Administration Dean's Office

The Dean's Newsletter:
May 12, 2003

Table of Contents

 Twentieth Annual Stanford Medical Student Research Symposium
 Medicine and the Muse
 Hospital Updates
 Alumni Weekend
 Medical Student Admit Weekend
 Third Annual Founders Dinner
 Honors and Awards
    Dr. Roger Kornberg
    Dr. Greg Barsh
    Dr. Dan Bernstein
    Dr. Tom Krummel
    Dr. Irv Weissman
    Dr. Iain Johnstone
    Dr. William Brody
 Appointments and Promotions

Twentieth Annual Stanford Medical Student Research Symposium

Thursday, May 1st marked the Twentieth Annual Stanford Medical Student Research Symposium. Concordant with Stanford's pre-eminence as a leading research-intensive school of medicine, students demonstrated their remarkable interests and diversity in 24 oral presentations and 23 poster presentations. As has been the case in past years, many of these presentations have already resulted or will result in peer-reviewed publications. I want to commend each of the students who gave presentations as well as the faculty who mentored and supervised their work and progress.

This year oral presentations were given by: Jason Davies, Ryan Louie, Emily Tierney, Daniel Chao, Mauricio Vargas, Mariel Velez, Alyssa Brewer, Valerie Coon, Vikam Udani, Benjamin Hoehn, Michelle Monje, Una Lee, Adia George, Brian Courtney, Bryan Warme, Marie Nguyen, Elissa Meites, Everett Meyer, Jennifer McIntire, Yolanda Agredano, Christine Jacobson, Dustin Bermudez, Jamie Dermon and Kristine McCoy.

Poster presentations were done by Unzlia Ali, Keith Chan, Josephine Chu, Noah Epstein, Megan Fix, Mana Golzari, Christine Jacobson, Matthew Kirschen, Vendat Kulkarni, Eliza Long, Mina Matin, Kristine Meade, Pamela Mosher, Jessica Ngo, Josephine Nguyen, Svetlana Pilyugina, Gordon Sakamoto, Thomas Satterwhite, Matthew Simmons, Glenn Valenzuela, Melanie Watkins, Naveen Yalamanchi and Andrew Zhang.

While each of these students deserves our praise, six were singled out for special mention and recognition. These included:

Oral Presentations:

Poster Presentations:

Again, congratulations to all!

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Medicine and the Muse

Not only are we fortunate to have students with outstanding scientific accomplishments, we are also the beneficiaries of students who are accomplished in the arts and humanities. (And we haven't even gotten to athletic pursuits yet!) On Thursday, May 8th our students had the opportunity to share their work and achievements in "Medicine and the Muse: An Arts, Humanities and Medicine Symposium" that was held before a packed audience in the Cantor Arts Center Auditorium. To a great degree, this venue has been made possible because of the vision and commitment of Dr. Audrey Shafer, Associate Professor of Anesthesia and Chair of the Stanford Arts & Humanities Medical Scholars Committee. I had the pleasure of attending the symposium and was deeply impressed by the talents of our students in their presentations as well as in the artwork that was displayed. Quite amazing.

Following an introduction by Sarah Bein, SMS 2, the keynote address entitled "The Search for Meaning in a Medical Life" was given by Dr. Abraham Berghese, Director of the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. This was followed by a series of outstanding presentations or performances including:

In addition to the presentations, exhibits included photography by Sara Bein SMS 2, Bill Bragg SMS 1, Anne Braun SMS 1 and Paul Johnston SMS 5+ as well as paintings by Andrew Kopelman SMS 2, Mana Golzari SMS 2, Kubinne Kim SMS 4, Michelle Lai SMS 3, John Nguyen SMS 5+ and sculpture by Catherine Mohr SMS 2.

Thanks and congratulations to all!

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Hospital Updates

Our major hospital affiliates; Stanford Hospital & Clinics (SHC) and the Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital (LPCH), each had Board of Directors meetings during the past two weeks.

