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Designing Solutions for Maternal and Infant Health

2016 Scientific Advisory Board

The scientific advisory board helps to shape the vision and focus for Childx, ensuring the topics address present challenges and future solutions for better child and maternal care worldwide.

  • Christopher Contag, PhD

    Christopher Contag

    Stanford Medicine/Pediatrics/Radiology/Bioengineering/Microbiology & Immunology

    Dr. Contag, is a Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Radiology, Bioengineering and Microbiology & Immunology at Stanford University, and a member of the BioX Faculty for interdisciplinary sciences and the Immunology Faculty. He develops and uses noninvasive imaging tools that can simultaneously reveal the nuances of biological processes and provide an overall picture of health and disease. These tools are sensitive and image over a range of scales from micro- to macroscopic, and are well- suited for the in vivo study of cellular and molecular biology including miniaturized microscopes that can reach inside the body to interrogate disease states. He is applying these tools to study the interaction between the immune system and fetal development. He is currently president of the World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS) and a Fellow of WMIS.

  • Gary Darmstadt, MD, PhD

    Gary Darmstadt

    Stanford Medicine/Pediatrics/Neonatology

    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.

  • Mary Leonard, MD, MS

    Mary Leonard

    Stanford Medicine/Pediatrics & Medicine/Nephrology

    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.

  • Hugh O'Brodovich, MD, FRCP(C)

    Hugh O’Brodovich

    Stanford Medicine/Pediatrics

    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.

  • Tom Robinson, MD, MPH

    Thomas Robinson

    Stanford/Pediatrics/General Pediatrics

    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.

  • David Stevenson, MD, PhD

    David Stevenson

    Stanford Medicine/Pediatrics

    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.

  • Dennis P. Wall, PhD

    Dennis P. Wall

    Stanford Medicine/Pediatrics

    Dr. Wall is Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Division of Systems Medicine at Stanford University, where his lab is developing novel approaches in systems biology to decipher the molecular pathology of autism spectrum disorder and related neurological conditions. Dr. Wall has acted as science advisor to several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, has created and advised on cutting-edge approaches to cloud computing, and has received numerous awards, including the Harvard Medical School Leadership Award and the Slifka/Ritvo Clinical Innovation in Autism Research Award for outstanding advancements in clinical translation.

  • Bonnie Whalen, MBA

    Bonnie Whalen

    Stanford Child Health Research Institute/LPCH

    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.

  • Paul Wise, MD, MPH

    Paul Wise


    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.