Awards & Honors: Summer 2018

Recognizing the accomplishments of Department of Medicine faculty and staff

Aida Habtezion Awarded Follow-on Funding

Academic researchers who receive supportive funding for their work from private or public sources are typically pleased and grateful. When they receive additional funding a few years later to support their continuing research, they likely feel even greater pleasure and gratitude. So it must be for associate professor of gastroenterology and hepatology Aida Habtezion, MD, MSc, whose study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has recently been awarded $300,000 by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation following upon their earlier award of $200,000.

Habtezion’s Synergy Award from the Foundation enabled her team to study two groups of patients in whom a rectum is created from the small intestine, patients with IBD and others with familial adenomatous polyposis. Those with IBD were much more likely to develop inflammation of the new rectum; researching patients’ immune responses uncovered differences in the metabolomics of the two groups. These data enabled the lab to focus on metabolic pathways and explore both pathogens and potential therapies.

The Rainin Foundation has a unique tripartite mission: “championing the arts, promoting early childhood literacy, and supporting research to cure chronic disease.” Two of the values they stress are collaboration and innovation, both of which they cited in announcing the new award to Habtezion. Focusing on a registry Habtezion initiated that connects clinicians and scientists working in the IBD area, the Foundation expressed the hope that the access to samples and data that the registry will enable will “draw expertise from diverse people, advance a more transformative type of research, and forge better communication across the IBD ecosystem.”

Harrington to Lead AHA

At a recent Board of Directors meeting, the American Heart Association elected its slate of officers for 2018-19. Among them is Bob Harrington, MD, who will become President-Elect at the Association’s annual sessions in November 2018.

Harrington, Arthur L. Bloomfield Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine, has a long history of volunteer work with the AHA. He served on its Program Committee as a member, Vice-Chair, and Chair between 2006 and 2014 overseeing scientific sessions that comprise hundreds of oral, poster, and plenary sessions presented over several days. He has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2014 and was the recipient of the Association’s Clinical Research Prize, which is awarded for outstanding achievement in clinical cardiovascular science, at its 2017 meeting.

Following a year as President-Elect, Harrington will become President for 2019-20 and Immediate Past President for 2020-1.

Sarah Streett Recognized at Crohn's and Colitis Foundation Event

Sarah Streett, MD, clinical associate professor of gastroenterology and hepatology, was recognized as a Champion of Hope by the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. The designation celebrates individuals that have made an impact on the lives of children and adults with Crohn's disease. Streett is the Clinical Director of Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Stanford, and her research interests include developing precision approaches to IBD therapies and understanding the interaction of reproductive health and IBD.

Utz Appointed Associate Dean

P.J. Utz, MD, professor of immunology and rheumatology, has been appointed the School of Medicine’s Associate Dean for Medical Student Research. Utz is an expert in the development

Of multiplexed assays for studying autoimmune diseases such as SLE, RA, connective tissue diseases, type 1 diabetes, and immunodeficiency disorders. He also has a deep interest in education and founded the Stanford Institutes of Medical Research – one of the country’s largest immersive high school research programs – in 2000.

Linda Nguyen Elected to the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society (ANMS) Council

The American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society (ANMS) has elected Linda Nguyen, MD, clinical associate professor of gastroenterology and hepatology, to the ANMS Council. Her term will begin in September 2018 and run through 2022.

The councilor position serves as a governing body to discuss society business, serve on committees, discuss future meetings, finances and other relevant matters. John Wiley, chair of the nominating committee, says that he is confident Nguyen will help the ANMS move forward and make bigger and better contributions to its membership.

Established in 1980, ANMS is dedicated to the study of neurogastroenterology and gastrointestinal motility and functional GI disorders. Its mission is “to be the multidisciplinary society leading the field of neurogastroenterology by fostering excellence in research, education, training and patient care.” The organization hosts its annual ANMS retreat each January and an annual council meeting during Digestive Disease Week (DDW) in June.

