Stephen J. Galli, MD, to Receive 2024 Gold-Headed Cane Award

Stephen Galli

May 3, 2023 — The 2024 recipient of the ASIP Gold-Headed Cane Award is Dr. Stephen J. Galli, Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, and Mary Hewitt Loveless, MD, Professor in the Stanford University School of Medicine (Stanford, CA).

The ASIP Gold-Headed Cane Award is the society's oldest and most prestigious award (first awarded in 1919). This award recognizes significant long-term (lifetime) contributions to the field of pathology, including meritorious experimental pathology research, outstanding teaching, general excellence in the discipline, demonstrated leadership in the field, and engagement in the activities of the ASIP. 

Dr. Galli earned a BA magna cum laude in biology from Harvard College in 1968, a BMS with Honors from Dartmouth Medical School in 1970, and an MD from Harvard Medical School in 1973. Subsequently, Dr. Galli completed residency training in the Department of Pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (1973-1976), where he served as Chief Resident in 1976. Dr. Galli completed several research fellowships during the course of his training. He was appointed the Karin Grunebaum Cancer Research Foundation Fellow while working with Dr. Richard A. Adams at the Dan-Farber Cancer Institute (1971-1972). From 1974-1976, Dr. Galli worked with Dr. Harold Dvorak in the Department of Pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Finally, he was supported by the Medical Foundation Inc for work at the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital from 1977-1978. In 1978, Dr. Galli was appointed as an Instructor in Pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and was subsequently promoted through the ranks at Harvard Medical School: Assistant Professor of Pathology in 1979, Associate Professor of Pathology in 1983, and Professor of Pathology in 1993. In 1999, Dr. Galli was appointed as Professor of Pathology and of Microbiology and Immunology, and the Mary Hewitt Loveless MD Professor in the School of Medicine at Stanford University, and became the Chair of the Department of Pathology. He remained Chair of Pathology at Stanford University until 2016, and remains active on the faculty today. Throughout his academic career, Dr. Galli has held numerous hospital appointments, including most recently Chief of Pathology Service and Director of the Pathology Residency Program at the Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Galli has provided time and effort towards teaching at each of his institutions and across all of his faculty appointments. This teaching encompasses classroom teaching, clinical education for pathology residents, as well as teaching in the setting of the research laboratory for various kinds of learners. His efforts towards quality educational programs continued as he became Chair of Pathology at Stanford where he initiated and directed the development of many new educational programs.

Dr. Galli joined the American Society for Investigative Pathology in 1982 and has been active in the Society since that time. He has made significant contributions to the Society over time. Dr. Galli served as the Chair of a Task Force on Research and Training Opportunities in Pathology from 1999-2000. The report from this task force was exceptionally well prepared and contained recommendations for the Society that remain valid until today, nearly twenty years later. Dr. Galli was elected into the Presidential succession in 2003 and served as Vice President (2003-2004), President-elect (2004-2005), President (2005-2006), and Past President (2006-2007). Dr. Galli was an exceptional member of the ASIP Council, always thoughtful and intentional with important decisions for the Society. Dr. Galli has provided excellent counsel to the leaders of the ASIP (elected and staff) over the years, even during times when he was not serving in an official capacity. Dr. Galli continues as an engaged member of the ASIP, currently serving on the Committee for Equal Representation and Opportunity and is a member of the newly formed President’s Circle.

