A Word from the Chair

Robert Harrington, MD

What you’re holding is neither a yearbook of our recent accomplishments nor an annual report replete with facts and figures. It’s most like an anthology, giving readers glimpses of some recent progress we’ve made as we addressed Stanford Medicine’s tripartite mission: to teach our students and trainees, to do research, and to care for our patients.

As we move toward the future, it’s important to reflect on the past, which created the culture of the Stanford Department of Medicine. Thus we start this compendium with Stan Schrier, who was here before some current faculty members were even born. Even today Stan consults in the clinic, mentors residents, and interviews housestaff candidates.

We organized this report to follow the department’s four strategic priorities:

  1. invest in science & research;
  2. elevate the culture of clinical care;
  3. connect science to the clinical;
  4. educate & train the next generation.

Within these domains you’ll meet some of the people and read about some of their activities.

Read about Ron Levy’s work to combine immune therapies and targeted therapies to defeat certain cancers and Marcella Alsan’s fascinating theory about the role of the tsetse fly in altering the economies of Africa.

We include articles about important clinical advances that may change the future for patients with familial hypercholesterolemia or metabolic bone disease. The creation of Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare in Pleasanton gave us an opportunity to introduce an academic hospitalist program and integrate our faculty into the community.

Work that connects science to the clinic includes the new Center for Population Health Sciences, promising to blend campus-wide efforts to address significant health issues and create a learning health care system. Shai Friedland’s pioneering work with Korean colleagues on gastric cancers may reduce the need for surgery in certain patients.

Nothing that we do at the bench or in the clinic will matter if we don’t bring along a new generation of scientists to take up where we leave off. Read about global health opportunities for our residents and the creation of new pathways that match residents’ clinical, research, or education interests.

I’m pleased to share this brief look at a few of our recent projects with you. Whether you’re new to learning about our Department of Medicine or you’ve been on campus for decades, I hope that you sense the excitement in the department—and mostly in the people—who will drive the missions forward.

Let me know if you have questions or suggestions for future editions.

Robert Harrington, MD
Chair, Department of Medicine