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Karl Sylvester

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Surgery (Pediatric Surgery) and Pediatrics at the Stanford University Medical Center

Key Documents

Contact Information

  • Clinical Offices
    Pediatric General Surgery 777 Welch Rd Ste J MC 5733 Palo Alto, CA 94304
    Tel Work (650) 723-6439 Fax (650) 724-5577
    Neurosciences and Pediatric Surgery 730 Welch Rd 2nd Fl MC 5883 Palo Alto, CA 94304
    Tel Work (650) 723-6439 Fax (650) 724-5344
  • Academic Offices
    Personal Information
    Administrative Contact
    Lisa Lester Administrative Associate, Division Manager Tel Work 650 723-6439
    Not for medical emergencies or patient use


Clinical Focus

  • Surgery, Pediatric
  • Pediatric Surgery

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

Board Certification: Pediatric Surgery, American Board of Surgery (2002)
Fellowship: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia PA (1997)
Fellowship: Yale - New Haven Hospital CT (2001)
Residency: University of Pennsylvania PA (1999)
Internship: Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania PA (1993)
Medical Education: Jefferson Medical College PA (1992)

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Dr. Sylvester concurrently pursues three areas of related investigation. The general approach of his efforts are to combine the study of human disease samples and mouse models of human disease to pose new hypotheses and to test these hypotheses experimentally. The objective of Dr. Sylvester's studies is to derive a deeper understanding of human disease and to develop applications for possible new diagnostics and therapeutics.

In the laboratory the group studies the role of Wnt signaling in liver regeneration and response to injury. The Sylvester laboratory has demonstrated that Wnt and its signaling molecule beta-catenin have a strong influence over hepatocellular metabolism and resistance to oxidative stress. Ongoing studies to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanism by which Wnt and related pathways exert control over cellular metabolism, energy balance and redox balance are ongoing. Cellular energy and redox balance are central to the related processes of liver development, regeneration and tumorignesis.

Dr. Sylvester has established a network of academic children's hospitals and investigators to study the human newborn diseases Necrotizing Enterocolitis and sepsis. The group has published several papers describing their novel findings of molecular indicators or biomarkers of disease. The group is seeking to establish both molecular indicators of disease as well as biochemical indicators that accurately identify infants most at risk for disease in order to provide clinical strategies to prevent disease onset. Molecules and pathways of interest that have been identified in human specimens are studied further in experimental models of disease to gain a deeper insight to the specific mechanisms of disease.




Postdoctoral Advisees

Xiaohong DengRui LiuZhou Tan



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