Lymphatic & Venous Disorders

Allan and Tina Neill Professorship


On April 14,2008, based upon a very generous endowment from Allan and Tina Neill, Stanford University announced the investiture of Professor Stanley G. Rockson, M.D. as the inaugural Allan and Tina Neill Professor of Lymphatic Research and Medicine. The chair has been created to foster Dr. Rockson’s pioneering research in the health and disease of the lymphatic system. The endowed professorship has created a program to highlight education in lymphatic biology, to sustain vital research, and to support the state-of-the-art clinical diagnosis and therapy of lymphatic diseases that is undertaken in Stanford’s Center for Lymphatic and Venous Disorders.  The lymphatic system is one of the most critical components of human biology, yet it is a system that has been under-studied and, until recently, relatively ignored by the medical community.  Leading lymphatic scientists believe that research in the development, function and pathology of this vital system may hold the key to curing and preventing a wide range of diseases, including cancer and AIDS.

"The historical significance of this Chair and the associated efforts that are now possible, cannot be underestimated," said Philip A. Pizzo, M.D., Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicin.  "Advances in medicine can by synergistic when the vision and creativity of a physician-scientist is coupled with the commitment and dedication of a patient and family. Such a synergy is well demonstrated by the announcement of the Allan and Tina Neill Professorship, which will unite a family affected by a rare disorder of the lymphatic system with a pioneering and committed clinician-scientist.  In addition to the work that will originate here at Stanford, these efforts, under the auspices of this professorship, will provide a powerful impetus for research, education and treatment that will ultimately benefit millions of people around the world."

Through their endowment of this professorship, the Neills have created the avenue to remove barriers that hinder evaluation and effective treatment for patients with lymphatic diseases. In addition to their work with Stanford University, they are donors to the Lymphatic Research Foundation. 

"The Lymphatic Research Foundation is very proud to play a facilitating role in the funding of this Chair," said Wendy Chaite, LRF Founder.  "Our efforts have been focused on raising funds for this type of crucial research and on getting the attention of the public, Congress and the National Institutes of Health, so they can stimulate new national initiatives and support.  We have been very successful in moving these efforts forward over the last decade and this historical event signifies real hope for those that suffer from lymphatic diseases and the researchers and physicians who have dedicated their lives to easing the suffering of patients.  With these efforts, a strong possibility now exists that we will experience a renaissance in medical care for lymphatic disorders. Through the impact of this endowed chair, we hope that medical science will give birth to a number of life-changing medical discoveries, and, ultimately, pave the road to a cure."

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