Samuel L. Stanley

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Samuel L. Stanley Jr.
Samuel L. StanleyPortrait2014.jpg
Born Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Residence Stony Brook, NY, US
Nationality United States
Alma mater University of Chicago
Harvard Medical School
Washington University School of Medicine
Predecessor Dr. Shirley Strum Kenny
Spouse(s) Dr. Ellen Li
Children 4

Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., is an American educator, biomedical researcher and the fifth president of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He formerly served as the Vice Chancellor for Research at Washington University in St. Louis.[1][2][3] Stanley is married to Ellen Li, MD, PhD, a practicing gastroenterologist and active researcher.

On May 12, 2009 Stanley was named the fifth president of Stony Brook University, a position he formally assumed on July 1, 2009[4] making him the first physician to serve as Stony Brook University’s president. Stanley is one of the founding directors of the Midwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research.[1][2]

Education and early career[edit]

Samuel L. Stanley Jr. attended Winston Churchill High School, a National Blue Ribbon School, located in Potomac, Maryland and graduated in 1972. He then attended The College of the University of Chicago where he graduated with honors in Biological Sciences in 1976[1][2][5] and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in the same year.[3]

Harvard Medical School[edit]

As an Albert Schweitzer fellow of Harvard Medical School,[1] Stanley received his MD specializing in Internal Medicine in 1980.[1][6] He served as a medical intern at Massachusetts General Hospital between 1980 and 1981[1] and stayed to complete his residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was appointed as an Associate member of the American College of Physicians.[1] During his time at Mass General, Stanley met colleague and future wife, Dr. Ellen Li, who was concurrently completing her residency in Internal Medicine.[7]

Washington University School of Medicine[edit]

Between 1983 and 1984, Stanley was a Fellow fellowship (medicine) in infectious diseases at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.[1][2][8][9] While there, he was a Pfizer Postdoctoral Fellow in microbiology and immunology.[1] Stanley quickly rose through the ranks. He became a Professor in the Department of Medicine, and served in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Department of Molecular Microbiology. Stanley also served as Director of the National Institutes of Health-funded Midwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research. In 2006, he was named vice-chancellor for research at Washington University,[5] where he oversaw a research portfolio of $548 million, including $391 million in NIH funding. His responsibilities encompassed a broad array of activities associated with the management of these extramural research funds, including, but not limited to, the full range of matters related to undergraduate, graduate, and faculty research, and technology transfer.

Appointment as President of Stony Brook University[edit]

On May 12, 2009, Stanley was named the fifth president of Stony Brook University, a position he formally assumed on July 1, 2009, making him the first physician to serve as Stony Brook University's president. Established in 1957 in Stony Brook, New York, the University is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Stony Brook is a public research university that is located 60 miles east of New York City. Situated on over 1,000 acres, the University serves more than 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Students study at the main campus, as well as in Southampton, NY; New York, NY; and at SUNY Korea, located in the city of Incheon.

Stony Brook is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), a nonprofit association of 62 leading research universities in North America. Under Stanley's leadership, Stony Brook was ranked among the top 1 percent of universities in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. In 2014, it was also named one of the top 35 best public universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report. More than 30,000 applications were received for the 2014-15 freshman class of 2,700.

In 2010, The Power of SUNY, the SUNY system’s strategic plan, was put forth. The University has worked to align its efforts with The Power of SUNY while carrying out its mission. Under Stanley’s direction, Stony Brook developed a strategic plan for 2013-2018, with the goal of becoming one of the top 20 public research universities in North America.

Faced with budget cuts during the beginning of his presidency, Stanley developed an initiative called Project 50 Forward, which consists of three missions aimed at streamlining and improving University operations: “operational excellence,” “academic greatness” and “building for the future”[10]. To date, Project 50 Forward has achieved approximately $23 million in cost savings for the University.

Under Stanley’s leadership, Stony Brook received an historic $150 million donation from philanthropists James Simons and his wife, Marilyn Simons, and the Simons Foundation in 2011. The gift was the 6th largest donation to a public university and the largest gift in SUNY’s history.[13] Part of the Simons Gift was an Academic Excellence Challenge Grant to match donations intended for undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships. Within twelve months of the Simons’ gift, Stony Brook had secured $200M.

In 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed NYSUNY 2020 into law. Under Stanley’s direction, Stony Brook developed a plan that has enabled the University to increase tuition in a measured and predictable manner; add new faculty members; and reduce student-to-faculty ratios. NYSUNY 2020, combined with the Simons’ donation, is also making possible the construction of the 245,000-square-foot Medical and Research Translation (MART) building, which broke ground in November 2013. Stanley is also in the position to lead START-UP NY, a legislative effort enacted in 2013. This economic development program establishes tax-free zones on SUNY campuses, with the goal of attracting businesses that will benefit the campus and community.

