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Philip A. Pizzo

The Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute is the brainchild of Dr. Philip Pizzo, former dean of the Stanford School of Medicine. Dr. Pizzo has devoted much of his distinguished medical career 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. He has also been a leader in academic medicine,
championing programs and policies to improve the future of science, education and healthcare in the U.S. and beyond.

Receiving his MD with Honors and Distinction in Research from the University of Rochester in 1970, Dr. Pizzo completed an internship and residency at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston, a teaching fellowship at Harvard Medical School, and a clinical and research fellowship in pediatric oncology at the National Cancer Institute. He served as head of NCI’s infectious disease section, chief of the pediatric department, and acting scientific director for the Division of Clinical Sciences from 1973 to 1996. Before joining Stanford in 2001, he was the physician-in-chief of Children’s Hospital in Boston and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Pizzo was inspired to create the Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute as a result of two observations: first, people are going to be living into their 90’s and beyond; second, without a path, and not knowing what to do, people hang on longer than they should in their current jobs, or retire early and squander their time, reacting to things that come at them rather than actively shaping the next path.

He believes universities should scaffold the critical role they play for younger people into an experience for midlife—from 50s to early 60s—providing people with almost as much time for a second career as for their first career.

The Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute is a dynamic program for established leaders from all walks of life who seek to transform themselves for roles with social impact at the local, national and global levels.

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