STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Daniel Garza, a leading researcher in concussion and brain-related injuries at Stanford University and the medical director and team physician of the San Francisco 49ers, has died.
The university said in a news release Wednesday night that Garza died at his home in the San Francisco Bay Area on Tuesday night. The cause of death and his age were not immediately available.
''The 49ers organization has been informed of a tragedy,'' the team said in a statement. ''We were saddened to learn Dr. Dan Garza died unexpectedly Tuesday. Our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this trying time.''
Garza was an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and emergency medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine. His primary research focused on the prevention of traumatic brain injury in athletes.
Garza conducted extensive studies on the risk of concussions by fitting athletes, including Stanford football players, with mouthpieces that measure the impact and frequency of collisions.
''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 Dr. William Maloney, a professor and chair of Stanford's 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.''