speaker: Paul Gadue, PhD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Path & Lab Med)
Nanobiotechnology Seminar Series
April 11, 2013, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Munzer Auditorium, Stanford, CA
"Single Cell Technnology for Systems OncoBiology"
Speaker: Rong Ran, PhD, Yale University



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: 
March 18, 2013