School of Medicine

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  • Douglas Vollrath

    Douglas Vollrath

    Associate Professor of Genetics and, by courtesy, of Ophthalmology

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe Vollrath lab works to uncover molecular mechanisms relevant to the health and pathology of the outer retina. We study the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a cell monolayer adjacent to photoreceptors that performs a variety of tasks crucial for retinal homeostasis. Specific areas of interest include the circadian regulation of RPE phagocytosis of photoreceptor outer segment tips, and how RPE metabolic dysfunction contributes to retinal degenerative diseases.

  • Dr. Nina Vasan

    Dr. Nina Vasan

    MBA, expected graduation 2018
    Resident in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsBrainstorm is the world's first academic laboratory dedicated to transforming brain health through entrepreneurship.

    Based at Stanford and launched by a founding team of physicians from across the country, we apply the biopsychosocial model of disease to tackle problems on the systems level. We unite the worlds of medicine, business, and technology to foster innovative ventures that optimize health and human potential.

  • Tulio Valdez

    Tulio Valdez

    Associate Professor of Otolaryngology (Pediatric) at the Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital

    BioDr. Tulio A Valdez is a surgeon scientist born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia with a subspecialty interest in Pediatric Otolaryngology. He attended medical school at Universidad Javeriana in Bogota Colombia before undertaking his residency in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery in Boston. He completed his Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellowship at Texas Children’s Hospital (2007), Houston and obtained his Master’s in Clinical and Translational Research at the University of Connecticut.

    Clinically, Dr. Valdez has an interest in airway surgery and swallowing disorders. He has a special interest in the management of sinus disease in cystic fibrosis. Dr. Valdez has co-authored one textbook and numerous book chapters and scientific manuscripts. Dr. Valdez continues his clinical research in these areas, particularly with a focus on aerodigestive disorders.

    Scientifically, Dr. Valdez has developed various imaging methods to diagnose otitis media and cholesteatoma a middle ear condition that can lead to hearing loss. He was part of the Laser Biomedical Research Center at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research includes novel imaging modalities to better diagnose ear infections one of the most common pediatric problems. His research has now expanded to include better intraoperative imaging modalities in pediatric patients to improve surgical outcomes without the need for radiation exposure. 

    Dr. Valdez believes in the multi-disciplinary collaborations to tackle medical problems and has co-invented various medical devices and surgical simulation models.

  • Anusha Murthy Vable

    Anusha Murthy Vable

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Primary Care and Outcomes Research

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsSubstantively, my research focuses on the causal effect of education policies on health inequalities. Specifically, my work to date has examined the effect of college education subsidies, provided by the Korean War GI Bill, on health and health disparities; we found that veterans from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds disproportionately benefited from military service and benefits, resulting in smaller socio-economic disparities in number of depressive symptoms and lung function among veterans compared to non-veterans. In the future, I plan to extend my work to the K-12 education system to examine the effect of education quality on health and health disparities. My substantive work suggests that health and health disparities are mutable throughout the lifecourse.

    Methodologically, I have two areas of expertise: matching methods, and the measurement of lifecourse socio-economic status. In order to explore health inequalities as rigorously as possible, we compared different matching methods (propensity score matching, PSM, and coarsened exact matching, CEM) for making causal inference from observational data, and found that CEM drastically out-performs PSM in balancing the multivariate distribution of matching covariates. We are now in the process of conducting a simulation analysis to determine how PSM and CEM perform under different common support and confounding scenarios. In other methodological work, we used factor analysis to create scales that measure childhood human, financial, and social capital; we psychometrically validate these markers, and compared them to other comprehensive operationalizations for quality of predictions. We found the validated measures out-performed other operationalizations, increasing statistical power and reducing bias. Through these studies, I show tangible ways to improve the quality of health research.