Canary Center News

  • Stanford launches Project Baseline study by enrolling first participant

    July 17, 2017…

  • Winners of the Catalyst for Collaborative Solutions Announced and the Department of Radiology is Included

    June 12, 2017…

  • Drs. Demirci, Rubin, & Willmann Received 2017 Academy for Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Research Distinguished Investigator Award

    June 5, 2017…

  • Research by Dr. Mallick is Changing Our View of Cancer

    April 7, 2017…

  • First-in-Human Ultrasound Molecular Imaging in Patients with Breast and Ovarian Lesions

    April 3, 2017…

  • Ophir Vermesh Received Bio-X Poster Award

    March 1, 2017…

  • Dr. H Tom Soh Named Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Senior Investigator

    February 8, 2017…

  • Ophir Vermesh Wins Best Poster at IEEE Micro AND Nanotechnology in Medicine

    December 19, 2016…

  • Ophir Vermesh Received SURPAS Best Talk

    December 7, 2016…

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!

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.

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!

Participate in the Canary Challenge Fundraiser on Sept 24th 2016: 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 24th.

The Canary Challenge is a non-profit fundraiser for the Canary Foundation to aide research on early cancer detection. The Canary Challenge event is the premier cycling event held in Palo Alto.  Unlike many organized charity bike rides, the Canary Challenge ensures that 100% of all funds raised are directed to the Canary Foundation and do not cover the cost of the event.

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.

If you would like to Volunteer at the event, you may do so instead of walking or biking. Please register to Volunteer at the site listed below.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact, the acting Deputy Director for the Canary Center at Stanford.

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!

Dr. Utkan Demirci, PhD, Associate Professor, featured in Technology FOX News:

Smartphones equipped with portable devices that magnetically levitate cells might one day help diagnose diseases in the home, clinic or lab, researchers say.

Nowadays, smartphones are incredibly powerful portable computers that include handy devices such as multimegapixel cameras, and they can be found in both developing and developed countries. Increasingly, researchers are exploring ways for smartphones to be used not only for posting selfies and playing video games, but also to help save lives by rapidly performing medical tests anywhere there are smartphones — that is, virtually anywhere around the world.

Inspirations from Women in Technology, written by Sonia Sachar; 2015 Summer Intern  for Dr. Parag Mallick, is a composite of ideas and encouragement from various women working in the world of STEM, looking  to inspire other young women in taking part in STEM.

“To the brave women in STEM for motivating me with their invaluable contribution. My teacher Mr. Hector Albizo and mentor Dr. Parag Mallick for their unending encouragement.  And my friends and family for being a wonderful support throughout this journey.” 

In this revealing and engaging book, several successful women in computer science share thought provoking ideas to teach us that gender diversity is quintessential for better decision making and innovation in business. Through a variety of different experiences of working women professionals, the book attempts to provide valuable lessons and tactics to ‘code your life.’ It aims to support, inspire and encourage everyday women heroes in technology to break off their hurdles, and succeed in STEM to close the gender gap.

Pranav Srinivas, 2015 Summer intern for Dr. Parag Mallick, PhD named finalist for his research project titled “Boolean Network Modeling for Systematic Identification of Deregulated Pathways and Anticancer Drug Resistance”

Intel Corporation and the Society for Science & the Public  recognized 40 U.S. high school seniors as finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search (STS), the nation’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science and math competition.

The 40 finalists receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. from March 10-16 to compete for more than $1 million in awards provided by the Intel Foundation, including three first-place Medal of Distinction awards of $150,000 each that will be presented to students who show exceptional scientific potential in three areas: basic research, global good and innovation. Additionally, three second-place awards of $75,000, and three third-place awards of $35,000 will be presented. Finalists receive at least $7,500 for being selected as part of this prestigious group.

The Canary Challenge 2015 was a huge success!

Participants in the Canary Challenge 2015 have raised close to $1.2 Million to support the important cause of cancer early detection. 100% of the proceeds will go towards early cancer detection research at the Canary Center at Stanford and the Radiology Department.

