School of Medicine
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Zara M. Patel
Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at the Stanford University Medical Center
Bio Dr. Zara M. Patel is an Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology at Stanford. She was born and raised in St. Louis, completed her MD at the Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland, Oregon and completed her residency training in otolaryngology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, NY. After pursuing fellowship training in rhinology and endoscopic skull base surgery at Stanford University, she was recruited to join the Emory University faculty in Atlanta in 2011. After four years, the rhinology division recruited her back to the West coast to rejoin the department here at Stanford University.
Dr. Patel is an expert in advanced endoscopic sinus and skull base surgery. She treats patients with a wide variety of rhinologic complaints, including nasal obstruction, chronic sinus infection or inflammation, sinus disease that has failed medical therapy, sinus disease that has failed prior surgical therapy, cerebrospinal fluid leaks, benign and and malignant sinus and skull base tumors, as well as olfactory disorders.
She is currently the Chair of the Education Committee for the American Rhinologic Society and has developed a multitude of educational materials for both physicians and patients to help them better understand rhinologic disorders. She is passionate about educating patients to allow them to make the best decisions about their own care, leading to the best outcomes.
Dr. Patel has been active in clinical research, publishing widely in topics such as avoiding complications in endoscopic sinus surgery, chronic rhinosinusitis in the immunosuppressed patient population, new devices and techniques for endoscopic skull base surgery, racial disparities in sinonasal cancer survival and olfactory dysfunction. She continues to perform research in these areas, and is beginning collaborative efforts with neuroscientists and engineers to develop technology that she hopes will eventually help cure patients with olfactory loss.
Associate Professor of Medicine (Oncology) at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health Care System and, by courtesy of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery at the Stanford University Medical Center
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Clinical Interests: general oncology, head and neck cancer Research Interests: chemoprevention trials and combined modality approaches to head and neck cancer
Andres Plata Stapper
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery
Current Research and Scholarly Interests I aim to discern the molecular mechanisms driving lineage specification during embryonic development, neurogenesis, organogenesis and disease, with a long term goal of the development of tools for precision medicine at single cell, tissue, individual and population level.
My current research uses inner ear development as a model system. The inner ear is a complex structural and functional interconnected collection of sensory organs, responsible for our perception of sound, acceleration and balance. The inner ear semi-autonomously originates in early embryonic development from a patch of thickened ectoderm known as the otic placode. Advances in the understanding on otic development and lineage specification could lead to medical applications such as treating and identifying developmental disorders, as well as the development of in-vitro and in-vivo protocols for guided differentiation of sensory hair cells to cure deafness.
I am working to generate a cell atlas specific to the initiation of inner ear development, when the otic placode thickens and undergoes molecular and morphological changes to form an otocyst, which eventually develops into a fully functional inner ear. I aim to identify early otic-specific lineages, the molecular signatures specific to each, and describe the spatio-temporal dynamics of cells and genes during this developmental time frame.
I use computational tools to identify otic from non-otic cells in transgenic and wild type model organisms from multi-parallel qrtPCR from single cells, and concentrate on the otic populations for deep learning to accurately identify, characterize, and classify otic specific subpopulations. Computational approaches also allows us to determine the lineages composing the developing otic placode, to generate spatial and temporally accurate 3d models of organogenesis, and to design an otic cellular classifier using machine learning.
I use multidisciplinary approaches including: 1) microfluidic technology for the generation of single cell gene expression data, 2) computational and statistical multi-dimensional data analysis approaches in the form of supervised and unsupervised machine learning, 3) molecular biology tools such as transgenics, multi-parallel qRT-PCR, immuno-histochemistry, single molecule in-situ hybridization and 4) confocal microscopy.
Gerald R Popelka, PhD
Consulting Professor of Otolaryngology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests My long term effort is centered on understanding and accurately measuring both normal and abnormal auditory function, both at the periphery and within the brain. I am now focussed on tinnitus, a perceived phantom sound in the absence of auditory stimulation. My goals include specifically understanding the basic mechanisms of tinnitus and developing effective and safe interventions.