Click here for COVID-19 updates
Advancing Veteran and public health
through innovative research

Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research 

Board of Directors

David J. Clark, MD, PhDChair
Paul Heidenreich, MDSecretary/Treasurer
Andrew R. Hoffman, MD
Lisa HowardStatutory VA DirectorMedical Center Director
Meghan Kemnec, NDStatutory Non-Federal Director
Michael Kozal, MDStatutory VA DirectorChief of Staff
Jennifer Lee, MD, PhDStatutory VA DirectorAssociate Chief of Staff for Research
Lawrence Leung, MD
Ferid Murad, MD, PhD
Mark Nicolls, MD
John Pollard, MDStatutory VA DirectorAssociate Chief of Staff for Education
Robert Sloss, JDStatutory Non-Federal Director
Philip Tsao, PhD


David J. Clark, M.D., Ph.D.

Chair

Dr. Clark serves as the Director, Pain Relief Service, at VAPAHCS and as Professor and Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Anesthesiology, Pain and Perioperative Medicine at Stanford University.

He earned his B.A in Chemistry at the Carleton College, Northfield, MN in 1985, his Ph.D. in Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN in 1991, and his M.D. at Vanderbilt University in 1992.  After his Medicine Internship at the same institution, he joined the University of Washington, Seattle, WA and completed his anesthesiology Residency in 1996, and a Pain Management Clinical and Research Fellowship in 1998.

In 1998, Dr. Clark joined the Stanford faculty and is a physician-investigator at VAPAHCS.  During this time he has served in several leadership roles, one of which was as the Chair of the Board of Directors at the Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research in 2014-2015.  This experience has given him a profound appreciation for the role PAVIR plays in supporting research at the VA and the many collaborations PAVIR investigators generate.  In 2021 Dr. Clark was elected to serve another term as Chair of the PAVIR Board of Directors.

Dr. Clark’s laboratory and clinical interests involve pain and the mechanisms by which analgesic drugs relieve pain.  He is specifically interested in genetic, epigenetic and immune factors that worsen pain and limit the effectiveness of our best medications.  Dr. Clark is a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the International Association for the Study of Pain.  He is a Handling Editor for the Journal Anesthesiology.  Dr. Clark holds Board certifications in Anesthesiology and Pain Management.

Back To Top



Paul Heidenreich, MD

Director and Secretary/Treasurer

Dr. Paul Heidenreich is Chief of Medicine at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and Professor and Vice-Chair for Quality in the Department of Medicine in the Stanford University School of Medicine. He is a practicing non-invasive cardiologist and active health services researcher. Dr. Heidenreich has an extensive background in outcomes, quality of care and technology assessment. He is a recipient of a Life-Time Achievement Award from the American Heart Association Council for Quality of Care and Outcomes Research.

Back To Top


Andrew R. Hoffman, M.D.

Director

Dr. Hoffman is Professor and Senior Vice Chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and Chief of Endocrinology at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. He previously served as Chief of Medicine at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and as Chief of the Division of Endocrinology at Stanford. He is an active clinician in the endocrinology clinics of both institutions. Dr. Hoffman received his MD from Stanford in 1976. He completed an internship and residency in medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston in 1978, and he was a research associate at the National Institute of Mental Health. He was a clinical and research fellow in medicine at MGH from 1980-1982. Dr. Hoffman is a former president of the American Federation for Medical Research, the Association of VA Chiefs of Medicine, and the Western Society for Clinical Investigation. He has been elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Professors, and as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is currently the President of the Growth Hormone Research Society.  With his appointment as Chair of the VAPAHCS Research and Development Committee, Dr. Hoffman became an ex-officio member of the PAVIR Board in July 2021.

Back To Top


 

Lisa Howard

Director

Ms. Howard became the Director of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in February 2021.  She has served Veterans for over thirty years in a broad range of administrative and executive management positions at the Phoenix, New Orleans, San Diego, North Chicago, Las Vegas, Honolulu and Reno VA facilities, as well as the VA Sierra Pacific Network (VISN 21).  She was awarded the 2020 Nevada Business Magazine Healthcare Administrator Award for northern Nevada.  As the VAPAHCS Director, her duties and responsibilities include serving as the Chief Operating Officer for the health care system.  She oversees one of the most complex facilities in the VA System with an annual budget in excess of $1B, and more than 7,000 employees and volunteers.

