Philip A. Pizzo

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Philip A. Pizzo
BornDecember 1944
Alma materFordham University
University of Rochester School of Medicine
Known for11th Dean of Stanford School of Medicine (2001-12)
Peggy Daly Pizzo (m. 1967)
Scientific career
FieldsPediatric oncology, pediatric AIDS, infectious diseases, higher education and longevity
InstitutionsHarvard University
Stanford University

Philip A. Pizzo, MD (born December 1944)[1] is an American professor, physician, and scientist. He is the David and Susan Heckerman Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University, and founding director of Stanford's Distinguished Careers Institute. He served as the 11th Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine from 2001 to 2012.[2] He spent over two decades at the National Institutes of Health,[3] and has devoted much of his medical career to the diagnosis, management, prevention and treatment of children with cancer and AIDS.[4] He has also focused on the future of higher education, specifically for individuals in mid- to late-life.[5]

Early life[edit]

Pizzo was born and raised in The Bronx, New York, into a first-generation Sicilian immigrant family.[1][4][3] He was the first in his family to attend college.[3] He received his bachelor of science degree in biology from Fordham University in 1966, and his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1970.[4][6]


Following medical school Pizzo completed an internship and residency in pediatrics at Children's Hospital Boston.[1] His clinical research examined a wide range of issues involving infection and fevers in children with cancer, helping to identify the best ways to treat the infections.[1] He went on to a teaching fellowship at Harvard Medical School, and a clinical and research fellowship in pediatric oncology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he focused on infectious diseases and cancer.[7] In 1976, after his fellowship ended, he was appointed to work at NIH as an investigator in pediatric oncology in the US Public Health Service.[7] In 1980 he was named head of the infectious disease section of the pediatric branch of NCI, and he was named NCI's chief of pediatrics in 1982.[8] At the time of his appointment, NCI focused on cancer, but Pizzo realized the focus should also be on HIV, as the AIDS epidemic had begun to unfold, and he influenced the NIH leaders to take on the care of pediatric HIV cases, developing new approaches to treating and preventing AIDS in children.[7][8]

In 1996, Pizzo relocated to Boston to serve as physician-in-chief and chair of the Department of Medicine at Children's Hospital Boston and the chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, where he was the Thomas Morgan Rotch Professor of Pediatrics from 1996 to 2001.[1][4][9] His focus during those years was mainly on education, ultimately playing a lead role in the authorization of the Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education (GME) Program.[8]

He joined Stanford University in April 2001 and served as Dean of the School of Medicine through December 2012.[4] During this period, he was also the Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Professor of Pediatrics and of Microbiology and Immunology. Pizzo reshaped the Medical School curriculum to focus on the education and training of physician-scientists.[1] During his tenure as dean, Pizzo oversaw a major expansion of facilities, and a major increase in hiring of faculty, sponsored research, and philanthropic support.[1] He was instrumental in building the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge at Stanford, which opened in 2010,[1][4] and Stanford's medical school became the first in the US to stop accepting industry financing for specific topics in postgraduate educational programs.[10]

In 2013 Pizzo created the Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute (DCI), serving as its founding director, and was also named the David and Susan Heckerman Professor of Pediatrics and of Microbiology and Immunology.[11][12] The Stanford DCI provides an opportunity for individuals in mid- and later life to return to higher education.[2][5][13]

Pizzo is credited with leading the initiative in the late 1990s to secure federal funding for resident training in children's hospitals, which is roughly $300 million per year.[4] He played a key role in the development of the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act, which was enacted in 2002 and promoted clinical trials in children.[1] His advocacy at the Food and Drug Administration helped quicken the development of drugs for children with AIDS.[3] His leadership efforts were specifically highlighted and acknowledged in the Congressional Record.[14] He helped establish The Children's Inn at the NIH, which houses the families of children being treated at NCI.[1]

Pizzo has served as chair of the Association of Academic Health Centers and of the Council of Deans of the Association of American Medical Colleges. He was elected to the board of directors of the American Society for Clinical Oncology and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.[7] He led two major NAM reports: Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education and Research (2011)[15] and Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life (2016).[16]

Personal life[edit]

Pizzo married Peggy Daly in 1967, who works in early childhood education and public policy and is currently a senior scholar in Stanford's School of Education.[1] Pizzo has been a marathon runner for more than four decades.[1]

Awards and honors[edit]


Pizzo is the author of 646 scientific articles and review articles, and the editor or co-editor of 16 books and monographs, including:[7][18]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Marathon Man". Stanford Medicine. Fall 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b "2015 Influencers In Aging". Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Pizzo wins top APS award". Stanford Daily. 23 January 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Pizzo receives top honor from pediatric society". Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Rethinking life's journey". Mountain View Voice. 9 October 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  6. ^ "Dr. Pizzo Puts Patients First". Fordham Magazine. 23 December 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Philip Pizzo, MD". Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  8. ^ a b c "New dean plans to champion the cause of academic medicine". Stanford Report. 31 January 2001. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  9. ^ "In the Line for AIDS Drugs, Infected Children Are Last". The Wall Street Journal. 15 November 1996. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Using a Pfizer Grant, Courses Aim to Avoid Bias". The New York Times. 11 January 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  11. ^ "What Life and Retirement Look Like From a Solo Crossing of the Atlantic". The Wall Street Journal. 22 June 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  12. ^ "Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute to offer transformative experience". Stanford News. 2 April 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Distinguished Careers Institute looks to expand". Stanford Daily. 27 October 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Daily Digest". 143 (106). Congressional Record. 24 July 1997. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  15. ^ "Relieving Pain in America". Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Thoughts about Dying in America: Enhancing the impact of one's life journey and legacy by also planning for the end of life". Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  17. ^ "The 172nd Anniversary Discourse & Awards and Annual Meeting of the Voting Fellows". Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  18. ^ "Philip A. Pizzo, M.D." Retrieved 14 August 2019.

External links[edit]