Stanford Neurosciences Institute
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Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe lab’s goal is to understand the molecular basis of neuronal circuit formation. We are particularly interested in circuits that underlie locomotion, sexual function and gut motility.
Spinal circuits underlying locomotor function:
Local inhibitory microcircuits have a fundamental role in shaping animal behavior. In the mammalian spinal cord inhibitory interneurons modulate the sensory-motor signaling that controls locomotion. We are using a specific interneuron circuit to understand (i) how distinct neuronal populations are generated, (ii) how these distinct neuronal populations recognize and choose their correct synaptic partners from among different available targets, and (iii) how postsynaptic signals induce the differentiation of presynaptic terminals in service of balanced circuit function.
Spinal circuitry of sexual function:
During mammalian copulation, spinal circuits reflexively integrate sexually-specific sensory information. We are performing anatomical reconstructions of erectile circuits in the spinal cord, and are analyzing copulatory behavior in males with disrupted interneuron circuitry.
Enteric nervous system structure and function:
The enteric nervous system (ENS) in the gut contains more neurons than the spinal cord and presents a translational model relevant to many human illnesses. However, relatively little is known about the development, connectivity and function of ENS circuitry. The mouse ENS is experimentally tractable and allows application of molecular genetic and high-resolution imaging techniques, as well as innovative in vivo experimental approaches. We aim to (i) map ENS circuit connectivity and (ii) explore functional consequences of ENS circuit abnormalities.
Mark A. Kay, M.D., Ph.D.
Dennis Farrey Family Professor in Pediatrics, and Professor of Genetics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMark A. Kay, M.D., Ph.D. Director of the Program in Human Gene Therapy and Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Genetics. Respected worldwide for his work in gene therapy for hemophilia, Dr. Kay and his laboratory focus on establishing the scientific principles and developing the technologies needed for achieving persistent and therapeutic levels of gene expression in vivo. The major disease models are hemophilia, hepatitis C, and hepatitis B viral infections.
Geoffrey A. Kerchner
Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. Kerchner is a behavioral neurologist who cares for patients with Alzheimer's disease and other age-related neurodegenerative illnesses. He studies the use of ultra-high field MRI and other advanced neuroimaging technologies to reveal how these diseases affect the microscopic structure and circuitry of the brain, with the intent of creating new strategies for early diagnosis. Dr. Kerchner also supervises the participation of patients in clinical trials for Alzheimers disease.
Professor of Computer Science and, by courtesy, of Mechanical Engineering
BioKhatib's research is in autonomous robots, human-centered robotics, human-friendly robot design, dynamic simulations, and haptic interactions. His exploration in this research ranges from the autonomous ability of a robot to cooperate with a human to the haptic interaction of a user with an animated character, virtual prototype, or surgical instrument.
Wells H. Rauser and Harold M. Petiprin Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor of Chemistry and, by courtesy, of Biochemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch in this laboratory focuses on problems where deep insights into enzymology and metabolism can be harnessed to improve human health.
For the past two decades, we have studied and engineered enzymatic assembly lines called polyketide synthases that catalyze the biosynthesis of structurally complex and medicinally fascinating antibiotics in bacteria. An example of such an assembly line is found in the erythromycin biosynthetic pathway. Our current focus is on understanding the structure and mechanism of this polyketide synthase. At the same time, we are developing methods to decode the vast and growing number of orphan polyketide assembly lines in the sequence databases.
For more than a decade, we have also investigated the pathogenesis of celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine, with the goal of discovering therapies and related management tools for this widespread but overlooked disease. Ongoing efforts focus on understanding the pivotal role of transglutaminase 2 in triggering the inflammatory response to dietary gluten in the celiac intestine.
Recently, we initiated a collaborative program involving multiple Stanford laboratories (http://med.stanford.edu/virx.html.html) that is aimed at developing a fundamentally new approach to treating viral infections. As part of this initiative, we are developing an antiviral chemotherapy that modulates pyrimidine metabolism in the host, and also a platform to engineer immuno-modulatory glycolipids for the treatment of influenza.
Professor (Research) of Electrical Engineering
BioButrus (Pierre) T. Khuri-Yakub is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He received the BS degree from the American University of Beirut, the MS degree from Dartmouth College, and the Ph.D. degree from Stanford University, all in electrical engineering. His current research interests include medical ultrasound imaging and therapy, ultrasound neuro-stimulation, chemical/biological sensors, gas flow and energy flow sensing, micromachined ultrasonic transducers, and ultrasonic fluid ejectors. He has authored over 550 publications and has been principal inventor or co-inventor of 94 US and international issued patents. He was awarded the Medal of the City of Bordeaux in 1983 for his contributions to Nondestructive Evaluation, the Distinguished Advisor Award of the School of Engineering at Stanford University in 1987, the Distinguished Lecturer Award of the IEEE UFFC society in 1999, a Stanford University Outstanding Inventor Award in 2004, Distinguished Alumnus Award of the School of Engineering of the American University of Beirut in 2005, Stanford Biodesign Certificate of Appreciation for commitment to educate, mentor and inspire Biodesgin Fellows, 2011, and 2011 recipient of IEEE Rayleigh award.
Peter S. Kim
Virginia and D. K. Ludwig Professor of Biochemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe are studying the mechanism of viral membrane fusion and its inhibition by drugs and antibodies. We use the HIV envelope protein (gp120/gp41) as a model system. Some of our studies are aimed at creating an HIV vaccine. We are also characterizing protein surfaces that are referred to as "non-druggable". These surfaces are defined empirically based on failure to identify small, drug-like molecules that bind to them with high affinity and specificity.
Seung K. Kim M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Developmental Biology and, by courtesy, of Medicine (Oncology)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe study the genetics of pancreatic islet cell differentiation using molecular, embryologic and genetic methods in several model systems, including mice, embryonic stem cells, and Drosophila. Our work suggests that critical factors required for islet development are also needed to maintain essential functions of the mature islet. Our knowledge of genetic and cellular pathways governing islet formation has allowed us to use stem cell lines to produce islet replacements in vitro.
Eric I. Knudsen
Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professor in the School of Medicine, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsCellular mechanisms of spatial attention and learning, studied in the central nervous system in birds, using behavioral, systems, cellular and molecular techniques.
Professor of Psychology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy lab and I seek to elucidate the neural basis of emotion (affective neuroscience), and explore implications for decision-making (neuroeconomics) and psychopathology (neurophenomics).