Daniel Garza, the medical director and team physician for the San Francisco 49ers died in his home Tuesday night, according to a Stanford press release. The cause of his death and his age were not disclosed.
Garza was an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and of emergency medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine and focused on the prevention of traumatic brain injuries in athletes. He has conducted studies of concussions by fitting athletes with mouthpieces that measured the impacts of collisions.
"We were saddened to learn Dr. Dan Garza died unexpectedly Tuesday," the 49ers stated in a release. "Our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this trying time."
Garza taught undergraduate human physiology, sports medicine and exercise anatomy at Stanford.
"Dan Garza was very dedicated to sports medicine, to teaching human physiology and to his research to improve recovery and treatment outcomes for athletes," said William Maloney, MD, professor and chair of the department of orthopedic surgery. "He was persistent in his desire to find solutions to one of the most concerning areas in our field, the prevention of concussions and head trauma. We are saddened by his loss and the loss to our profession."
Garza entered Stanford as an undergraduate and continued on to Stanford Medical School, where he earned his MD in 2000. He completed his medical internship and residency at Stanford Hospital and began working with the 49ers in 2007. In 2008, he was appointed to the medical school faculty as assistant professor.
Garza was an advocate for educating athletes and parents about the potential for injury at the youth-sport level. He worked in the Health and Human Performance Laboratory within the Division of Sports Medicine and served as associate director of the Lacob Family Sports Medicine Center. He was well-known among students, student athletes and the medical community at Stanford.