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July 12, 2006

Ann Arvin appointed vice provost and dean of research

Ann Arvin, the Lucile Salter Packard Professor in Pediatrics and a professor of microbiology and immunology, has been appointed vice provost and dean of research, President John Hennessy and Provost John Etchemendy announced Tuesday. The appointment is effective Nov. 1.

Arvin, who is chief of the infectious diseases division of the Pediatrics Department and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, has served as associate dean of research since 2001. She will succeed Arthur Bienenstock, who will continue to play an important role in this area in the newly created position of special assistant to the president for federal research policy.

"I am delighted that Ann Arvin has agreed to take on this critical responsibility and that Artie Bienenstock will continue to advise on vital matters of federal research policy," Hennessy said. "The university is extremely fortunate to draw on two people who have such a broad understanding of the issues and a deep reservoir of practical experience in these areas."

As dean and vice provost, Arvin will oversee university research issues, interdisciplinary initiatives and independent labs, and the offices of Technology Licensing, Environmental Health and Safety, Sexual Harassment Policy and Research Compliance.

"In Ann Arvin, we have a special combination of skills that make her an ideal choice for this position," Etchemendy said. "Her deep and broad experience as a professor and researcher provide an absolutely essential foundation for the role, while her administrative expertise and familiarity with federal research policy have prepared her well for its demanding responsibilities. And it bears noting that this is the first time that a faculty member from the School of Medicine has held this position, bringing a knowledge that will be of growing significance in the years to come."

Arvin said the university's interdisciplinary centers and institutes provide tremendous opportunities for the faculty to identify new research directions and explore common research interests that extend beyond traditional academic disciplines.

"Stanford's remarkable success as a research-intensive university reflects the expertise, creativity and initiative of the faculty, who have always set the research agenda and whose efforts have consistently extended the boundaries of their disciplines," Arvin said. "The university needs to support these efforts in a challenging environment for obtaining research funding and as research costs continue to increase."

She also cited her longstanding concern for the challenges faced by women in academia in general and for those who want to pursue university research careers in particular. She has participated in informal and formal initiatives to improve gender and ethnic diversity since her appointment at Stanford as an assistant professor.

"I consider efforts in these areas an essential and unfinished task for the university community," she said.

The search committee was chaired by Malcolm R. Beasley, the Theodore and Sydney Rosenberg Professor of Applied Physics. Beasley said Arvin "is the kind of thoughtful and experienced person who will make a great vice provost and dean of research."

"In addition," Beasley said, "she understands the myriad of problems that frustrate greater connection between the various research communities at Stanford."

Arvin holds a bachelor's degree from Brown University and a master's degree in philosophy from Brandeis University. She received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972. She completed her pediatrics residency at the University of California-San Francisco and subspecialty training in infectious diseases at UCSF and Stanford. Her principal research interests are the human herpes viruses and childhood viral diseases and vaccines.

Arvin was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2003. She has received numerous honors and awards for basic and translational research, including the E. Mead Johnson Award for Research in Pediatrics and the John Enders Award in Virology, and has served on many advisory panels and initiatives for the Institute of Medicine as well as the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Howard Hughes Research Institute, the American Society of Virology, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the National Vaccine Advisory Committee.

Bienenstock, a professor at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory and a professor of materials science and engineering and of applied physics, was appointed vice provost and dean of research and graduate policy in 2003. In 1997, he was nominated by President Clinton to become associate director for science of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. As associate director he filled one of the administration's key positions in the area of science. In that role, he was a strong advocate for federal research funding and provided guidance on complex scientific and policy issues.

"Ann Arvin has been a superb associate dean of research, dealing extremely effectively with complex research compliance, conflict of interest, technology licensing and research misconduct issues," Bienenstock said. "I am looking forward to working with her on the national research policy issues that have significant impacts on Stanford."



John Sanford, News Service: (650) 736-2151,


Ann Arvin, associate dean of research: (650) 498-6227,

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