School of Medicine
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Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. Runfola's research focuses on the epidemiology of dysregulated eating and weight concerns in undeserved populations and her primary interest is in developing and testing the efficacy of clinical interventions designed to improve outcome for eating disorders.
With support from GFED, Dr. Runfola adapted the Uniting Couples in the treatment of Anorexia Nervosa (UCAN) therapy manual for couples in which one or both members have binge-eating disorder (UNITE) and recently completed pilot testing on this treatment. She is in the process of expanding this treatment for all couples affected by binge eating, and is submitting a grant to fund future work testing efficacy.
Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe have an active collaborative project examining basic and clinical aspects of non-tuberculous mycobacterial lung infection in non-immune compromised adults. Studies have examined possible cellular immune mechanisms for increased susceptibility to these infections, and are also investigating aspects of optimal diagnosis and treatment. In addition, a clinical and translational research program is investigating the causes and genetic factors underlying the evolution of bronchiectasis.
Christopher John Russell
Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Hospital Medicine)
BioDr. Russell is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine and a board-certified academic pediatric hospitalist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. His clinical responsibilities include caring for children hospitalized for a variety of illnesses. His research focuses on developing evidence-based care for hospitalized children with medical complexity, including acute respiratory infections (such as pneumonia and bacterial tracheitis) in children with medical complexity. His research efforts have been recognized through receipt of the University of Southern California’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s KL2 Mentored Research Career Development Award (2014-16), the Academic Pediatric Association’s Young Investigator Award (2015-16), the NIH Loan Repayment Program (2017-2021) and a large grant from the Gerber Foundation (2020-2022). In August 2021, he received a five-year R01 award from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to study bacterial respiratory infections in child with tracheostomy. Outside of his clinical and research responsibilities, Dr. Russell focuses on research mentorship of medical students, pediatric residents, and pediatric hospital medicine fellows as well as improving representation of underrepresented minorities in medicine throughout the continuum of physician training. Dr. Russell is the chair of the Academic Pediatric Association’s Membership, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee and is on the Executive Committee for the Pediatric Research in Inpatient Settings research network. Dr. Russell is active in the AAP and currently serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Hospital Pediatrics.
Arjun Rustagi, MD, PhD
Instructor, Medicine - Infectious Diseases
BioDr. Arjun Rustagi is an Instructor in Medicine. He is a graduate of the University of Washington Medical Scientist Training Program and Stanford's Internal Medicine Residency and Infectious Diseases Fellowship.
He is dedicated to understanding the early immune responses to infections, and the methods pathogens use to persist despite these responses, in order to inform new prevention and treatment strategies. He studies viral pathogenesis and immunity with Dr. Catherine Blish, under whose mentorship he set up the respiratory viral biosafety level 3 (BSL3) program at Stanford in early 2020 in order to study SARS-CoV-2, contributing to several projects in SARS-CoV-2 virology including a study of intact in vitro lung tissue infection. He also protocoled the first peripheral immune profiling study of severe COVID-19. His ongoing interest is in the full spectrum of in vitro respiratory viral models, particularly those that recapitulate lung epithelium and mucosal immunity.
Assistant Professor of Radiology (Integrative Biomedical Imaging Informatics) and, by courtesy, of Urology and of Biomedical Data Science
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. Mirabela Rusu focuses on developing analytic methods for biomedical data integration, with a particular interest in radiology-pathology fusion. Such integrative methods may be applied to create comprehensive multi-scale representations of biomedical processes and pathological conditions, thus enabling their in-depth characterization.
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and of Developmental Biology
BioDr. Rutaganira uses choanoflagellates—the closest living single-celled relatives to animals—to study the origin of animal cell communication. Dr. Rutaganira applies chemical, genetic, and cell biological tools to probe choanoflagellate cell-cell communication, with implications for understanding not only animal cell signaling, but also the origin of multicellularity in animals.
Professor of Radiology (Radiological Sciences Lab)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy research interests center on MRI research, including high-field and high-resolution MRI technology development as well as applications of advanced MRI techniques to studying the brain, cardiovascular system and cancer.
Member, Maternal & Child Health Research Institute (MCHRI)
BioChild neurologist and medical geneticist focusing on the diagnosis and management of rare neurologic disorders. Specific interests are in genetic epilepsy syndromes, childhood neurodegenerative and neurometabolic diseases and undiagnosed suspected genetic conditions.