Asking questions, seeking solutions

The Stanford Challenge


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What causes Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other diseases?
Proteins are thousands of times smaller than the thickness of the human hair, and the fastest proteins fold in about a millionth of a second. Vijay Pande, assistant professor of chemistry, and a team of researchers have come up with a new way to study protein folding—the process by which the proteins in every cell of the body assemble themselves into their functional 3-D shapes. Mistakes in this critical process could be the cause of diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.  Pande's groundbreaking work provides a new approach to understanding how individual water molecules affect protein folding.

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Researchers in the natural sciences at Stanford are seeking answers to the deepest, most complex questions in the universe in an effort to create the building blocks of a healthier planet and healthier lives.  

H&S researchers at the Mathematics Research Center, in collaboration with their colleagues in the schools of medicine and engineering, are contributing to the university’s Initiative on Human Health by developing models for cancer treatments and seeking understanding of the way the brain processes visual images.

Biologists are playing a key role in the multidisciplinary Initiative on the Environment and Sustainability by investigating ocean life, examining global climate change, and helping to create better ways to feed the world.

Scientists at the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology are working to unlock the secrets of the origin of the universe, understand how dark matter binds the universe together, and learn why the universe is accelerating.

Through The Stanford Challenge, we are creating exciting new programs to advance teaching and research in the sciences.

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