Back To Top


Meghan Kemnec, ND

Director

Meghan Kemnec is a Naturopathic Doctor in private practice with a focus on primary care and preventative medicine.  She is a Veteran who graduated from the US Naval Academy and later earned a Master of Business Administration prior to her medical studies.  She is passionate about patient education as being an integral part of providing the best care.  She successfully creates a safe space for patients and focuses on building relationships with patients to support and maintain continuity of care and effective case management.  Dr. Kemnec joined the PAVIR Board of Directors in 2021.

Back To Top


Michael Kozal, MD

Director

Dr. Kozal was appointed Chief of Staff at VA Palo Alto Health Care System in March, 2021.  He had previously served in the same capacity at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System.  Dr. Kozal earned his medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he also completed his Internal Medicine residency.  He completed a Fellowship in Infectious Disease at Stanford University School of Medicine.  Throughout his career, he has held a number of leadership positions in diverse environments:  biotechnology start-up, Medical Director of academic clinics, Medical Director of Public Health, Section Chief of Infectious Diseases, Director of the Yale HIV Clinical Trials Group, Scientific Advisory Board member, and Vice Chair of Medicine at Yale.

Back To Top


Jennifer Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

Director

Jennifer Lee is the Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS), and is an Associate Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology) and, by courtesy, of Health Research and Policy at Stanford University.

Dr. Lee graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with joint Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Biological Sciences.  She earned her M.D. from Harvard Medical School and completed her endocrinology and women’s health fellowships at UC San Francisco.  She earned her Ph.D. from Stanford in Epidemiology with an emphasis in molecular and genetic epidemiology.  Dr. Lee joined the PAVIR Board of Directors in 2018.

Back To Top


Lawrence L. Leung, M.D.

Director

Dr. Lawrence L. Leung is a Staff Physician at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and the Maureen Lyles D'Ambrogio Professor in the School of Medicine.  He was the VA Palo Alto Health Care System Chief of Staff from 2006 to 2020.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Dr. Leung received his M.D. in 1975 from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.  He completed his medical residency and obtained his hematology-oncology fellowship training at Cornell-New York Hospital.  In 2002, he was promoted to Professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and served as Chief of the Division of Hematology from 1995 until February 2004, when he assumed the position of Chief of Medical Service at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.  In 2004, he was awarded the Maureen Lyles D’Ambrogio endowed professorship in the Stanford School of Medicine.

Dr. Leung’s clinical interest is in bleeding and thrombotic disorders.  His research focuses on blood clotting factors and their roles in thrombosis, inflammation and immunity, and the emerging field of personalized genomic medicine.  Dr. Leung is a member of the Association of American Physicians, American Society for Clinical Investigation, American Society of Hematology, and the American Heart Association.  He has served on study sections of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Hematology Subspecialty Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine.   Dr. Leung has served on the PAVIR Board since 2006.

Back To Top


Ferid Murad, M.D., Ph.D.

Director

Dr. Murad is a physician and pharmacologist, and a co-winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.  He currently serves as a Senior Research Advisor for PAVIR.

Dr. Murad earned his B.A. in chemistry from DePauw University, and his M.D. and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University.  He completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Murad’s distinguished career includes holding the position of the Chief of Medical Service at VAPAHCS from 1981-1986.  At Stanford University, he served as a Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pharmacology and as the Associate and Acting Chairman of the Department of Medicine.  He left academia to oversee research at Abbott Laboratories as VP of Pharmaceutical Discovery and then later started his own biotech company.  Dr. Murad went back to academics, joining the University of Texas Medical School at Houston to create a new department of integrative biology, pharmacology, and physiology.  Most recently, he held an academic appointment at the George Washington University.

Back To Top


Mark Nicolls, M.D.

