Thank you to all our speakers who's engaging presentations made the inaugural Childx conference a success. View the complete list of speakers below.
Alan Cheng joined the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Stanford University as a surgeon-scientist in 2007. His clinical practice based at the Stanford Ear Institute and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital focuses on otologic diseases including congenital hearing loss and cochlear implantation in children. In parallel, his research program focuses on inner ear hair cell development and regeneration. He has received funding from the NIH, the Department of Defense, the American Otological Society, and California Institute for Regenerative Medicine for this research endeavor.
Dr. Christopher Longhurst is a board-certified hospitalist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Biomedical Informatics at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Chris also has a graduate degree in medical informatics and holds an administrative appointment as the Chief Medical Information Officer at Stanford Children’s Health. In this role he has helped lead the hospital’s transition to electronic medical records and developed that system as a diverse tool to enhance patient safety, efficiency, and quality of care.
Dr. O’Brodovich assumed the positions of Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine and the Adalyn Jay Physician in Chief at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in January 2008. In 2010 he was appointed as the inaugural Director of the Stanford Child Health Research Institute. His current research involves population-based studies to discover the genetic influences on the development of Bronchopulmonary dysplasia and the long term outcomes of neonatal lung disease. He currently serves on the Council of the American Pediatric Society and has published 168 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 21 book chapters.
Dr. Shaw is Professor & Associate Chair of Pediatrics, Stanford University, where he has conducted epidemiologic research for 25 years. He is Co-PI of March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center, PI of California Center Finding Causes and Preventives of Birth Defects, and a PI for UC Berkeley/Stanford Children’s Environmental Health Center. Research interests include epidemiology of birth defects and gene-environment approaches to perinatal outcomes. He has published around 350 scientific papers.
Dr. David K. Stevenson serves as the Principal Investigator for the March of Dimes Research Center at Stanford University. He is the Harold K. Faber Professor of Pediatrics and has held numerous leadership roles at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is currently the Senior Associate Dean for Maternal & Child Health, the Director of the Charles B. and Ann L. Johnson Center for Pregnancy and Newborn Services, the Co-Director of the Stanford Child Health Research Institute, and the Leader of Spectrum Child Health at Stanford University.
Dr. Stevenson has received many awards, including the Virginia Apgar Award, which is the highest award in Perinatal Pediatrics, and the Jonas Salk Award for Leadership in Prematurity Prevention from the March of Dimes Foundation. In recognition of his achievements, Dr. Stevenson is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He has served as the President of the American Pediatric Society and was co-founder of the California Association of Neonatologists (CAN) and the California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative (CPQCC). Dr. Stevenson has published over 530 articles on a wide range of scientific topics in neonatal- perinatal medicine. He is also the editor of several textbooks and numerous chapters in most of the major textbooks on neonatology.
Ms. Whalen is the Administrative Director, Stanford Child Health Research Institute, and Director, Children’s Health Initiative at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. She facilitates strategic planning for the Institute to achieve alignment between academic and clinical priorities, and directs all business and financial activities. Bonnie oversees the design and implementation of a variety of competitive award programs for faculty scholars, postdoctoral fellows, pilot studies, and transdisciplinary initiatives available to all child and maternal health investigators.
Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D. is a pediatrician and medical geneticist who is Senior Advisor at the Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children. From 2009-2015, he served as director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the focal point at the National Institutes of Health for research in pediatric health and development, maternal health, reproductive health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and rehabilitation medicine, among other areas. Dr. Guttmacher came to NIH in 1999 to work at the National Human Genome Research Institute, where he served in a number of roles, including Deputy Director and Acting Director, thus overseeing that institute’s efforts to advance genome research, integrate that research into health care, and explore the ethical, legal, and social implications of human genomics.
Among Dr. Guttmacher’s areas of expertise is the development of new approaches for translating genomics into better ways of diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, he completed an internship and residency in Pediatrics and a fellowship in Medical Genetics at Harvard and Children’s Hospital of Boston. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.
Dr. Rajiv Shah has been a tireless and dedicated leader, committed to advancing the missions of the United States Agency for International Development and the United States Department of Agriculture. Serving alongside some of the most innovative leaders in the world, navigating major natural disasters and man-made crises, Dr. Shah has successfully delivered results and lived up to USAID’s goal of partnering to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing security and prosperity.
Dr. Alvira is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and an attending physician in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Dr. Alvira’s research program is centered on understanding the molecular mechanisms that promote alveolarization, the final stage of lung development that occurs primarily after birth. Growth of the pulmonary vasculature by angiogenesis drives alveolarization, and specific work in the Alvira laboratory has identified novel angiogenic pathways in the postnatal lung. Current studies are aiming to exploit these pathways to develop new therapies to treat pediatric lung diseases characterized by impaired angiogenesis and alveolarization such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and to stimulate regenerative lung growth after injury.
Dr. Cheshier is an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Neurosurgery. His surgical practice includes a strong emphasis on pediatric tumors of the brain and spine. Dr. Cheshier’s laboratory performs highly sophisticated, pediatric specific, preclinical animal studies in order to translate these findings into clinical trials in children with malignant brain tumors including medulloblastoma, pediatric glioblastoma, and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. His group is utilizing a monoclonal antibody to stimulate immune cell macrophages to specifically target and remove these brain cancers with an emphasis on removal of the cancer stem cells.
