Welcome to the biweekly electronic newsletter from the Bio-X Program at Stanford University 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 Bio-X or Stanford.

NIH and CIRM Awardees Announcement

Congratulations to the 9 Stanford faculty members who are winners of this year's NIH Director's Pioneer Awards, New Innovator Awards, and Transformative Research Awards. For the list of awardees, please click here.

Congratulations to the 8 Stanford faculty members who have been awarded grants from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Awardees are listed here.


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 tenfold-plus return on investment, as well as hundreds of publications, dozens of patents filed, and most importantly, the acceleration of scientific discovery and innovation.

** WE HAVE JUST ANNOUNCED THE AWARDEES OF OUR 6TH ROUND OF SEED GRANTS, FOR WHICH WE HAD RECEIVED 118 LETTERS OF INTENT (LOIs). Please go here to view the list of awardees and the titles of their projects. Abstracts for each awarded project will be posted soon. Competition was intense, and the awardees were selected from criteria including innovation, high-reward, and interdisciplinary collaboration. To view the 114 different projects that have been funded from the first 5 rounds, please click here.

** On Monday, August 27, 2012, Bio-X held one of its 2 annual IIP Seed Grant symposiums at the Clark Center Auditorium, which showcases some of the awarded seed grant projects. The symposium was a success with 8 podium presentations, 154 poster presentations, and over 200 attendants. The recorded talks will be posted online soon. To view the 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.

** On Thursday June 21, 2012, our 18 newest Bio-X Fellowship awardees were announced at the BIO-X FELLOWS SYMPOSIUM. The symposium also consisted of four 15-minute presentations and thirty-five 1-minute research introductions that truly demonstrated the synergy of different yet distinctive disciplines, merged together to address various life bioscience questions. To date, we now have a total of 126 Bio-X Fellows. To view the numerous projects that have been awarded over the years, please click here.

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



Lasker Award goes to biochemist James Spudich
Bio-X Affiliated Faculty James Spudich

Spudich, the Douglass M. and Nola Leishman Professor of Cardiovascular Disease at the Stanford University School of Medicine, will receive the 2012 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for his trailblazing investigations of the molecular motors that drive our skeletal muscle contractions and heartbeats, enable our cells to divide, and power patrolling immune cells through our tissues. The prize, sponsored by the New York City-based Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, carries an honorarium of $250,000, which Spudich will share with two other researchers: biologist Michael Sheetz, PhD, of Columbia University, and cellular and molecular pharmacologist Ronald Vale, PhD, of the University of California-San Francisco. ... Spudich's discoveries testify to the synergies of interdisciplinary science — his work has involved various combinations of cell physiology, physics, biochemistry, structural biology and genetics. In the late 1990s, he and then-Stanford physicist and current U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, PhD, pitched then-Stanford provost Condoleezza Rice, PhD, with an idea that spawned Bio-X, Stanford's pioneering interdisciplinary research program that fosters collaborations among scientists from the physical, biological and computer sciences. Spudich served as the program's first director.

Global science consortium hails completion of massive $288 million effort to create genomic encyclopedia
Bio-X Affiliated Faculty Michael Snyder

The completion of the human genome sequencing project in 2003 revealed what many scientists already knew to be true: more than 90 percent of the newly sequenced DNA had no known function. In fact, only about 1.5 percent encodes instructions for proteins that do the work of the cell. Now a five-year collaboration of more than 440 scientists in 32 labs around the world has pulled back the curtain on this so-called “junk DNA” to reveal a complex interplay among regulatory regions, proteins and RNA molecules that governs when and how genes are expressed. “Until now, we had only the nucleotide sequence,” said Stanford geneticist Michael Snyder, PhD, one of the leaders of the mammoth effort, which was funded and coordinated by the National Human Genome Research Institute. “Now we have the beginnings of a regulatory network, or wiring diagram, for a human being. This global overview will help us understand how changes in the genome cause disease, and also to see how an individual’s unique genetic code may affect his or her health in meaningful ways.” In fact, more than 80 percent of so-called “junk DNA” was found to have some type of biological function. Annotating these regions will be useful not just for mapping and understanding the function of disease-causing variants, but it will also significantly advance the ability of researchers and clinicians to interpret the whole-genome sequences of individuals. Earlier this year, Snyder made headlines with a study in which he used his whole-genome sequence and many other biological measurements to predict that he would develop type-2 diabetes. The completion of the project, known as the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements, or ENCODE, announced Sept. 5 with the simultaneous publication of 30 papers in three journals: Nature, Genome Biology and Genome Research. Six review articles will also appear in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, as well as other, affiliated papers in Science, Cell and other journals.

Wind could meet world's total power demand - and then some - by 2030
Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty Mark Jacobson

In 2030, if all energy is converted to clean energy, humans will consume about 11.5 terawatts of power averaged over the year, all sources combined. If there is to be a clean-energy economy based on renewable energy, wind power will no doubt have to help meet much of that demand. In a new study, researchers at Stanford University’s School of Engineering and the University of Delaware developed the most sophisticated weather model available to show that not only is there plenty of wind over land and near to shore to provide half the world’s power, but there is enough to exceed total demand by several times if need be, even after accounting for reductions in wind speed caused by turbines. The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) by Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford and Cristina Archer, an associate professor of geography and physical ocean science and engineering at the University of Delaware.



September 24, 2012, 4 pm - 5 pm
Herrin Hall, Room T-175, Stanford, CA
“Genetic basis of human gene expression variation”
Speaker: Jonathan Pritchard, HHMI Investigator and Professor
Microbiology & Immunology
September 26, 2012, 12 pm - 1 pm
Munzer Auditorium, Stanford, CA
“Small RNAs, innate immunity and stress response”
Speaker: Richard Carthew, Northwestern School of Medicine
September 28, 2012, 11 am - 12 pm
Li Ka Shing Center, LK 101, Stanford, CA
CCSB Seminar Series
Speaker: Ilya Shmulevich, PhD, Professor, Institute for Systems Biology
Nanobiotechnology Seminar Series
October 11, 2012, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Li Ka Shing, LK 130, Stanford, CA
“The Fluid Phase of Solid Tumors – What are the travel scenarios of cancer cells in patients? ”
Speaker: Peter Khun, PhD, Scripps Research Institute



Stanford University
Bio-X at Stanford University
Bio-X Seed Grants
The 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 Bio-X or Stanford University, please contact Dr. Hanwei Li, the Corporate Forum Liaison of Bio-X, 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: 
September 17, 2012