Famous virus hunter Peter Piot, MD, PhD, recounts his firsthand battle with COVID-19, and the second wave of chronic symptoms that left him ill for months.

By Tracie White

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When I interviewed famed virus hunter Peter Piot, MD, PhD, about his recovery from a severe case of COVID-19, he said he was about 95% better and even able to go for a short jog that morning near his home in the United Kingdom — something that for weeks had been “unthinkable.”

That was four months after he was diagnosed with the virus that he thought might kill him.

“I am double motivated to fight this virus, that’s for sure,” said Piot, 72, after telling me a harrowing tale of first battling the virus from an isolation ward at the Royal London Hospital, then being felled a second time when his body’s immune system went into hyper-drive. …


Stanford scientists have found two genes associated with concussion. Screening football players and military might identify those at higher risk.

By Krista Conger

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Although football remains one of America’s favorite spectator sports — even when a pandemic relegates many viewers to their televisions — there’s been a growing realization over the past decade of the hazards of the game for the players, in particular the risk of concussion.

Some professional players who experienced multiple concussions during their career were subsequently found to develop a degenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE, which can cause memory loss, confusion and progressive dementia. Much research has been devoted to learning how to prevent concussion and to help the brain heal after injury.

Recently Stanford researchers, including developmental biologist Stuart Kim, PhD, and sports medicine specialist Geoffrey Abrams, MD, conducted what’s known as a genome-wide association study to identify genes involved in concussion risk. …


As part of the series,Breaking down diabetes, physician Randall Stafford provides a straightforward guide to medications that can treat Type 2 diabetes.

By Randall Stafford

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Editors’ note: We are revising two posts in the Breaking Down Diabetes series to reflect current findings on the most effective medications. The best place to begin the series is with the first post, On the road to diabetes: A look at what’s happening inside the body.

There is consensus that metformin is the best drug for treating Type 2 diabetes. As I wrote recently, it does not cause blood sugar to fall below normal, it often produces weight loss, and it’s inexpensive. Debate rages on over the role of other drugs that are typically added once metformin alone is not enough to bring high blood sugar levels back towards normal. …


Stanford Medicine’s early development of testing for COVID-19 infection and antibodies helped guide government responses and stem local spread of the virus.

By Krista Conger

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Early on the morning of March 3, I got a call from my editor: “It sounds like Stanford is about to launch its own COVID-19 test. We need a story.”

I spent frantic hours gathering more details and interviewing infectious disease specialist Benjamin Pinsky, MD, PhD, about the research coming out of his lab.

The next day, Stanford Medicine became one of the first academic medical centers in the country to offer a test to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

I described it in a breaking news article and in more detail in my latest story for Stanford Medicine magazine. …


Stanford Medicine researcher John Ioannidis calls for transparency and the sharing of data, a lesson learned through COVID-19.

By Hanae Armitage

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With the United States firmly in the grip of a COVID-19 surge, the race to prevent and treat infections is more important than ever.

At the heart of this effort are drug and vaccine clinical trials that are being planned, developed and executed at an accelerated rate. To this end, the Food and Drug Administration has approved an emergency program that provides rapid reviews for COVID-19 clinical trials. …


The pandemic struck months after the new Stanford Hospital opened. Its new technology and other innovations have been crucial to managing the crisis.

By Ruthann Richter

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A year ago, some 10,000 community members toured the grounds of the newly-constructed Stanford Hospital, admiring the gleaming seven-story building’s soaring atrium, lush gardens and private rooms with stunning views.

But in a matter of months, the community and the nation faced the growing threat of the advancing novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.

The hospital’s added space, new technology and other innovations became crucial to managing the crisis.


Once the first person in a household is infected with SARS-CoV-2, others have a 17% chance of being infected by that person, a Stanford study shows.

By Beth Duff-Brown

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A lot of research has come out about COVID-19 quarantines and what families should do to protect older relatives and school-aged children. But what about people living with someone who has the virus?

Now a team of Stanford researchers with the Stanford-CIDE Coronavirus Simulation Modeling Consortium has taken a deep dive into household transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

Their study, published in October in Clinical Infectious Diseases, finds that the secondary attack rate within households is 17%. This means that on average, once the first person in a previously healthy household becomes infected with SARS-CoV-2, the others have a roughly 17% chance of being infected by that person. …


Metformin is physician-researcher Randall Stafford’s go-to drug for diabetes. He explains why in this installment in the series, Breaking down diabetes.

By Randall Stafford

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Editors’ note: We are revising two posts in the Breaking Down Diabetes series to reflect current findings on the most effective medications. The best place to begin the series is with the first post, On the road to diabetes: A look at what’s happening inside the body.

A huge assortment of 100 medications are available to treat high blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes, including two historical breakthrough drugs, insulin and metformin. The pharmaceutical industry has successfully added a few new, innovative drugs, but the most effective drugs remain the older, less expensive medications.

Let’s make some sense out of this mess of medications. …


More than a third of U.S. adults have had symptoms of anxiety and depression during the global pandemic, so Stanford experts are figuring out how to help.

By Erin Digitale

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To date, more than 11million Americans have contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Although that figure is staggering, it turns out there is an even more widespread impact of the global pandemic: Harm to individuals’ mental health.

A recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that more than half of American adults reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depression between May and July, up from about 1 in 10 people reporting such symptoms in similar polling in early 2019.

As I describe in a recent feature story for Stanford Medicine magazine, Stanford psychiatrists are working to bolster mental health during the unprecedented global crisis. …


MicroRNA in the blood holds clues to heart problems in adults born with tetralogy of Fallot, a type of congenital heart disease, Stanford research shows.

By Erin Digitale

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Measuring tiny bits of genetic material in blood can provide a unique view into the development of heart failure in a specific group of patients, according to new Stanford Medicine research.

The technique also has the potential to help scientists identify new targets for drugs that treat problems with the muscle on the right side of the heart, which existing heart medications do not help.

The study, published recently in PLOS ONE, focused on adults with tetralogy of Fallot, a form of congenital heart disease. Born with a combination of four structural heart defects, these patients generally receive cardiac repair surgeries early in childhood. Though very effective, the surgeries are not perfect. …

Stanford Medicine

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