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.
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 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.
BIO-X UNDERGRADUATE SUMMER RESEARCH PROGRAM
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.
Anti-CD47 antibody may offer new route to successful cancer vaccination
Bio-X Affiliated Faculty Irv Weissman
Scientists at the School of Medicine have shown that their previously identified therapeutic approach to fight cancer via immune cells called macrophages also prompts the disease-fighting killer T cells to attack the cancer. The research, published online May 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, demonstrates that the approach may be a promising strategy for creating custom cancer vaccines. Various researchers have been working over the years to create vaccines against cancer, but the resulting vaccines have not been highly effective. Current approaches to developing the vaccines rely on using immune cells called dendritic cells to introduce cancer protein fragments to T cells — a process known as antigen presentation. The hope has been that the process would stimulate the body’s T cells to identify cancer cells as diseased or damaged and target them for elimination. However, this process often only modestly activates the most potent cancer-fighting kind of T cell, called killer T cells or CD8+ T cells. The Stanford team discovered that there was another viable vaccine approach, using the macrophage pathway to program killer T cells against cancer. Irving Weissman, MD, professor of pathology and of developmental biology, and his team previously showed that nearly all cancers use the molecule CD47 as a “don’t-eat-me” signal to escape from being eaten and eliminated by macrophages. The researchers found that anti-CD47 antibodies, which can block the “don’t-eat-me” signal and enable macrophages to engulf cancer cells, eliminated or inhibited the growth of various blood cancers and solid tumors.
Diabetes' genetic underpinnings can vary based on ethnic background, studies say
Bio-X Affiliated Faculty Atul Butte
Ethnic background plays a surprisingly large role in how diabetes develops on a cellular level, according to two new studies led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The researchers reanalyzed disease data to demonstrate that the physiological pathways to diabetes vary between Africa and East Asia and that those differences are reflected in part by genetic differences. The studies published online simultaneously May 23 in the journals PLoS Genetics and Diabetes Care. "We have new insights into the differences in diabetes across the world, just by this new perspective applied to older studies," said Atul Butte, MD, PhD, senior author of the studies and chief of the Division of Systems Medicine and associate professor of pediatrics and of genetics. "There's more still to learn about diabetes than we knew."
Researchers identify genetic suspects in sporadic Lou Gehrig's disease
Bio-X Affiliated Faculty Aaron Gitler
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified mutations in several new genes that might be associated with the development of spontaneously occurring cases of the neurodegenerative disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, the progressive, fatal condition, in which the motor neurons that control movement and breathing gradually cease to function, has no cure. Although researchers know of some mutations associated with inherited forms of ALS, the majority of patients have no family history of the disease, and there are few clues as to its cause. The Stanford researchers compared the DNA sequences of 47 patients who have the spontaneous form of the disease, known as sporadic ALS, with those of their unaffected parents. The goal was to identify new mutations that were present in the patient but not in either parent that may have contributed to disease development. Several suspects are mutations in genes that encode chromatin regulators — cellular proteins that govern how DNA is packed into the nucleus of a cell and how it is accessed when genes are expressed. Protein members of one these chromatin-regulatory complexes have recently been shown to play roles in normal development and some forms of cancer. "The more we know about the genetic causes of the disorder, the greater insight we will have as to possible therapeutic targets," said Aaron Gitler, PhD, associate professor of genetics. "Until now, researchers have primarily relied upon large families with many cases of inherited ALS and attempted to pinpoint genetic regions that seem to occur only in patients. But more than 90 percent of ALS cases are sporadic, and many of the genes involved in these cases are unknown."
New Stanford nanoscavengers could usher in next generation water purification
Bio-X Affiliated Faculty Shan Wang
Among its many talents, silver is an antibiotic. Titanium dioxide is known to glom on to certain heavy metals and pollutants. Other materials do the same for salt. In recent years, environmental engineers have sought to disinfect, depollute, and desalinate contaminated water using nanoscale particles of these active materials. Engineers call them nanoscavengers. The hitch from a technical standpoint is that it is nearly impossible to reclaim the nanoscavengers once in the water. In a paper published online May 14 in the journal Nature Communications, an interdisciplinary team of engineers at Stanford University announces it has developed a new type of nanoscavenger with a synthetic core that is ultraresponsive to magnetism, allowing the easy and efficient recovery of virtually every one of the nanoscale purifiers. “In contaminated water, nanoscavengers float around, randomly bumping into and killing bacteria or attaching themselves to the molecular pollutants they are after,” said Shan Wang, the study’s senior author and a professor of material science and engineering and jointly of electrical engineering. “When the contaminants are either stuck to the nanoscavenger or dead, the magnet is turned on and the particles vanish.”
May 30, 2013, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Beckman Building, Munzer Auditorium Rm B060, Stanford, CA
Early Detection Seminar Series: "Discovering Molecular Markets for Cancer Diagnosis and Prognosis Lessons from the last 10 years"
Speaker: David Ransohoff, MD, Professor of Medicine, University of Carolina
May 31, 2013, 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Clark Center S360, Stanford, CA
"The potential of combining molecular imaging(tissue (nm) to whole body (mm) resolution) and genomics to assess the effects of targeted therapies in cancer and its microenvironment"
Speaker: Professor Tony Ng, MBChB, MRCP, FRCPath, PhD
June 4, 2013, 12 pm - 1 pm
LKSC Paul Berg Hall, Stanford, CA
"Proteotoxicity: An Under-Appreciated Factor in Heart Disease"
Speaker: Jeffrey Robbins, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Chair, Molecular Cardiovascular
June 5, 2013, 4 pm - 5 pm
Clark Center Auditorium, Stanford, CA
FRONTIERS IN BIOLOGY - "Eating a good apoptotic meal: implications for health and disease"
Speaker: Kodi Ravichandra, Univ of Virginia
|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
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or Dr. Heideh Fattaey, the Executive Director of Bio-X Operations and Programs, at 650-799-1608 or email@example.com.