Class Notes

Dec December 08 Mon 2014

William H. Frist (Resident '85, Fellow '85-'87)

Carrick Capital Partners, LLC, an investment firm focused on fast growing software and technology-enabled services firms, announced that Senator William H.  Frist, MD, Resident ’85, Med Fellow ’87, has become a Special Advisor to the firm. 

Dr. Frist is a nationally acclaimed heart and lung transplant surgeon, former U. S. Senate Majority Leader, and chairman of the Executive Board of the health service private equity firm Cressey & Company. He represented Tennessee in the U.S. Senate for 12 years where he served on both the Health and Finance committees responsible for writing health legislation. He was elected Majority Leader of the Senate, having served fewer total years in Congress than any person chosen to lead that body in history. His leadership was instrumental in passage of the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act to provide prescription drugs at lower costs to seniors and the historic legislation (PEPFAR) that reversed the spread of HIV/AIDS worldwide.

Currently Frist serves as an adjunct professor of Cardiac Surgery at Vanderbilt University and clinical professor of Surgery at Meharry Medical College.  He is also the chairman of both the Hope Through Healing Hands foundation, which focuses on maternal and child health and SCORE, a K12 education reform organization that has helped propel Tennessee to prominence as a reform state.

Sep September 20 Sat 2014

William B. Wood (PhD '64)

The Stanford University Medical Center Alumni Association (SUMCAA) has announced that William B. Wood, PhD '64, will receive the prestigious Arthur Kornberg and Paul Berg Lifetime Achievement Award in Biomedical Sciences. He will be honored at a dinner held on the Stanford campus on October 18.

He is Distinguished Professor of MCD Biology, Emeritus at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he moved in 1975 after 12 years on the biology faculty at Caltech. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1964. In recognition of his pioneering research with Robert Edgar on the assembly of complex viruses that infect bacteria, he received the National Academy of Sciences Molecular Biology Award in 1969, and was elected to the National Academies in 1972 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1976. At Caltech, where he taught biochemistry, he was lead author (with John Wilson and Leroy Hood) of the innovative textbook Biochemistry, A Problems Approach.

In Boulder, he chaired his department from 1978 to 1983, building a strong group of faculty in molecular genetics to complement the existing expertise in cell biology, and switched his field of research and teaching to developmental genetics. His subsequent research interests included genetic control and molecular biology of axis formation, pattern formation, and sex determination in development of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, as well as biology education. In 2002 he was awarded a Humboldt Research Prize recognizing scientific achievements in understanding the genetic control of early development, and in 2004 he received the Bruce Alberts Award for Distinguished Contributions to Science Education from the American Society for Cell Biology.

In the years prior to his retirement in 2008, he devoted increasing attention to education issues. With Jo Handelsman, now at Yale University, he founded in 2004, and until 2013 co-directed, the National Academies Summer Institute for Undergraduate Education in Biology, a national HHMI-supported professional development workshop for college biology faculty, and from 2005 to 2010 he served as Editor in Chief of the premier biology education research journal CBE-Life Sciences Education. He was also a member of the NRC Board on Science Education (BOSE) for six years, and served on national committees that produced the NRC reports Learning and Understanding: Improving Advanced Study of Mathematics and Science in U.S. High Schools (2002), which led to the recently completed revision of the Advanced Placement Biology curriculum and exam, and the more recent Discipline-based Educational Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering.

Since retiring he has continued to serve on the HHMI Science Education Advisory Board and to lecture at a variety of universities on the need to improve undergraduate science education at the college level, and how it can be done.  In 2013 he received the Viktor Hamburger Outstanding Educator Award from the Society for Developmental Biology.

The Arthur Kornberg and Paul Berg Lifetime Achievement Award in Biomedical Sciences honors the legacy of Arthur Kornberg, MD, and Paul Berg, PhD, medical science pioneers and Nobel laureates who brought to Stanford a passion for discovery and groundbreaking research. Established in 2010, this award acknowledges and celebrates the lifetime career achievements of Stanford University School of Medicine alumni in the biomedical sciences. Several previous winners have gone on to win other prestigious awards including the Nobel Prize.

Sep September 20 Sat 2014

Tania A. Baker (PhD '88)

The Stanford University Medical Center Alumni Association (SUMCAA) has announced that Tania A. Baker, PhD '88, will receive the prestigious Arthur Kornberg and Paul Berg Lifetime Achievement Award in Biomedical Sciences. She will be honored at a dinner held on the Stanford campus on October 18.