Dr. Galli has served the larger pathology community in a number of ways over the course of his career. He previously served as Associate Editor of The Journal of Immunology (1980-1984), as Advisory Editor for The Journal of Experimental Medicine (1993-2011), on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (1996-2001), Transmitting Editor (2001-2009) and then Associate Editor (2009-2013) for International Immunology. He is currently serving on the Editorial 2 Board of Allergology International (since 1995), Laboratory Investigation (since 1997), and on the Board of Consulting Editors of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. In addition, Dr. Galli serves on the Editorial Committee for the Annual Review of Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease (since 2004). Dr. Galli has organized or co-organized 18 major national/international meetings. Most recently, he organized the 65th Annual Meeting of the Pluto Club (The American Association of University Pathologists) in Catagena, Columbia (March 2019). Dr. Galli has given significant time as a grant reviewer for the NIH, as a member of several study sections over the years, and as a member of expert panels. From 1999-2001, he chaired the NIH/NIAID Hyper-ID Scientific Review Group. Between 2019 and 2023, Dr. Galli served as Vice Chair and then Chair of the Membership Committee for the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Galli has received a number of honors and awards in recognition of his excellent research and leadership within the pathology community. He was elected to the Collegium Internationale Allergologicum in 1984, to membership in the Pluto Society (Association of University Pathologists) in 1986, to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 1991, and to the Association of American Physicians in 1997. In 2001, Dr. Galli was elected as a Foreign Member in the Physical, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences Class of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. Dr. Galli was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2010. Stanford University awarded Dr. Galli the President’s Award for Excellence Through Diversity in 2010. In addition, Dr. Galli received the Faculty Mentor Award for Postdoctoral Education from the Immunology Program at the Stanford University School of Medicine in 2010. In 2011, Dr. Galli received the Scientific Achievement Award from the World Allergy Organization. In 2014, Dr. Galli received the ASIP Rous-Whipple Award from the American Society for Investigative Pathology and the Karl Landsteiner Medal from the Austrian Society of Allergology and Immunology. In 2015, he was elected to membership in the American Clinical and Climatological Association. In 2017, Dr. Galli was elected to membership in Sigma Xi, and became an Overseas Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. In 2019, Dr. Galli was granted an honorary PhD in clinical and experimental medicine (Dottorato di Ricerca Honoris Causa in Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale) from the University of Naples Federico II, and was elected as a Foreign Member of the Societa Nazionale di Scienze Lettere e Arti (academy of Medical Sciences) in Naples, Italy. In 2020, Dr. Galli received the Distinguished Career Achievement Award from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University (Hanover, NH). In 2022, Dr. Galli received the Lifetime Honorary Membership Award from Stanford Healthcare, and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Dr. Galli’s research laboratory is interested in mast cell and basophil development and function, allergy and allergic disorders, and inflammation associated with allergic reactions. The work from Dr. Galli’s laboratory is high impact and he is regarded as an international expert in his area of research. He has given many invited lectures based upon his research around the US and abroad. His laboratory has been and continues to be very well-funded. He received a Merit Award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (1995-2006). Currently, Dr. Galli is PI for a large U19 grant from the NIH/NIAID to conduct clinical trials using oral immunotherapy for childhood multi-food allergies (2019-2024). He is also PI for two R01 grants and a co-investigator on a third R01 grant. His CV lists numerous completed research projects associated with extramural funding. Dr. Galli’s research has been extremely productive over the course of his career. He holds 15 US patents for scientific developments from his laboratory. He has published 294 original research papers, 194 book chapters and reviews, 14 commentaries and meeting reports, and a few other works (reports for the National Academies). Dr. Galli’s research is highly impactful. His H-index is 133 and his papers have been cited >77,000 times. In addition to his contributions to the scientific literature, Dr. Galli has edited 12 books, including 9 volumes of the Annual Review of Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease. It is difficult to describe the remarkable body of work from Dr. Galli’s laboratory in a few sentences, and he continues to add to this body of work today.

The letters contained in the nomination package expounded on Dr. Galli’s many contributions as an academic leader and exceptional educator, a national and international leader in the field, but also his major contributions to research throughout his career and to-date. Dr. Elaine Jaffe (NIH Distinguished Investigator, Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute/NIH) described Dr. Galli and his scientific stature in the field of experimental pathology: “He is a pathologist at the pinnacle of our discipline…His scientific achievements are outstanding…His pioneering and innovative work dealing with basic immunology and in particular the function of mast cells and basophils has been continually supported by NIH grants during the course of his career…” Dr. Tom Montine (Stanford Medicine Endowed Professor in Pathology and Chair, Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine) reinforced the impact of Dr. Galli’s research: “…Professor Galli’s research focuses on the development and function of mast cells and basophils, and the roles of these cells in health and disease. His work has had a major impact on our understanding of anaphylaxis, food allergies, and asthma, and on innate and acquired host defense against venoms. It would be difficult to over-estimate the impact that Professor Galli has had on the filed of allergy and immunology…”

Dr. Irv Weissman (Professor of Pathology and Developmental Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine) summarized Dr. Galli’s contributions to the larger field of experimental pathology nicely: “…Dr. Galli is a longtime leader in bringing pathology to the forefront of the medical sciences…Dr. Galli is an academic visionary, and a national and international leader…” and “…Dr. Galli is the world’s leading researcher in the investigation of the biology and pathology of mast cells…”

Dr. Galli will receive the 2024 ASIP Gold-Headed Cane Award during the 2024 Annual Meeting of the ASIP in Baltimore, MD (April 2024).