“The Canary Challenge is a great event because it offers the best cycling on the Peninsula with rest stops offering gourmet food and drinks, and challenging to easy routes for our incredible cyclists,” says founder Don Listwin, who rode the new Founder’s 50 Mile Route. “For our Canary Foundation’s 10th anniversary, we increased our goals and our riders passionately strove to achieve and have fun. ”

Since it’s start in 2011, the Canary Challenge has seen tremendous growth in the number of participants, teams, and fundraising. This year, over 1,000 participants, 101 teams, and almost 200 volunteers came together, raising over $1,000 per participant. The Stanford teams also increased their participation and fundraising this year. In total, 19 Stanford teams participated in the challenge, raising a total of $182,874 – 60% more than last year. The X-Ray Ninjas were the Top Stanford Team again in 2015 with $35,912 raised. The Canary Center Team was the largest with 33 participants and they doubled their fundraising this year to $15,340. The top individual fundraisers from Stanford were Fred Chin ($13,300) and Julie Kaufman ($12,129).

Congratulations to all participants and volunteers!

Please visit to obtain more information

Dr. James Brooks and Team Awarded U01 Grant on Molecular Characterization of Screen-Detected Cancer

Dr. James Brooks and his team are one of eight that the NCI has awarded to create the Consortium for Molecular Characterization of Screen-Detected Lesions. Their research will focus on molecular characterization of early prostate cancers using NextGen sequencing and proteomic approaches. This represents a collaboration between Urology, Pathology, HRP, CPIC, and the Canary Center and involves Jon Pollack, Rob West, Sharon Pitteri, Parag Mallick, Rob Tibshirani and Ann Hsing.

The consortium has seven molecular characterization laboratories (MCLs) and a coordinating center, and is supported by the Division of Cancer Prevention and the Division of Cancer Biology.

The consortium focuses on a critical area in cancer science – the need to characterize molecular and cellular features of screening-detected pre-cancers and early cancers, including within the tumor microenvironment. The resulting information will help to distinguish between a pre-cancer or cancer that is indolent (non-growing) versus an aggressive cancer; and to find minimally invasive methods to address the questions of how to treat a cancer found through a screening test. Being able to make this distinction would reduce the problem known as overdiagnosis. Physicians and patients would have a better idea if regular monitoring of the pre-cancer or cancer is sufficient or if early treatment is warranted

The seven MCLs will function with the coordinating center in the planning and development of collaborative projects. In addition, the consortium will work with existing NCI programs, including the Early Detection Research Network (EDRN), Cancer Systems Biology Consortium (CSBC), the Tumor Microenvironment Network (TMEN), the National Center for Advancing Translational Research (NCATS), and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).

Congratulations, Dr. Brooks and team!

Participate in the Canary Challenge Fundraiser on Sept 26th 2015: 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 26th. 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.

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

Andrew Hilmer wins Canary Foundation “Catch it Early” video contest for his work in early detection of pancreatic cancer

August 21, 2015

What if detecting pancreatic cancer were as easy as swallowing a pill?  Through a cross-disciplinary collaboration between Stanford University, the Stanford Medical Center, and the Canary Foundation, Dr. Andrew Hilmer is working to develop such a technology.

Pancreatic cancer is in need of better diagnostic tools.  Because it is often diagnosed late, this cancer carries an especially grim prognosis, with a median survival of less than 6 months, and an average 5-year survival of 3-5%1.  Even with advances in modern medicine, this prognosis has remained largely unchanged over more than 40 years, despite significant progress for other cancers2.  Therefore, by 2030, pancreatic cancer is expected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths3  – surpassing both breast and colon cancer, which have both benefited from recent advances in early detection and treatment.

Dr.  Hilmer, who is an NIH NRSA post-doctoral fellow in the lab of Prof. Chaitan Khosla, is working with Drs. Brooke Jeffrey and Walter Park at the Stanford Medical Center in order to change the way that we diagnosis this disease.  Their approach is founded on the fact that most cancers of the pancreas occur in the organ’s secretory cells.  This means that pancreatic secretions may hold some of the earliest-detectable biomarkers of this cancer.  However, clinically obtaining pancreatic secretions is very difficult, and generally requires upper endoscopy, which is both time consuming and highly invasive.  With a capsule-based platform, biomarkers from pancreatic fluid can be captured as the capsule travels through the digestive tract, allowing for a minimally invasive means of sampling this potentially rich source of pancreatic biomarkers.