Dr. Leonard is a Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine and Co-Leader of Spectrum Child Health at Stanford. Her multidisciplinary research program is focused on the impact of childhood chronic diseases on bone quality and muscle function across the life course, with an emphasis on the effects of glucocorticoid therapy, inflammation and chronic kidney diseases. She has served in leadership roles on international committees to develop clinical practice guidelines for the assessment of bone health in children, and the management of metabolic bone disease in children and adults with chronic kidney disease.
Dr. Gillman is a Professor and Director of the Obesity Prevention Program in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His research interests include early life prevention of chronic disease, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and asthma; individual and policy-level interventions to prevent obesity and its consequences; and childhood cardiovascular risk factors. He directs Project Viva, an NIH-funded cohort study of pregnant women and their offspring, focusing on effects of gestational diet and other factors on outcomes of pregnancy and childhood. He has served in leadership roles in the U.S. National Children's Study, the International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, the American Heart Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Monje is Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neuro-Oncology at Stanford University where she focuses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of postnatal neurodevelopment. As a practicing neurologist and neuro-oncologist, she is particularly interested in the roles for neural precursor cell function and dysfunction in the origins of pediatric brain tumors and the consequences of cancer treatment.
Previously on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, Dr. Corfas recently joined the faculty of the University of Michigan, where he directs the Kresge Hearing Research Institute and is a Professor and Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Otolaryngology.
Sheena Josselyn is a Senior Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Molecular and Cellular Cognition. Her work is dedicated to understanding the molecular, cellular and circuit processes underlying how the brain encodes, stores and uses information.
Dr. Mabbott is a Senior Scientist in the Research Institute of the Hospital for Sick Children and Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto evaluating brain/behaviour relations in normal and impaired neurodevelopment using cognitive data and quantitative MRI methods. He is currently examining neurocognitive outcomes following diagnosis and treatment with radiation for brain tumors and demonstrating that cranial radiation is associated with intellectual decline. He recently began exciting new work to find ways to foster brain repair following radiation injury in children treated for brain tumors, including using physical exercise and drugs that stimulate the growth of new brain cells.
Dr. Palmer’s lab at Stanford University focuses on the biology of neural stem cells in the developing and adult brain. Their goal is to leverage emerging stem cell technologies to better understand neurological disease and develop novel tools for the discovery of disease mechanisms and treatment.
A Biology graduate, Martin joined the Pharmaceutical Industry in 1985 as a trainee with Beecham Group Plc. He has followed a broad Commercial career path working across numerous therapy areas in country, regional and global positions embracing new product development, commercial strategy and significant operational leadership roles including. In his current role Martin leads an integrated unit comprising R&D, Medical, Scientific and Commercial support. GSK’s Rare Disease medicines portfolio includes marketed medicines for PAH, and medicines in development for Amyloidosis and Gene Therapy.
Professor Nadia Rosenthal is Founding Director of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute in Melbourne and Scientific Head of EMBL Australia. Her research focuses on the role of growth factors, stem cells, and the immune system in regenerative medicine. She was awarded the Ferrari-Soave Prize, Doctors Honoris Causa from the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris and the University of Amsterdam, and an NH&MRC Australia Fellowship. She is an EMBO member and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, UK.
Dr. Roncarolo is a Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Stanford School of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine, Co-Director of the Bass Center for Childhood Blood Disease and Co-Director of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Her efforts focus on the translation of scientific discoveries in genetic diseases and regenerative medicine into novel patient therapies, including treatments based on stem cells and gene therapy.
Dr. Nakauchi is a leader and pioneer in stem cell therapy, who was previously Professor of Stem Cell and Director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Institute of Medical Science at The University of Tokyo and recently Professor at the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University. Goals of his work are to translate discoveries in basic research into practical medical applications.
Dr. Oro is a Professor in the Stanford Dermatology Department and member of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and the Cancer Institute. He is a practicing dermatologist interested in epithelial regeneration and carcinogenesis. He helped discover the link between the hedgehog pathway and human cancer and studies how tumors evolve during treatment. He has helped developed the use of corrected induced pluripotent cells for tissue regeneration in childhood diseases like epidermolysis bullosa.
Dr. Porteus is Associate Professor in Pediatrics at Stanford Medical School and an attending physician at the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, where he cares for pediatric patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. He was the first to demonstrate that gene correction could be achieved in human cells at frequencies that were high enough to cure patients and is considered one of the pioneers and founders of the field of genome editing - a field that now encompasses thousands of labs and several new companies throughout the world.
Dr. Wu is Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics (by courtesy) and studies the mechanisms that regulate heart formation during embryonic development. He is focused on developing new therapies for treating children and adults with heart failure due to congenital heart malformation and heart injury. His laboratory has pioneered the use of stem cells to understand the process of heart development and to generate artificial hearts by tissue engineering.
