Dr. Arden Morris has been named the Robert L. and Mary Ellenburg Professor of Surgery and, by courtesy, of Health Policy. The professorship was previously held by Dr. Jeffrey Norton who retired in September.

“Dr. Arden Morris is an internationally renowned scholar on disparities and quality of care for rectal cancer treatment. She also serves in many key roles for our Department, including running the S-SPIRE center and as Vice Chair for Clinical Research,” said Department Chair Dr. Mary Hawn. “Dr. Morris is an outstanding mentor and was recently selected as one of the Stanford University’s Faculty Womens' Forum outstanding mentor award for 2023. These funds will further support her efforts to advance her research as well as that of her mentees.”

An addition to her clinical work as a professor, Morris is also Director of the Stanford Surgery Policy Improvement Research and Education (S-SPIRE) Center. Information on her official investiture to follow.


Drs. Todd Wagner, David Chan, and Anita Vashi have been awarded a five-year grant ($820k per year) by the VA to create a Center for Policy Evaluation (CPE). The goal of the center is to "conduct timely, rigorous evaluations to assess the effectiveness of policy, programs, and interventions in the field, helping VA become a learning health care system."

Liam Rose, PhD received the Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development paper of the year award. "Association of Expanded Health Care Networks With Utilization Among Veterans Affairs Enrollees" was published in JAMA Network Open in November 2021.

The VA HSR&D Paper of the Year award honors a single article or collection of articles resulting from one or more HSR&D or QUERI funded investigators and represents the top 10% of publications in the field during the year under review.

Dr. Aaron Dawes has received a KL-2 Mentored Career Development Award from NIH. The award supports faculty for activities related to the development of a successful clinical and translational research career. Dr. Dawes's KL2 will provide him with protected time to work on his project entitled, “The Effect of Managed Care on Access and Quality for Medicaid Patients with Colon Cancer.”
Dr. Arden Morris has received a grant from the American Cancer Society (ACS). The $700,000 peer-reviewed grant will fund her research project: "Understanding the Effect of Out-of-Pocket Costs in Cancer Care."

Dr. Shipra Arya has received a 2022-2023 Visiting Professor Award co-sponsored from the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons (SAAS). Her award is co-sponsored by the Association of Women Surgeons (AWS).

The SAAS awards six visiting professorships each year to allow "rising stars in academic surgery" to gain national recognition by traveling to and presenting grand rounds at host institutions. Dr. Arya's host institution is Yale University

Dr. Kamal Receives K23 Grant

Dr. Robin Kamal, an assistant professor in the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, was awarded a K23 grant from the National Institutes of Health for his project "Developing and Testing a Tool for Preference Elicitation in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome." S-SPIRE's Drs. Arden Morris and Alex Sox-Harris are mentors on the project. 

SMASH Medical Education Curriculum Receives DIF

S-SPIRE has received $4,000 in funding to create a Medical Exposure Curriculum for Stanford's Summer Math and Science Honors Academy (SMASH). The money was provided by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education as part of their 2018-2019 Diversity and Inclusion Innovation Funds (DIF). S-SPIRE's program is led by General Surgery PD Resident Dr. Miquell Miller and Social Sciences Researcher Serena Bidwell. 

Dr. Knowlton Receives FACS Faculty Research Fellowship

Dr. Lisa Knowlton, an assistant professor in the Division of General Surgery, was selected to receive the 17th James Carrico, MD, FACS Faculty Research Fellowship for her research project entitled "The Changing Landscape of Trauma Care: Analyzing the Impact of Policy on Quality and Performance."

“I am thrilled to have been awarded C. James Carrico Faculty Research Fellowship by the prestigious American College of Surgeons. It is a tremendous honor to have their support in researching the complex interplay between healthcare expenditures and quality of care within trauma," said Knowlton. "My goal is to demonstrate the positive effect that financial stability of trauma centers can have upon patient outcomes, in an effort to better guide policy around insurance coverage and trauma reimbursements within our public trauma hospitals.”

Dr. Miller Receives SSAT/SBAS Resident Research Award

The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT) and Society of Black Academic Surgeons (SBAS) Research Committee has selected Dr. Miquell Miller as the recipient of the 2018 SSAT/SBAS Resident or Fellow Research Award for her project Titled: "Physician Cultural Competency in the Coordinated Care of Rectal Cancer Patients." The research award is $25,000 per year for one to two years.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Cindy Kin, Assistant Professor of Surgery and S-SPIRE Center Faculty member. Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Arden Morris, S-SPIRE Director and Vice-Chair of Clinical Research for the Department of Surgery.

Dr. Sox-Harris Receives 2017 Intermountain Grant 

Dr. Alex Sox-Harris received a 2017 Intermountain Grant for his project titled: "Setting A Foundation For Collaborative Surgical Health Services Reseach."

In 2016, Stanford University and Intermountain Healthcare began collaborating on joint clinical, research and education projects. Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit health system based in Utah. The one-year seed grants of up to $75,000 are being awarded to projects jointly led by PIs form Stanford and Intermountain.

S-SPIRE Researchers Receive WSDM Seed Grant

Dr. Sabine Girod and her project titled "The Effect of Sex in Psychological Distress and Opioid Use in the Treatment of Chronic Temporomandibular Joint, Lumbar, and Anorectal Pain" were selected to receive a Stanford Women and Sex Differences in Medicine (WSDM) Center Seed Grant.

Co-principal investigators include: Drs. Arden Morris and Cindy Kin of S-SPIRE as well as Drs. Loretta Chou and Debra Safer.

Dr. Bereknyei Merrel Joins S-SPIRE

Dr. Sylvia Bereknyei Merrell is a Research Scholar specializing in qualitative and mixed methods research. She has more than 13 years experience in high-level support of research projects at Stanford, including research design, implementation and dissemination, specifically, qualitative and mixed methods research. She has significant content expertise in the following research areas: patient-physician communication, intraoperative team communication, and language barriers. Dr. Merrell also works closely with educators to design and implement medical education curricula and research across the learning spectrum. Additional interests include capacity building in research methodology for medical students, residents, fellows, and faculty.

Dr. Sox-Harris named to Academy Health’s Surgical and Perioperative Interest Group Advisory Committee

Dr. Alex Sox-Harris named to Academy Health’s Surgical and Perioperative Interest Group Advisory Committee.

Dr. Sox-Harris looks forward to working within the advisory committee to encourage the interest group’s growth and impact.

The interest group is a community of MDs, RNs, policymakers and researchers that collaborate on work that informs policy.

Ana Mezynski was awarded the Anne G. Crowe Spirit Award for her outstanding dedication, initiative, motivation, positive attitude and customer service.