Tania A. Baker is the Edwin C. Whitehead Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She received a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1983, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Stanford University in 1988. Her graduate research was carried out in the laboratory of Professor Arthur Kornberg and focused on mechanisms of initiation of DNA replication. She did postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Kiyoshi Mizuuchi at the National Institutes of Health, studying the mechanism and regulation of DNA transposition.  

Her current research explores mechanisms and regulation of enzyme-catalyzed protein unfolding, ATP-dependent protein degradation and remodeling of the proteome during cellular stress responses. Professor Baker has served terms as both the Associate Head and Head of MIT’s Biology Department. Professor Baker received the 2001 Eli Lilly Research Award from the American Society of Microbiology. In 2000 she was awarded the MIT School of Science Teaching Prize for Undergraduate Education and in 2008 she was elected as a MacVicar Faculty Fellow for her contributions to education. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society for Microbiology. Professor Baker is coauthor (with Arthur Kornberg) of the book DNA Replication (2nd edition) as well as of the 5th, 6th and 7th editions of Watson’s influential text Molecular Biology of the Gene. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with her husband and two children and enjoys sea kayaking and fiber arts.

The Arthur Kornberg and Paul Berg Lifetime Achievement Award in Biomedical Sciences honors the legacy of Arthur Kornberg, MD, and Paul Berg, PhD, medical science pioneers and Nobel laureates who brought to Stanford a passion for discovery and groundbreaking research. Established in 2010, this award acknowledges and celebrates the lifetime career achievements of Stanford University School of Medicine alumni in the biomedical sciences. Several previous winners have gone on to win other prestigious awards including the Nobel Prize.

Sep September 20 Sat 2014

Debra A. Schwinn (MD '83)

The Stanford University Medical Center Alumni Association (SUMCAA) has announced that Debra A. Schwinn, MD '83, will receive the prestigious J. E. Wallace Sterling Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award, presented annually to a Stanford University School of Medicine alumnus MD. She will be honored at a dinner held on the Stanford campus on October 18.

Dr. Schwinn is currently completing her second year as Dean of the University of Iowa Roy J. & Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine as well as serving as Professor of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Biochemistry.

Dr. Schwinn received her medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine. She completed a residency in anesthesiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and a clinical fellowship in cardiac anesthesiology at Duke University Medical Center. This was followed by a research fellowship in α1-adrenergic receptor molecular pharmacology in the laboratory of Bob Lefkowitz in the Departments of Biochemistry and Medicine at Duke. Dr. Schwinn served for 18 years on the faculty at Duke University in North Carolina where she ultimately received a James B. Duke Professorship. Following her time at Duke, she moved to the University of Washington in Seattle where she served as Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, and was both the Allan J. Treuer Endowed Professor of Anesthesiology and Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology and Genome Sciences.  

Dr. Schwinn is a nationally known investigator in molecular pharmacology with an interest in the mechanisms underlying the stress response. Her recent interest in perioperative genomics has led to research examining the role of genetic variability on perioperative outcomes. She maintains active funding from the National Institutes of Health, and as a result of her research, holds several U.S. patents. She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science (2002), Association of American Physicians (2005), and member of many other national and international organizations.

An invited lecturer and visiting professor throughout the world, she has served on many national and international committees and boards, including her role as 2002-2014 member (2012-2014 Chair) of the Board of Trustees for the International Anesthesiology Research Society. Dr. Schwinn has authored or co-authored more than 180 journal articles and book chapters, edited two books, and served on the editorial boards of several journals. During her academic career she has received many honorary awards, including several teaching awards.

Dr. Schwinn brings a passionate vision of academic medicine in a changing health care environment. She has laid the groundwork for innovations in medical education, bench to bedside research, and team-based patient care. During her tenure as Dean, she has overseen the implementation of a new medical education curriculum that incorporates professional skills and wholistic elements of medicine in society as well as introducing novel mechanisms-based biomedical sciences as first in the United States. She has also successfully recruited a nationally-renown leader for the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Diabetes Research Center and envisions several similar inter-disciplinary disease-based research centers that incorporate basic science research, clinical research, and patient care.  

Dr. Schwinn lives in the Iowa City area with her husband, Bob, who is a theologian and computer scientist. They have two adult daughters, Anna and Heidi.

The J. E. Wallace Sterling Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award was first conferred in 1983. The award is named for the former Stanford University president who, in 1953, recommended that the Stanford Medical School be moved from San Francisco to join the main educational and research Stanford campus in Palo Alto.

