MAY 2016
Resources for Stanford clinical researchers.
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  • Stanford biobanks streamlined for precision health studies
  • NIH funds a new health disparities research center
  • Medical school office to help faculty with research funding
  • Expert advice on building a research career
  • Living in poor neighborhoods increases diabetes risk
  • New software helps researchers manage trials
  • Spectrum awards pilot grants to 30 projects
  • Musician-turned-scientist develops drug for colitis
  • Bioethicists launch case-study repository
Stanford biobanks streamlined for precision health studies
Stanford has launched a state-of-the-art process for the collection, storage, annotation and distribution of biospecimens, says Rohit Gupta, director of the Human Immune Monitoring Core and Spectrum biobanks. Its web-based information system allows researchers to search for biological specimens and datasets across multiple clinical platforms, i.e., REDCap, and, soon, with linked ‘omics’ data. Cataloged biobanks will enable easier collaborations and access to cohort-specific biospecimens. To discuss your biobanking needs, contact Rohit Gupta at
NIH funds a new health disparities research center
The Stanford Precision Health for Ethnic and Racial Equity Center, known as the SPHERE Center, has just received a five-year, $11.5 million grant from the NIH. Under the leadership of Mark Cullen, MD, the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences director, and Bonnie Maldonado, MD, it will be one of the first national centers focused on using precision-medicine tools to improve the health of underserved ethnic and racial groups. 
Medical school office to help faculty with research funding
The Stanford Research Development Office assists faculty with large multidisciplinary grant proposals and early-career research funding. Services provided include identifying funding opportunities, fostering collaborative work, editing proposals, managing the assembly of large proposals and interfacing with sponsors and university liaisons. To get started, contact SRDO director Michael Helms, PhD, MBA, at
Expert advice on building a research career
Advice on funding and building a research career is now available in video clips on the Spectrum/K-Fest web page. (K-Fest is an annual event that celebrates the research of Stanford’s NIH K scholars.) Spectrum offers two mentored programs designed to advance the careers of clinical researchers — the KL2 Mentored Career Development Award and the TL1 Clinical Research Training Award. For more, click here
Living in poor neighborhoods increases diabetes risk
In a new study, Rita Hamad, MD, MS, MPH, and team members found that refugees assigned to housing in resource-deprived neighborhoods had a 15 to 30 percent higher chance of coming down with Type 2 diabetes than counterparts assigned to better areas. This data was culled from records of 61,386 refugee immigrants who arrived in Sweden between 1987 and 1991. The study was funded by a Spectrum-Population Health Sciences pilot grant and published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology and STAT
New software helps researchers manage trials
Stanford Medicine is now loading non-oncology research studies into OnCore Enterprise, a university-wide, clinical research management system, already in use by Stanford Cancer Institute. This system makes it easier for researchers to track study progress, monitor participant accrual, manage data and share information. Training and onboarding is currently underway in the Department of Medicine and Spectrum Child Health, with the roll-out continuing throughout the year. For more info, contact Spectrum’s process improvement manager, Yona Shulaker at
Spectrum awards pilot grants to 30 projects
Thirty biomedical projects have received a total of $1.1 million in research funding through the Spectrum pilot grant program. Grants were awarded in five areas: medical technologies; therapeutics; population health; community engagement; and diagnostics/predictive tools. Seven additional grants were awarded through the Stanford Learning Health Care Innovation Challenge for projects that improve the health of patient populations served by Stanford Health Care. 
Musician-turned-scientist develops drug for colitis
Finding an alternative remedy for her ulcerative colitis set a Stanford musicology student, Julie Saiki on a new and unexpected career path as a scientist and entrepreneurial drug developer. To quickly learn research skills, she enrolled in a course on drug development. And she funded her initial study with a Spectrum-SPARK pilot grant and a Spectrum TL1 clinical research training awardSaiki will always be a musician, but now she is working toward a PhD in Stanford’s Chemical and Systems Biology Program
Bioethicists launch case-study repository
Standardized ethics consultation templates are enabling bioethicists to share best practices in a centralized, privacy-protected repository. This resource aims to help them provide better guidance to researchers, educators and regulators in rapidly evolving research areas such as genetics and social-media data collection. This project was led by Mildred Cho, PhD, of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, and Benjamin Wilfond, MD, from the University of Washington. Request consultations at Stanford hereRequest a collaborative consultation, here


Lisa Jackson, JD, RN, was promoted to associate dean for clinical and translational research. 

Mary Chen, MS, MBA, was promoted to assistant dean of maternal and child health research. 

Rohit Gupta is now director of the Spectrum Biobank, in addition to the Human Immune Monitoring Core Biobank. 

Jennifer Swanton Brown, RN, was promoted to director of clinical research quality. 

Jennifer “Jen” Honciano is now an OnCore application specialist, previously in the Research Compliance Office. 

Bertha deLanda is now an OnCore user support and training specialist, formerly regulatory affairs manager for Pediatrics/Endocrinology.


Population Health Sciences: Immigration and Health Interdisciplinary Symposium
Wed, May 4 | 10:00am – 2:00pm | Li Ka Shing Center, Berg Hall
Clinical Research Staff Appreciation Day
Wed, May 18 | 12:00 ­– 2:00pm | 800 Welch Rd

Big Data Conference: Enabling Precision Health
Wed-Thu, May 25-26 | 12:30 – 1:30pm | Li Ka Shing Center, Berg Hall
SEPI: From Device Trial to Start Up
Miles Rosen, MS, CEO and Co-founder, Pelvalon
Wed, May 25 | 12:00 – 1:00pm | Li Ka Shing Center, LK130

Stanford Innovations in Medical Education Conference
Sat, May 28 | 8:00am – 4:00pm | Li Ka Shing Center, Berg Hall
Spectrum Intensive Course in Clinical Research: Study Design and Performance
Mon-Fri, Sept. 12-16 | all day | Li Ka Shing Center–-iccr

More events here.
Don’t forget to cite the grant
Projects that are supported by Spectrum’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) — through funding, consulting, CTRU use or other services — are required to use this acknowledgement wording for publications, news releases, websites and other communications:
 “This work was supported by the Stanford Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) to Spectrum (UL1 TR001085). The CTSA program is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.”
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Image credits: Cullen/Maldonado and Saiki by Nobert von der Groeben, Hamad by Kris Newby, magnifying glass image by Forte Software, other images from iStock.

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