Cloward Award Recipient

2012: John Adler, Jr., MD
John Adler Jr.
John Adler Jr.
John Adler Jr. was raised in rural Connecticut. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1976, and received his MD degree (1980) and neurosurgical training (1987) at from Harvard Medical School.

From 1985-6 Dr. Adler spent a seminal one year fellowship with Professor Lars Leksell at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. It was during this time that he became intimately involved with stereotactic radiosurgery, a field of neurosurgery towards which he would direct much of his career. In 1987, John joined the neurosurgery faculty at Stanford University. Over time his clinical practice centered increasingly on the surgical management of broad spectrum of brain tumors, especially as pertains to the application of radiosurgery. Meanwhile, his scholarly interests have overwhelmingly focused on translational research and included the development of instruments for computerized surgical navigation that enabled a new class of minimally invasive procedures for brain tumor.

Dr. Adler is best known for his work in stereotactic radiosurgery and in particular for his involvement in creating the field of image-guided radiosurgery. His research has been instrumental to the application of radiosurgical ablation for tumors (and other lesions) involving the head and neck, spine, chest, abdomen and pelvis. In 1998, Dr. Adler was promoted to Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiation Oncology. He is an author of more than 180 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, serves as an editor for seven medical journals, and is a named inventor on 9 United States patents. In 2009, Dr. Adler started the online peer reviewed medical journal and social network named and currently serves as the journal’s President and CEO.

In 1991, Dr. Adler founded the company, Accuray inc, to commercialize his concept for image-guided radiosurgery, the CyberKnife. During a leave of absence from Stanford between 1999 and 2002 he served as the Chairman and CEO of Accuray, remaining on the company’s board of directors until 2009. In March 2010, Dr. Adler took a second leave of absence to join Varian Medical Systems, inc., as Vice President, Chief of New Clinical Applications.

Outside his profession, John Adler is married to Marilyn and they have 2 grown children. Though thoroughly unrealistic, John yearns to live the life of a big wave surfer.

Ralph Cloward often experienced sharp criticism with his frequent pioneering ventures and departures from politically and historically correct molds with leaps of imagination, foresight and innovation leading to major contributions. It is abundantly clear John Adler is most deserving of characterization in the Cloward model of genius for innovation by the imprinted words on the Cloward Medal: "For Epochal Innovation and Pioneering Application."