Canary Center News

Dr. Gambhir Recognized as Highly Cited Researchers of 2018

December 8, 2018

2018 Canary CREST intern, Irmina Benson featured on CBS

Don Listwin Received School of Medicine’s Highest Honor

Don Listwin has been awarded the highest honor bestowed by the School of Medicine, the Dean’s Medal, which is presented to individuals whose contributions have significantly advanced the mission of Stanford Medicine.

Congratulations, Don!

The New York Times Highlights Project Baseline Study

October 18, 2018

Dr. Johannes Reiter’s work in cancer evolution has been awarded the Wissen schaf[f]t Zukunft Preis 2018.

October 12, 2018

Province of Lower Austria honors IST Austria Alumnus Johannes Reiter for his dissertation in the field of cancer research.

Congratulations, Dr. Reiter!

Stoyanova Lab awarded NCI Small Grants Program for Cancer Research award for the project titled:  

"Elucidating novel mechanisms underlying prostate cancer development"

The major goals of the proposed project are to define novel mechanisms through which Trop2 contributes to the development of advanced prostate cancer. The study will also develop new the therapeutic strategies to target Trop2 activity. Completion of the proposed research will give us insights into new mechanisms underlying the development of aggressive prostate cancer and open novel avenues for therapeutic intervention.


Dr. Curtis Received 2018 NIH Pioneer Award

October 3, 2018

Dr. Christina Curtis has been awarded the Pioneer Award from the NIH for her project, "Forecasting Tumor Evolution: Can the Past Reveal the Future?"

Dr. Curtis, an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Genetics, plans to study how human tumors develop and to predict their progression. Her research focuses on understanding cancer systems biology, or the complex way in which many aspects of biology interact in healthy and diseased states. Akin to weather forecasting, the goal is to ultimately allow clinicians to anticipate how a tumor will behave over time, as well as to steer its course and tailor treatment options.

Congratulations, Dr. Curtis!

Canary CREST Interns abstracts accepted for the BMES 2018 Annual Conference

2018 Canary CREST interns in the Translational Molecular Imaging Lab:  Makenna Laffey, Katharine Nottberg and Karina Sharma have successful abstracts accepted for the BMES 2018 annual Conference in October in Atlanta for their titles on:

Abstract Title: "Photoacoustic Molecular Imaging Of Breast Cancer With A B7-H3 Targeted Affibody-ICG Agent"

Authors: Makenna Laffey, Katharine Nottberg, Karina Sharma, Rakesh Bam, Lotfi Abou-Elkacem, Katheryne Wilson

Abstract Title: "Synthesis of an Engineered B7-H3-targeted Affibody-ICG Contrast Agent for Early Breast Cancer Detection"

Authors: Katharine Nottberg, Makenna Laffey, Karina Sharma, Rakesh Bam, Lotfi Abou-Alkacem, Lotfi Abou-Alkacem, Katheryne Wilson

Abstract Title:  "Affibody Ligand Based B7-H3-targeted Microbubbles For Ultrasonic Detection Of Breast Cancer"

Authors: Karina Sharma, Makenna Laffey, Katharine Nottberg, Rakesh Bam, Katheryne Wilson, Lotfi Abou-Elkacem


Congratulations to all!


2018 Canary Challenge Fundraiser

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the important cause of cancer early detection.  Together, the Canary Center Team raised over $30,000 this year at the  2018 Canary Challenge.   We are overjoyed at this achievement and are grateful for everyone's committment. 

Thank you and Congratulations to all participants and volunteers!

Please visit to obtain more information.

Canary Center welcomes New Associate Faculty member Dr. Haruka Itakura

September 25, 2018

Dr. Gambhir Appointed to Membership on the NIBIB Advisory Council

September 16, 2018

Same Mutations Underpin Spread of Cancer in Individuals

September 11, 2018

Collaboration with MSKCC Reveals how Pancreatic Cancer Develops

September 10, 2018

Dr. Johannes Reiter in collaboration with physician-scientist Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue from MSKCC have found new clues about how cancer develops by studying abnormal pancreas cells that sometimes turn into cancer.

