David Schneider appointed chair of microbiology and immunology

David Schneider, whose research focuses on resilience to infection and developing mathematical models to predict recovery and well-being, succeeds Peter Sarnow in post.

David Schneider

David Schneider, PhD, has been appointed chair of the School of Medicine’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology. His five-year term began April 1.

“This world-class department has seeded a good deal more than its fair share of academic scientists studying microbial pathogenesis and immunology,” said Schneider, professor of microbiology and immunology. “I hope to nourish this culture and teach it to our students and postdocs so that we can sustain the innovation and leadership our pioneering faculty has demonstrated.”

Schneider’s current research focuses on quantitative analysis of sickness during infections and, in particular, on determining how we recover from infections. He has spent the last several years investigating the fundamental causes of resilience to infection and developing mathematical models to predict recovery and well-being after infection.

“Dr. Schneider is a brilliant innovator and respected educator and mentor,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. “I am thrilled that he will bring his experience and perspective to this role.”

Schneider replaces Peter Sarnow, PhD, who has chaired the department since 2010. “Dr. Sarnow brought superb scientific and leadership acumen to the department, advancing cutting-edge research, supporting and developing faculty, and assisting postdoctoral scholars in finding success in academia and industry,” Minor said.

Schneider received his BS in biochemistry from the University of Toronto in 1986 and earned a PhD in molecular biology at the University of California-Berkeley in 1992. He first came to Stanford as a postdoctoral scholar in 1996, between postdoctoral appointments at UCB and UCSF. Between 1997 and 2001, Schneider was a Whitehead Fellow at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachussetts. He returned to Stanford as an assistant professor in 2001, was promoted to associate professor in 2008 and became a full professor this year. He is a member of Stanford Bio-X and the Stanford Child Health Research Institute.

Founded nearly 100 years ago, the Department of Microbiology and Immunology numbers more than 25 faculty, 100 postdoctoral scholars and 50 graduate students in addition to about two dozen research, administrative and support staff.

“I see our department, and Stanford in general, as a place where we aren’t pigeonholed as being certain sorts of scientists,” said Schneider. “When we come up with new ideas, our colleagues don’t say, ‘What do you know about that?’ Rather, they share your excitement and urge you on.”



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