The medal recognizes individuals whose scientific, medical, humanitarian or other contributions have significantly advanced the mission of Stanford Medicine.
February 23, 2015 - By Ruthann Richter
Three individuals who have made a significant impact on Stanford Medicine will be honored Feb. 28 with the Dean’s Medal, one of the highest honors bestowed by the School of Medicine.
The 2015 recipients, all Stanford alumni, are Mariann Byerwalter, MBA, who is on the board of directors of Stanford Health Care and of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, and who chairs the board of directors of SRI International Inc.; William Brody, MD, PhD, a former Stanford faculty member who is now president of the Salk Institute of Biological Studies; and John Scully, MBA, a board member of Stanford Health Care and the managing director of the investment firm SPO Partners & Co.
The Dean’s Medal recognizes individuals whose scientific, medical, humanitarian or other contributions have significantly advanced the mission of Stanford Medicine.
“Mariann Byerwalter is a visionary individual who has worked tirelessly on behalf of Stanford Medicine, helping provide financial stability and recruit new faculty to lead the enterprise,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the medical school. “Bill Brody is a remarkable innovator in the field of imaging and has made significant contributions to advancing academic medicine and supporting research, education and patient care. John Scully has brought his natural leadership, passion for cutting-edge science and personal resources to bear in significantly advancing the field of stem cell medicine and helping to expand the possibilities of what we can accomplish at Stanford Medicine.”
Byerwalter, who earned her bachelor’s degree from Stanford in 1982, has interwoven her career in business, as a banker and entrepreneur, over the last 30 years with her volunteer service at the university. As a Stanford senior, she received the Wallace Sterling Award for outstanding academic achievement, beginning a longstanding connection to Sterling, the university’s former chancellor, who encouraged her to remain involved, she said. She was elected to the university Board of Trustees in the early 1990s and shortly after joined the board of the children’s hospital.
“That was my first involvement with Stanford Medicine, and it really touched my heart,” she said.
Former university President Gerhard Casper then tapped her to serve as the university’s chief financial officer and vice president for business affairs in 1996, a position she held for five years. After stepping down as CFO, she joined the board of Stanford Hospital, now Stanford Health Care, which she chaired for eight years. She is now a leader of the Campaign for Stanford Medicine.
“To be recognized by the school and the dean and my colleagues is very humbling, as my work with Stanford University and Stanford Medicine has been the most rewarding and fulfilling of my entire professional career,” Byerwalter said. “The lifelong friendships I’ve made are what I treasure and take from that experience.”
Brody, a radiologist and 1970 graduate of the medical school, said he chose to come to Stanford after he realized he could easily meld his longstanding interests in both medicine and engineering at the university. For his electrical engineering PhD project, he worked with renowned heart surgeon Norman Shumway, MD, and James Meindl, PhD, director of the Integrated Circuits Laboratory at Stanford, on a method that used ultrasound to measure blood flow during heart rejection. He went on to do his fellowship and residency in cardiac surgery at Stanford and later joined the faculty in diagnostic radiology. While here, he came up with the idea for one of the first open MRI machines, starting the first of three medical device companies.
“I am honored to be a recipient of the Dean’s Medal. Stanford gave me the opportunity to combine disciplines, something that could not have been done anywhere else at the time,” Brody said. “Some thought I was crazy to want to combine medicine and electrical engineering, but Stanford was completely supportive of the idea and willing to take the risk.”
Brody left Stanford to become chair of radiology at Johns Hopkins University and rose to become president of the university in 1996, a position he held for 12 years. He left in 2009 to become president of Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla. During his career, he has made contributions in medical acoustics, computed tomography, digital radiography and magnetic resonance imaging.
He said the Dean’s Medal is especially meaningful because of Stanford’s formative influence in his career and his longstanding connections with the university. “It’s nice to be recognized by a place where I have invested so much of my life,” he said.
Scully, who calls himself “entrepreneurial to the core,” bought his first stock while in the eighth grade, earning $120 on the investment, he said. He attended Princeton University as an undergraduate and went on to earn an MBA from Stanford in 1968.
“My experience at Stanford was transformative,” he said. “We started talking about businesses that we were going to form on the third day.”
Scully started his own investment banking firm at age 26 and over the years built a major portfolio that has included cable television systems, timber, energy, luxury hotels and major data centers. Early on, he said he felt the need to give back; he’s been involved in a number of philanthropic ventures, including building inner-city charter schools to improve educational opportunities for low-income students.
He joined the Stanford University Board of Trustees in 2000, serving for a decade, including four years as vice chair. He is now a board member for Stanford Health Care and together with his wife, Regina, has been a major contributor to the stem cell program at the School of Medicine and the new Stanford Hospital.
“I have great respect for the dean, and for the medical school and the practitioners and professors. It’s a true center of excellence. Receiving a medal from Stanford Medicine is sort of humbling,” Scully said. “I am very appreciative. And I’ve felt that what I’ve tried to do for the school and for the hospitals in my lifetime is something that just followed naturally from the good fortune I have been blessed with in life.”
Stanford Medicine integrates research, medical education and health care at its three institutions - Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care, and Stanford Children's Health. For more information, please visit the Office of Communications website at http://mednews.stanford.edu.