Three appointments to endowed chairs

William Weis

Mark A. Kay

Paul Wise

Weis assumes Hume professorshipWilliam Weis, PhD, professor of structural biology and of molecular and cellular physiology, has been named the William M. Hume Professor in Medicine.

Weis' lab studies molecular interactions that underlie the establishment and maintenance of cell and tissue structure. His research interests focus on the targeted delivery of proteins to intracellular membranes, the architecture and dynamics of intercellular adhesion junctions and the signaling pathways that govern cell fate determination. Weis is also director of the graduate program in biophysics.

Prior to joining the Stanford faculty in 1993, Weis trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Yale in 1988 and spent four years at Columbia Medical School from 1989 to 1992. He received his undergraduate degree in biochemical sciences from Princeton University and a PhD in biochemistry from Harvard University.

The William M. Hume Professorship was established in 1979 by a portion of a large bequest to Stanford from William Mansur Hume. The bequest was designated to be used for basic research in medicine, has also been used to endow several Hume Scholarships for junior faculty and to establish a research fund.

Hume, who passed away in 1976, was one of the founders of Basic Vegetables Co., which he grew together with his partners to become the largest firm of its kind. In 1939 Basic acquired Vacaville Fruit Growers Association, and during World War II the company was honored with the Army-Navy "E" Award for its efforts on helping to supply food products to the Armed Forces.

Hume is a graduate of Harvard Business School. He was also a trustee of the Ralph K. Davies Medical Center in San Francisco.

Kay named to new Farrey Family chairMark Kay, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics and genetics and director of Stanford's Program in Human Gene Therapy, has been awarded the Dennis Farrey Family Professorship in Pediatrics. Kay is also the current president of the American Society of Gene Therapy.

Kay's recent research includes gene therapy for diabetes, in addition to ongoing trials for hemophilia. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the American Society of Human Genetics, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society of Clinical Investigation. He was also a founding member of the board of trustees of the American Society of Gene Therapy and has served on the editorial boards of Gene Therapy, Human Gene Therapy and Molecular Therapy.

Kay received the prestigious Mead Johnson Researcher of the Year and Hemophilia Researcher of the Year awards in 2000. In 2004, he organized and directed the first Gordon Research Conference on gene therapy.

Kay received both his PhD in developmental genetics and his MD from Case Western Reserve University before completing an internship and residency in pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. He remained at Baylor to complete a clinical fellowship in medical genetics where he focused on gene therapy for liver deficiencies. He later joined the faculty at the University of Washington as an assistant professor in medicine, pediatrics, biochemistry and pathology, and as an investigator at the Markey Molecular Medicine Center.

Kay has been a member of the departments of pediatrics and genetics at the School of Medicine since 1998. He has also been actively involved in the Medical Scientist Training Program at the school from 1998 to the present.

Wise fills newly created Behrman chairPaul Wise, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics and a core faculty member at the Center for Health Policy/Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, has been appointed the first incumbent of the Richard E. Behrman, MD Professorship in Child Health and Society.

The newly endowed professorship was named in honor of a former Stanford faculty member, who was one of the leaders and pioneers in neonatology and academic medicine, according to Philip Pizzo, MD, dean of the School of Medicine.

Wise's research focuses on children's health policies, as well as studies of health disparities by race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. His work encompasses many disciplines including neonatology, genetics, epidemiology and economics.

A study Wise helped conduct in 2002, for example, examined how genetic characteristics and maternal smoking interact to influence birth weight. Another of his studies examined how a new treatment for premature babies affected racial disparities in infant mortality.

Widely recognized as an expert in health outcomes research and international medicine, Wise has worked to improve health-care practices and policies in developing countries as well as in the United States. He is currently involved in child health projects in India, Latin America and South Africa. He also regularly teaches and provides care in an an indigenous village in Guatemala.

Wise was recently named chair of the advisory board of the School of Medicine's new Office of Community Health, which will include members of the community as well as faculty, staff and students. The office was formed to address community health needs through collaborative partnerships with community-based organizations, such as the San Mateo County Health Services Agency, the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health and the Ravenswood School District.

Before coming to Stanford in July 2004, Wise was a professor of pediatrics at Boston University and served as vice chief of the division of social medicine and health inequalities Brigham and Women's Hospital. He previously served as director of emergency and primary care services at the Children's Hospital of Boston and as director of the Harvard Institute for Reproductive and Child Health at Harvard Medical School. He has also served as a special expert at the National Institutes of Health and as special assistant to U.S. Surgeon General Antonia Novello, MD.

Wise received his MD from Cornell University Medical College and his MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health.