Science and Medicine

PHYSICIAN, DOWNSIZE THYSELF
Med School Grapples with Fiscal Challenges

By Jeffrey Davis



AS A YOUNG POSTDOCTORAL researcher at Northwestern University in the 1960s, Eugene Bauer had his eyes happily trained on tadpoles ­ exploring the role that certain enzymes played in the complex process of their metamorphosis.

Eugene BauerEugene Bauer sees a diamond
in the rough

Bauer’s study of those enzymes, backed by 21 years of federal funding, has led to breakthrough therapies for a potentially lethal skin disease and now appears to apply directly to other disorders, including basal cell cancer.

Thirty years later, as dean of Stanford’s Medical School, the soft-spoken 54-year-old is reminded powerfully of the value of his early experience ­ and a research environment that nurtured such far-reaching trajectories for scientific discovery. “For those who think about science and the connection among all organisms, from bacteria all the way to humans,” Bauer says eagerly, “it was a perfect example of what medical education had to offer curious minds.”

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