School of Medicine
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Dáibhid Ó Maoiléidigh, PhD
Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery (OHNS)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe Ó Maoiléidigh group employs mathematical and computational approaches to better understand normal hearing and hearing impairment. Because complete restoration of auditory function by artificial devices or regenerative treatments will only be possible when experiments and computational modeling align, we work closely with experimental laboratories. Our goal is to understand contemporary experimental observations, to make experimentally testable predictions, and to motivate new experiments. We are pursuing several projects.
Auditory and balance organs rely on hair cells to convert mechanical vibrations into electrical signals for transmission to the brain. In response to the quietest sounds we can hear, the hair cell's mechanical sensor, the hair bundle, moves by less than one-billionth of a meter. To determine how this astounding sensitivity is possible, we construct computational models of hair-bundle mechanics. By comparing models with experimental observations, we are learning how a hair bundle's geometry, material properties, and ability to move spontaneously determine its function.
The cochlea contains the auditory organ that houses the sensory hair cells in mammals. Vibrations in the cochlea arising from sound are amplified more than a thousandfold by the ear's active process. New experimental techniques have additionally revealed that the cochlea vibrates in a complex manner in response to sound. We use computational models to interpret these observations and to make hypotheses about how the cochlea works.
Dale Gene O'Brien
Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, Medicine - Primary Care and Population Health
BioDale O’Brien, MD, MPH is adjunct faculty at the Stanford University School of Medicine in the Primary Care and Population Health Division. He founded several medical clinics for vulnerable populations in under-resourced areas of northern California where he has been a practicing physician for more than four decades.
A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Medicine, he took postgraduate training at the Oregon Health & Science University, and the University of California (San Francisco) / University of California School of Public Health. He is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and by the American Board of Preventive Medicine.
Dr. O'Brien treated hippies at the White Bird Clinic in Eugene, Oregon in the mid-70s; served as the acting Health Officer of the Shasta County Health Department in California; and spent two years in the early 80s as an affiliate of the European Branch Headquarters of the World Health Organization in Denmark.
As the Executive Director of the nonprofit Cancer Patients Alliance (CPA) since 2001, Dr. O’Brien and his team have advocated for and supported low-income Latinx community members, immigrants and farm workers with cancer in the Salinas Valley agricultural region of Monterey County, California.
Dr. O’Brien was Co-Principal Investigator of the Stanford Cancer Institute's Developmental Research Award in Translational Science, "Building an Academic-Community Partnership to Understand and Address Barriers to Cancer Care in the Salinas Valley Region of Monterey County," 2010 – 2015.
CPA has trained a number of Stanford University medical and post-doctoral students on behalf of the Valley Fellowship Program beginning in 2010 until the present.
Dr. O'Brien was a member of the Stanford / Medable team that developed the cancer aftercare app called TOGETHERCare - per NIH / NCI (SBIR 363) Phase 1 and 2 grants from 9/18/2017 until 9/30/2022.
Dr. O’Brien was on the Stanford-based research team in 2018 that piloted and studied the efficacy of the “Healthkey” behavioral health app for SAMHSA, CDC and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists.
Beginning 2019, he was Co-Principal Investigator with the Stanford University group that has helped reduce cancer disparities by increasing access to the emerging DNA technologies - and facilitating cultural translation in Monterey County - pursuant to 3-year support from the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine.
In 2021, CPA received a 3-year grant award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to further their advocacy work with the Latinx community and farm workers with cancer in the Salinas Valley.
In June 2021, CPA was selected by the California GOTV medical academic consortium including the Stanford University School of Medicine as led by UCLA - to conduct the "Get Out the Vaccine to Stop Covid-19" initiative for low-income populations in Monterey County, California.
Since 2016 Dr. O'Brien has been on the Institutional Review Board of Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas. He is currently a member of the Stanford Cancer Institute Community Advisory Board. Dr. O’Brien is a past editor of the Berkeley Wellness Letter, Medicine on the Net and Cancer Informatics.
Lucy Erin O'Brien
Associate Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMany adult organs tune their functional capacity to variable levels of physiologic demand. Adaptive organ resizing breaks the allometry of the body plan that was established during development, suggesting that it occurs through different mechanisms. Emerging evidence points to stem cells as key players in these mechanisms. We use the Drosophila midgut, a stem-cell based organ analogous to the vertebrate small intestine, as a simple model to uncover the rules that govern adaptive remodeling.
Arline and Pete Harman Professor for the Chair in the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsClinical:
Pulmonary edema, acute respiratory distress syndromes (ARDS), hyaline membrane disease (HMD), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)
Lung epithelial sodium transport
Genetic influences on the development of BPD
Assistant Professor of Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe O'Connell lab studies how genetic and environmental factors contribute to biological diversity and adaptation. We are particularly interested in understanding (1) how behavior evolves through changes in brain function and (2) how animal physiology evolves through repurposing existing cellular components.
Director, Spectrum, Senior Associate Dean, Research and Lowell W. and Josephine Q. Berry Professor
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. O'Hara's research aims to investigate how cognitive information processing deficits subserve affective symptoms in psychiatric disorders, and interact with key brain networks integral to these disorders. To do so, she has implemented a translational, interdisciplinary program that encompasses cellular models, brain and behavioral assays of affective and cognitive information processing systems in psychiatric disorders across the lifespan.