SHC met on May 1st. A major focus of the Board meeting was on strategic planning and facilities development. Specifically, the SHC leadership addressed the plans for further developing the clinical centers in cancer, cardiac, neuroscience, and transplantation as related to the School's Institutes of Medicine. One of the immediate challenges facing SHC is that in-patient volumes have been tracking below those projected, in part related to faculty (in part due to the shift of patients to ambulatory care settings and the impact of the Waverly Surgicenter on certain services, including orthopedics and GI endoscopy). The percentage drop for in-patient admissions has been even more notable for community physicians and the Palo Alto Medical Clinic. Clearly this is an area that requires attention.

Ms. Martha Marsh, President and CEO of SHC, updated the Board (and on Friday, May 8th the Council of Clinical Chairs received a similar message from Michael Calhoun, VP for Strategic Planning and Business Development) regarding an off-campus site as a potential future locus for selected ambulatory care. During the next several weeks those ambulatory services at SHC that would benefit from a move to this very attractive off-site area will be identified. The major factors will be improved patient services as well as a financial model that is beneficial to the hospital and the clinical practices. The details regarding this are now under development.

Further, Ms. Marsh noted that with the recent bond ratings (which have gone well for SHC) plans are being developed for the internal facilities improvements that are necessary to meet important strategic initiatives. Details will follow in the months ahead.

On Wednesday, May 7th the LPCH Board of Directors convened a mini-retreat to continue discussions on the strategic plan that has been evolving during the past 2-3 years. Currently LPCH faces significant challenges by not having enough in-patient bed capacity to meet patient demands from the local as well as broader referral community. Over the past year remarkable progress has been made in developing the Heart Center and the Johnson Center for Neonatal & Maternal/Fetal Health and continued work is underway in further developing other key centers including Cancer, Brain & Behavior, Transplant/Tissue Engineering and Pulmonary/Cystic Fibrosis. Ms. Cynthia Haines, Senior Vice President for Business Development and Strategic Planning, reviewed the progress that has been made in these areas and outlined a long range plan that will better rationalize and regionalize the care of children with complex medical disorders in the greater northern California area. A key aspect of this plan is also attending to the care of children within the local community who use LPCH as their primary hospital facility. Thus, balancing the needs of serving the community while also becoming a national and international leader in pediatric healthcare represents one of the important challenges facing LPCH and Stanford during the years ahead. Importantly, plans have been developed to address these issues.

In tandem with the clinical program development, Dr. Alan Krensky, Shelagh Galligan Professor of Pediatrics and Executive Director of the Children's Health Initiative (CHI), gave a progress report on the CHI and the important role it is playing in helping to bolster LPCH in achieving both preeminence and sustainability. Dr. Krensky also delineated some of the important recruitments that have been accomplished during the past year or that are now underway, noting that LPCH/Stanford has now become an institution that leaders in pediatrics want to be associated with.

In addition, I gave an overview of the Strategic Plan of the School of Medicine (http://medstrategicplan.stanford.edu/) and highlighted how closely linked aspects of the School's plan are to the work underway through the CHI and LPCH. These strategic alliances in research, education and patient care, especially related to the relationships of the Stanford Institutes of Medicine with the clinical centers being established at LPCH, afford a unique opportunity to foster translational medicine and discovery to further improve the care and lives of children.

As with SHC and the School, current facilities at LPCH represent one of the challenges limiting institutional progress and success. Mr. Dawes, President and CEO of LPCH, reviewed the plans for internal renovation that have been defined to help alleviate some of the short-term problems and delineated some of the longer term issues that will require consideration by the Board and other governing groups.

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Alumni Weekend

Thursday, May 1st -- Saturday, May 3rd was Stanford Medicine Alumni Reunion Weekend. Despite the unusually inclement weather (now I am really beginning to sound like a Californian!) over a hundred alumni gathered for various class events, seminars, tours and social interactions. Special thanks must go to Dr. Newton Harband, M.D. '66 who served as this year's SMAA President and who was instrumental in arranging a wonderful weekend of special events. Among these was a symposium held on Saturday morning, May 3rd featuring Stanford leaders in Oncology. I had the pleasure to be part of that symposium and addressed the progress made in pediatric oncology during the past several decades. Other speakers included Robert Carlson M.D. '78, who spoke on recent advances in the management of breast cancer, and Steven Hancock, M.D. '76, who addressed the application of new technologies for prostate cancer. In addition Ron Levy, M.D. '68, spoke on the immune system and cancer (a field he has pioneered) and Irv Weissman, M.D. '65, spoke on cancer and cancer stem cells. Altogether it was a very impressive event.