2018 Canary CREST intern presenting at The Early Detection of Cancer Conference 

September 7, 2018

Canary CREST intern Maggie Wang (Gambhir Lab)will present her poster titled: "Early Detection of Aggressive Cancer Using Longitudinal Biomarker MEasurements" at The Early Detection of Cancer Conference 2018 in Portland, Oregon.

2018 Canary CREST Poster Symposium Award Winners

August 23, 2018

Canary CREST Program awards students: Mackenna Laffey, Maggie Wang and Renuka Ramanathan with Best Poster Presentations.

SMASH Rising Scholars present their research project at the SMASH Alumni Summit

August 3, 2018

The first four Canary Center SMASH Rising scholars, Taylor Nguyen, Agodi Onyeador, Quentin Spikes, and Semhar Teklu, presented their research project at the SMASH Alumni Summit on August 3, 2018.

This summit reunited 200 SMASH alumni and cutting-edge research, industry, and community partners. The summit also provided opportunities for personal and professional development and celebrated over 15 years of the SMASH community. The four Canary Center scholars worked on their research project for 6 weeks under mentorship of Prof. Parag Mallick and researchers Michelle Hori and Hunter Boyce. During their presentation, the students explained how they combined experimental and computational methods to uncover potential new lung cancer biomarkers. Other student presentations were by IDEO Colab’s and Pandora’s SMASH Rising scholars.

Stanford Researchers Develop Magnetic Wire that Increases Detection of Circulating Tumor Cells

July 16, 2018

2018 Academy for Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Research Distinguished Investigators

May 22, 2018

Dr. Gambhir and his colleagues have found a way to track the effectiveness of a cancer immunotherapy in the body

May 14, 2018

Canary Center researchers are among those funded by Stand Up to Cancer

Several Canary Center researchers are on “dream teams” that will receive funding from the organization Stand Up To Cancer to develop strategies to detect and treat early-stage cancer.

SANJIV “SAM” GAMBHIR, professor and chair of radiology and director of the Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection at Stanford, is the principal Stanford investigator of the SU2C-LUNGevity American Lung Association Lung Cancer Interception Dream Team.

This $5 million, four-year project entails creating a molecular atlas of precancerous lung tissue; developing blood tests capable of identifying patients with early lung cancer recurrence and nasal, blood and radiological techniques to discern whether abnormalities on chest imaging are cancerous; and developing tests to determine who is most likely to benefit from particular treatment strategies.

The team is a collaboration between Stanford, Johns Hopkins University, UCLA, Boston University, Harvard University and the Francis Crick Institute.

In addition, MAXIMILIAN DIEHN, assistant professor of radiation oncology, is a co-leader of the SU2C-LUNGevity American Lung Association Lung Interception Translational Research Team, which received a $2 million grant. The team will work on developing a diagnostic tool that uses information from low-dose CT scans and from blood-based assays, which detect circulating tumor DNA and cells. The funding will support development and pilot testing of the tool, which aims to speed the detection of lung cancer.

Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation.Stand Up To Cancer 


Learn more about the Dream Team and studies here:

Sharon Hori awarded DOD Breakthrough Award

May, 2018

Dr. Sharon Hori, PhD receives Department of Defense, Breast Cancer Research Program, Breakthrough Award for her project titled:  

"A Modeling-Based Personalized Screening Strategy Combining Circulating Biomarker and Imaging Data for Breast Cancer Early Detection"

Goal: To address the problems of breast canceroverdiagnosis and overtreatment by developing blood and urine sampling schedules that more accurately predict when a woman’s circulating biomarker measurements are abnormal.

Stoyanova Lab awarded DOD Idea Development Award

May, 2018

Stoyanova Lab receives Department of Defense, Prostate Cancer Research Program, Idea Development Award for their project titled:  

"Trop2 as a novel driver and therapeutic target for castration-resistant prostate cancer"

Dr. Meghan Rice, PhD awarded DOD Early Investigator Research Award

May, 2018

Dr. Meghan Rice, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Stoyanova Lab awarded Department of Defense, Prostate Cancer Research Program, Early Investigator Research Award for her project title:

"Defining the Role and Therapeutic Potential of Notch Signaling in Aggressive Prostate Cancer"

May 2018

Stanford Undergraduate Research Winners

Alisha Birk of Pitteri Lab and Austin You Su of Stoyanova Lab have each received an Undergraduate Advising and Research Major Grant to support full-time immersive summer research.

