MIPS has launched a new seminar series, IMAGinING THE FUTURE, aimed at catalyzing interdisciplinary discussions in all areas of medicine and disease.

This seminar series is open and free to everyone in the Stanford community, as well as anyone from the surrounding community, universities, companies, or institutions.

Refreshments will be served immediately following the seminar. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Berg Hall A-B, Li Ka Shing, Stanford

Biomaterials and Cell Therapy and How they Can Change Our Lives

Robert S. Langer, PhD

David H. Koch Institute Professor, MIT

Robert S. Langer is the David H. Koch Institute Professor (there are 13 Institute Professors at MIT; being an Institute Professor is the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member).  Dr. Langer has written more than 1,400 articles.  He also has over 1,260 issued and pending patents worldwide.  Dr. Langer’s patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 300 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies.  He is the most cited engineer in history (h-index 240).

He served as a member of the United States Food and Drug Administration’s SCIENCE Board, the FDA’s highest advisory board, from 1995 -- 2002 and as its Chairman from 1999-2002. 

Dr. Langer has received over 220 major awards.  He is one of 4 living individuals to have received both the United States National Medal of Science (2006) and the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011).  He also received the 2002 Charles Stark Draper Prize, considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for engineers, the 2008 Millennium Prize, the world’s largest technology prize, the 2012 Priestley Medal, the highest award of the American Chemical Society, the 2013 Wolf Prize in Chemistry, the 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences and the 2014 Kyoto Prize.  He is also the only engineer to receive the Gairdner Foundation International Award; 83 recipients of this award have subsequently received a Nobel Prize.  In 2015, Dr. Langer received the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.  Among numerous other awards Langer has received are the Dickson Prize for Science (2002), Heinz Award for Technology, Economy and Employment (2003), the Harvey Prize (2003), the John Fritz Award (2003) (given previously to inventors such as Thomas Edison and Orville Wright), the General Motors Kettering Prize for Cancer Research (2004), the Dan David Prize in Materials Science (2005), the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research (2005), the largest prize in the U.S. for medical research, induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (2006), the Max Planck Research Award (2008), the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research (2008), the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize (2011), the Terumo International Prize (2012) and the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science (2016).  In 1998, he received the Lemelson-MIT prize, the world’s largest prize for invention for being “one of history’s most prolific inventors in medicine.”  In 1989 Dr. Langer was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and in 1992 he was elected to both the National Academy of Engineering and to the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2012 he was elected to the National Academy of Inventors.

Forbes Magazine (1999) and Bio World (1990) have named Dr. Langer as one of the 25 most important individuals in biotechnology in the world.  Discover Magazine (2002) named him as one of the 20 most important people in this area.  Forbes Magazine (2002) selected Dr. Langer as one of the 15 innovators world wide who will reinvent our future.  Time Magazine and CNN (2001) named Dr. Langer as one of the 100 most important people in America and one of the 18 top people in science or medicine in America (America’s Best).  Parade Magazine (2004) selected Dr. Langer as one of 6 “Heroes whose research may save your life.”  Dr. Langer has received honorary doctorates from Harvard University, the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Yale University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Gerstner Graduate School, the University of Maryland, University of Western Ontario (Canada), the ETH (Switzerland), the Technion (Israel), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel), the Universite Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Willamette University, the University of Liverpool (England), Bates College, the University of Nottingham (England), Albany Medical College, Pennsylvania State University, Northwestern University, Uppsala University (Sweden), Tel Aviv University (Israel), Boston University, Ben Gurion University (Israel), Carnegie Mellon University, Drexel University, Hanyang University (South Korea), University of New South Wales (Australia), Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Hong Kong), the University of Limerick (Ireland) and the University of California – San Francisco Medal.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Cornell University in 1970 and his Sc.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974, both in Chemical Engineering.



This seminar series is hosted by Dr. Sanjiv Sam Gambhir and the Department of Radiology, Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford.


All lectures will take place in Berg Hall at the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, Stanford, unless otherwise stated. 

Past Events

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Berg Hall A-B, Li Ka Shing, Stanford

Precision Medicine in Cancer Prevention and Screening

Douglas Lowy, MD - Deputy Director, NCI/NIH

Douglas Lowy, M.D., is the Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Lowy previously served as NCI’s deputy director, helping lead NCI’s key scientific initiatives since 2010.

