Researchers in protective gears working in a lab.

Research

Our mission is to fix the broken healthcare system.
We are accelerating the research and development of new Precision Health technologies.

Precision health is at the intersection of Biology and Data Science.

Research at a Glance

  • 693
    publications
  • 139,307
    citations
  • 20,419
    media mentions

Our Approach

Our Stanford faculty director, Dr. Michael Snyder, pioneered the multi-omic, longitudinal baseline profiling approach to healthcare. Much of our research now focuses on the exploratory analysis of Big Data to create breakthroughs in our understanding of human biology and medicine.

Multi-Omic Profiling

Omics is a new term referring to distinct fields of human biology. Each “ome” represents a different area of interest. Our lab has invented many “Omics” profiling technologies. We currently profile 16 different “Omes.”

Longitudinal Baseline Profiling

By profiling healthy people over time, we can identify early signatures of disease, keeping people healthy instead of treating them when they get sick.

Current Projects

We are always looking for people like you to get involved in our community and participate in our research studies. Your engagement directly leads to progress in science which can eventually improve healthcare and save lives.

COVID-19 Wearable Study

Many COVID-19 cases are spread asymptomatically. With limited test kits and slow results turnaround, we are using the MyPHD app to find out if information from wearable devices, like Fitbit and Apple Watch, can be used to track infectious diseases like COVID-19. This study:
- builds on previous work detecting the infectious disease before symptoms
- is validating a free, open-source algorithm as a gift to the world
- ensures your data security and privacy

COVID-19 Vaccine Microsampling Study

You are invited to participate in a research study to better understand how your body responds to COVID-19 vaccination through monitoring of molecules in your blood and stool using multi-omics profiling.

Empatica COVID-19 Wearables Study

This 30-day study aims to understand if an Empatica smartwatch can be used to track infectious diseases like COVID-19.

If you are eligible, we will provide you with a wearable device and 30 days of FREE COVID-19 at-home test kits.

Global COVID-19 Relief Hackathon

In collaboration with the NIH and with support from The Giving Back Fund, we bring together world-leading labs, universities, citizen scientists and activists to:
- rapidly develop and deploy necessary solutions
- access global resources relevant to COVID-19
- channel resources where our scientific and on-the-ground partners need it most

Projects Overview

We collaborate with labs, hospitals, and companies to take a holistic look at a person’s health, including every aspect of one’s biology: genome, epigenome, transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, lipidome, microbiome, biosensors, imaging, psychome, social graph, exposome.

Integrated Personalized ‘Omics Profiling (IPOP)

Besides standard clinical tests, we are measuring nearly all of the molecules in the blood, urine, stool, saliva, as well as heart rate, sleep, and airborne exposures.

Personalized Health Dashboard

This app allows users to store and analyze petabytes of data from genomics, to metabolomics, to wearables sensors, imaging, and Electronic Medical Records.

The Wearable Biosensor Initiative

We have pioneered the use of commercially available biosensors for the development of algorithms that can help predict and prevent diseases.

The Longevity and Thriving Initiative

Our goal is to develop targeted interventions to slow biological age, restore youthful biological signatures, and prolong health and thriving.

Personalized Nutrition Initiative

We advocate for continuous monitoring of key chemical changes over a person’s lifetime to predict high-risk diseases, and take a preventative measure to intervene with nutritional adjustments.

Lifestyle Initiative

We are measuring biochemical changes across diverse systems all at once to understand interindividual differences and personal health trajectories during lifestyle activities, including exercise.

Children’s Metabolic Health Center

We are conducting IPOP on every baby born at the Stanford Hospital to detect anomalies and risk factors that may occur over the first few years of life.

Bioinformatics as a Service (BaaS)

Genetics Bioinformatics Service Center (GBSC) is set up to facilitate massive scale genomics at Stanford and supports omics, microbiome, sensor, and phenotypic data types.

Mental Health Research Initiative

We are working on novel approaches to mental health by creating objective, biological diagnostics for mental health conditions as well as validating new hyper-effective, scalable, and affordable treatments for stress, anxiety, and depression.

Women’s Health Initiative

With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we are profiling pregnant mothers to provide early, nutrition-based interventions that improve the health of babies. We hope to extend this work to women’s health more broadly.

Publications

The Latest

Researchers in protective gears working in a lab.

Cell 2020

Molecular Choreography of Acute Exercise

Contrepois, K., Wu, S., ... & Snyder, M. P.
Featured as the cover of Cell (the #1 Molecular Biology Journal), this is the first study to demonstrate the dynamic. system-wide, molecular response to exercise.

Our findings revealed the molecular choreography of biological processes during exercise. Most of these processes were weakened in insulin resistant participants. We also discovered biological pathways involved in exercise capacity and developed prediction models revealing potential resting blood-based biomarkers of fitness. In other words, we demonstrated you can reduce the VO2 Max treadmill test into a simple blood test
Researchers in protective gears working in a lab.

Nature Genetics 2020

Systematic identification of silencers in human cells

Pang, B., & Snyder, M. P.
In this study, we discovered how to turn genes off.

Silencers in human genome are regions that repress gene expression. To date, most studies have focused on regions that enhance gene expression, but silencers have not been systematically studied.

