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Distinguished Gastroenterologist Named UC San Diego Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences, Dean of Medical School


January 18, 2007  |  

David Brenner, M.D., a distinguished physician-scientist who began his academic career at UC San Diego, has been appointed by the UC Regents to be Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine at UC San Diego, effective February 1, 2007.  Brenner, 53, is presently Samuel Bard Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Physician-in-Chief of New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia.

In his new role as Vice Chancellor and Dean, Brenner will lead the UC San

David Brenner, M.D, new Vice
Chancellor for Health Sciences
and Dean, School of Medicine

Diego School of Medicine, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, UCSD Medical Center and UCSD Medical Group.  Brenner will have oversight of over 900 health sciences faculty physicians, pharmacists and scientists; 7,500 staff; more than 600 medical and pharmacy students, and a health system that cares for approximately 125,000 patients annually. 


Brenner is a leader in the field of gastroenterological research, specializing in diseases of the liver.  He is widely known and respected as a translational scientist whose work bridges the laboratory and the clinical setting.  He has focused on understanding the molecular pathogenesis of fibrotic liver disease and the genetic basis of liver disorders as the foundation for improving prevention and treatment of diseases of this organ. He is also recognized as an outstanding clinician and teacher. For five years he was Editor-in-Chief of Gastroenterology, the premier journal in the field.

“David Brenner is a highly accomplished researcher, clinician, scholar and administrator whose enthusiasm, drive and vision have impressed all who have met him,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox.  “He brings the qualities and experience we were seeking in our search for the ideal person to lead the Health Sciences’ academic and clinical programs through the next important phase of growth and development.”

After earning his M.D. from the Yale University School of Medicine and completing his residency at Yale-New Haven Medical Center, Brenner was a research associate in the Genetics and Biochemistry Branch of the National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.  He first came to UC San Diego in 1985 on a fellowship in gastroenterology, later joining the faculty of UC San Diego School of Medicine, and serving as a physician at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System.  He became a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences and a Clinical Investigator in the VA system. He left UC San Diego in 1992 to become Professor and Chief of the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he continued to earn accolades for his patient care and research contributions.  He was recruited to chair the Department of Medicine at Columbia in 2003.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead UCSD Health Sciences, and I am thrilled to return to San Diego, which has become an international center for research and technology,” said Brenner.  “UC San Diego has always been known as a bold, innovative campus focused on the future.  The medical and pharmacy schools and health care system integrate top-ranked educational programs, world-class research and excellent clinical programs, leading to advances in health care and in the treatment and prevention of disease.  I look forward to working with UCSD’s outstanding faculty, staff, and students, and with the San Diego research community, to further strengthen our contributions as a major center for leading edge patient care, medical and pharmaceutical education and research, and to ensure that we achieve our full potential as a premier academic medical center.”

Brenner’s professional associations include the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, for which he is the secretary, the American College of Physicians, and the American Gastroenterological Association, for which he is chair of the Research Policy Committee, and the American Clinical and Climatological Association.  He is also on the board of directors of two philanthropic foundations, the AlphaOne Foundation and the Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation.

Brenner’s wife, Jill Silverman Brenner, M.D., is a primary care internist and rheumatologist.  Their daughter, Laura, is a medical student at Columbia and their son, Nathan, attends the University of Georgia.

Brenner replaces Edward W. Holmes, M.D., who left the position in October 2006.

The UCSD School of Medicine is ranked 5th in the nation among public medical schools and 14th overall by U.S. News and World Report (2006). The publication also ranked UCSD Medical Center among the nation’s best in seven specialty areas. UCSD Health Sciences has extensive regional and international collaborations, including institutional affiliations with the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System and Children’s Hospital and Health Center. The operating budget for the combined Health Sciences programs is approximately $925 million. 

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As approved by the Board of Regents, Brenner’s base salary is $500,000 (with an additional Health Sciences Compensation Plan supplement of $220,000 for a total of $720,000).  He will also receive a $125,000 relocation allowance subject to repayment in the event he resigns within the first four years of employment, 30 days of temporary housing and reimbursement of moving expenses.  He is eligible for a university-sponsored home loan up to $1 million, and the standard Senior Management Group benefits package which includes medical, disability and life insurance coverage, as well as participation in the UC retirement and savings program.

Media Contact:  Leslie Franz, 619-543-6163,


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