A cancer researcher for more than 40 years, Dr. Lowy received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama in 2014 for his research that led to the development of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. As chief of the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology in the Center for Cancer Research at NCI, Lowy’s research includes the biology of papillomaviruses and the regulation of normal and neoplastic growth. His laboratory, in close collaboration with John T. Schiller, Ph.D., was involved in the initial development, characterization, and clinical testing of the preventive virus-like particle-based HPV vaccines that are now used in the three U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved HPV vaccines.

Dr. Lowy is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), as well as the Institute of Medicine of the NAS. For their pioneering work, Lowy and Schiller have received numerous honors in addition to the National Medal, including the 2011 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award and the Federal Employee of the Year Award in 2007 from the Partnership for Public Service.

Lowy received his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine, New York City, and trained in internal medicine at Stanford University, California, and dermatology at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Berg Hall A-B, Li Ka Shing, Stanford

From Discovery to Curing Cancer:

the 30 Year Odyssey of the T Cell Zeta Chain

Richard D. Klausner, MD - Co-Founder and Director, Juno Therapeutics

In the War on Cancer, Dr. Rick Klausner has been described (by Norman Shwarzkopf) as “The General”. He held numerous influential positions such as Director of the National Cancer Institute, Chief Strategy Advisor at USAid and Executive Director, Global Health at the Gates Foundation. Speaking this week in Tel Aviv, Rick was pragmatic. “We won’t cure cancer. It is many different diseases. However, we now have the tools to dramatically decrease cancer mortality”.

In 2013, he cofounded Juno Therapeutics, building on his earlier research. Using patient stem cells, cells are genetically engineered outside of the body. When re-introduced to the body, these can recognize and destroy the cancer cells. The results have been extraordinary, with success rates above 90%. The company now has 600 employees and a market cap of $4.63 billion. “Cancer learns to turn off the immune system. We have begun to learn how to turn it back on”.

The second project, Grail, does not aspire to CURE cancer. Leveraging Illumina’s sequencing technology, where Rick served the last two years as Chief Medical Officer, the company is developing a simple blood test to screen for a variety of cancers. It is led by Jeff Huber and backed by $100 million from Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Google Ventures and other elite investors.

“The holy grail in cancer is to find it early, when it is curable". The blood test detects circulating nucleic acids in the cancer cells for a direct measurement that is highly accurate.

Once the treatment begins, it takes around ten days for the tumors to leave the body. "I asked patients to describe the feeling of having these heavy tumors leave the body. The analogy several told me was 'it is like ice melting'.

Rick was in Israel as Executive Chairman of Wisdo, an Israeli startup leveraging the crowd to extract step by step timelines of a myriad of life challenges, from a diagnosis with an illness. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Berg Hall A-B, Li Ka Shing, Stanford

High Performance Medicine

Eric Topol, MD

Founder and Director, Scripps Research Translational Institute

Eric Topol is the Founder and Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute (SRTI), Professor, Molecular Medicine, and Executive Vice-President of Scripps Research, As a researcher, he has published over 1200 peer-reviewed articles, with more than 200,000 citations, elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and is one of the top 10 most cited researchers in medicine (Thomson Reuters ISI, “Doctor of the Decade”). His principal scientific focus has been on the genomic and digital tools to individualize medicine—and the power that brings to individuals to drive the future of medicine.

In 2016, Topol was awarded a $207M grant from the NIH to lead a significant part of the Precision Medicine (All of Us) Initiative, a prospective research program that aims to enroll 1 million participants in the US. Prior to coming to lead Scripps SRTI in 2007, for which he is the principal investigator of a flagship $35M NIH CTSA grant, he led the Cleveland Clinic to become the #1 center for heart care and was the founder of a new medical school there. He has been voted as the #1 most Influential physician leader in the United States in a national poll conducted by Modern Healthcare. Besides editing several textbooks, he has published 2 bestseller books on the future of medicine: The Creative Destruction of Medicine and The Patient Will See You Now. His new book Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Health Care Human Again, will be published in early 2109.

This event is hosted by Drs. Sanjiv Sam Gambhir and Joe Wu.