Director

Dr. Nicolls serves as a Staff Physician with a committed laboratory at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) and as a Professor and Chief of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Stanford University.

He earned his B.S. in Biology at the University of Portland, Portland, OR in 1987 and his M.D at Stanford University in 1993. He continued on at Stanford for his Internal Medicine Internship and Residency at the same institution, followed by a Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Colorado in Denver where he subsequently joined the Faculty. In 2007, Dr. Nicolls was recruited onto the Stanford faculty and is a physician-investigator at VAPAHCS. He is Director of the Stanford Lung Immunology Program. In 2014, he was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Dr. Nicolls’s laboratory and clinical interests are centered on the contribution of immunity to diseases such as pulmonary hypertension and lung transplantation. He is specifically interested in the interplay between inflammation and vascular injury. Dr. Nicolls joined the PAVIR Board of Directors in 2014, and is currently serving as the Chair of PAVIR's Board of Directors.

Back To Top


John Pollard, M.D.

Director

Dr. Pollard serves as the Associate Chief of Staff for Education at the VAPAHCS.  He graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Business in 1981 and from Duke Medical School in 1988.  He completed his internship (Internal Medicine at Stanford) in 1989 and the Stanford Anesthesia Residency program in 1992.

Dr. Pollard began working as a staff physician at the VA Palo Alto in 1992.  He has served as the Medical Director of the Outpatient Surgery Preoperative Evaluation Clinic since 1994.  He has served as the Associate Chief of Staff for Education since 1997.   His two main research interests are related to optimizing the preoperative assessment of patients and interventions to minimize the cardiovascular changes associated with spinal anesthesia.  Dr. Pollard joined the PAVIR Board of Directors in 1997.

Back To Top


Robert Sloss, J.D.

Director

Bob Sloss is a partner at the law firm Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP.  He practices in intellectual property counseling and litigation, with experience in litigating patents related to a variety of technologies, including software, computer peripherals, mechanical devices and biotechnology, as well as matters involving copyright, trademark and trade secrets.

Mr. Sloss has appeared in courts throughout the U.S. and before the International Trade Commission and the Patent Trial and Appeals Board.  He is admitted to practice in California State Courts, the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Federal and Ninth Circuits, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Central and Eastern Districts of California, and the District of Colorado.

After receiving a B.A. in History, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, both from Stanford, Mr. Sloss went on to earn his J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1979. He has been recognized by his peers for his high level of professional excellence with the Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent Rating.  Mr. Sloss joined the PAVIR Board of Directors in 2017.

Back To Top


Philip Tsao, Ph.D.

Director

Dr. Tsao is the Associate Chief of Staff for Precision Medicine at VAPAHCS and has an academic appointment as Professor (Research) in Medicine – Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University.  He earned his Ph.D. in Cardiovascular Physiology at the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA in 1991.  Dr. Tsao completed his Post-doc in Cardiovascular Medicine in 1995, and subsequently joined the faculty at Stanford University in 2002.

Dr. Tsao’s primary research interests are in understanding the molecular underpinnings of vascular disease as well as assessing disease risk.  His laboratory uses a wide range of biochemical, molecular and physiological techniques to make primary observations in cell systems as well as preclinical models. Furthermore, his research work is aimed at extending its findings to human subjects in order to confirm their clinical applicability.  In this vein, a major focus of his research is related to the VA funded Million Veteran Program, a national VA effort to consolidate genetic, military exposure, health, and lifestyle information together in one single database.  The trailblazing underpinning of this program is that by identifying gene-health connections, it could advance more effective, personalized therapies.

Dr. Tsao enjoys teaching the next generation of researchers, as indicated by this academic lectures and guidance of numerous students’ independent studies.  He was recognized for his love of teaching by the Department of Medicine Teaching award, Stanford, in 2003.  He continues to publish his work in first tier publications such as the Annual Review of Medicine, and Science Translational Medicine.  Dr. Tsao joined the PAVIR Board of Directors in 2010.

Back To Top  

Last Modified: September 13, 2021 6:21pm
NAVREF 2021-2022 Membership