The platform could lead to improved methods for detecting pancreatic cancer and stratifying patients by risk, leading to more personalized treatments and better clinical outcomes.

  1. Hezel, A.F., A.C. Kimmelman, B.Z. Stanger, N. Bardeesy, and R.A. DePinho, Genetics and biology of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Genes & Development, 2006. 20(10): p. 1218-1249.
  2. Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Survival Rate for Pancreatic Cancer Remains Unchanged While Other Leading Cancers See an Increase In Their Relative Survival Rates. 2012 January 5, 2012; Available from:
  3. Rahib, L., B.D. Smith, R. Aizenberg, A.B. Rosenzweig, J.M. Fleshman, and L.M. Matrisian, Projecting Cancer Incidence and Deaths to 2030: The Unexpected Burden of Thyroid, Liver, and Pancreas Cancers in the United States. Cancer Research, 2014. 74(11): p. 2913-2921.

Dr. Hori and Dr. Scholler awarded for Best Poster Presentations at the 2015 Canary Foundation Early Detection Symposium

July 13, 2015

Dr. Sharon Hori, Canary Center Scientist and member of the Gambhir lab, was awarded for her work in mathematical modeling and biomarker secretion, with her poster entitled:

"Modeling Secreted Cancer Biomarker Levels in Relation to Early Tumor Growth"


Dr. Nathalie Scholler, Canary Center Associate Member and Director of Cancer Immunology at SRI International Biosciences Division, was awarded for her work in immunodiagnostics of ovarian cancer, with her poster entitled: 

"Targeting B cells dramatically attenuates ovarian cancer tumor phenotype in a syngeneic mouse model"


July 8, 2015

The Robarts Research Institute has awarded the 2015 J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine to Sanjiv S. Gambhir, MD, PhD.

The Taylor Prize is awarded annually by Western University’s Robarts Research Institute. The recipient is nominated by the scientific community and selected by a peer jury which focuses on research areas that are integral to Robarts’ mandate. The Taylor Prize is named after the founding Chair of the Board at Robarts. The award is generously supported by the C. H. Stiller Memorial Foundation and the family of the late J. Allyn Taylor. The award includes a medal and a cash prize of $25,000. It will be presented in London in November 2015. Prior winners over the last 25 years include Dr. Irv Weissman (Stanford), Dr. Roger Tsien (UCSD), Dr. Eric Lander (MIT/Harvard), and Dr. Craig Venter.

Congratulations, Dr. Gambhir!

Read official release

AAAS Highlighted the Research from the Demirci Lab

June 30, 2015

AAAS highlighted the research from the Demirci Lab published in PNAS entitled, "Magnetic levitation of single cells". Dr. Demirci and his team have designed a device that can suspend a single living cell between magnets and measure its density based on how high it floats. Such measurements could be used to sort different types of cells or to measure how cells change when exposed to drugs.

Dr. Demirci's Lab's Research in the News for Offering Smarter Cheaper Point of Care Technologies

May 11, 2015

Canary Center Research Uses Tumor-activatable Minicircles for Early Detection of Cancer

March 3, 2015

Illustration of tumor-activatable DNA minicircles

New work from the Gambhir Lab published in PNAS uses a unique strategy to force tumor cells (if they exist) to produce a blood biomarker that would otherwise not be present. This approach holds significant promise as a new way to tackle the early detection of cancer because it is not dependent on molecules that cancer cells naturally shed that enter the blood.

Dr. Demirci Awarded a New Therapy Grant from the Epilepsy Foundation

November 21, 2014

Dr. Utkan Demirci has been awarded a New Therapy Grant from the Epilepsy Foundation for his proposal entitled “Disposable Chips to Measure Antiepileptic Drug Serum Concentrations at the Point of Care”.

Congratulations, Dr. Demirci!

2014 Canary Challenge was a Huge Success!

October 7, 2014

The 2014 Canary Challenge bike ride surpassed it's goal to raise $1 million to support the important cause of cancer early detection!