Congratulations Alisha & Austin!

April 2018

Joanna Sylman of Mallick Lab featured in Nature Magazine

“A team of researchers lead by J.L. Sylman from the Canary Center at Stanford University, Oregon Health and Science University, and the Palo Alto VA investigated how longitudinal platelet counts could be leveraged via machine learning techniques to improve lung, prostate, and colon veteran cancer patients' prognosis predictions. The sponsorship and data for this work were provided through a Big Data Scientist Training Enhancement Program (BD-STEP) fellowship given by the NCI and VA.”

Registration is now open for the 2018 Early Detection of Cancer Conference.

This annual event is a collaboration between the Canary Center at Stanford, Oregon Health Science University’s Knight Cancer Institute, and Cancer Research UK. It brings together experts in early cancer detection from multiple disciplines to share ground breaking research and progress in the field.

The 2018 conference will take place on October 2-4 in Portland, Oregon.

For more information see the conference website at

Toward Achieving Precision Health

February 28, 2018

Dahl, Willmann Labs' Collaboration Significantly Improves Ultrasound Molecular Imaging Sensitivity

January 24, 2018

In an article recently published in IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, members of the Jeremy Dahl and Juergen Willmann labs (Dongwoon Hyun, Lotfi Abou-Elkacem, Valerie Perez, and Sayan Mullick Chowdhury) demonstrate a coherence-based ultrasound method to image VEGFR2-targeted microbubbles in vivo, showing a 41% increase in SNR over conventional contrast-enhanced ultrasound techniques.

Dr. Utkan Demirci Featured in Advanced Science News

January 24, 2018

Science fact catches up with science fiction: by exploiting magnetic levitation, biomanufacturing – creating living 3D structures – is now possible in zero gravity. Utkan Demirci discusses how this works.


Canary Center at Stanford and Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre collaborate to fund innovative research to help diagnose cancer earlier

January 2018

To bring outstanding academic and clinical researchers from the US and UK together, the two centers are jointly funding four research projects exploring innovative ways to detect prostate, lung, esophageal, and renal cancers at an early stage.

The awards were announced at Cambridge’s third annual early detection symposium on January 15. You can read more about these new collaborations below or by watching the video.

Remembering Dr. Juergen Willmann

January 11, 2018

Dr. Utkan Demirci Featured in the Stanford News:

January 3, 2018

New device selects healthy sperm

A new sperm-sorting device built at Stanford filters the unfit from the fit and could help improve infertility treatments. Stanford radiology researcher Utkan Demirci, PhD, and collaborator Erkan Tüzel, PhD, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, have used this premise to design a new device to filter out misshapen sperm cells.

This device, which is described in a paper in Advanced Science, could improve infertility treatments such as IVF.


Science meets art at Stanford - Parag Mallick, Associate Professor of radiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine

Parag Mallick’s love for magic started with simple toys, the kind you can buy at a convenience store. He then picked up juggling in college, which he calls “a gateway drug to the circus arts.” Through lessons at the legendary Magic Castle during graduate school in Los Angeles, Mallick developed his skills as professional performer.

And he was doing all of this while working toward becoming an astronaut.

“I got into my specific area of research because I wanted to understand how human physiology works and, in particular, what happens to people on the ground and in space,” said Mallick, now an associate professor of radiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, focusing on systems biology, personalized medicine and cancer diagnostics. “Being a Stanford professor was kind of my back-up plan.”

For years, Mallick kept his two worlds completely separate, concerned that other performers would question his dedication to his craft and that scientists wouldn’t take him – or his research – seriously. It’s only recently that he’s unified his dual life. The change has been overwhelmingly positive. “Being able to talk about magic openly and being able to discuss concepts from magic in science – like the fundamentals of perception and misperception and how that might influence our ability to draw conclusions from data – I think it’s really made me both a better scientist and a better magician,” he said.

