Stanford News - March 23, 2021 - by Stacey McCutcheon
Josh Makower, MD, MBA, an industry leader in health care technology, will return to the Clark Center, home of Stanford Bio-X, to become the director of the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign on Aug. 1. Makower will assume the role from the center’s founder, Paul Yock, MD, professor of medicine and of bioengineering.
Yock will remain closely associated with the program in a new, more limited role. Yock, who holds the Martha Meier Weiland Professorship and was the founding co-chair of Stanford’s Department of Bioengineering, is known internationally for his work inventing and testing new medical devices in the field of interventional cardiology. Motivated to help other aspiring innovators succeed in developing devices to improve health care, he founded Stanford Biodesign in 2001. Reflecting its roots in both engineering and medicine, the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign is part of Bio-X, Stanford’s interdisciplinary biosciences institute.
The move brings Makower full circle. Twenty years ago, when Yock established Stanford Biodesign, the center was one of the first university programs focused specifically on health technology innovation. Makower joined as co-founder to develop an educational curriculum, becoming the lead architect of the need-driven approach to inventing that has become known as the biodesign innovation process. Yock and Makower led Stanford Biodesign together for four years until Makower returned to the private sector to focus full time on entrepreneurship and technology development. However, he maintained close ties to Stanford as an adjunct professor of medicine and as an adviser and mentor at the center. As its new director, Makower has been appointed to an endowed professorship. “Hearing that Josh was interested in the director position was like finding out that Steph Curry is eligible to play on your college basketball team,” Yock said. “We’re delighted to welcome him back to lead Stanford Biodesign into its next 20 years.”
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In 2000, Stanford Biodesign was founded to create an ecosystem of training and support for Stanford University students, fellows, and faculty with the talent and ambition to become health technology innovators. Our goal was (and continues to be) looking beyond research and discovery to provide the knowledge, skills, mentoring, and networking required to deliver meaningful and valuable innovations to patients everywhere. Today, the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign is widely regarded as one of the most successful partnerships between academia and the health technology industry anywhere. Stanford Bio-X provides the ideal setting for our interdisciplinary program, with its intersecting laboratories and connections across the schools of Medicine, Engineering, and Business. And Stanford University’s location in Silicon Valley gives us unprecedented access to world-class mentors and coaches who share their insights and expertise with our fellows, students, and faculty trainees to help them more effectively and efficiently address critical healthcare needs. We’re proud of the extraordinary impact our alumni are having in improving the lives of millions of patients around the world. And we continue to advance our programs and approach to help them keep pace with the rapidly changing health innovation ecosystem. Our thriving Stanford Biodesign community isn’t just responding to an evolving industry, we’re helping to define it.
Learn more about Stanford Biodesign here!