"'We’re so happy to see the growth of the fundraiser and dedication from our repeat riders and sponsors over the years,' says Don Listwin, founder of Canary Foundation. 'We’ve created some cycling routes that highlight the best road riding that the Peninsula has to offer, along with distances for everyone, from the 5k to 100 miles.' The ride also has rest stops with gourmet food and espresso.

The Canary Challenge featured over 1000 riders, 108 teams, and nearly 200 volunteers. Many riders have a personal reason for riding in the Canary Challenge and many have been touched by cancer in their lives. Participants understand that early detection offers more opportunity to treat and overcome cancer. Canary Challenge participants on average, fundraise over $1200 each, though the fundraising minimum for individuals is $400." - Emily Smith, Canary Foundation.

Read the Canary Foundation Blog entry

View Action Photos from the Canary Challenge

View Photos from the Canary Challenge Photo Booth

Dr. Totten Receives Travel Award

September 24, 2014

Photo of Sarah TottenDr. Sarah Totten, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Pitteri Lab, received a travel award to present her research at the 2014 American Society for Mass Spectrometry Asilomar Meeting: Advances in Glycomics and Glycoproteomics: Methods and Applications.

Congratulations Dr. Totten!

Canary Challenge Fundraiser Sept 27th: Funds raised directly support the Canary Center at Stanford

September 23, 2014

2014 Canary Challenge logo

Don’t forget about the exciting opportunity to help raise funds for research in the Radiology Department through the Canary Challenge bike ride on September 27th and to support the important cause of cancer early detection. 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.

This year's ride promises to be even better than last year with a new start location at HP headquarters next to the Stanford Technology and Innovation Park. The event offers options for every level of participation including bike rides at 50 km, 75 km, 75 miles and 100 miles, a 5K walk/run/family bike, and also volunteer opportunities.

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 and to obtain more information.

If you cannot participate but would like to make a donation please go to and click donate or search for your favorite team and donate directly to them.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Dr. Bree Mitchell, the Deputy Director for the Canary Center at Stanford.

Ahu Arslan Yildiz named among the top innovators under 35 in Turkey

September 17, 2014

Photo of Ahu YildizWe are pleased to announce that Canary Center Postdoctoral Fellow Ahu Arslan Yildiz has been recognized as one of the top innovators under 35 in Turkey.

For more than a decade, MIT Technology Review, the world's oldest and most respected technology publication, has identified young Innovators whose superb work contributes in transforming the nature of technology around the world. Innovators Under 35 has become a main reference for the discovery and support of emerging talent.

Innovators Under 35 Turkey identifies the young men and women driving the most impressive works in the country and recognizes them for their work. Innovators are nominated by leaders from universities, businesses and government institutions.

Dr Yildiz has developed an artificial membrane platform that mimics the real cell membrane and is used for the development and testing of next generation drugs.

Membrane proteins play crucial roles in fulfilling the vital functions in the cells, ranging from cell-signaling and signal transduction, to nutrition uptake and ion transport. Despite their importance, current knowledge about membrane proteins assembly and function is very limited due to lack of reliable and robust experimental sensing platforms.

Dr. Yildiz's work utilizes materials science combined with membrane biophysics that deeply incorporates expert surface chemistry techniques into the synthetic biochemistry field with intention to characterize membrane proteins. The newly developed artificial cell membrane platform is a powerful, easy-to-use experimental tool for screening cellular interactions such as protein-protein and protein-drug interactions, as well as for studying many diseases which directly associated with cell membranes and integrated proteins.

As Dr. Yildiz explains; "It is a kind of tool-box and all of the components can be changed depending on scientific needs and techniques". She also mentions; "This artificial membrane platform is a very close mimic of the cell membrane, proteins are functioning well since they feel as in their natural environment". By this work, she showed that the developed platform can be successfully used for drug screening studies, especially for hERG ion channel drugs which are directly related to heart functioning and diseases. This work is published in Analyst in 2013 and was highlighted on that issues cover.

