Department of Medicine

Developing Areas of Research

Genomic Medicine

Research in genomic medicine focuses on variations in the human genome that track both with the risk for developing disease and the response to treatment. To accomplish our objective of an increased focus on research in genomic medicine, we are emphasizing the recruitment of physician-investigators studying gene-disease associations; developing patient databases and research infrastructure; and lowering barriers to “genomic medicine” at our major teaching hospital affiliates.

Understanding individual genetic susceptibilities will be critical to achieving the substantial improvements we seek in disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. But we are also aware that this “personalized medicine” approach needs more than human genetics if it is to transform the practice of medicine and public health. For that reason the Department is also developing an expanded program in patient/population health sciences that will ensure attention to such critical elements as social and behavioral features of individual patients; enriched description of clinical phenotypes; and a comprehensive description of social and community level environments.

Population Health Sciences

Nothing is more essential to achieving the “translation” of new technologies and therapies from the laboratory to the patient and community than a robust program of patient and population health science. The Department of Medicine is fortunate to have strong programs of patient based research in virtually every clinical division. In addition, three of the department’s divisions, Stanford Prevention Research Center (SPRC), Primary Care and Outcomes Research Center (PCOR), and Biomedical Informatics Research Center (BMIR), are among the world’s leaders in population based research.

Building on this outstanding platform the Department is committed to research and education across the full spectrum of clinical and community studies. To promote the success of this initiative, the department is creating a new Quantitative Sciences Unit comprised of biostatisticians and data analysts; Center for Quality and Effectiveness; and an expanded program of contemporary clinical epidemiology linked to clinical genomics.

These programs, along with existing programs in SPRC and General Internal Medicine, will form the core of a new Center for Patient and Population Research on Arastradero Road, adjacent to the Stanford Institute of Medicine.


Immune system disorders are highly prevalent and include such diseases as asthma, Type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, among others. Immune mechanisms are also critical to the pathogenesis and treatment of cancer, infectious disease and successful organ transplantation.

The past twenty years has witnessed a remarkable array of scientific discoveries that have deepened our understanding of the immune system, especially at the cellular and molecular level. These discoveries, many of which were made here at Stanford, put us on the cusp of a remarkable new era of clinical therapeutics that is guided by a deep appreciation of fundamental science and clinical research. These efforts are supported by numerous resources here at Stanford, including a Human Immune Monitoring Core, strengths in genomics and proteomics, and the establishment of a clinical registry within the Division of Rheumatology.  

The Department of Medicine plans to foster research that emphasizes the intersection between chronic infection and immunity, that develops new treatments for autoimmune disorders, and that promotes innovation in organ transplantation.

Stanford Medicine Resources:

Footer Links: