HEPL, founded in 1947 as Stanford's first Independent Laboratory, provides facilities and administrative structure enabling faculty to do research that spans across the boundaries of a single department or school—for example: physics & engineering or physics & biology/medicine. The Independent Laboratory concept, in many ways unique to Stanford, facilitates world-class research and teaching.
For more information about HEPL research, see the Research page.
On September 1, 2016, professor Daniel Palanker became the new Director of HEPL. Dr. Palanker is working at the interface of physics and medicine. His group studies interactions of electric field with biological cells and tissues, and develops optical and electronic technologies for diagnostic, therapeutic, surgical and prosthetic applications, primarily in ophthalmology. These studies include laser-tissue interactions with applications to ocular therapy and surgery, as well as interferometric imaging of neural signals. Dr. Palanker is also developing various electro-neural interfaces, including retinal prosthesis for restoration of sight to the blind, and electronic control of secretory glands and blood vessels.
Dr. Palanker is going to lead a transition of HEPL into a hub for physics-centered interdisciplinary collaborations at Stanford, representing multi-faceted interfaces of Physics with Engineering, Neuroscience and Medicine.
Stanford physics Professor Sarah Church will become the senior associate vice provost for undergraduate education on Sept. 1. Harry J. Elam Jr., vice provost for undergraduate education, recently announced the appointment.
Elam said Church will assist and advise him on the management of the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE ) and on additional matters related to undergraduate education across campus.
Church chaired the Committee on Undergraduate Standards and Policies from 2013-2016, which in recent years has developed the pilot program for the joint majors program and new policies governing coterminal master’s degrees. She served on the ad hoc committee that designed Stanford’s new course-evaluation form.