School of Medicine

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  • Julia Fridman Simard

    Julia Fridman Simard

    Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health, of Medicine (Immunology & Rheumatology) and, by courtesy, of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Maternal Fetal Medicine)

    BioJulia Fridman Simard, ScD, is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology & Population Health, and, by courtesy, of Medicine in Immunology and Rheumatology and Obstetrics and Gynecology in Maternal Fetal Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine.

    Dr. Simard earned her Masters and Doctorate of Science in Epidemiology degrees at the Harvard School of Public Health. During that time she trained with investigators at the Section of Clinical Sciences, Division of Rheumatology, Immunology, and Allergy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. In 2008, Dr. Simard relocated to Sweden to begin a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Epidemiology at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. She became an Assistant Professor in their Clinical Epidemiology Unit in 2011, and was later honored with a Karolinska Institutet Teaching Award. Leveraging the population-based registers of Sweden, Dr. Simard initiated a national register linkage study to examine the utility of registers in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) research and develop an extensive data repository for future epidemiologic investigations.

    While maintaining a close collaboration with the Karolinska Institutet, she joined Stanford’s Epidemiology faculty in 2013. Dr. Simard studies outcomes such as malignancy, stroke, infection, and mortality, in patients with systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases with a focus on systemic lupus erythematosus. Recently her primary research focus has shifted to the intersection between reproductive epidemiology and rheumatic disease fueled by a K01 career development award from the NIH (NIAMS) to study maternal and fetal outcomes in systemic lupus pregnancy. This led to collaborations with colleagues at Stanford, throughout the US, and abroad, and a series of projects focused on the diagnosis of preeclampsia and associated risks in pregnant women with systemic lupus. Dr. Simard was awarded a Peter Joseph Pappas Research Grant from the Preeclampsia Foundation for her lab's work examining preeclampsia risk in high-risk populations, and a McCormick Faculty Award from Stanford Medicine to take important steps towards disentangling preeclampsia from lupus nephritis. Dr. Simard is leading an international study of hydroxychloroquine in lupus pregnancy leveraging mixed methods in partnership with qualitative researchers, patients, clinicians, and epidemiologists in Sweden, Canada, and in the United States.

    In addition to these issues of misclassification in reproductive rheumatology questions, Dr. Simard's lab is also interested in how misclassification, missed opportunities, and misdiagnosis contribute to disparities in complex conditions such as systemic lupus. In addition to methodologic issues around misclassification and bias and the largely clinical epidemiology focus of her work, Dr. Simard's work examines social determinants of health and health disparities. Dr. Simard was recently awarded an R01 from NIH (NIAID) to study the role of cognitive and unconscious bias in clinical decision making for female-predominant diseases including lupus.

  • Shamsi Soltani

    Shamsi Soltani

    Ph.D. Student in Epidemiology and Clinical Research, admitted Autumn 2021

    BioShamsi Soltani is doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health and a trainee with the Center for Population Health Sciences, both in the Stanford School of Medicine. She is also a fellow in the Training in Advanced Data Analytics for Behavioral and Social Sciences (TADA-BSSR) program, supervised by Drs. Abby King and Lorene Nelson.

  • Sahana Somasegar MD

    Sahana Somasegar MD

    Masters Student in Epidemiology and Clinical Research, admitted Autumn 2022
    Fellow in Medicine

    BioSahana Somasegar, MD, graduated from Cornell University in Human Biology, Health & Society, where she was a Presidential Research Scholar and studied endothelial cell migration, invasion, and growth to further understand angiogenesis. Sahana then attended Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, where she led student organizations including the American Medical Women’s Association chapter and Oncology Interest group. While in medical school, Sahana received the Dean’s Summer Research Award and American Pediatric Society Fellowships. She ultimately graduated medical school in 2018 with Honors with Distinction in Research. Sahana subsequently completed her Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at the University of Chicago, where she served as Administrative Chief Resident in her final year. She also received the Society of Gynecologic Oncology Outstanding Resident in Gynecologic Oncology Award and the Golden Apple Medical Student Teaching Award. During residency, she was involved in several research efforts, including research focused on clinical outcomes in gynecologic cancers after targeted treatments based on somatic mutations, which was published as Editor’s Choice in Gynecologic Oncology. Her research contributions have been published in Gynecologic Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology: Oncology Practice, International Journal of Gynecological Pathology, Gynecologic Oncology Reports, and others. After completing residency, Sahana joined Stanford University for fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Epidemiology and Clinical Research, with the hope of continuing to conduct clinical research and participate in clinical trials throughout her career. Under the guidance of Dr. Marcia Stefanick and Dr. Allison Kurian, her thesis is focused on geographical differences in risk factors, work-up and diagnosis, and survival in uterine cancer to better understand how to target public health interventions to combat disparities. She is also working on clinical projects related to surgical techniques and large-database analysis of trends in gynecologic cancer survival.