December 07 Dec 07
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2018 Alumni Awards

Thank you to all that could join us on this special evening honoring our 2018 Alumni Award recipients! Each year, the Stanford Medicine Alumni Association presents three awards to distinguished alumni for exceptional service to Stanford Medicine and outstanding lifetime contributions to medicine and the biomedical sciences. The Alumni Awards Dinner is an evening awards ceremony celebrating the achievements and in recognition of our outstanding alumni award recipients.

By Invitation Only.  

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Alumni Awards and 2018 Recipients

J.E. Wallace Sterling Lifetime Achievement Award in Medicine

In the summer of 1953, J. E. Wallace Sterling, president of Stanford University, persuaded the university trustees to move the School of Medicine from San Francisco to the main Palo Alto campus. The school was moved in 1959, and was transformational in its bringing together, in one location, the resources and pioneering breakthroughs of the School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital, and Stanford University. Stanford Medicine grew steadily in national stature until it attained and now holds a respected place in the front ranks of medical education, scientific achievement, and clinical medicine.

Many years following the move to campus, retired faculty surgeon Gunther W. Nagel, MD ’21, proposed that the school establish an award in Sterling’s name to recognize a distinguished graduate. In 1983, the Stanford Medicine Alumni Association Board of Governors conferred the first J. E. Wallace Sterling Lifetime Achievement Award, now presented annually to a Stanford University School of Medicine MD graduate in recognition of exceptional lifetime achievement in medicine.

Lori A. Alvord, MD '85, Resident '91

Lori Alvord is a surgeon, author, and advocate for care that combines Native American healing with Western medicine. Battling incredible odds, she earned her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 1979, and her MD at Stanford School of Medicine in 1985. At Stanford, she also completed a six-year surgical residency which led to her becoming the first Native American Navajo to be a board certified surgeon.

After training, Dr. Alvord returned to her Navajo reservation in New Mexico to learn that, despite her technical proficiency in surgery, addressing the psychological and spiritual aspects of healing was important as well. This led to her more holistic approach to medicine that took into account the patient's environment and relationships, and Native American teachings. She wrote an award-winning book about her experiences, entitled The Scalpel and the Silver Bear that has been used for almost 20 years at university and medical schools, inspiring Native American and other students alike.

Dr. Alvord has a history of distinguished service in academia serving as associate dean at Dartmouth Medical School for 12 years, at Central Michigan College of Medicine where she helped start a new medical school, and at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. She currently holds an associate faculty appointment at Johns Hopkins’ Center for American Indian Health, and is employed as a general surgeon by Astria Health, serving the Yakama tribe of Washington state.

Alvord has received a variety of awards including the Governor's Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women, and the American Medical Writers Association’s Award of Excellence. She has been featured in the National Library of Medicine exhibit, Changing the Face of Medicine, and the PBS documentary Medicine Woman. In 2013, Dr. Alvord was nominated by the National Indian Health Board and the National Congress of American Indians to be a candidate for Surgeon General of the United States.  Today she continues to lecture on healing environments, Native American health and cultural competency, and the healing properties of Native American ceremonies.

Michael A. Caligiuri, MS '81, MD '83

Michael Caligiuri is a physician-scientist currently serving as President of the City of Hope National Medical Center in Los Angeles.  He also holds the Deana and Steve Campbell Physician-in-Chief Distinguished Chair. After receiving his MA and MD at Stanford, he completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and completed a fellowship in medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He spent seven years at Roswell Park Cancer Institute as a professor before moving to the Ohio State University where he served as the director of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and chief executive officer of Ohio State’s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.  

For the past 27 years, Dr. Caligiuri has been continually funded by the NIH for his work in basic and translational immunology and acute leukemia. He discovered the site, developmental stages, and soluble factors responsible for human natural killer (NK) cell development, and was the first to show that human stem cells migrate to secondary lymphoid tissue where they undergo NK cell development. He also discovered the critical role of interleukin (IL)-15 in human NK cell development, survival and activation. Dr. Caligiuri co-discovered human innate-lymphoid cells and first identified the specific human precursors for both NK cells and innate lymphoid cells. As a physician, over 1,000 patients with HIV and cancer have been treated on clinical protocols designed by Dr. Caligiuri. And, since 1990, more than 100 students have trained and have received over 200 awards for their research while under his mentorship.

