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Professor of Physics and Director, Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy current research is focused in three directions:
— Mathematical aspects of string theory (with a focus on BPS state counts, black holes, and moonshine)
— Quantum field theory approaches to condensed matter physics (with a focus on physics of non-Fermi liquids)
— Theoretical biology, with a focus on evolution and ecology
Professor of Electrical Engineering
BioJoseph M. Kahn is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. His research addresses communication and imaging through optical fibers, including modulation, detection, signal processing and spatial multiplexing. He received A.B. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from U.C. Berkeley in 1981 and 1986. From 1987-1990, he was at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Crawford Hill Laboratory, in Holmdel, NJ. He was on the Electrical Engineering faculty at U.C. Berkeley from 1990-2003. In 2000, he co-founded StrataLight Communications, which was acquired by Opnext, Inc. in 2009. He received the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1991 and is a Fellow of the IEEE.
A Dale Kaiser
Jack, Lulu and Sam Willson Professor of Biochemistry, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsHow are genes regulated to construct a developmental program? How do signals received from other cells change the program and coordinate it for multicellular development? The approach taken by our laboratory group to answer these questions utilizes biochemistry and genetics; genetics to isolate mutants that have particular defects in development and biochemistry to determine the molecular basis of the defects. We study swarming in Myxococcus xanthus that builds fruiting bodies.
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe lab’s primary research interest is to understand how specific neuronal circuits are established. We use mouse genetics, combinatorial immunochemical labeling and high-resolution laser scanning microscopy to identify, manipulate, and quantitatively analyze synaptic contacts within the complex neuronal milieu of the spinal cord and the enteric nervous system.
Aya Kamaya, MD
Associate Professor of Radiology (Body Imaging) at the Stanford University Medical Center
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsHepatic imaging
Novel ultrasound technologies
Perfusion CT imaging of abdominal tumors
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy
BioAssociate Professor of Chemistry Matthew Kanan develops new catalysts and chemical reactions for applications in renewable energy conversion and CO2 utilization. His group at Stanford University has recently developed a novel method to create plastic from carbon dioxide and inedible plant material rather than petroleum products, and pioneered the study of “defect-rich” heterogeneous electro-catalysts for converting carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide to liquid fuel.
Matthew Kanan completed undergraduate study in chemistry at Rice University (B.A. 2000 Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa). During doctoral research in organic chemistry at Harvard University (Ph.D. 2005), he developed a novel method for using DNA to discover new chemical reactions. He then moved into inorganic chemistry for his postdoctoral studies as a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he discovered a water oxidation catalyst that operates in neutral water. He joined the Stanford Chemistry Department faculty in 2009 to continue research into energy-related catalysis and reactions. His research and teaching have already been recognized in selection as one of Chemistry & Engineering News’ first annual Talented 12, the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, Eli Lilly New Faculty Award, and recognition as a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Environmental Mentor, among other honors.
The Kanan Lab addresses fundamental challenges in catalysis and synthesis with an emphasis on enabling new technologies for scalable CO2 utilization. The interdisciplinary effort spans organic synthesis, materials chemistry and electrochemistry.
One of the greatest challenges of the 21st century is to transition to an energy economy with ultra-low greenhouse gas emissions without compromising quality of life for a growing population. The Kanan Lab aims to help enable this transition by developing catalysts and chemical reactions that recycle CO2 into fuels and commodity chemicals using renewable energy sources. To be implemented on a substantial scale, these methods must ultimately be competitive with fossil fuels and petrochemicals. With this requirement in mind, the group focuses on the fundamental chemical challenge of making carbon–carbon (C–C) bonds because multi-carbon compounds have higher energy density, greater value, and more diverse applications that one-carbon compounds. Both electrochemical and chemical methods are being pursued. For electrochemical conversion, the group studies how defects known as grain boundaries can be exploited to improve CO2/CO electro-reduction catalysis. Recent work has unveiled quantitative correlations between grain boundaries and catalytic activity, establishing a new design principle for electrocatalysis, and developed grain boundary-rich copper catalysts with unparalleled activity for converting carbon monoxide to liquid fuel. For chemical CO2 conversion, the group is developing C–H carboxylation and CO2 hydrogenation reactions that are promoted by simple carbonate salts. These reactions provide a way to make C–C bonds between un-activated substrates and CO2 without resorting to energy-intensive and hazardous reagents. Among numerous applications, carbonate-promoted carboxylation enables the synthesis of a monomer used to make polyester plastic from CO2 and a feedstock derived from agricultural waste.
In addition to CO2 chemistry, the Kanan group is pursuing new strategies to control selectivity in molecular catalysis for fine chemical synthesis. Of particular interest in the use of electrostatic interactions to discriminate between competing reaction pathways based on their charge distributions. This effort uses ion pairing or interfaces to control the local electrostatic environment in which a reaction takes place. The group has recently shown that local electric fields can control regioselectivity in isomerization reactions catalyzed by gold complexes.
Associate Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur research program has several active projects:
1.) Pulmonary Vascular Disease Simvastatin reversed experimental pulmonary hypertension, and is safe for treatment of patients. Blinded clinical trials of efficacy are in progress.
2.) Lung inflammation and regeneration (stem cells)
3.) Lung surfactant rheology and oxidative stress
4.) Gene regulation by RNA binding proteins, NF45 and NF90 through transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms
Professor of Management Science and Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe question that drives Prof. Katila's research is how technology-based firms with significant resources can stay innovative. Her work lies at the intersection of the fields of technology, innovation, and strategy and focuses on strategies that enable organizations to discover, develop and commercialize technologies. She combines theory with longitudinal large-sample data (e.g., robotics, biomedical, multi-industry datasets), background fieldwork, and state-of-the-art quantitative methods. The ultimate objective is to understand what makes technology-based firms successful.
To answer this question, Prof. Katila conducts two interrelated streams of research. She studies (1) strategies that help firms leverage their existing resources (leverage stream), and (2) strategies through which firms can acquire new resources (acquisition stream) to create innovation. Her early contributions were firm centric while recent contributions focus on innovation in the context of competitive interaction.
Professor Katila's work has appeared in the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Research Policy and other outlets. In her most recent work, supported by the National Science Foundation, Katila examines how firms create new products successfully. Focusing on the robotics and medical device industries, she investigates how different search approaches, such as the exploitation of existing knowledge and the exploration for new knowledge, influence the kinds of new products that technology-intensive firms introduce. Professor Katila has served on the editorial boards of several leading journals including Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Strategic Organization, and the Strategic Management Journal.