Infectious Disease Expert to Chair Pediatrics at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital

Nov 28, 2007


A leading authority in infectious diseases, Lawrence R. Stanberry, M.D., Ph.D., has been named chair of the Department of Pediatrics of Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and pediatrician-in-chief of Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian.

When he assumes these roles in February 2008, Dr. Stanberry will oversee a 500-member department and direct its patient care, research and educational initiatives. The department has pioneered numerous advances, including innovative approaches to the treatment of respiratory distress in premature, pre-term, and full-term infants in the neonatal intensive care unit, and is engaged in current research into targeted therapies for pediatric cancers and stem-cell treatments for diabetes.

Dr. Stanberry is currently the John Sealy Distinguished Professor and chair of pediatrics and director of the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB).

He is an authority on neonatal herpes, the use of antiviral drugs, the management of genital herpes and other sexually transmitted infections, and the use of vaccines. His research has focused on the development of prophylactic and therapeutic herpes vaccines, basic studies of the pathogenesis and immunobiology of herpes simplex virus, the development of topical microbicides to control sexually transmitted infections, and the special problem of genital herpes infection in teenagers.

Dr. Stanberry was a lead member of the research team that produced the first scientific evidence that a vaccine could protect humans against genital herpes. The study's crucial finding—that the vaccine was effective only in women—represented the first-ever proof of gender-specific vaccine protection. This finding is being studied further and has important implications for the development of vaccines for other sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV.

"We are pleased that such an accomplished clinician-scientist is joining us," said Lee Goldman, M.D., executive vice president of Columbia University and dean of the faculties of health sciences and medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. "He was wonderfully successful at UTMB, where the Department of Pediatrics flourished under his leadership. His experience in translating discoveries into clinical care exemplifies our mission of excellence in academic medicine."

"Lawrence Stanberry is a superb choice to lead Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital. His considerable talents will help us build on our history of clinical successes, helping ensure that our young patients and their families receive the highest quality care, provided with individual attention, warmth, and compassion," said Herbert Pardes, M.D., president and CEO, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

"I look forward to welcoming Dr. Stanberry and working closely with him as we continue to make Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital synonymous with excellence in medicine, community outreach and a comforting 'home away from home' for healing," said Cynthia Sparer, executive director of Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian.

Dr. Stanberry succeeds John Driscoll, M.D., who has been a devoted and universally admired part of Columbia pediatrics for nearly 40 years and who successfully built and led pediatrics for 15 years until his retirement in June 2007. Richard Polin, M.D., professor of pediatrics and director of the Division of Perinatal Medicine here, has served superbly as interim chair since June.

"I look forward to leading a department with such a strong history of discoveries that have advanced pediatric care, working with some of the world's top pediatric specialists to provide patients with exemplary care, and training future leaders in pediatrics," said Dr. Stanberry. "What also drew me to this medical center is the opportunity to collaborate with leading public health and infectious disease experts working on sexually transmitted infections and HIV."

Dr. Stanberry comes to Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian from UTMB, which he joined in 2000 as chair of the Department of Pediatrics. Previously, from 1982 to 2000, he was a faculty member of the University of Cincinnati, where he served as the Albert Sabin Professor and director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. He became a full professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Cincinnati's College of Medicine in 1991.

A fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America and the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Stanberry serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Medical Virology and Herpes, the journal of the International Herpesvirus Management Forum. He also serves on numerous review boards and advisory panels and is past chair of the Vaccine Study Section and the Pediatrics Review Panel at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He is the lead author or co-author of more than 100 journal articles.

Dr. Stanberry received his medical degree from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where he was a James Scholar; he also received a Ph.D. in pharmacology there. He interned in pediatrics at the Children's Medical Center and Parkland County Hospital in Dallas, was a research associate in oncology and experimental therapeutics at the University of Illinois, and completed his pediatric residency and fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of Utah.

Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian

Ranked by U.S.News & World Report as one of the top ten children's hospitals in the country, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian offers the best available care in every area of pediatrics—including the most complex neonatal and critical care, and all areas of pediatric subspecialties—in a family-friendly and technologically advanced setting. Building a reputation for more than a century as one of the nation's premier children's hospitals, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian is affiliated with Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and is New York City's only hospital dedicated solely to the care of children and the largest provider of children's health services in the tri-state area with a long-standing commitment to its community. Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian is also a major international referral center, meeting the special needs of children from infancy through adolescence worldwide.

Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, public health professionals, dentists, nurses, and scientists at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. For more information, visit

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