Professor of Health Policy and of Law David Studdert Named Stanford Vice Provost and Dean of Research

(Originally published by Stanford Report on July 13, 2023) 

Studdert succeeds Professor Kathryn “Kam” Moler, who will return to teaching and research after five years as vice provost and dean of research.

Professor David Studdert, currently serving as senior associate vice provost of research, has been named vice provost and dean of research (VPDoR) at Stanford effective Sept. 1, 2023, Provost Persis Drell announced today. Studdert succeeds Professor Kathryn “Kam” Moler, who will return to research and teaching after five years as VPDoR.

David Studdert, currently serving as senior associate vice provost of research, has been named vice provost and dean of research, effective Sept. 1. (Image credit: Aaron Kehoe)

Studdert, who is a professor of health policy in the School of Medicine and a professor of law at Stanford Law School, is an expert in the fields of law and public health. As the vice provost and dean of research, he will serve as the university’s senior research officer and a senior advisor to the president and provost on a broad array of academic issues. He will also assume the role of cognizant dean for the university’s 15 independent laboratories, institutes, and centers and will be responsible for appointing faculty directors and supporting budgetary and operational planning.

“David Studdert is a superb researcher with a deep understanding of the importance of what’s needed to advance research across campus. He has a gift for dealing with difficult problems and working with stakeholders to facilitate creative and innovative solutions,” said Drell, who chaired the search committee. “David is widely respected for his integrity, his wisdom, and his commitment to the research enterprise. I am grateful that David has agreed to serve in this important leadership role for the university.”

In addition to currently serving as the senior associate vice provost for research, Studdert has held numerous service roles at Stanford, including the university’s Long-Range Planning Committee for Research, the Stanford Data Science Design Team, and the Social Sciences at Stanford Committee. During his tenure within the VPDoR, Studdert has led initiatives to enhance the university’s shared data and computation resources, regulatory and compliance practices, and research contracting.

“David has been a steadfast source of wisdom over the past three years, including when he graciously served as acting vice provost of research to help steer our research policy, compliance practices, and shared research platform investments,” said outgoing VPDoR Moler. “David’s invaluable knowledge of the VPDoR landscape and his energetic commitment to integrity will facilitate a smooth transition. The strength of our research community is built on thousands of individuals carrying our best ideas forward, and with David’s collaboration, our partners across the schools and units will have a champion helping to create an environment where every researcher at Stanford can do their best work and lead to greater achievements.”

In his vice provostial role, he will oversee offices that support the university’s $1.8 billion research enterprise, including the offices of Environmental Health and Safety; Research Administration; Research Policy and Integrity; Research Development; Research Compliance; and the Office of Technology Licensing. Studdert will also continue fostering partnerships between faculty on campus and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, part of a broader effort to lower barriers for joint projects that support mutually beneficial outcomes.

“I am excited about the opportunity to partner with and support the faculty, staff, and students who make up our research community,” Studdert said. “Research-intensive universities like Stanford are facing growing requirements and heightened expectations from the government and the public. At the same time, the opportunities for truly groundbreaking work in virtually every field of study have never been greater. It’s a delicate moment, but one with boundless possibilities, and I am committed to doing everything I can to help Stanford researchers realize their ambitions.”

Studdert’s scholarship explores how the legal system influences the health and well-being of populations. He has authored over 250 articles and book chapters on topics ranging from medical error and malpractice litigation to gun violence and motor vehicle accidents. He is among the country’s most highly cited health law scholars. Before joining the Stanford faculty in 2013, Studdert was on the faculty at the University of Melbourne (2007-13) and the Harvard School of Public Health (2000-06). He has also worked as a policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, a policy advisor to the Minister for Health in Australia, and a practicing attorney. Studdert has received many awards for this research, including the Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award from Academy Health, and Federation and Laureate Fellowships from the Australian Research Council. He holds a law degree from the University of Melbourne and master’s and doctoral degrees in public health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“Kam has been an extraordinary mentor and role model over the last three years,” said Studdert. “I’m honored to be able to continue our work in striving to ensure that Stanford remains a place that empowers people to generate new knowledge and discoveries that make the world a better place.”