Dr Yildiz is an affiliated faculty member of the Genetics and Bioengineering department at Okan University, Istanbul. She is also the UNESCO-Loreal International Fellowship 2014 winner and currently continuing her research in Stanford University as a UNESCO-Loreal scholar.

Stanford Partnered with Duke and Google X on a New "Baseline Study" to Better Understand Human Health

August 25, 2014

Stanford has partnered with Duke and Google X on a new "baseline study” to better understand human health. This study will monitor the progression from health to disease and will be the largest study of its kind to look at many different biomarkers over time in a large number of subjects. It should eventually markedly impact the earlier detection of disease as well as our understanding of human health.

Please visit the links below to learn more about the details of this study:

Also, listen to Dr. Sam Gambhir on Science Friday (National Public Radio) as he discusses the baseline study.

Stanford and Akron Biotechnology Cryopreservation Collaborative Study

August 21, 2014

An innovative approach of cryopreserving red blood cells using vitrification in conjunction with bio-printing technologies has been described in a new collaborative study published this week in Advanced Materials, "Bio-Inspired Cryo-Ink Preserves Red Blood Cell Phenotype and Function During Nanoliter Vitrification".

Canary Center Interns featured in Palo Alto Weekly story

July 15, 2014

Canary Center summer interns Sherry Zhou and Nitya Katsuri were featured in a recent Palo Alto Weekly story about high school internships. This summer we have 24 high school and undergraduate students participating in the Canary Center Internship program.

Find out more about the Canary Center Internships

Canary Center Research Received Media Coverage

June 28, 2014

Research from the Bio-acoustic MEMS in Medicine (BAMM) Lab published in Advanced Materials entitled, "Microscale Assembly Directed by Liquid-Based Template" has received media coverage. The research exploits Farady waves to produce reconfigurable liquid templates for the assembly of diverse microscale materials. This approach taken by researchers at Stanford University represents an exciting new paradigm for the manufacture of complex microstructures, with a particularly promising outlook for tissue engineering and neuroscience.


Dr. Utkan Demirci named Editor-in-Chief of Advanced Health Care Technologies

June 17, 2014

Dove Medical Press has announced the appointment of Dr. Utkan Demirci as the Editor-in-Chief of the journal "Advanced Health Care Technologies ".

Advanced Health Care Technologies is an international, peer-reviewed open access journal provides a unique and broad international forum for experimental and theoretical studies of interdisciplinary articles on: point-of- care, health care diagnostics and treatment, biology, chemistry, bioengineering, biotechnology, biosensing, electronics, clinical/medical science, chemical engineering, materials science, regenerative medicine, micro/nano-technologies, and methods and applications for nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Dr. Demirci leads a group of 20+ researchers focusing on micro- and nanoscale technologies for applications in medicine at Stanford University and has a strong and scholarly track record of multiple creative innovations. Dr. Demirci creates technologies to manipulate cells in nanoliter volumes to enable solutions for real world problems in medicine, including applications in infectious diseases and early cancer diagnostics, sorting platforms for fertility assays, cell encapsulation in nanoliter droplets for cryobiology, and 3-D bottom-up tissue engineering models. His research interests involve applications of microfluidics in medicine. His work focuses on creating innovative tools to be used broadly by life-science researchers to understand biology and medicine, and create links between these interdisciplinary fields revolutionizing current approaches and methods that are used to investigate living cells and their microenvironment as well as understand, diagnose, monitor, and treat disease conditions.

He says, "I am pleased to serve as an editor of the journal, which focuses on original papers and reviews on platform technologies that are at the interface between engineering and medicine to address fundamental biological and clinical questions. In this interdisciplinary space at the convergence of engineering, biology, medicine, the journal will publish research findings by addressing important scientific questions in the biomedical research and its applications at the clinic and point-of-care."

Publisher Tim Hill at Dove Medical Press added, "The appointment of Dr. Demirci as the Editor-in-Chief of Advanced Health Care Technologies is particularly exciting at this time, with the heightened level of interest in this field internationally. All of us at Dove Medical Press are committed to sustaining the highest levels of editorial integrity, rigorous and constructive peer-review, along with rapid publication times and the presentation of quality research findings."


