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Raul Coimbra, MD, PhD, Newly Appointed to Monroe E. Trout Endowed Chair


September 11, 2009  |  

World-renowned trauma surgeon Raul Coimbra, MD, PhD, professor of Surgery and chief, Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Burns, at the University of California, San Diego has been named the Monroe E. Trout Endowed Chair of Surgery. The $2 million endowed faculty chair will enable Coimbra to recruit the nation’s best talent and to support the expanding trauma research and prevention programs at UC San Diego Medical Center.


Raul Coimbra, MD, PhD

“This endowed chair acknowledges a true surgeon-scientist whose pioneering efforts have made an enormous lifesaving impact on both the United States and South America,” said David Brenner, MD, UC San Diego vice chancellor of Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine.  “Locally, we are privileged to have a comprehensive, innovative trauma system that is the envy of the world.”

“I am deeply honored to receive the Monroe E. Trout Endowed Chair in Surgery. This is the highest point of my academic career,” said Coimbra, president-elect of the Pan-American Trauma Society. “This endowed chair is possible through the generosity of Dr. Trout and his family, for which I will always be grateful. This award recognizes both the important role the trauma system plays globally, and the invaluable service we provide to injured patients and their families.”               

Coimbra joined the UC San Diego Medical Center and the School of Medicine in 1998 after a distinguished medical career in his home country of Brazil. A national leader in trauma surgery, he spearheaded the creation of the “Epidemiology, Prevention, and Research Center” at UC San Diego Medical Center. With his support, the School of Medicine was awarded the largest grant ever, $60 million in funding from the Department of Defense, for the study of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Reaching across borders, Coimbra helped to build and open a trauma center in the Amazon as part of an ongoing mission to assure that Latin-American countries have appropriate trauma systems. 

A member of the UCSD Academy of Clinician Scholars, Coimbra is a respected educator, having twice received the Nicholas Halasz Teaching Award from the Department of Surgery. He is currently chairman of the American College of Surgeons San Diego/Imperial Valley Committee on Trauma, a member of the board of directors of the Western Trauma Association, chairman of the Trauma Medical Audit Committee of San Diego County, and a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Organ Dysfunction, Journal of Trauma and Pan-American Journal of Trauma.

Coimbra received both master’s and doctoral degrees from Santa Casa School of Medicine in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he also completed his residency training in general and peripheral vascular surgery in the Department of Surgery.

One out of every three people in the US will be affected by trauma. The leading causes of trauma are motor vehicle accidents, falls, and assaults. Trauma costs the United States more than $133 billion annually. Since the inception of the San Diego County Trauma System in 1984, the preventable death rate from major traumatic injury in this county fell from 21 percent to less than percent.

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About Monroe E. Trout

Trout is a UC San Diego Foundation Board President Emeritus and a former member of UCSD’s Medical Center Board of Advisors. He is also a physician, lawyer, executive, educator and philanthropist who continues to have a lasting impact at UC San Diego.

About UC San Diego Department of Surgery

Established in 1965, the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego Medical Center represents today more than 80 leading surgeons with specialties in open, minimally invasive and scarless surgery techniques. The Department is committed to advancing surgical education by teaching and training the next generation of innovators; researching, testing and developing groundbreaking surgical techniques; providing superior patient care and service; and attracting a world-class faculty.

Media Contact: Jackie Carr, 619-543-6163,

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