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Health
The National Cancer Institute has designated the Stanford Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Centre. Recognition of the institute’s robust and integrated programs including laboratory research, clinical care, community outreach and education led to this designation. The institute’s goal is to guide and coordinate a wide range of cancer related activities. These activities take place at Stanford University, Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, along with its partner institution, the Cancer Prevention Institute of California. Scientists and physicians are among its nearly 400 members who are from a wide range of disciplines. They all collaborate in translating research advances into improved cancer treatments. The institute’s exceptional discovery research and patient care led to its initial NCI “cancer centre” designation in 2007. In less than eight years it earned the coveted “comprehensive” status by expanding its reach and programs. “I want to recognize Dr. Beverly Mitchell, who has worked tirelessly since becoming the SCI director in 2008 to achieve this prestigious honour for Stanford Medicine,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. “The combined effort of the institute’s multidisciplinary membership exemplifies how we are applying precision health to complex diseases and improving patient outcomes.” The NCI’s site review summary noted that the institute “is clearly poised to make significant contributions to cancer research in the next five years.” Beverly Mitchel, MD, director of the Stanford Cancer Institute and a professor of medicine said this achievenmet confirms the talent and dedication of their members. Mitchel also added their staff and faculty work hand in hand on a daily basis to improve the understanding and treatment of cancer which in turn, lessens its burden on patients and their families. The institute in partnership with Stanford health Care and Stanford Children’s Health has embarked on a broad effort to change the cancer patient experience. This initiative has been accomplished by blending Stanford science with new models of patient care which incorporate concern for the psychological welfare of patients and families.
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Society
Ever wondered how authoritarianism rose, or why a single person or a small group of people make decisions on behalf of other people. An associate professor of anthropology at Stanford, John Rick, has studied Chavin de Huantar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Peru, for the last 20 years. Rick has studied the large amount of evidence from more than two decades of work at Chavin, where that culture developed approximately from 900 BC to 200 BC. “More than 5,000 and certainly 10,000 years ago, no where in the world was anyone living under a concerted authority. Today we expect that. It is the essence of our organization”, he said. Chavin was a religious centre run by a detailed priesthood. The priesthood would subject its visitors to an incredible variety of routines from manipulating light to water and to sound. Rick stated the priesthood purposely worked with underground spaces, architectural stone work, a system of water canals, psychoactive drugs and animal iconography to increase their demonstrations of power. Rick and his team estimate the presence of two kilometres of underground labyrinth , gallery-like spaces, which were definitely created to constrain and deceive those who entered. The priesthood also manipulated its visitors with psychoactive drugs. According to Rick the evidence represented in stone engravings show with clear illustrations the effects of paraphernalia and drugs on human beings. Through a sophisticated hydraulic system and under water canals, water was used as another deceptive tool. “They were playing with this stuff. They were using water pressure 3,000 years ago to elevate water, to bring it up where it shouldn’t be. They’re using it as an agent to wash away offerings,” he said. Excavation still continues and these are only a few examples Rick and his team have uncovered. They think instead of common people, visitors were elite pilgrims, local leaders from far away parts of the Central Andes. The visitors were looking to justify the elevation of their own authoritarian power. “They’re basically in a process of developing a hierarchy, a real social structure that has strong political power at the top,” Rick said. He believes Chavin was where human psychology was analyzed and experiments were held to see how people reacted to certain stimuli. Hence the rituals were effective and dramatic in altering ideas about the nature of human authoritative relationships.
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