Dr. Caligiuri also co-founded the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network and served as President of the American Association for Cancer Research. He was one of four individuals in the country to receive a MERIT award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for his work on immunity and cancer, and in 2016 he received an Outstanding Investigator Award from the NCI.    

Arthur Kornberg and Paul Berg Lifetime Achievement Award in Biomedical Sciences

In 2010, the Stanford University Medical Center Alumni Association Board of Governors established an award to recognize the lifetime achievements of Stanford University School of Medicine alumni in the biomedical sciences. This award carries the names of Arthur Kornberg, MD, and Paul Berg, PhD, in recognition of their pioneering contributions to medicine and their service to Stanford.
In 1959, Dr. Kornberg came to Stanford as chair of the newly established Department of Biochemistry. In the same year, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine along with Severo Ochoa for their work in elucidating how DNA is built. These basic studies paved the road to recombinant DNA and genetic engineering, now important elements in the treatment of cancer and viral infections.
Dr. Berg also came to Stanford in 1959. His work with recombinant DNA, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1980, helped launch the biotechnology industry.
Drs. Berg and Kornberg brought to Stanford a passion for discovery, groundbreaking research, and a strong spirit of excitement and cooperation. They helped forge an environment that has produced generations of highly successful students and postdoctoral fellows, and in so doing, shaped the future of the School of Medicine. This lifetime achievement award honors their legacy.



John R. Carlson, PhD '82, Post Doc '85

John Carlson is the Higgins Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University.  He received an A.B. in Biochemistry from Harvard in 1977 and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Stanford in 1982. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford, he joined the Yale faculty in 1986.

Dr. Carlson has elucidated basic principles by which odors and tastants are encoded.  His laboratory discovered the first insect odor receptor (Or) genes.  He systematically characterized the functional properties of the Drosophila Or repertoire.  The analysis provided a molecular basis for odor coding by an olfactory organ.  It also produced a receptor-to-neuron map of the fly antenna, the first such map of its kind.  He subsequently characterized the Or repertoire of the malaria mosquito Anopheles, which locates its human hosts via olfaction. This analysis identified receptors that respond strongly to components of human odor and that may act in the process of human recognition.

Dr. Carlson’s laboratory also identified the first insect taste receptors.  He constructed a receptor-to-neuron map of the major taste organs of the fly.  A functional map was constructed via physiological analysis of taste neurons.  The two maps together revealed basic principles of taste coding.  This work may be applied to insects that transmit global disease to hundreds of millions of people or that do massive damage to the world’s food supply.     

Dr. Carlson is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He is a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He received the Genetics Society of America Medal and the Yale College Dylan Hixon Prize for Teaching Excellence.   Twelve of his PhD students have won awards for their dissertations.   

Peter S. Kim, PhD '86

Peter S. Kim is the Virginia & D.K. Ludwig Professor of Biochemistry at Stanford University School of Medicine.  He is also an Institute Scholar of Stanford ChEM-H and the Lead Investigator of the Infectious Disease Initiative at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.

He earned his AB in Chemistry at Cornell University in 1979 and trained as an MSTP student at Stanford Medical School, receiving a PhD in Biochemistry under the guidance of Robert L. Baldwin. Following Stanford, he was a Whitehead Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Subsequently, he served as Professor of Biology at MIT, Member of the Whitehead Institute and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Dr. Kim joined Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) in 2001 as executive vice president, Research and Development, and was president of MRL from 2003 – 2013.  In this role, he oversaw Merck's drug and vaccine research and development activities. During his tenure, Merck gained approval for more than 20 new medicines and vaccines including Januvia, Gardasil, Isentress and Zostavax.

He is known for discovering how proteins cause viral membranes to fuse with cells, a process required for infection by many viruses including HIV, influenza and Ebola.  He has designed molecules that stop membrane fusion by HIV and pioneered efforts to develop vaccines based on similar principles.  At Stanford, he is continuing his efforts to create vaccines, including against HIV.

Dr. Kim is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering.

Li Ka Shing Center for Learning & Knowledge
291 Campus Dr.
Palo Alto, CA 94305

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Li Ka Shing Center for Learning & Knowledge

291 Campus Dr.
Palo Alto, CA 94305
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