Nguyen is a clinical associate professor in gastroenterology and hepatology and has served as the director of GI Motility and Neurogastroenterology in the Division of Gastroenterology at Stanford since 2008. She is board certified in gastroenterology by the American Board of Internal Medicine and has been a member of ANMS since 2003.

Stanford Center for Digital Health Was Finalist for AAMC Award

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has announced that the Stanford Center for Digital Health (CDH) was one of six finalists for the 2018 AAMC Innovations in Research and Research Education Award.

According to the AAMC, the goal of this year’s awards program was “to highlight innovative institutional models [that] promote tech transfer, entrepreneurship and research or research education partnerships with the private sector.” The focus of the award was a great fit for Stanford CDH, which, as stated in the abstract for the award application, “works to find synergies and create collaborations between Stanford Medicine and digital health companies” with the goal of creating “cutting-edge advancements at the intersection of health care and technology.”

Mintu Turakhia, MD, associate professor of cardiovascular medicine; Euan Ashley, MD, professor of cardiovascular medicine and pathology; Ken Mahaffey, MD, professor of cardiovascular medicine; and Marco Perez, MD, assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine submitted the Stanford CDH abstract and application. It focused on several key areas for the CDH: enabling research; tailored education and community building; and leading flagship studies. It also pointed to the Apple Heart Study and MyHeartCounts apps as examples of “ground-breaking digital health clinical trials and cohort studies [that are] the first of [their] kind, having made major methodological advancements in scaling clinical trials digitally and virtually, and in the evaluation of apps, sensors, and the broad class of digital therapeutics.”

Glenn Chertow Receives National Kidney Foundation’s Highest Honor

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) has selected Glenn Chertow, MD, professor of nephrology and health research and policy, as recipient of the 2018 David M. Hume Memorial Award. The recognition is the Foundation’s highest honor.

The NKF reserves the David M. Hume Memorial Award (named for Foundation member Chertow describes as an “incredible pioneer”) for a “distinguished scientist-clinician in the field of kidney and urologic diseases who exemplifies high ideals of scholarship and humanism in an outstanding manner.”

In announcing Chertow as the award’s recipient, the Foundation cited Chertow’s contributions to research on clinical epidemiology, health-services research, decision sciences and clinical trials in acute and chronic kidney disease. Specifically, the Foundation notes that Chertow has authored or co-authored over 500 peer-reviewed manuscripts “with critical findings shedding light on acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, end-stage renal disease, and associated complications, including those related to cardiovascular disease, bone and mineral metabolism and nutrition.”

Michael Choi, MD, president and chair of the NKF Scientific Advisory Board, says the Foundation chose Chertow for the honor because he is a “distinguished physician, outstanding teacher and mentor, and prolific research scientist [who] has dedicated his career to improving the lives, care and treatment of people with kidney disease. He has contributed immensely to what we know about the kidney and how to treat patients who have kidney disease.”

Prior to joining the faculty at Stanford in 2007, Chertow taught at both UCSF and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Harvard Medical School), where he had completed medical school, residency and research and clinical fellowships. Chertow has been recognized many times for his teaching skills, including awards for mentorship from the Network of Minority Research Investigators and the Bay Area Clinical Research Symposium. In addition, the National Kidney Foundation had previously honored Chertow with its Presidents Award (1999).

Three Faculty Members Elected to Faculty Senate

Three Department of Medicine faculty members have been elected to the School of Medicine’s Faculty Senate. Vinicio de Jesus Perez, MD, assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine, Julieta Gabiola, MD, RN, clinical professor of primary care and population health,  and Marcia Stefanick , PhD, professor at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, will represent the department at the monthly meetings over the course of three years.

“I’m grateful to all of them for their willingness to step up and add this responsibility to their busy schedules to ensure that we are well-represented with a strong voice on campus,” Department of Medicine chair Bob Harrington, MD, said.

Vinicio de Jesus Perez

Julieta Gabiola

Marcia Stefanick