Stephanie Chao's Research

Dr. Stephanie Chao

Dr. Chao's research focuses on preventing surgical diseases minimizing the impact of surgery. She works with the Asian Liver Center towards the global eradication of hepatitis B, the leading cause of liver cancer and liver disease globally. Dr. Chao helped launch the Jade Ribbon Campaign in 2001 to improve public and physician awareness about hepatitis B. Her work has been supported by the US Centers for Disease Control and the American Cancer Society. The Asian Liver Center also works in collaboration with the World Health Organization to improve screening and immunization strategies in Asia. 

Dr. Chao also serves as the Trauma Medical Director for Stanford Children's Health. Her research and interests include preventing childhood injury, the leading cause of death among children. 

Dr. Chao is the Director of the Stanford Chest Wall Program. She is interested in studying new ways to treat and image patients with pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum. 

Dr. Chao is also working with pediatric anesthesiologists to find ways to minimize anxiety and discomfort associated with surgery. This includes the use of virtual reality to decrease periprocedural anxiety. 

Other research interests: pediatric surgery, neonatal surgery, congenital diaphragmatic hernia outcomes, pediatric obesity, minimal access surgery. 

Learn more: https://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2020/02/18/behind-the-scenes-with-a-stanford-pediatric-surgeon/

Research Projects

Asian Liver Center Research

Liver cancer remains one of the deadliest cancers and claims the lives of 1,645 people worldwide each day. Many are Asians with chronic hepatitis B. Early diagnosis is the best way to improve one's chances of surviving liver cancer, but the current screening blood test can miss 50 percent of the cancers. In fact, there is no effective chemotherapy to treat those who are diagnosed in the later stages of liver cancer. Although research and early detection has led to significant improvement in the prognosis of many cancers, liver cancer—which largely affects the Asian and African populations—has received little federal research funding. 

The Asian Liver Center's comprehensive liver cancer research program is committed to finding a cure for liver cancer through novel approaches toward increasing the efficacy of diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of liver cancer. The Asian Liver Center spearheaded studies that led to the publication in 2002-03 of the first major genomic analysis of liver and stomach cancers. These important studies have provided us with a rich foundation of information that will guide future research.

CHARIOT Program

Childhood Anxiety Reduction through Innovation and Technology

The CHARIOT team at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford knows that undergoing surgery, anesthesia and procedures can be especially stressful for children. The goal of the program is to implement new technologies in the hospital that are nontraditional yet familiar to children in an effort to engage and distract them during these times. The focus is on taking existing technologies and creating new ones to address the unique needs of individual patients.

The Stanford environment offers a unique opportunity to create a team of physicians, engineers, researchers and child life professionals. The team is currently piloting virtual reality experiences, new tablet-based apps and interactive bedside projector-based games.

Chest Wall Deformity Research

Pectus Carinatum 3-D Model

Pectus Excavatum 3-D Model

Dr. Chao's Research Team is developing a new way to image patients with Chest Wall Deformities without the use of ionizing radiation. This technology has the potential to help monitor patients with pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum more closely during treatment without the negative effects of repeat X-Rays.