Health Matters has a history of bringing engaging and inspiring speakers to our community and this year was no exception. Listed here is our stellar lineup of presenters who spoke at Health Matters 2022.

Health Talks

Christopher Gardner, PhD
The Rehnborg Farquhar Professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and Research Professor at Stanford Prevention Research Center

Christopher Gardner, PhD, is a nutrition scientist, the Rehnborg Farquhar Professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, and a research professor at Stanford Prevention Research Center. With a long-term research interest in what to consume and what to avoid for optimal health, and how best to motivate individuals to adopt healthy dietary behaviors, he has designed and conducted more than 20 nutrition intervention studies involving more than 2,000 participants. Dr. Gardner’s ongoing trials involve examining the impact of various dietary patterns, such as Mediterranean, ketogenic, and vegetarian diets, on the gut microbiome and inflammation/immune function. While he has served on several committees of the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, and other health science organizations, he has almost never been seen wearing a tie.

Ronald Levy, MD
The Robert K. and Helen K. Summy Professor and Associate Director of Translational Science at the Stanford Cancer Institute

Ronald Levy, MD, is the Robert K. and Helen K. Summy Professor of Medicine and director of the lymphoma program at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is also the associate director of translational science for the Stanford Cancer Institute. As both a basic scientist and translational researcher, Dr. Levy was the first to successfully treat cancer with a monoclonal antibody; he was also involved in the development of an antibody-based drug, rituximab, which is now routinely used to treat lymphoma. Widely credited with changing the paradigm for cancer treatment worldwide, Dr. Levy is currently conducting clinical trials of in situ therapeutic vaccination of cancer. He serves on the scientific advisory boards of numerous organizations, is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and received the King Faisal International Prize in Medicine in 2009.


Melissa Bondy, PhD
Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health and the Stanford Medicine Discovery Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine

Melissa Bondy, PhD, is an internationally recognized cancer epidemiologist with a multidisciplinary focus on translational research and a strong interest in genetic and molecular epidemiology, as well as health disparities and environmental exposures. She is at the forefront of developing innovative ways to assess the roles of heredity and genetic susceptibility in the etiology of cancer and outcomes, primarily brain and breast cancer. Over the past year, she has also led numerous COVID-19 studies. Dr. Bondy is also the associate director for population sciences at the Stanford Cancer Institute and co-director of the Center for Population Health Sciences. In addition, she serves on the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) Board of Scientific Advisors and is a member of many NCI-designated Cancer Centers’ external advisory boards.

Anna Lembke, MD
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine and Chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic

Dr. Lembke is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic. In 2016, she published Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It’s So Hard to Stop (Johns Hopkins University Press), which was highlighted in the New York Times as one of the top five books to read in the quest to understand the opioid epidemic. Dr. Lembke also appeared in the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, which provides an unvarnished look at the impact of social media on our lives. In her new book, Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence (Dutton/Penguin Random House, August 2021), an instant New York Times bestseller, Dr. Lembke explores how to moderate compulsive overconsumption in a dopamine-overloaded world.

Med School Morning

Iris Gibbs, MD, FACR
Associate Dean for MD Admissions and Professor of Radiation Oncology (Radiation Therapy), and, by courtesy, of Neurosurgery

As a first-generation college student and the first in her family to become an academic physician, Dr. Gibbs embraces Stanford’s values and mission toward academic excellence through innovation and diversity. After completing her radiation oncology residency at Stanford, Dr. Gibbs accepted a faculty position and served as a senior leader in both adult and pediatric neuro-oncology. She was also the founding co-director of the Stanford Cyberknife Radiosurgery Program, where her innovations have contributed to new treatments for brain and spinal tumors.

Dr. Gibbs served as the residency program director and director of education in the Department of Radiation Oncology with oversight of the medical student clerkship and fellowship programs. She serves on the American Board of Radiology and is currently on the executive board of the Section on Radiology of the National Medical Association and is current president of the Radiosurgery Society. Dr. Gibbs has been consistently named among the prestigious Best Doctors of America since 2006 and was a fellow of the American College of Radiology and the American Society of Radiation Oncology. She earned a BS in chemistry at the University of Delaware and received her medical degree at Stanford. 

Steve Smith, MS, MBA
Stanford Medicine Community Council Member,
former NASA Astronaut, and Technology Executive

From age 7, Steve Smith dreamed of becoming an astronaut, a goal he attained after four rejections from the United States Astronaut Corps (USAC) and a medical disqualification from the Air Force and NASA. He considers himself a resilient optimist.

After selection by NASA, Steve was the first in his class who was assigned to fly. He flew on four space shuttle missions and performed seven spacewalks, including five to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. He ranked third on the all-time historical world spacewalk duration list at the completion of his flight career and served as deputy chief astronaut for the USAC.

Steve traveled 16 million miles in space, but he was a Stanford MBA first. He also has two electrical engineering degrees from Stanford, serves as director on multiple boards, and consults with Silicon Valley venture capitalists. At IBM, he led an R&D team in semiconductor fabrication and co-led a product and sales force rollout. He also served as a diplomat for the United States’ space station.