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The Brief  
Stanford Medicine
December 2016
Credit: David Hodges
Message from Dean Minor
Dear Colleagues,
Stanford Medicine achieves the incredible every day, but the past two weeks have been particularly eventful. On December 4, Professor Roeland Nusse received the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for his work on embryonic development and adult tissue repair. And just a few days later, the extraordinary team at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford successfully separated conjoined two-year-olds Erika and Eva Sandoval (pictured above). After months of preparation and nearly 20 hours in the operating room itself, the team has given Eva and Erika the chance to achieve their own dreams — to grow strong, play with abandon, and live life to the fullest.
There is no more fitting end to what has been a truly remarkable year at Stanford Medicine. And I know that these are just two examples among many more. Your relentless dedication to serving others — in the midst of what has certainly been a challenging year for our campus, our country, and the world at large — is a continual source of inspiration. I cannot thank you enough for all that you do to ensure the best possible health for the most people possible. I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season, and I look forward to all that we will achieve together in 2017.
Credit: FasterCures
Partnering for Cures
Curing disease and promoting health will require all of us to work together. At the recent Partnering for Cures event sponsored by FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, I sat on a panel with like-minded champions to talk about how we can collectively focus on better health as well as faster cures. Last week, members of Congress demonstrated the power of partnership by coming together to pass the 21st Century Cures Act. I’m thrilled that this sweeping piece of legislation will increase funding for biomedical research. Watch the video and read more about the Cures Act.
Humanity and Medicine
It was a pleasure to be back in Baltimore among colleagues and friends for a symposium exploring the human side of medicine. I began my remarks with a quote from William Osler, the father of modern medicine: “The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.” Precision Health, I believe, is the modern incarnation of Oslerian medicine, with its emphasis on individuals — not diseases. Watch video.
Credit: Danielli Wells
My Book List
As 2016 comes to a close, I’d like to share the books that have inspired me this past year. From memoirs to biographies to a behind-the-scenes account, these books taught me about leadership and gave me a new perspective. I encourage you to pick one up over winter break, and then join the conversation on my Facebook page. Did these books inspire you? What were your favorite reads from the past year? Post here.
Stanford Medicine Holiday Video
For this year’s holiday video, we asked the kids of Stanford Medicine for help in expressing our gratitude to all of you. I was so proud to hear these kids tell the world how much they appreciate the work you do every day to make the world a better place. I hope you have as much fun watching this video as I had making it, and I wish you the warmest of holidays and a very happy and healthy 2017. Watch now.
Credit: Norbert von der Groeben
Stanford Medicine’s Nusse Wins Breakthrough Prize
Roeland Nusse was awarded the 2017 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for his pioneering research about how a signaling molecule impacts normal development, cancer, and the functions of adult stem cells. Professor Nusse’s work has been transformative in the study of embryonic development and adult tissue repair, and it has opened doors for precise and personalized treatments. Read more.
Credit: Seung-min Park
Blood Test Could Provide Cheaper, Better Way for Doctors to Manage Lung Cancer
A technique developed at Stanford Medicine for detecting the genetic profiles of tumor cells sifted from the bloodstream may be a cheap, noninvasive way to help doctors choose the right treatments. The new findings strengthen the hope that evaluating the genetic profiles of tumor cells circulating in the bloodstream could transform cancer care. Read more.
Why Patients Support the 21st Century Cures Act
This opinion piece from Forbes describes why the 21st Century Cures Act’s funding of programs such as President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, Cancer Moonshot, BRAIN, and regenerative medicine research could have a far-reaching impact for patients. The story gives the example of a patient with a rare oncogene-driven cancer and discusses how the Act could significantly improve her prognosis. Read more.
Credit: © 2012 HarrisDPI
Deans Lecture Series: Clifton Leaf, Fortune magazine
Stanford Medicine welcomes Clifton Leaf, Deputy Managing Editor of Fortune magazine who has been fighting to change how cancer research is funded for over a decade. RSVP is required. Register here.
Wednesday, January 11
12 noon – 1 p.m.
Berg Hall, Li Ka Shing Center

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