Dr. Ashley is focused on the application of whole genome sequencing to the medical care of individuals and families. He leads the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease, one of the few medical centers in the country where patient genome sequences can be readily incorporated into clinical care. In 2010, Dr. Ashley led the team that completed the first clinical interpretation of a human genome and has since extended this to a pipeline that handles families in 2011.
Dr. Sage is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics at Stanford. He trained at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, the Pasteur Institute, and at the University of Nice, France. As a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Tyler Jacks at MIT, Dr. Sage developed an interest in in vivo models to study cancer, including pediatric tumors. In the last ten years at Stanford University, his laboratory has investigated the differences and the similarities between "normal" cells, cancer cells, and stem cells. Pre-clinical studies in the Sage lab have led to clinical trials in cancer patients.
Atul leads the new UCSF Institute for Computational Health Sciences, effective April 1, 2015. In addition to his role at UCSF, Atul also has been named executive director of clinical informatics for UC Health Sciences and Services, which is developing and implementing a UC-wide data warehouse and analytic platform. Previously, Atul was Chief of the Division of Systems Medicine and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University. His research laboratory focuses on building and applying computational tools to convert hundreds of trillions of points of molecular, clinical and epidemiological data collected by researchers worldwide over the past decade, into new diagnostics, therapeutics and insights into both rare and common diseases.
Dr. Dolmetsch is Global Head of Neuroscience at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research where his group leverages advances in human genetics to model and treat neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. Areas of focus include genomics, induced pluripotent stem cells, and brain circuitry.
Dr. Haque is the Director of Research at Counsyl, where he focuses on data sharing for large-scale clinical testing and development of advanced genomics technologies. Prior to Counsyl, Dr. Haque completed his PhD in computer science at Stanford University, where he worked with Vijay Pande and Daphne Koller on large-scale machine learning methods for computational drug discovery.
Matt is an entrepreneur, investor, and advisor. In addition to consumer services, Matt invests in and advocates for medical research, drug discovery, and NGS technologies. He became a rare disease hunter after his child was born with NGLY1 Deficiency. He has since funded 50+ scientists at 10 centers. Matt holds a B.A. and M.B.A. from Stanford and sits on the Board of Directors of the Grace Wilsey Foundation, Global Genes, The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, the EveryLife Foundation, and Perlstein Lab.
Dr. Schwarz leads the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) efforts to promote healthier places in which we can live, learn, work, and play, as well as the effort to identify, support, and spread the word about policies and approaches that promote lifelong health for all Americans. A distinguished leader in public health, and former deputy mayor for the City of Philadelphia, he joined the Foundation in July 2014 after a long career in academic pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Dr. Robinson is the Irving Schulman, M.D. Endowed Professor of Child Health, Professor of Pediatrics and of Medicine, Director of the Stanford Solutions Science Lab, and Director of the Center for Healthy Weight at Stanford University and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Dr. Robinson is known for his pioneering solution-oriented research to maximize health and well-being in all children and families. He introduced the concept of stealth interventions to prevent obesity, improve nutrition, increase physical activity, reduce smoking, limit screen time and promote environmental sustainability.
Dr. Cohen is Professor of Organizational Studies in Education and Business at Stanford and focused on processes related to identity maintenance and their implications for social problems. One primary aim of his research is the development of theory-driven, rigorously tested intervention strategies that further our understanding of the processes underpinning social problems and that offer solutions to alleviate them. His work is also focused on how and when seemingly brief interventions, attuned to underlying psychological processes, produce large and long-lasting psychological and behavioral change.
Dr. Gary Darmstadt is Associate Dean for Maternal and Child Health, and Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Neonatal and Developmental Pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Previously Dr. Darmstadt was Senior Fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he developed initiatives to address gender inequalities, empower women and girls, and improve health and development outcomes. Prior to this role, he served as the Gates Foundation Director of Family Health, leading strategy development and implementation across nutrition, family planning and maternal, newborn and child health.
Dr. Darmstadt was formerly Associate Professor and Founding Director of the International Center for Advancing Neonatal Health in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He also served as Senior Research Advisor for the Saving Newborn Lives program of Save the Children-US, where he led the development and implementation of the global research strategy for newborn health and survival, before joining Johns Hopkins. Dr. Darmstadt trained in Medicine (MD) at the University of California, San Diego, in Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University, in Dermatology at Stanford University, and in Pediatric Infectious Disease as a fellow at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Dr. Fernald, the Josephine Knotts Knowles Professor of Human Biology, heads the Language Learning Lab in the Department of Psychology. Working with rich and poor families with infants in the U.S and in West Africa, Fernald's work reveals that engaging infants with language in daily interactions is crucial for strengthening their speech processing and vocabulary learning. A central goal of this research is to show how parents from diverse sociocultural backgrounds play a vital role in supporting their children’s language and cognitive development.
Dr. Wise is the Richard E. Behrman Professor of Child Health and Society, Professor of Pediatrics, and Senior Fellow in the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University. He is a core faculty member of the Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention and the Centers for Health Policy and Primary Care Outcomes Research. Dr. Wise’s research focuses on health inequalities, child health policy, and health care delivery in areas of poor governance and political instability.