New chair of pathology named at Stanford Medicine

Thomas Montine, a neuropathologist, is a national expert in the study of the molecular and structural causes of cognitive decline in aging. He comes to Stanford from the University of Washington.

Thomas Montine

Thomas Montine, MD, PhD, has been appointed the new chair of the Department of Pathology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. His term will begin May 1.

He will succeed Stephen Galli, MD, a professor of pathology who has served as chair of the department since 1999.

Montine, a neuropathologist, is currently chair of pathology at the University of Washington.

“Tom is at once a distinguished investigator, an expert clinician and a respected mentor,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine, in a statement announcing the appointment. “In the clinic and in the laboratory, Tom embodies the academic mission of Stanford Medicine as well as the creativity and collaboration that is our hallmark. He is a consummate clinician-scientist committed to our vision to lead the biomedical revolution in precision health.”

Research focus on cognitive health

Montine’s research focuses on the structural and molecular bases for cognitive impairment in the elderly and how they give rise to Alzheimer’s disease and non-motor features of Parkinson’s disease. His lab hopes to identify key pathogenic steps in these processes and to develop new ways to protect cognitive function with advancing age. Montine also directs national centers for research on Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease at UW that emphasize functional genomics, early detection and the discovery of tailored therapies.

“Stanford is an amazing university that offers enormous opportunities for the next chair of pathology,” said Montine. “Furthermore, the focus on precision health is one that I believe will distinguish the truly leading medical centers of the future. I am excited by the promise of the university, the School of Medicine and the vision that they are pursuing.”

The goal of Stanford Medicine’s focus on precision health is to anticipate and prevent disease in the healthy and precisely diagnose and treat disease in the ill.

I am excited by the promise of the university, the School of Medicine and the vision that they are pursuing.

“The many individuals at Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford working to advance clinical genomics are very excited about Dr. Montine’s interest and contributions in this area,” said Louanne Hudgins, MD, professor of pediatrics, who was a co-leader of the search committee for the new pathology chair.

“Dr. Montine’s leadership in neuropathology will provide strong synergy with Stanford’s outstanding interdisciplinary program in neurological disease and the neurosciences,” said Paul Khavari, MD, PhD, professor and chair of dermatology and the other co-leader of the search committee. “His expertise and leadership in clinical genomics will help accelerate efforts here to bring insights from the genome to the patient care arena. Finally, his unique combination of scientific strengths, program leadership and clinical expertise will provide the ideal set of attributes to lead Stanford’s outstanding Department of Pathology into the future.”

Montine is the director of the Pacific Northwest Udall Center and of the University of Washington’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. He earned a BA in chemistry from Columbia University, a PhD in pharmacology from University of Rochester and an MD from McGill University. He completed his postgraduate medical training at Duke University before being hired as an assistant professor Vanderbilt University.

He was the 2015 president of the American Association of Neuropathologists, and he co-authored the recent National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer’s Association’s guidelines for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. 

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