Pediatric anesthesiologist Lisa Wise-Faberowski dies at 57

Lisa Wise-Faberowski, who studied a rare congenital heart condition as well as the effects of anesthesia on children’s developing brains, died at 57.

- By Mandy Erickson

Lisa Wise-Faberowski

Lisa Wise-Faberowski, MD, an associate professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine, died Jan. 23 in Lone Tree, Colorado. She was 57.

Wise-Faberowski had a recurrence of breast cancer in October 2018. She moved to Colorado after taking medical leave from Stanford in October 2020, though she continued to conduct research and review articles for anesthesia journals until her death. She specialized in pediatric anesthesiology.

“Lisa Wise-Faberowski was an incredibly kind and dedicated professor who went out of her way to help her colleagues and her patients,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of Stanford School of Medicine. “We are heartbroken to lose such a brilliant physician-scientist, educator, mentor and friend.”

Her friend and colleague Rita Agarwal, MD, a clinical professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine, said, “She was incredibly smart, but humble. She was also meticulous, hard-working and dedicated. When she volunteered to do something, she would do it incredibly well and it would be done early.”

Wise-Faberowski was born June 3, 1964, in Dayton, Ohio. She grew up in Vandalia, Ohio, surrounded by an extended family of grandparents and cousins. She graduated from the University of Dayton in 1986 and from the Ohio State University College of Medicine in 1990. She completed an internship at Duke University Medical Center, a residency in pediatrics at Wake Forest University and a residency in anesthesia at the University of Florida College of Medicine. She also had fellowships in neuro-anesthesia and in pediatric critical care at the University of Florida and in pediatric anesthesia and pediatric critical care at Children’s Hospital in Boston.

After working at the University of Florida, Duke University and the University of Colorado, she moved to Stanford in 2010 as an assistant professor of anesthesiology. At Stanford, she conducted research on tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart condition, and on the effect of anesthesia on children’s brains.

“Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford takes care of some of the sickest children, and Lisa was an energetic contributor to research on how to manage children with cardiac disease and improve their outcomes,” said James Fehr, MD, clinical professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine and chief of pediatric anesthesiology.

“We were very fortunate to have her on the faculty for over a decade and are grateful for all the great work she did here. Lisa was a kind and caring pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist, who went out of her way for the trainees and junior faculty,” he added. “She always was reaching out and trying to lift other people up.”

Wise-Faberowski received a number of awards, including the John J. Downes Award and two young investigator awards — one  from the Society of Neurosurgical Anesthesia and Critical Care and one from the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia. In 2015, she earned a master’s degree from Stanford in health science research and policy. She served on the editorial boards of several journals, including Anesthesiology and Pediatric Anesthesia.

Wise-Faberowski’s husband, Nick Faberowski, said she was dedicated to her four children and loved watching them play sports. “She was involved with all the kids’ sports teams and often was the team mom or the team manager,” he said.

Wise-Faberowski also fostered dogs and cats, Agarwal said.

“She just gave so much of herself — to her family, her career and her students,” she added.

In addition to her husband, Wise-Faberowski is survived by her children, Evan, Logan, Alyssa and Cooper.

About Stanford Medicine

Stanford Medicine is an integrated academic health system comprising the Stanford School of Medicine and adult and pediatric health care delivery systems. Together, they harness the full potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education and clinical care for patients. For more information, please visit

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