Close-up magic, like the Three Card Monte trick, are Mallick’s specialty. He loves the intimate, shared experience of these performances and their dependence on meticulousness, a talent he applies to his science and his art. Both passions have also refined Mallick’s skills as storyteller, communicator and performer. Whether he’s juggling machetes or teaching his students about bioinformatics, Mallick hopes to encourage people to try out new perspectives and embrace their sense of wonder.


By Taylor Kubota

Stanford News

Participate in the Canary Challenge Fundraiser on Sept 29, 2018: Funds raised directly support the Canary Center at Stanford

Don’t forget about the exciting opportunity to help raise funds for early cancer detection research in the Radiology Department through the Canary Challenge bike ride/walk on September 29, 2018. The Canary Challenge is a fundraiser sponsored by the Canary Foundation and the Radiology Department with proceeds benefiting the Radiology Department and the Canary Center at Stanford.

Teams are encouraged for this ride so please join one of the many Radiology department teams or start your own with your friends and family. We look forward to seeing you at the finish line and celebrating another great fundraiser with live music, great food, and entertainment.

Please visit to sign up, make a donation, or obtain more information. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Dr. Stephanie van de Ven, the Deputy Director for the Canary Center at Stanford.

Dr. Soh Named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

December 12, 2017

New Canary Center Associate Faculty member.

November 1, 2017

Welcome Dr. Joy Wu, our newest Canary Center Associate Faculty member.

2017 Stanford Radiology Joint Research Retreat

October 15, 2017

2017 Canary Challenge Fundraiser

Thank you to everyone for their time and contribution for an  important cause of cancer early detection. 

This year the Canary Center Team raised over $35,000.  Congratulations to all participants and volunteers!

Please visit to obtain more information.

Dr. Gambhir Appointed President of the IS3R

September 1, 2017

August 2017

Dr. Totten Receives Katharine McCormick Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship

Dr. Sarah Totten, postdoctoral scholar in the Pitteri Lab, received a Katharine McCormick Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship from The Katharine McCormick Committee to Support Women in Academic Medicine.  This new fellowship program in the Stanford School of Medicine recognizes the accomplishments and potential of advanced postdoctoral scholars who are pursuing faculty careers in academic medicine.

Congratulations Dr. Totten!

August 2017

2017 Verily Young Scientist Award Winners

Canary Center summer internship students Mark Zhu, Alex Codik and Mark Buckup win the Verily Young Scientist Awards for their projects titled:

"NIR-II Imaging of Cerebral Disease using a Small Molecule Dye"  by Mark Zhu

 "Lab-on-a-fiber technology: An aptamer-based optical biosensor for real-time neurochemical measurements"                                             by Alex Codik 

"Elucidating the Role of Legumain in Prostate Cancer"                          by Mark Buckup

Congratulations Mark, Alex & Mark!

July 2017

Stanford Bio-X Undergraduate Research Fellowship for Summer 2017 Winners

Alisha Birk of Pitteri Lab and Austin You Su of Stoyanova Lab receive the Stanford Bio-X Undergraduate Research Fellowship for Summer 2017.

Congratulations Alisha & Austin!

June 2017

Dr. Meghan Rice receives best Poster Award

Dr. Meghan Rice, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Stoyanova Lab received Best Poster Award at the Canary Foundation Early Detection Symposium for her poster titled:

"Role of Notch1 in Early Stratification of Aggressive Prostate Cancer".

Congratulations Dr. Rice!

February 2017

Dr. Totten Receives Two Awards

Dr. Sarah Totten, postdoctoral scholar in the Pitteri Lab, received an American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award to present her work at the AACR Annual Meeting in Washington DC in April 2017.  She also received a travel award from the US Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) to present her work at the annual HUPO meeting in San Diego in March 2017. 

Congratulations Dr. Totten!

Dr. Dhanasekaran Received 2017 American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Award

Renumathy Dhanasekaran, MD, Stanford University receives award for her title:

"Plasma Glycoproteomic Biomarkers for Invasive Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)"

This proposal is a continuation of the 2016 Canary Seed Grant.