The Canary Center at Stanford Welcomes Utkan Demirci, PhD

March 20, 2014

The Canary Center at Stanford is excited to welcome Utkan Demirci as the newest faculty member to join the Center. Dr. Demirci comes from the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and at Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Dr. Demirci’s major research themes focus on creating new micro- and nano-scale bioengineering and biomedical microfluidic technology platforms at the convergence of engineering, biology and materials science with an emphasis on broad biotechnology applications in medicine. His Bio-acoustic MEMS in Medicine (BAMM) Lab has published numerous original articles on micro/nano-scale biotechnologies and their broad applications in medicine, new microfluidic methodologies in manipulating cells and detecting rare biotargets from unprocessed bodily fluids such as urine and whole blood for diagnostics and monitoring targets, and their use in tandem with traditional laboratory techniques.

Highlights of his micro-scale technology development research include development of rapid disposable microchips for point of care HIV monitoring for CD4 counts, creating technologies to quantify viral load detecting intact viruses from unprocessed whole blood and integrating microchip technologies with a cell-phone to detect ovarian cancer biomarkers from clinical urine samples. In addition, Dr. Demirci’s lab has developed methods to encapsulate cells in nanoliter droplets for biopreservation. These biopreservation techniques are critical for achieving long-term shelf life for microchips targeting POC applications. This approach has allowed for cell vitrification in smaller volumes with lower concentration of toxic cryoprotectants. His lab has created microfluidic-based, nanoliter hydrogel bioprinting platforms to pattern cell-encapsulating gel droplets and to assemble 3-D tissue constructs in vitro to mimic the complexity of native tissues and to enable control over the cellular microenvironment and tissue microarchitecture. They have shown that various cell types such as stem cells and 3-D cancer models can be biopatterned in microfluidic channels, while maintaining their viability and functionality intact.

Dr. Demirci is recognized internationally as an emerging leader in biotechnology and has been invited numerous national and international conferences and meetings to present his work. In 2006, Dr. Demirci was recognized as one of the top innovators in the world (TR-35) by the MIT Technology Review Magazine. In 2012, he received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) - Engineering in Medicine and Biology (EMBS) Early Career Achievement Award for the invention of microfluidic droplets which had significant impact on inexpensive, disposable, POC diagnostics.

He currently serves on review committees for the NIH, the NSF, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the Skolkovo Foundation-MIT, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, and the Agency for Science, Research & Technology of Singapore.

View the Canary Foundation's announcement

Visit Dr. Demirci's Bio-acoustic MEMS in Medicine (BAMM) Lab

Dr. Rami El Assal nominated and elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Dentistry International

Dr. Rami El Assal, DDS

Dr. El Assal, postdoctoral scholar in radiology, was named a fellow of the Academy of Dentistry International, an honor for distinguished dentists worldwide. His research focuses on the use of nanotechnology and bio-inspired materials in regenerative and transplantation medicine.

Congratulations Rami!

Canary Center 2015 Summer Interns Kathryn Li and Tara Thakurta have been awarded Regional Finalists in this year’s Siemens Science Competition, in Math, Science & Technology.

Due to the superior quality of work submitted by students like these, the Siemens Competition is the most challenging and prestigious research-based high school science contest in the country.  Being selected as a Regional Finalist is an exceptional achievement.  Out of the 2,250 students who submitted nearly 1,800 projects to the Siemens Competition, only five individuals and five teams in each of six regions advance to the Regional Competitions.

The Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology fosters intensive research that improves students' understanding of the value of scientific study and informs their consideration of future careers in these disciplines.

Tara and Kathryn will participate in the Regional Competition at California Institute of Technology on Saturday, November 21, 2015.  Individuals winning the Regional Competition will receive a $3,000 college scholarship, and winning teams will be awarded $6,000 to be divided equally.  College scholarships of $1,000 will be awarded to the other Regional Finalists.  The regional winners will advance to the National Competition at The George Washington University, December 4-8, 2015 to compete for scholarships ranging from $10,000 up to a top prize of $100,000.

This year’s finalists will be listed on the Siemens Foundation website at

Congratulations Tara & Kathryn!