How Strong Leadership is Propelling Us Forward

March 26, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Whether you’re a student, staff or faculty member, postdoc or researcher, everyone here at Stanford Medicine is seeking to be the best in their individual roles and fields. The preeminence of Stanford Medicine also depends upon our collective excellence being greater than the sum of our individual achievements. I’d like to share with you some of the ways in which exceptional leadership throughout our community is contributing to the collective excellence of Stanford Medicine. 


If we are to be on the right path toward achieving our goals, we need the right strategic partners. I’m delighted to announce Mary Hawn, MD, MPH, as the new chair of the Department of Surgery in July. Hailing from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, Dr. Hawn is an accomplished surgeon and health sciences researcher with training in basic science research—making her uniquely poised to lead our world-class surgical department. I am also pleased to announce Dennis Lund, MD, as the new associate dean for maternal and child health, as well as the new chief medical officer for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital/Stanford Children’s Health; and Eben Rosenthal, MD, as the new associate director of clinical care of the Stanford Cancer Institute and medical director of the Cancer Center.

As we strive to realize our vision and accomplish our strategic objectives, it is more important than ever to be surrounded by different people with a diversity of opinions, experiences and perspectives. In January, leaders from throughout Stanford Medicine gathered together at our annual retreat to discuss how we could deepen our connection to and partner with innovators and key stakeholders in biotech and other industries to further our knowledge, relationships and vision. This collaborative energy and fresh thinking is what will keep us on the leading edge of innovation.

Improving Health at Home and Abroad

The call we answer at Stanford Medicine is not just about improving health in our backyard or even the U.S. but in elevating health across the globe—and this requires leadership. In the year since the Ebola outbreak, many of our colleagues—under the guidance of Michele Barry, MD, senior associate dean for Global Health—have been working tirelessly to ensure Stanford Medicine is prepared in the event of an outbreak here at home, as well as offering their expertise to address fighting the crisis abroad.

The Center for Innovation in Global Health has funded five seed grants to develop new diagnostic tests, to identify novel ways to neutralize the virus and to develop geospatial environmental predications for potential new epidemics. Staff and faculty in our hospitals have been performing simulations for the care of potentially ill patients. Stanford Medicine will follow through on its commitment to pay for all preparatory travel needs and quarantine time and will continue providing care to volunteers.

Transformational Gifts

As a premier academic medical center, Stanford Medicine has an obligation to be prepared for unexpected challenges, such as a disease outbreak or pandemic, but we also have to be equally primed to seek and embrace opportunities to reach new heights at home. Stanford has embraced an opportunity to be a leader in allergy and immunology research, thanks to recent philanthropic gifts.

Renowned immunology researcher Kari Nadeau, MD, PhD, is leading the new Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research at Stanford, made possible by a $24 million gift from the Silicon Valley entrepreneur for whom the center is named. It is one of the largest private donations to allergy research in the U.S. to date and will make possible the development of better treatments for children and adults with allergies.

Stanford is also the fortunate recipient of a $50 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to establish the Stanford Human Systems Immunology Center. Building on existing technology developed at Stanford and housed in the Human Immune Monitoring Core, the center will help us better understand how the immune system can be harnessed to develop vaccines for the world’s most deadly infectious diseases.

As you can see, our community is awash with examples of how our individual and collective leadership is helping to push the borders of what is possible in health and medicine. It is my great pleasure to be a part of Stanford Medicine.

With warmest wishes and deepest appreciation,

Lloyd Minor

Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine
Professor of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery
Professor of Bioengineering and of Neurobiology, by courtesy