November 2016

Dr. Meghan Rice receives Helena Anna Henzl-Gabor Young Women in Science Award

Dr. Meghan Rice, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Stoyanova Lab received the Helena Anna Henzl-Gabor Young Women in Science Postdoctoral Travel Grant present her work on "Therapeutic Inhibition of Notch1 in Metastatic Prostate Cancer" at the 2017 American Association of Cancer Research in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations Dr. Rice!

Dr. Stoyanova Received McCormick-Gabilan Faculty Award

September 27, 2016

2016 Canary Center Seed Grant Winners

Dr. Parag Mallick's Research Featured in the Stanford Report

August 24, 2016

Radiology's Parag Mallick, PhD, and his cancer research have been featured by Stanford Medicine News.

In the article, Dr. Mallick eloquently relates cancer cell behavior to a flock of birds. He describes how studying the movement of one bird at a time would not be effective in predicting the flock's movement. 

The article also discusses how this concept can be applied to studying cancer cells and their transition to metastatic behavior. Once the movement of the group is studied and research begins to model why the transition occurs, then we may be in a better position to predict the cancer cell's transition to metastatic. 

Finally, the article talks about a remarkable virtual model of cancer that Dr. Mallick and his group are building and soon to release as a publicly accessible, interactive database. It is called Markerville. Dr. Mallick says about Markerville, "It includes both a model of cancer and a collection of data we’ve pulled from the literature about each protein."

Exciting research coming from the Mallick Lab; stay tuned for great things!

Firestone Medal & Stanford Alumni Association Award Recipient

Christine Yeh, undergraduate in the Pitteri Lab, co-advised by Mike Snyder, received a Firestone Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Research which recognizes the top ten percent of all honors thesis in social sciences, science and engineering at Stanford.  Christine also received the Stanford Alumni Association Award of Excellence which honors the top 10% of graduating seniors who have demonstrated a sincere commitment to the university through involvement, leadership, and extraordinary Stanford spirit.

Congratulations Christine!

Dr. Going Receives Award

Dr. Catherine Going, PostDoctoral Scholar in the Pitteri Lab, awarded the American Society for Mass spectrometry Postdoctoral Award which is given to promote the professional career development of postdoctoral fellows in the field of mass spectrometry.

Congratulations Catherine!

Recipients of the Stanford Undergraduate Advising and Research Conference Grant


Cheylene Tanimoto and Christine Yeh, undergraduate students in the Pitteri Lab, received the Stanford Undergraduate Advising and Research Conference Grants to present their work in the American Society for Mass Spectrometry Annual meeting in San Antonio Texas in July 2016.


Congratulations Cheylen & Christine!

Canary Summit

May 4th, 2016
University Club of Palo Alto

The Canary Summit serves as a meeting for all members and associate members of the Canary Center at Stanford to share their research and discuss successes, challenges, and visions for the field of early cancer detection. Stanford faculty and clinicians with an interest in early cancer detection are also encouraged to participate. Our goal is to enable collaborations across research groups in order to innovate diagnostic strategies for the early detection of cancer.
Submit your work:
All interested researchers, incl. postdocs, graduate students, research scientists, and instructors, are encouraged to submit abstracts on their projects for consideration for invited talks and posters. All submitted abstracts are eligible for prizes!

Submit your abstracts to by April 1st, 2016.

For more information, please go to the website or e-mail

Registration is now open:
Registration for the Canary Summit is free, but you must register to attend by April 26, 2016.

Blood test giving false sense of security about cancer risk?

Thanks to breakthroughs in technology, the market for genetic tests that give patients information about their genes has surged over the past decade. According to one recent estimate, there are now more than 60,000 on the market. But in the race to profit from this exploding industry, CBS News found some may be promising more than science can deliver.

Dr. Totten Receives Award

Dr. Sarah Totten, PostDoctoral Scholar in the Pitteri Lab, awarded the Stanford Hispanic Center of Excellence Postdoctoral Fellowship.


Congratulations Dr. Totten!

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