4 Resources By Stanford Researchers For A Better World

Leland Stanford Junior University is a private research university in Stanford, California. Stanford is known for its academic strength, wealth, selectivity, proximity to Silicon Valley, and ranking as one of the world's top universities.

4 Resources By Stanford Researchers For A Better World: From Nobel Prize winners to undergraduates, all members of the Stanford community are engaged in creating new knowledge.

Stanford’s culture of collaboration drives innovative discoveries in areas vital to our world, our health and our intellectual life.

  • Researchers, including a Stanford epidemiologist, prove a simple device can reduce rates of child diarrhea
  • Human microbiome churns out thousands of tiny novel proteins
  • Changing students’ mindsets about learning improves their grades, Stanford researchers find
  • Stanford researchers design a light-trapping, color-converting crystal
  • 3 Stanford Courses and Award Programs 2019
1- Researchers, including a Stanford epidemiologist, prove a simple device can reduce rates of child diarrhea

An automatic chlorine dispenser installed at shared community water points reduces rates of diarrhea in children. The researchers hope the technique can improve uptake by providing good-tasting water and avoiding the need for behavior change.
4 Resources By Stanford Researchers For A Better World

It kills a child under age 5 every minute on average. Diarrheal disease, the second leading cause of death for children globally, could become even more difficult to control as poor urban areas with limited clean water access expand.

An international team of researchers including Stanford epidemiologist Stephen Luby finds reason for hope in a low-cost water treatment device that reduces rates of diarrhea in children, provides good-tasting water and avoids the need for in-home treatment – improvements over other purification strategies that could significantly increase uptake. Their results were published Aug. 8 in The Lancet Global Health.

In developing countries, few cities are able to maintain fully pressurized water systems that consistently pump water around the clock. Even if it is safe at the source, water in these systems is at risk of becoming contaminated while sitting in pipes. About 1 billion people who access water via piped systems receive water that does not meet international standards for safety.

“Group-level water treatment among people who share a water supply removes the individual burden on households to treat their own water,” said Luby, a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine at Stanford School of Medicine and senior author on the paper. “So, it offers the prospect for extending safe drinking water to vulnerable slum residents globally.”

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2- Human microbiome churns out thousands of tiny novel proteins

The bacteria in our gut make thousands of tiny, previously unidentified proteins that could shed light on human health and advance drug development, Stanford researchers have found.
Human microbiome churns out thousands of tiny novel proteins

Your body is a wonderland. A wonderland teeming with trillions of bacteria, that is. But it’s not as horrifying as it might sound. In fact, there’s mounting evidence that many aspects of our health are closely intertwined with the composition and hardiness of our microscopic compatriots, though exactly how is still mostly unclear.  

microbial hitchhikers — collectively known as the human microbiome — are churning out tens of thousands of proteins so small that they’ve gone unnoticed in previous studies. The proteins belong to more than 4,000 new biological families predicted to be involved in, among other processes, the warfare waged among different bacterial strains as they vie for primacy in coveted biological niches, the cell-to-cell communication between microbes and their unwitting hosts, and the critical day-to-day housekeeping duties that keep the bacteria happy and healthy. 

Because they are so small — fewer than 50 amino acids in length — it’s likely the proteins fold into unique shapes that represent previously unidentified biological building blocks. If the shapes and functions of these proteins can be recreated in the lab, they could help researchers advance scientific understanding of how the microbiome affects human health and pave the way for new drug discovery. 

A paper describing the research findings was published Aug. 8 in Cell. Ami Bhatt, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine and of genetics, is the senior author. Postdoctoral scholar Hila Sberro, PhD, is the lead author.

3- Changing students’ mindsets about learning improves their grades, Stanford researchers find

A new national study, co-authored by Stanford scholars, shows that high school students who took a course to cultivate positive beliefs about learning earned higher grades and took more challenging classes.

A short online course that changes students’ beliefs about learning can improve their grades in core academic subjects such as math, science, English and social studies, according to new Stanford research.
Changing students’ mindsets about learning improves their grades, Stanford researchers find

High school students who took a 50-minute online course to help them cultivate a growth mindset – the belief that intellectual abilities are not fixed but can be developed – earned significantly higher grades, according to the new research paper, co-authored by Stanford psychologists Carol Dweck and Greg Walton.

On average, the grade point averages of students who took the online course increased by 0.10 grade points and the number of students with a D or an F average decreased by over 5 percentage points in comparison to students who did not take the online course. This effect compares favorably with the results from far more costly or lengthy successful school reforms for teenagers, Dweck said.

The findings from the research, called the National Study of Learning Mindsets, were published in Nature on Aug. 7.

Dweck has pioneered work on how different mindsets can affect learning. Her previous research revealed that students who believe they can grow their intellectual ability tend to perform better academically than students who believe intelligence is a fixed trait, like height or eye color.

The new research, which examined a nationally representative sample of 12,000 ninth-graders in the United States, focused on how the lessons from Dweck’s research could help students who are making the challenging transition to high school.

“I am absolutely delighted to see how far mindset science has come,” said Dweck, who is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of psychology in the School of Humanities and Sciences. “The early research showed that helping students develop a growth mindset could be a new way to help more students succeed. Now, as a field we are starting to understand how to do this at scale – and we are understanding the role of supportive learning environments that can maximize the benefits of a growth mindset.”