Aug August 20 Wed 2014

Andrew Serafini (PhD '94)

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton announced today the addition of Andrew Serafini (PhD '94) to the firm's Seattle office. Dr. Serafini will be a Partner in the internationally recognized Intellectual Property Group's Health and Life Sciences Team.

Dr. Serafini, who is joining the firm from Fenwick & West, focuses his practice on representing biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, and other life sciences clients on intellectual property strategy and counseling. He has worked extensively on the strategic development of patent portfolios in numerous areas including immunology, molecular biology, antibody engineering and therapeutics, vaccines, stem cell technologies, molecular genetics, genomics, proteomics and protein chemistry, pharmaceuticals, medical therapeutics, nanotechnology, cleantech, medical diagnostics and personalized medicine. Early in Dr. Serafini’s career, he was an associate with the predecessor firm to Kilpatrick Townsend.

Dr. Serafini earned his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He received his Ph.D. in Immunology from Stanford University School of Medicine and his B.S., with honors, in Biochemistry from the Case Institute of Technology of Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Serafini is an adjunct professor at the University of Washington School of Law and a mentor with their Entrepreneurial Law Clinic. He a member of the Seattle Trade Alliance Advisory Council and the China Policy Committee for the Washington Council on International Trade.

Dr. Serafini was named “Volunteer of the Year,” by the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (WBBA) in 2013 and has been recognized as a "Rising Star" in Intellectual Property category by Washington Super Lawyers for multiple years.

Aug August 15 Fri 2014

James C. Tsai (MD '89)

James C. Tsai, MD '89, MBA has been appointed President of New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai and Chair of Ophthalmology for the Mount Sinai Health System, effective September 2014. A world-renowned physician-scientist and administrator, Dr. Tsai will apply his multiple talents to enhance the clinical, scientific and educational programs of Mount Sinai's Department of Ophthalmology and continue to secure New York Eye and Ear Infirmary's reputation as a local, national and global leader.

Dr. Tsai is an expert in the diagnosis and management of challenging glaucoma cases. He specializes in glaucoma implant surgery, trabeculectomy with antimetabolite surgery, combined glaucoma and cataract surgery and sutureless cataract surgery in patients with glaucoma. His research interests include the identification of neuroprotective molecules that can shield the optic nerve from damage without lowering intraocular pressure, evaluation of surgical outcomes in glaucoma patients and development of advanced vision testing techniques.

Dr. Tsai serves on numerous editorial boards and panels and has authored a wide range of scientific articles, abstracts, and book chapters on glaucoma, as well as three editions of the medical textbook, Medical Management of Glaucoma and the Oxford American Handbook of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Tsai is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American College of Surgeons and the Royal Society of Medicine in the United Kingdom. He is an elected member of the American Ophthalmological Society, the American Eye Study Club, the New York Ophthalmological Society and the Manhattan Ophthalmological Society. Dr. Tsai currently serves as Chair of the Glaucoma Subcommittee of the National Eye Health Education Program Planning Committee of the National Institute of Health, Chair of the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Global Ophthalmic News & Education Network Advisory Board, Chair of the Medical Advisory Board of the Glaucoma Foundation and Secretary for the English Language Region of the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology.

Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Tsai served as Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science in the School of Medicine at Yale University and as Chief of Ophthalmology at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He previously directed the glaucoma division at the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Tsai earned his Medical Degree from Stanford University School of Medicine, and his MBA from Vanderbilt University, followed by residency training in ophthalmology at the Doheny Eye Institute, which at the time was affiliated with the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He conducted his glaucoma fellowship training at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Health System, and at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, and University College London's Institute of Ophthalmology.

Jul July 31 Thu 2014

John Arbo (Fellow '10-'12)

John Arbo completed a fellowship in Critical Care Medicine at Stanford from 2010-2012. He recently published Decision Making in Emergency Critical Care: An Evidence-Based Handbook, a concise and authoritative resource to help you manage the types of complex cardiac, pulmonary, and neurological emergencies you encounter as a resident or attending emergency room physician. This portable guide to rational clinical decision-making in the challenging – and changing – world of emergency critical care provides in every chapter a streamlined review of a common problem in critical care medicine, along with evidence-based guidelines and summary tables of landmark literature.

Jul July 16 Wed 2014

Darrick Antell (Resident '85)

The Human Genome Exhibit, currently on display in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, features the groundbreaking identical twins research conducted by New York City plastic surgeon, Darrick Antell M.D. F.A.C.S. Dr. Antell completed his surgery residency in 1985 at the Stanford University Medical Center.

