Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance
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Postdoctoral Scholar, Bioengineering
BioDr. Falisse is a postdoctoral fellow in Bioengineering working on computational approaches to study human movement disorders. He primarily uses optimization methods, biomechanical modeling, and data from various sources (wearables, videos, medical images) to get insights into movement abnormalities and design innovative treatments and rehabilitation protocols.
Dr. Falisse received his PhD from KU Leuven (Belgium) where he worked on modeling and simulating the locomotion of children with cerebral palsy. His research was supported by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) through a personal fellowship. Dr. Falisse received several awards for his PhD work, including the David Winter Young Investigator Award, the Andrzej J. Komor Young Investigator Award, the VPHi Thesis Award in In Silico Medicine, and the KU Leuven Research Council Award in Biomedical Sciences.
Assistant Professor of Computer Science and of Electrical Engineering
BioChelsea Finn is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, and the William George and Ida Mary Hoover Faculty Fellow. Professor Finn's research interests lie in the ability to enable robots and other agents to develop broadly intelligent behavior through learning and interaction. Her work lies at the intersection of machine learning and robotic control, including topics such as end-to-end learning of visual perception and robotic manipulation skills, deep reinforcement learning of general skills from autonomously collected experience, and meta-learning algorithms that can enable fast learning of new concepts and behaviors. Professor Finn received her Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and her PhD in Computer Science at UC Berkeley. Her research has been recognized through the ACM doctoral dissertation award, an NSF graduate fellowship, a Facebook fellowship, the C.V. Ramamoorthy Distinguished Research Award, and the MIT Technology Review 35 under 35 Award, and her work has been covered by various media outlets, including the New York Times, Wired, and Bloomberg. Throughout her career, she has sought to increase the representation of underrepresented minorities within CS and AI by developing an AI outreach camp at Berkeley for underprivileged high school students, a mentoring program for underrepresented undergraduates across three universities, and leading efforts within the WiML and Berkeley WiCSE communities of women researchers.
Associate Professor of Bioengineering and of Medicine (Microbiology and Immunology)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe human microbiome is linked to a range of phenotypes in the host, but it remains difficult to test causality and explore the mechanisms of these interactions. Our lab focuses on two research areas that share a common goal of studying host-microbiota interactions at the level of molecular mechanism:
1) Technology development. Much of what we know about biology has been learned by deleting individual genes from mice, worms, flies and yeast. The ability to do single-strain and single-gene deletion in the microbiome would be transformative but does not yet exist. We are developing technology in three areas to make this possible:
Synthetic ecology: There is a pressing need for model systems for the microbiome that are defined, but of an order of complexity that approaches the native state. Key experiments in the field often show that a host phenotype can be transferred to a germ-free mouse via fecal transplant. If these phenomena could be recapitulated with a defined, high-complexity community, then reductionist experiments to probe mechanism would be possible. We are developing the technology required to build highly complex defined communities (100-200 bacterial species), make them stable upon transplantation into mice, and probe their function in vitro and in vivo.
Genetics: It is difficult to probe mechanism without genetics, and genetic tools exist for only ~10% of the bacterial species in the gut and skin microbiome. We are developing technologies that will make it possible to delete and insert genes, and build mutant libraries, in many of the most common bacterial strains in the gut and skin microbiome.
Computation: In previous work from the lab, we have developed computational algorithms that identify small-molecule-producing genes in bacterial genomes. In current work, we are devising algorithms for genome mining that are specific to the microbiome, and new tools for predicting the chemical structures of small molecules from untargeted metabolomics data.
2) Molecular mechanisms. Many of the early findings in microbiome research are correlative or associative. We are applying the tools described above to explore the mechanisms underlying these phenomena:
Small molecules: Our lab has had a long-standing interest in small molecules from the microbiota. These include: 1) host-derived molecules metabolized by the microbiome, like bile acids; 2) characteristic components of the bacterial membrane and cell wall, including LPS and capsular polysaccharides; and 3) hundreds of other diffusible small molecules (e.g., the products of polysaccharide and amino acid metabolism) that are present in the bloodstream at high concentrations. Our work in this area seeks to establish the mechanisms by which these molecules modulate host biology, especially by deleting them one at a time in the background of a complex community; and to discover new microbiome-derived metabolites present in the bloodstream and host tissues.
