Stopping Cancer Early – The Best Possible Investment


Canary Founder Don Listwin was awarded the prestigious Dean’s Medal for his contribution to Stanford Medicine

December 24, 2018

Listwin was one of only three recipients selected in 2018 to receive the highest honor bestowed by the Stanford University School of Medicine, the Dean’s Medal, which is presented to individuals who have significantly advanced the mission of Stanford Medicine.

Living through his mother’s death from ovarian cancer left an indelible mark on Listwin and inspired him to work toward progress in early cancer detection. Listwin’s role in helping to create today’s global internet infrastructure through multibillion-dollar technology investing and management, including a decade at Cisco Systems, enabled him to step back from his operating roles to build the Canary Foundation.

Today, 15 years later, the Canary Foundation has grown from a startup nonprofit to a leader in the development of early cancer detection programs, including the Canary Center at Stanford and many others in the United States and abroad. The Canary Foundation is the only nonprofit exclusively dedicated to research in the field of early detection of cancer. The Dean’s Medal honors Listwin for his service in the scientific and philanthropic communities that have advanced precision health.

“My thanks to Dean Minor and the entire School of Medicine organization,” Listwin said. “Over the past decade, a theme of partnership has emerged in my pursuits in the medical field, and none has been stronger than at Stanford. Whether working with Dr. Sam Gambhir to build the first comprehensive early cancer detection center or launching a modest vision clinic in Belize with Dr. Caroline Fisher, there has always been support from the School of Medicine. My current pursuit in the field of stroke also found it roots at Stanford. It is a privilege to be able to engage in a spectrum of work in the field of medicine with the best in the world to help solve these critical problems.”

The other recipients are Carla Shatz, PhD, the Sapp Family Provostial Professor, the David Starr Jordan Director of Stanford Bio-X and a professor of biology and of neurobiology; and Ron Johnson, founder and CEO of Enjoy, a company that hand-delivers technology products and helps customers set them up.