Dr. Antell’s published work, “How Environment and Lifestyle Choices Influence the Aging Process”, sought to understand how lifestyle choices such as excess sun, smoking, and stress can contribute to the aging process. Through this study, it was concluded that environmental and lifestyle factors can accelerate the aging process independently of genetic influences.

His research is highly regarded among scientific journals and consumer publications and has even been featured nationally by programs such as Good Morning America. Dr. Antell has recently reached a new level of recognition as his findings were deemed worthy of display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Visitors to the Smithsonian can view Dr. Antell’s work as part of the Human Genome Exhibit, a display commemorating the 10th anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome. Next year, the Human Genome Exhibit will tour other natural history museums around the country and the world. (www.antell-md.com)

Feb February 26 Wed 2014

Ilene Wong (Resident '10)

In September 2013, Ilene Wong sold a young adult novel, None of the Above, to Balzer and Bray/Harper Collins for publication in Spring 2015 under the pen name I. W. Gregorio. The book, which was pitched as Middlesex meets Mean Girls, was inspired by an intersex patient she treated while a resident at Stanford. Visit www.iwgregorio.com for details. The day after her book deal, Ilene gave birth to her second child, Gabriel Gregorio, 6 lbs., 10 oz., and 19 in. Ilene currently resides in Philadelphia and would love to get in touch with any alumni in the Philly area and beyond. She can be reached at ilene.wong@gmail.com.

Feb February 25 Tue 2014

Abraham Verghese (Faculty)

Abraham Verghese, MD, professor of medicine and best-selling author of the novel Cutting for Stone, has been selected to receive the $250,000 Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities.

"Dr. Verghese's widely acclaimed writings touch the heart and inform the soul, giving people of all walks of life a true understanding of what it is to heal the whole person — not just physically, but emotionally," Teresa Heinz, chair of the Heinz Family Foundation, said in a news release announcing the annual Heinz Awards in five different categories: arts and humanities, the environment, the human condition, public policy and technology, the economy and employment.

Verghese is vice chair for the theory and practice of medicine in the Department of Medicine and the Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor. He is a strong advocate for the value of bedside manner and the physical exam — skills he sees as waning in an era of increasingly sophisticated medical technology.

"As a teacher and a caregiver, Dr. Verghese has shown how the best physicians are those who understand that healing is about more than medicine," said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the medical school. "As a writer, he has shared this message broadly, reminding us all of the enduring power of the human touch."

Cutting for Stone was on The New York Times bestseller list for more than two years. Verghese's first book, My Own Country, a memoir about AIDS in rural Tennessee, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has been published extensively in the medical literature. His writing also has appeared in The New Yorker and The Atlantic, among other magazines.

"In my work as a writer, I have always tried to convey the notion that medicine is a uniquely human, person-to-person endeavor," Verghese said. "In my view, it is a ministry with a calling."

The Heinz Awards are given in memory of U.S. Sen. John Heinz, a Pennsylvania Republican who died in 1991.

The 19th annual awards will be presented April 3 during a private ceremony at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh.

Dec December 03 Tue 2013

Kenneth Kendler (MD '77)

The New York Academy of Medicine has honored Kenneth Kendler, MD’77, with the Rachel Brown Banks Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and professor of Human Genetics, with its 2013 Thomas William Salmon Award in Psychiatry.

In making its award, the academy noted “his brilliant and determined quest to illuminate the etiology of schizophrenia, substance abuse, and personality disorders. … Dr. Kendler’s research has truly revolutionized our knowledge of the foundations of mental health. His academic work and translational contributions to the field have set the stage for the next chapters of research and practice in the science of psychiatry.”

Each year The New York Academy of Medicine’s Salmon Committee on Psychiatry and Mental Hygiene recognizes a prominent specialist in psychiatry, neurology or mental hygiene by presenting The Thomas William Salmon Award for outstanding contributions to these fields. On the same occasion, The Thomas William Salmon Lecturer, chosen from among the nation’s most talented investigators, is invited to share his or her research with the New York area psychiatric community. Kendler was honored as the Thomas William Salmon Lecturer in 2001.

Dr. Kendler earned his medical degree from Stanford in 1977 and completed a psychiatry residency at Yale University in 1980. He now is the Rachel Brown Banks Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and professor of Human Genetics at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. He is also the director of the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics.