School of Medicine
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Dwight and Vera Dunlevie Professor of Pediatric Cardiology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur research program seeks to identify the cellular and molecular programs regulating vascular and lung development, through the use of cultured cells and tissues and mouse and rat models. We then determine how these programs are perturbed by genetic abnormalities or injurious processes associated with disease, focusing on pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a fatal complication in children with heart defects, and a condition of unknown etiology primarily in young women.
Clinical Professor, Pediatrics - Neonatal and Developmental Medicine
BioDr Nilima Ragavan is an experienced clinician who has expertise in the care of newborns ranging from critically ill to well babies. She is passionate about education and is the director of the Stanford pediatric resident rotation in the neonatal intensive care unit. She has led several multi disciplinary teams to India, and has organized and conducted international neonatal and perinatal conferences. She is a member of the palliative care team and serves as a mentor to junior faculty. She is the medical director of the Packard Special Care nursery at Sequoia, and also attends in the NICU at Stanford.
Postdoctoral Medical Fellow, Cardiology
Fellow in Pediatrics - Cardiology
BioAlireza Raissadati, MD, PhD is a fellow in pediatric cardiology at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford. He obtained his medical degree, PhD in medicine, and PhD in biotechnology from University of Helsinki. His research focused on population-based long-term outcomes of patients following congenital heart surgery and the role of vascular growth factors and gene vectors as management strategies for heart transplant rejection.
Dr. Raissadati completed his pediatric residency training at Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School and Boston Medical Center in Boston, MA. His clinical interest lies in treating pediatric patients with heart failure and following heart transplantation. His research is focused on understanding the intricacies of heart transplant rejection to find new therapeutic targets for acute rejection and coronary artery vasculopathy of the heart transplant.
Research Associate in Functional Genomics, Pediatrics - Endocrinology
Current Role at StanfordLife Science Research Professional at Translational Genomics of Diabetes Lab.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Hematology/Oncology)
BioSneha Ramakrishna obtained her B. A. from the University of Chicago and her M.D. from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. In medical school, through the Howard Hughes Medical Research Scholar Award, she joined Dr. Crystal Mackall’s laboratory, where she designed and developed various GD2 CAR-Ts and tested them in preclinical models. During her residency training in Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, she cared for some of the first patients treated with CD19 CAR T cells, learning the power of this therapy first-hand. During her fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Johns Hopkins/National Cancer Institute combined program, she worked with Dr. Terry Fry. She evaluated the mechanism of CD22 CAR T cell relapse in patients by developing an antigen escape model and establishing a deeper understanding of the effects of antigen density on CAR-T phenotype, expansion, and persistence (Fry…Ramakrishna…Mackall Nat Med, 2018; Ramakrishna, et al., Clinical Cancer Research, 2019). Since arriving at Stanford, Dr. Ramakrishna leads an interdisciplinary team that designs, develops, and successfully implements a robust correlative science platform for our novel CAR-T therapies. Analyzing patient samples from our first-in-human GD2 CAR-T trial (NCT04196413) treating a universally fatal cancer, diffuse midline glioma (DMG), we identified that intracerebroventricular CAR-T administration correlates with enhanced pro-inflammatory cytokines and reduced immunosuppressive cell populations in cerebrospinal fluid as compared to intravenous CAR-T administration (Majzner*, Ramakrishna*, et al., Nature 2022 *co-first authors). Her research program evaluates unique sets of patient samples using novel single-cell immune profiling to identify the drivers of CAR-T success or failure. Building on these findings, her team will assess approaches to enhance CAR-T efficacy and translate these findings to the clinic.
Clinically, Dr. Ramakrishna cares for children with solid tumors and treats hematologic, solid, and brain tumor pediatric patients with CAR T cell therapies in the Cancer Cellular Therapies program.
Postdoctoral Scholar, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics
BioI am a postdoctoral scholar working with Dr. Jason Yeatman. With a background in optometry, vision science, psychophysics and cognitive neuroscience my long-term goal is to study the intersection of basic visual mechanisms and various neurodevelopmental disorders and to extend this understanding in creating effective early screening tools, and in advancing evidence-based therapeutic and remediation programs. Inherent to this interest is the need for developmental data in large and demographically diverse populations. I strongly believe that such inclusive research not only contributes to scientific advancements but can go beyond to bridge health and education disparities. I joined the Brain Development and Education lab at Stanford after taking a medical break. During my break, I had the opportunity to run a vision screening camp for a school for differently abled children. Many children with a learning disability are misunderstood to have a vision problem making optometrist the first people to diagnose the disability but intervention stops at that point. This kindled my curiosity and I soon discovered the lack of converging understanding on the role of visual processing in dyslexia that in turn limits the possibility of evidence-based intervention. I was deeply interested in understanding the role of vision and attention in dyslexia. Over the past three years, I developed visual measures based on the most cited hypothesis in the dyslexia literature. These measures were designed such that they inform us about the hypothesized construct in an ecologically relevant paradigm for reading. I developed a validation scheme where measures are first deployed on the adult population and various behavioral and eye tracking aspects of the measure are characterized. The measures are built on a browser-based platform (using PsychoPy© and jsPsych©) where they are validated against the laboratory-based measurements. All the web-based visual measures have timing parameters optimized to ensure measurement validity. Over the past year, I have focused on optimizing these visual measures to make them adaptive, short, and reliable for kindergarten and first grade children. My goal in the current project is to leverage this battery of visual measures to understand how visual deficits are linked to the development of reading disorders. The web-based assessments are designed to be deployed to a large and diverse population of unprecedented scale.