In 2012, Stanley and his wife announced the establishment of the Ellen Li and Samuel S. Stanley Jr. Endowed Scholarship in the Stony Brook University School of Medicine. This merit-based scholarship provides critical financial assistance to young people who have received their undergraduate degree through Stony Brook’s Educational Opportunity Program/Advancement on Individual Merit (EOP/AIM) and who aspire to careers as physician-scientists.[12] Stanley has also given his support to help better prepare students from low-income neighborhoods. In the summer of 2013, the first Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School on Long Island was established at Stony Brook, in an effort to provide enrichment programs for third-graders from two low-income neighborhoods. Stanley also hosts a presidential lecture series during the academic year to bring awareness to key societal issues. Lecturers to date include Carl Bernstein, Marian Wright Edelman, Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West.

Stanley currently serves on the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board and the Board of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. He also serves as Chair of the NIH National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity and is Chair of the Universities Research Association (URA) Council of Presidents for 2014. He is on the Board of Directors at the Research Foundation of SUNY, the Board of Trustees at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and on the Board of Brookhaven Science Associates LLC.(which is responsible for the management of Brookhaven National Laboratory).[1] Stanley is also on the Board of Directors of the Long Island Association and is a representative on the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council. In January 2015, Stanley began his term on the NCAA Division I Board of Directors.

Boards and panels[edit]

  • National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), Criteria Roundtable Adviser, June 2006
  • NIH Blue Ribbon Panel on the New England Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory, 2008-
  • US Department of Commerce, Emerging Technology and Research Advisory Committee, 2008-2010
  • Member of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council (NIAID), 2008-2012
  • Board of Trustees, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 2009 -
  • Board of Directors, The Research Foundation of SUNY, 2009 -
  • Board of Directors, Long Island Association, 2009 -
  • Chair/Vice-Chair, Board of Directors, Brookhaven Science Associates, 2009-
  • National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, 2011-
  • Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, 2011 -
  • Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, Board of Directors, 2012-
  • Chair, National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), 2012-
  • Chair, Universities Research Association Council of Presidents, 2014-
  • Board of Directors, NCAA Division I, 2015-

Professional societies and organizations[edit]

Honors and awards[edit]

  • Phi Beta Kappa, University of Chicago
  • Albert Schweitzer Fellow of Harvard Medical School
  • Pfizer Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Research Career Development Award, NIH
  • Burroughs-Wellcome Scholar in Molecular Parasitology
  • Distinguished Service Teaching Award, Washington University School of Medicine
  • Permanent member, Tropical Medicine and Parasitology Study Section
  • Permanent member, Eukaryotic Pathogenesis Study Section
  • Excellence in Mentoring, Washington University School of Medicine
  • Distinguished Service Award, Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association
  • Ambassador, Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research
  • Honorary Doctorate Degree, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea
  • Honoree, VIBS (Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk)
  • Long Island Association Small Business Education Advocate Award
  • Thomas Hartman Humanitarian Award
  • The Influentials: Long Island Business News Top 20 Agents of Change
  • Three Village Man of the Year, 2012
  • Long Island Press, Best College President, 2012-2013
  • David Award Honoree, 2013
  • American Heart Association Distinguished Leadership Honoree, 2014

Biomedical research[edit]

Stanley is a distinguished biomedical researcher[3] and a prominent name among experts on infectious diseases. His research interest in immunity from infections has led him to publish several scholarly articles about the characterization of key proteins and pathways involved in amebic, bacterial and viral infections, blood-borne pathogen risks in hemophilia therapy, and the identification of new strain- specific clones.[1][10] Better defense against infection is a key focus of his research.[5]

In 2008, he worked to create the Midwest Regional Center for Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research, with a $37 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.[5] The center was established with goals of improving biodefense, in reaction to the post September 11 bioterrorism threats and anthrax attacks.[11] He has also served on the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, the NIH Blue Ribbon Panel on the New England Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory, the NIH National Advisory Allergy & Infectious Diseases Council and committees led by the United States Department of Commerce.[1]

Stanley is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the Burrough’s Welcome Scholar Award in Molecular Parasitology and the Distinguished Service Teaching Award from Washington University.[5] Stanley is currently the owner of 3 patents.[1] He also serves as an ambassador for the Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research and has received an honorary doctorate degree in Science from Konkuk University in South Korea.[2]


US Patent 5,130,147: Entamoeba histolytica Immunogenic protein and cDNA clone. Significance: patent of the SREHP cDNA clone; recombinant SREHP is a major vaccine candidate for amebiasis, and a reagent utilized in prototype diagnostic tests. Inventor: Samuel S. Stanley Jr., and Ellen Li. Assignee: Washington University, St. Louis.

US Patent 5,275,935: Amebic glycoconjugate and monoclonal antibody. Significance: patent of the amebic glycoconjugate, a major surface antigen of amebae and a monoclonal antibody, CC 8.6 which recognizes this antigen. Possible uses in diagnostic kits. Inventor: Samuel S. Stanley, Jr., and Ellen Li. Assignee: Washington University, St. Louis.

US Patent 5,807,000: Method of screening anti-amebic compounds. Significance: Describes the use of mutant E. coli strains complemented with amebic antigens to screen compounds for anti-amebic activity. Inventor: Samuel S. Stanley, Jr. Assignee: Washington University, St. Louis.


Stanley has authored and co-authored a number of peer-reviewed publications. He has also authored opinion editorials and essays. A list of works is available on Stanley's Curriculum Vitae.


External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Shirley Strum Kenny
President of Stony Brook University
Succeeded by