Students from 76 public high schools in the U.S. were randomly assigned to either complete the 50-minute online growth mindset program or complete an unrelated course of the same length. During the online course, students learned that their intellectual abilities are not fixed and reflected on ways to strengthen their brains by persisting on challenges.

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4- Stanford researchers design a light-trapping, color-converting crystal

A recipe for creating a microscopic crystal structure that can hold two wavelengths of light at once is a step toward faster telecommunications and quantum computers.

ive years ago, Stanford postdoctoral scholar Momchil Minkov encountered a puzzle that he was impatient to solve. At the heart of his field of nonlinear optics are devices that change light from one color to another – a process important for many technologies within telecommunications, computing and laser-based equipment and science. But Minkov wanted a device that also traps both colors of light, a complex feat that could vastly improve the efficiency of this light-changing process – and he wanted it to be microscopic.
Stanford researchers design a light-trapping, color-converting crystal

“I was first exposed to this problem by Dario Gerace from the University of Pavia in Italy, while I was doing my PhD in Switzerland. I tried to work on it then but it’s very hard,” Minkov said. “It has been in the back of my mind ever since. Occasionally, I would mention it to someone in my field and they would say it was near-impossible.”

In order to prove the near-impossible was still possible, Minkov and Shanhui Fan, professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, developed guidelines for creating a crystal structure with an unconventional two-part form. The details of their solution were published Aug. 6 in Optica, with Gerace as co-author. Now, the team is beginning to build its theorized structure for experimental testing.

A recipe for confining light

Anyone who’s encountered a green laser pointer has seen nonlinear optics in action. Inside that laser pointer, a crystal structure converts laser light from infrared to green. (Green laser light is easier for people to see but components to make green-only lasers are less common.) This research aims to enact a similar wavelength-halving conversion but in a much smaller space, which could lead to a large improvement in energy efficiency due to complex interactions between the light beams.

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3 Stanford Courses and Award Programs 2019

A- MCHRI Eureka Certificate Course in Translational Medicine, February 9-13, 2020

About the Course

As a partner of the Eureka Institute for Translational Medicine, the Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute (MCHRI) has sponsored Stanford attendees to Eureka’s annual certificate course in Siracusa and other Eureka partner courses.  Our MCHRI Eureka alumni have grown in number and strength through these opportunities.  Their passion in spreading the know-how of translational medicine at Stanford has propelled MCHRI’s educational efforts, including our well-attended Seminar Series and the annual Symposium.

 Stanford University is excited to announce an inaugural local Eureka-inspired course, MCHRI Eureka 2020 Certificate Course in Translational Medicine. This 5-day intensive course will be held at Asilomar Conference Center in Monterey, CA, from Sunday, February 9th to Thursday, February 13th, 2020.

What You Will Learn

The curriculum will be delivered by Eureka Institute alumni and faculty, and subject matter experts who bring experience from academia, industry, regulatory agencies, venture capital, intellectual property law, etc.

The course will facilitate the transfer of knowledge of Translational Medicine (TM) for all learners through diverse teaching approaches
Analyze the business, scientific and regulatory aspects of TM
Explore the challenges professionals encounter in TM, including accessing mentorship, building successful teams and developing healthy interdisciplinary collaborations
Develop critical thinking skills to approach the challenges in TM
Develop communication skills for presenting complex scientific ideas to a broad spectrum of people
Share with learners information about Stanford resources in Intellectual Property and TM resources


B- Uytengsu-Hamilton 22q11 Neuropsychiatry Research Awards Program

The Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute (MCHRI) Uytengsu-Hamilton 22q11 Neuropsychiatry Research Awards Program aims to promote research to improve the neurocognitive outcomes and behavioral symptoms of 22q11 Deletion Syndrome with immediate (within 5 years) and long term impact.

This program will support a wide range of scientific approaches from basic stem cell biology, clinical translational research to integrated medicine and data science, for up to 2 years of funding that could best (or only) be performed by faculty from different disciplines. We strongly encourage faculty from different schools to work together on these initiatives, and strongly promote collaborations between basic and physician scientists.

A multi-PI approach is strongly encouraged for this initiative where at least two of these lead investigators are from different disciplines and schools, however, single-PI applications will be considered if the scientific rationale is compelling. This program will fund innovative projects in the following categories:

Category I: Novel Therapeutics and Transdisciplinary Innovation ($150K/year)
Category II: Integrative Medicine and Data Science ($100K/year)

LETTER OF INTENT DEADLINE: Thursday, August 15, 2019 - 5:00 pm


C- 2nd Annual Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute Symposium

The Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute invites you to its second annual research symposium on Friday, November 15, 2019 at the Li Ka Shing Learning and Knowledge Center, Berg Hall. This event will bring together faculty, trainees, students, and postdocs to explore the latest developments and innovations in maternal and child health research.

Attendees will learn about the research funded by the Institute across campus, the programs and resources available to advance research in this area, and the researchers and scientists who are making an impact in the maternal and child health community.

This event will feature keynote speaker, Diana W. Bianchi, MD, the director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and head of the Prenatal Genomics and Therapy Section for the Medical Genetics Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute. She will deliver her keynote address on “Using Precision Medicine to Develop Fetal Treatments.”

The symposium will include poster sessions and networking opportunities throughout the day. Following closing remarks, attendees can interact with speakers in a speed-dating style gathering hosted by former Stanford participants of the Eureka Institute for Translational Medicine.



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