Thomas Krummel receives top national honor in pediatric surgery

Thomas Krummel was recognized for his contributions to improving the lives of the smallest and sickest children.

- By Elizabeth Valente

Thomas Krummel

Thomas M. Krummel, MD, the Emile Holman Professor in Surgery, Emeritus, and professor emeritus of pediatric surgery, has been named the 2020 recipient of the William E. Ladd Medal, the highest honor nationwide in pediatric surgery. 

Krummel was the surgeon-in-chief at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford from 2002 to 2016. At the Stanford School of Medicine, he served as program director for the general surgery residency program and as chair of the Department of Surgery.

“This well-deserved recognition is a testament not only to Dr. Krummel’s skill as a surgeon, but his devotion to patients, and the importance he places on the training and professional growth of future clinicians,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. “Through his achievements as a physician, educator and mentor, his work has impacted thousands of lives.”

Established in 1954, the medal is named after a physician who helped develop the first pediatric surgical training program in North America and advanced patient care with the development of new techniques for treating illnesses. The award is bestowed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and recognizes a pediatrician’s inspiring work — as a clinician, educator and/or innovator in pediatric surgery — that has a major impact on child health.

This year’s Ladd Medal recognizes Krummel’s contributions as a pediatric surgeon, leader and innovator in techniques such as the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, in infants. This technology, pioneered by Robert Bartlett, MD, and Krummel, is now standard of care for critically ill infants and children with severe and life-threatening lung disease. 

“Dr. Krummel is a most deserving recipient of the William E. Ladd Medal,” said Dennis Lund, MD, chief medical officer at Stanford Children’s Health, the Elizabeth Wood Dunlevie Professor, and associate dean of the faculty for pediatrics and obstetrics at the School of Medicine. “Through his contributions to ECMO’s development, his lengthy clinical career as a pediatric surgeon and his large body of work in innovation of novel medical devices and technologies, Dr. Krummel has contributed to lengthening and improving the lives of numerous children.”

Krummel also led pioneering studies of the cellular and biochemical mechanisms of scarless fetal wound healing, and applied information technology to simulation-based surgical training and surgical robotics. He is co-director of the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign. Over his career, he has mentored over 200 students, residents and postdoctoral scholars.

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2023 ISSUE 2

How the environment and health interact