We have developed a system that identifies silencers in a genome-wide fashion. We found that tissue-specific silencing is widespread throughout the human genome and probably contributes substantially to the regulation of gene expression and human biology.

Cell 2020

Metabolic Dynamics and Prediction of Gestational Age and Time to Delivery in Pregnant Women

Liang Liang, Marie-Louise Hee Rasmussen, Brian Piening, ..., Hanyah Zackriah, Michael Snyder, Mads Melbye

Metabolism during pregnancy is a dynamic and precisely programmed process, the failure of which can bring devastating consequences to the mother and fetus. To define a high-resolution temporal profile of metabo- lites during healthy pregnancy, we analyzed the untargeted metabolome of 784 weekly blood samples from 30 pregnant women.

The study represents a weekly characterization of the human pregnancy metabolome, providing a high-resolution landscape for understanding pregnancy with potential clinical utilities.

120 Altmetric

Nature 2019

A longitudinal big data approach for precision health

Rose, S., Contrepois, K., Moneghetti, K. J., Zhou, ... & Snyder, M. P.

“What this paper really shows is that if doctors and scientists do more advanced profiling reasonably frequently, they’ll discover clinically actionable information for patient health at a broader scale than has ever been shown before,” Dr. Michael Snyder said.

Utilizing a multi-Omics, longitudinal baseline profiling approach on ~100 healthy individuals, our lab uncovered more than 67 clinically actionable health discoveries that ranged from high blood pressure, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, and early-stage cancer detection, among others.

48 Citations | 423 Altmetric

Cell 2018

Dynamic Human Environmental Exposome Revealed by Longitudinal Personal Monitoring

Jiang, C., Wang, X., Li, X., Inlora, J., Wang, T., Liu, Q., Snyder, M.

In this study, we invent a new technology for monitoring personal airborne exposures — the “Exposome”, explained in this cool video.

Environmental exposures are clearly related to human health but their precise relationship is poorly understood. In this study, we developed a sensitive method to monitor biological and chemical exposures — the “Exposome.” We found that personal Exposomes are highly unique and constructed from a dynamic network of interacting ecosystems including other humans, flora, pets, and bugs. These networks can have significant consequences on human health.

34 Citations | 379 Altmetric

Science 2019

The NASA Twins Study: A multidimensional analysis of a year-long human spaceflight

Garrett-Bakelman, F. E., Darshi, M., Green, S. J., Gur, R. C., ... & Turek, F. W.

This NASA-led study compared the biology of twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly to determine the range of immune and molecular stresses outer-space imposes on the human body. Our lab led an effort to characterize the twins at the molecular level, focusing on protein production, immune response, metabolism and the efficacy of vaccines in space.

79 Citations | 2315 Altmetric

PLOS Biology 2017

Digital Health: Tracking Physiomes and Activity Using Wearable Biosensors Reveals Useful Health-Related Information

Li, X., Dunn, J., Salins, D., Zhou, G., Zhou, W., ... & Snyder, M. P.

In this article, we published the first algorithm (Change of Heart) that could detect infectious disease days before symptoms emerge.

By recording over 250,000 daily measurements for up to 43 individuals, we found that commercially available wearable sensors (monitoring heart rate, activity, skin temperature, and other variables) can reveal meaningful health insights, including the pre-symptomatic onset of infection, inflammation, and even insulin resistance.

107 Citations | 962 Altmetric

Nature 2020

Personal aging markers and ageotypes revealed by deep longitudinal profiling

Dunham, I., Kundaje, A., Aldred, S. F., Collins, P. J., ... & Birney, E.

What happens to an individual as they age? This is the first scientific publication to demonstrate personalized aging biomarkers.

Our team profiled a group of 43 healthy men and women between the ages of 34 and 68, using blood, stool, and other biological samples. The study tracked levels of certain microbes and biological molecules over two years. We determined that people generally age along certain biological pathways in the body: metabolic, immune, hepatic (liver), and nephrotic (kidney).

8 Citations | 694 Altmetric

PLOS Biology 2018

Glucotypes reveal new patterns of glucose dysregulation

Hall, H., Perelman, D., Breschi, A., Limcaoco, P., Kellogg, R., McLaughlin, T., Snyder, M.

Often people who are prediabetic have no idea they’re prediabetic.

In fact, this is the case about 90 percent of the time, but about 70% of people who are prediabetic will eventually develop the disease. We demonstrated continuous glucose monitoring will be important in providing the right information earlier on so that people can make changes to their diet should they need to.

28 Citations | 622 Altmetric

Nature 2012

An integrated encyclopedia of DNA elements in the human genome

Dunham, I., Kundaje, A., Aldred, S. F., Collins, P. J., ... & Birney, E.

The human genome encodes the blueprint of life, but the function of the vast majority of its nearly three billion bases is unknown. The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project has systematically mapped regions of transcription, transcription factor association, chromatin structure, and histone modification.

5467 Citations | 754 Altmetric

GET IN TOUCH

The healthcare innovation lab funds highly translational work at Stanford in a non-linear fashion—allowing for high risk, high impact projects and fast iteration to bring them to clinic and market. Your gift will fund the most promising projects and allow for the creativity and flexibility that is needed to drive paradigm shifting translational research and development.

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