Ecology of complex communities: Synthetic ecology at the 100+ strain scale is entirely unexplored, and the emergent properties of complex communities are not well understood. Our work in this area seeks to understand basic principles outlined by the following questions: How many meaningful interactions exist in a community of hundreds of strains? What constitutes a niche, molecularly and spatially, and how do strains map to niches? What are the molecular correlates of stability, and how does a community reconfigure in response to a perturbation? How rare or common are stable states, and how predictable is the process by which a consortium will evolve toward a stable state? To what extent do priority effects (early colonists and events) determine the outcome of ecosystem development? Can the results of ecosystem competition be predicted or engineered?
Michael Fredericson, MD
Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy research focuses on the etiology, prevention, and treatment of overuse sports injuries in athletes and lifestyle medicine practices for improved health and longevity.
Michael T. Freehill, MD, FAOA
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
BioDr. Freehill is a board-certified, double fellowship-trained specialist in orthopaedic surgery with a sub-specialty certification in sports medicine. His concentration is in shoulder and elbow. Dr. Freehill is a team physician for the Stanford University athletics program and head physician for the Stanford University baseball team. Dr. Freehill also teaches in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Dr. Freehill’s practice focuses on all shoulder conditions. He treats rotator cuff tears, shoulder instability, shoulder arthritis, sports shoulder, arthopathy, complex shoulder pathology, and sports-related shoulder injury. In addition, he is also passionate about sports- related elbow injuries, with an emphasis on thrower’s elbow.
Professional and amateur athletes, as well as non-athletes, come to Dr. Freehill for expert care. His sports medicine training and specialization in shoulder replacement procedures enable him to treat patients across the lifespan. Depending on factors including the patient’s condition and occupation, he may recommend treatment ranging from non-operative solutions (such as physical therapy) to cutting-edge biologics procedures or complex surgery.
In addition to his positions within the Stanford University athletics program, Dr. Freehill serves as assistant team physician for the Oakland A’s. Previously, he was a team physician for the Detroit Tigers and the Winston-Salem Dash (affiliated with the Chicago White Sox); he assisted with the Baltimore Orioles. He has also served as Director of Sports Medicine for Wake Forest University Athletics.
As director of the imminent Stanford Performance and Pitching Lab, Dr. Freehill draws on his previous experience as a professional baseball player to help athletes of all skill levels. In the lab, he conducts cutting edge research on the biomechanics of overhead throwers in order to support advances in throwing performance. He has conducted a study on pitch counts in adolescent players funded by Major League Baseball. Dr. Freehill was also awarded a research grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate stromal vascular fractionated mesenchymal cells and their potential for healing rotator cuff tendon tears.
Dr. Freehill has pioneered the use of some of the latest techniques and technology for leading-edge care. Among the advanced technologies he utilizes is a virtual reality (VR) system that enables him to perform a simulated shoulder arthroplasty procedure prior to entering the operating room with a patient. The system also enables him to predict and order customized implants if needed, which is believed to enable a more positive outcome for patients.
Peer-reviewed articles authored by Dr. Freehill explore rotator cuff injuries, shoulder arthroplasty, baseball-related injuries and performance interests, and more. His work has been featured in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine, Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, Arthroscopy, and elsewhere. He has written numerous book chapters and made over 200 presentations at conferences around the world.
Dr. Freehill’s honors include an Orthopaedic Residency Research Award while at Johns Hopkins University. He is also a Neer Award winner, denoting the highest research award selected annually by the American Shoulder and Elbow Society.
Currently, he serves on the Medical Publishing Board of Trustees for the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. He is a member of the American Orthopaedic Association, and the Major League Baseball Team Physician Association. He is a committee member for the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Society, International Congress of Arthroscopy and Sports Traumatology, the Arthroscopy Association of North America, and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.