Philip Pizzo recognized with the John Stearns Medal for contributions to clinical practice

Philip Pizzo

PHILIP PIZZO, the David and Susan Heckerman Professor and professor of microbiology and immunology, former Medical School dean and founding director of the Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute, will receive the John Stearns Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Clinical Practice for his dedication to the diagnosis, management, prevention and treatment of childhood cancers and the infectious complications that occur in children whose immune systems are compromised by cancer and AIDS.

The John Stearns Medal recognizes lifetime achievement and is awarded by the New York Academy of Medicine.

Pizzo was named dean of Stanford Medical School in 2000, after having served as physician-in-chief of Children’s Hospital in Boston and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. At that point in his career, Pizzo had already been widely recognized for his contributions as a clinical investigator, especially in the treatment of children with cancer and HIV.

In 1988, Pizzo published the first article in the New England Journal of Medicine on antiviral therapy of HIV in children. The article is credited with increasing awareness of AIDS as a pediatric problem. Before joining Children’s Hospital and Harvard, Pizzo was head of the infectious disease section, chief of pediatrics and acting scientific director of the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Clinical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

As dean, Pizzo helped initiate the biggest building boom since the school moved to Stanford in 1959. He is also credited with creating new organizational structures that strengthened the collaborations between basic scientists and clinicians, increasing the diversity of the faculty and implementing a new curriculum for medical students that includes a scholarly concentration requirement.

The Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute, which Pizzo founded in 2014, offers people in midlife with major career accomplishments the opportunity to renew their purpose, develop new communities and recalibrate wellness, and transform themselves for new roles with social impact.