March 13 Mar 13
Wednesday Wed

Stanford Medicine’s Discovery Innovation Awards support early-stage research that could exponentially accelerate our understanding of human biology—and our ability to predict, prevent, and cure disease.

Come celebrate the winners of these competitive research grants, take a hands-on tour of their labs, hear about fascinating developments in their work, and mingle with some of the brightest minds in biomedicine.

join us

wednesday | march 13
4:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Paul and Mildred Berg Hall
Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge
291 Campus Drive | Stanford
Complimentary valet parking

For questions, please contact Laura Gable at 650.736.0798 or


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Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge

291 Campus Drive
Stanford, CA 94305
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4:00 p.m. welcome reception
4:30 p.m. introduction by Lloyd B. Minor, MD
Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Dean | Stanford University School of Medicine


opening remarks by Lucy Shapiro, PhD
Virginia D.K. Ludwig Professor of Developmental Biology | National Medal of Science Winner
4:40 p.m. lab tours hosted by award winners and their students
6:00 p.m. mingle over drinks and appetizers with 2018-19 award winners


welcome remarks

Lloyd B. Minor, MD
Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Dean
Stanford University School of Medicine
Professor of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery Divisions
Professor of, by courtesy, Neurobiology

Lucy Shapiro, PhD
Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor
Director, Beckman Center for Molecular & Genetic Medicine
Professor of Developmental Biology

The Shapiro Lab

lab tour hosts

Julie Baker, PhD
Professor of Genetics


The placenta plays a critical role in fetal and maternal health, yet research regarding its function and evolution is still nascent and continues to be underfunded. Julie is one of the few investigators who has devoted her career to understanding the importance of the placenta and how it affects human health. Along with this research, the Baker Lab also studies the role of cesarean sections in pregnancy diseases and how c-sections are connected to the rise in maternal mortality rates in the US.
areas of impact: pregnancy diseases, maternal and fetal health

Miriam Goodman, PhD
Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology


Miriam studies touch—the first of our senses to develop, the last to fade, and the least understood. For cancer patients, chemotherapy can damage the nervous system causing pain that can be as bad, or worse, than that caused by the cancer itself. Miriam and her team are testing an existing anti-inflammatory drug to save the sense of touch in cancer patients.
areas of impact: cancer, chronic diseases

Andrew Huberman, PhD
Associate Professor of Neurobiology and of Ophthalmology


Fear is an utterly important and life-saving emotion in mammals. However in the presence of fear, some people are crippled while others are energized. Andrew and his team want to learn how understanding the ‘fear brain’ allows us to sense, evaluate, and respond to the world around us. Using a state-of-the-art virtual reality platform, the Huberman Lab aims to understand what normal and pathologic human anxiety responses are at the neural, autonomic, and behavioral level, and to develop non-invasive tools to intervene.
areas of impact: anxiety, trauma, PTSD

Dan Jarosz, PhD
Assistant Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology and of Developmental Biology


Life is a delicate balance between adaptability and stability—to survive, an organism must adapt to change while maintaining essential functions. Dan and his team aim to uncover the molecular mechanisms that balance these two opposing evolutionary forces. The Jarosz Lab discovered a fundamental mechanism that controls genes during development to enhance cell proliferation, and how this same mechanism—when activated inappropriately—can drive diseases like cancer. These discoveries have the potential to completely disrupt the way we think about gene regulation.
areas of impact: cancer, infectious diseases, genetic diseases

Jody Puglisi, PhD
Professor of Structural Biology


How does the shape of RNA determine its biological function? Jody has spent his entire career answering this question. Using very large magnets and a variety of chemical tricks, he and his team have developed new methods to look closely at RNA in motion and determine its structure. The Puglisi Lab researches ways to create drugs that target RNA processes that drive infectious diseases, like hepatitis C and HIV, and genetic disorders like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and cancers.
areas of impact: cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, viral infections

Aaron Straight, PhD
Professor of Biochemistry and, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology


From fertilization until death, the cells in our bodies are constantly dividing. In each division, our chromosomes must be faithfully transmitted to new daughter cells. Aaron and his team study how chromosomes are organized within the cell, how they are replicated and passed on to daughter cells, and how genetic and epigenetic forces influence normal function and disease. The Straight Lab has made important discoveries, including how cells ensure faithful chromosome transmission, how the genome is regulated in the developing embryo, and how epigenetic forces control genome function.
disease areas: developmental and genetic disorders, initiation and progression of cancer