Special thanks for making the Alumni Weekend so successful also go to Dr. Ross Bright, Associate Dean for Alumni Affairs, as well as Andy Cope, John Hopkins, Nancy Schlegel and Amanda Keris.

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Medical Student Admit Weekend

At the same time that Alumni were visiting and reminiscing about the happy years they spent as Stanford Medical Students, the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions Office welcomed over 70 students who have been admitted to the 2003 incoming class and who visited the campus to determine whether Stanford will be their new home. According to Dr. Gabriel Garcia, Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Admissions, this was the largest turnout for an Admit Weekend we have ever had and reflects the considerable interest of students in attending Stanford. Among the major areas of excitement is our new curriculum, which has captured the interest and excitement of both current and future students. In addition to reading about the new curriculum in past newsletters and as part of our Strategic Plan, there is a nice description of it in the April 30th issue of the Stanford Report. [http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2003/april30/curriculum.html]

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Third Annual Founders Dinner

On Wednesday evening, April 30th the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital celebrated its Third Founders Dinner to recognize the various individuals who have played such an important role in helping launch and sustain LPCH. A special feature of the evening was a presentation by Dr. Paul Fisher, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Pediatrics and Neurosurgery and Director of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Program. Dr. Fisher highlighted some of the progress that has been made in treating pediatric malignances as well as some of the limitations in advancing progress for brain tumors. His presentation was made even more meaningful by the presence of two of his patients, each reflecting on the impact that cancer has had on them and their families. These moving personal reflections and portraits underscored why pediatric research and care are so important and why we should be proud to be associated with outstanding physicians like Paul Fisher and institutions like LPCH.

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Honors and Awards

Dr. Roger Kornberg, Mrs. George A. Winzer Professor of Structural Biology, is the recipient of the 2002 Cancer Research Award of the Pasarow Foundation "for his pioneering studies of the cellular processes by which DNA is copied into RNA, a process termed transcription. He and his collaborators discovered the fundamental unit of DNA organization, called the nucleosome, and found that it plays a major role in the process of transcription. They discovered almost all of the more than 60 proteins that form the machinery for transcription; determined how they fit together in a giant assemblage to execute the process; explicated how they receive and respond to signals from the body and the environment; and demonstrated the details of the act of genetic readout from DNA. The work will facilitate understanding of transcription and its relationship to cancer and provides new approaches to therapy."

Dr. Greg Barsh, Professor of Genetics and of Pediatrics, received the 2003 E. Mead Johnson Award for Excellence in Pediatric Research at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, on Monday, May 5th for his pioneering work in mouse genetics and its relevance to human disease.

Dr. Dan Bernstein, Professor of Pediatrics, gave the Presidential Address at the Society of Pediatric Research meeting on Monday, May 5th and highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary research and education in biomedicine and the future of pediatrics. His presentation was truly outstanding.

Dr. Tom Krummel, Emile Holman Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Medical College of Wisconsin this past weekend. Among his cited contributions is his work in the field of surgical simulation and virtual reality based training that has helped establish a new paradigm nationwide in surgical training and credentialing.

Dr. Irv Weissman, Karel and Avice Beekhuis Professor of Cancer Biology, Pathology, Developmental Biology and by courtesy, of Biological Sciences, received the American Diabetes Association's Elliott Proctor Joslin Medal for 2003 at a ceremony in Boston this past week.

Dr. Iain Johnstone, Professor of Health Research and Policy (Biostatistics) and of Statistics, was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

William Brody, M.D. '70, and currently President of the Johns Hopkins University, received the Wallace Sterling Award at the Alumni Dinner on Friday, May 2nd for his extraordinary contributions to medicine and science.

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Appointments and Promotions

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A downloadable Microsoft Word version of the newsletter is available. If clicking on this following link does not initiate a download, right-click (Windows) or click-and-hold (Mac), then use the command most similar to "Download Link To Disk" or "Save This Link As" and save the Word file to your disk.

Microsoft Word version: DeanNews05-12-03.doc

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