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Sarafan ChEM-H Institute Scholars

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What are Institute Scholars?

Innovative faculty tackling interdisciplinary problems. Sarafan ChEM-H has hired a team of faculty members, called our Institute Scholars, who are the center of ChEM-H research. They lead discrete but highly collaborative labs that are committed to advancing our understanding of human health.

Read the latest news from our Institute Scholars

Monther Abu-Remaileh

The Abu-Remaileh lab explores the molecular mechanisms that impact the lysosome and how lysosomal dysfunction leads to neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, and other disorders.

Research areas: aging, metabolism

Featured news: Into the lysosome

Steven Banik

The Banik lab aims to characterize and rewire natural cellular mechanisms to develop new tools to study and treat disease. By creating tools that harness and redirect cellular processes, like degrading, modulating, or transporting proteins, the group is developing new ways to understand and treat disease.

Research areas: cancer therapeutics, tool design

Featured news: Steven Banik to join Stanford ChEM-H as an assistant professor of chemistry

Christopher Barnes

The Barnes lab uses cutting-edge structural biology methods to better understand the human immune response to pathogens. By exploring the structure of antibodies, and the molecules that trigger their production, the Barnes lab aims to develop antibody therapies and vaccines for viruses like SARS-CoV-2 and HIV.

Research areas: vaccines, structural biology

Featured news: Piecing together antibodies

Carolyn Bertozzi

Baker Family Director of Sarafan ChEM-H, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology and of Radiology

Carolyn Bertozzi

Baker Family Director of Sarafan ChEM-H, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology and of Radiology

The Bertozzi lab focuses on developing and applying chemical tools to probe difficult-to-study biological problems, particularly in understanding and and manipulating the roles of sugars in health and disease.

Research areas: glycobiology, immunology

Featured news: ChEM-H researchers uncover role of membrane sugars in flu infection

Laura Dassama

The Dassama lab uses chemical tools to elucidate the mechanisms that underlie a variety of biological phenomenon, including multi-drug resistant bacteria and sickle cell disease.

Research areas: infectious disease, sickle cell disease

Featured news: Laura M.K. Dassama uses structural biology expertise to search for sickle cell disease therapies

Michael Fischbach

The Fischbach lab develops and implements new technologies to understand host-microbiota interactions at the molecular level. By understanding and building complex, highly defined microbiome communities, the group hopes to learn more about and ultimately treat a variety of diseases.

Research areas: microbiome, cancer therapeutics

Featured news: Michael Fischbach wants to build a microbiome from the ground up. So what do we need to get there?

Polly Fordyce

Associate Professor of Bioengineering and of Genetics

Polly Fordyce

The Fordyce lab aims to understand and engineer the fundamental yet incompletely understood processes that govern biological functions like transcription and enzymatic activity, processes that are driven by interactions like protein-protein or protein-nucleic acid binding. By developing tools for the high-throughput measurement of these and other molecular interactions, the group aims to model and eventually predict these complex processes.

Research areas: microfluidics, genetics, cell biology

Featured news: Stanford researchers develop tool to drastically speed up the study of enzymes

Nathanael Gray

The Gray lab designs first-in-class molecules to both probe the mechanisms that drive diseases and also validate new drugging strategies to manipulate those mechanisms. Recent efforts have been directed at harnessing and redirecting the inherent capabilities of the cell to target diseases in new ways.

Research areas: cancer therapeutics, medicinal chemistry

Featured news: A drug hunter's new tricks

Christine Jacobs-Wagner

The Jacobs-Wagner lab is unraveling the mechanisms that drive cellular replication. A more complete understanding of the processes involved in how bacterial cells reproduce--phenomena like cell growth and shape change, and chromosomal organization and dynamics--will not only provide fundamental insights into cell biology but also lead to the better rational design of therapeutics.  

Research areas: infectious disease, bacteria, cell biology

Featured news: Secrets of how cells cram in oversized genomes revealed

Chaitan Khosla

Wells H. Rauser and Harold M. Petiprin Professor and Professor of Chemistry and, by courtesy, of Biochemistry

Chaitan Khosla

The Khosla lab uses a molecular approach to studying metabolism, enzymology, and complex biological pathways related to human health. The group's research includes understanding nature's molecule-making assembly lines, elucidating new drug targets for celiac disease, and developing novel antivirals.

Research areas: celiac disease, enzymes

Featured news: Stanford researchers gain insight into how cells avoid assembly-line mistakes

Peter S. Kim

Virginia and D. K. Ludwig Professor of Biochemistry

Peter Kim

The Kim lab aims to develop vaccines for traditionally difficult to target diseases like HIV, Ebola, and influenza. By studying the mechanisms that underlie viral infection and the host immune response, the group is pioneering new vaccination strategies.

Research areas: vaccines, infectious disease

Featured news: Stanford single-dose nanoparticle vaccine for COVID-19

Lingyin Li

The Li lab combines expertise in medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, and immunology to uncover the mechanisms behind innate immunity and develop new kinds of therapeutics that harness its power.

Research areas: immunology, cancer therapeutics, biochemistry

Featured news: ChEM-H researchers work toward new understanding of cancer camouflage

Jonathan Long

The Long lab studies the huge collection of molecules that cells secrete into the bloodstream. By identifying and studying these molecules, which are involved in a complex web of pathways that trigger responses throughout the body, the group aims to learn which molecules are key in human health and disease and discover new therapeutic candidates or drug targets.

Research areas: metabolism, exercise

Featured news: Jon Long on an interdisciplinary approach to studying human metabolism

Nicole M. Martinez

Assistant Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology and of Developmental Biology

Nicole Martinez

The Martinez lab combines molecular biology, biochemistry, genomics, genetics, and systems biology to understand RNA-based mechanisms of gene regulation.

Research areas: cell biology, genetics

Featured news: Modifying the message

Paul Mischel

The Mischel lab uncovers the secrets behind extrachromosomal DNA, the long-overlooked circles of DNA that are now known to drive an estimated one-third of all cancers to develop drug resistance. By studying this ecDNA, which does not obey the normal rules of genetic inheritance, the group aims to develop new kinds of therapies for difficult-to-treat cancers.

Research areas: cancer therapeutics, cell biology

Featured news: Shining a light on extrachromosomal DNA

Hawa Racine Thiam

Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and of Microbiology and Immunology

Hawa Racine Thiam

The HR Thiam Lab investigates the cellular biophysical mechanisms of neutrophil functions with the long-term aim of using this knowledge together with engineering principles to modulate innate immune responses.

Research Areas: Innate immune response, Autoimmune Diseases, NETosis, Neutrophil Biophysics, Nuclear Biophysics

Featured News: Pushing cells to the extreme

Stanley Qi

The Qi lab combines genome engineering, synthetic biology, bioinformatics, and molecular design to develop new kinds of cell and gene therapies. By creating an expanded CRISPR gene editing toolbox, the group aims to improve existing and develop new therapies for difficult-to-treat diseases.

Research areas: gene editing, synthetic biology

Featured News: Stanford researchers develop an engineered ‘mini’ CRISPR genome editing system