School of Medicine

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  • Dessi Zaharieva

    Dessi Zaharieva

    Instructor, Pediatrics - Endocrinology and Diabetes

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe 4T (Teamwork, Targets, Technology, and Tight Control) Exercise Study focuses on addressing the attitudes & barriers to exercise for families and newly diagnosed youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D). We are currently establishing feasibility and understanding physical activity patterns and behaviours in newly diagnosed youth with T1D using wearable activity trackers. This work also involves delivering structured exercise education to families and youth with T1D over telehealth.

  • Yanxian Zhang

    Yanxian Zhang

    Postdoctoral Scholar, Endocrinology and Metabolism

    BioThrough my academic training and research experience, I have cultivated a strong foundation in engineering and molecular biology. My work involves integrating diverse concepts from disciplines such as chemical engineering, protein engineering, supramolecular chemistry, and biophysics to address complex biomedical challenges. As a graduate student with Dr. Jie Zheng, my research focused on both natural and synthetic macromolecules. My research involved utilizing polymer chemistry to design biocompatible multifunctional hydrogels, as well as investigating the thermodynamics of amyloid proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Leveraging my expertise in thermodynamics and supramolecular chemistry, I contributed to the study of understanding protein misfolding and aggregation. I identified sequence-independent inhibitors to prevent protein misfolding and developed a rational strategy for inhibitor design, enabling cross-interaction activity and the fluorescent detection of amyloids. Driven by a strong interest in translational research, I pursued postdoctoral training here at Stanford School of Medicine. In Dr. Danny Hung-Chieh Chou's lab at Stanford University, I received comprehensive training in peptide engineering and molecular biology. I am dedicated to addressing formulation challenges for insulin with stable ultra-concentrated and ultra-fast properties, aimed at miniaturizing insulin pumps and advancing the next-generation of insulin automatic delivery systems. This work is supported by the JDRF postdoctoral fellowship. Furthermore, I am working on therapeutics development and have successfully developed an insulin derivative that acts as a full insulin receptor antagonist. This development holds promise as a candidate for treating the rare disease of hyperinsulinism. Throughout my postdoctoral training, I have gained proficiency in grant writing, public speaking, and mentoring students. These experiences have significantly strengthened my skills as an independent investigator. Looking forward, my research goal is to develop innovative strategies that support the functionality and delivery of biological therapies.