A magazine for friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

In Memoriam: A. Gerson Greenburg, MD, PhD


A. Gerson Greenburg, MD, PhD, PMD’95, 81, died March 25. He was an emeritus professor of surgery and former surgeon-in-chief of The Miriam Hospital.

Dr. Greenburg received his medical degree in 1963 from the University of Chicago, where he also completed his surgical residencies and a trauma fellowship at Cook County Hospital. After serving two years as an active duty surgeon in the US Air Force, he trained in biomedical engineering at Northwestern, earning a PhD in industrial engineering and management sciences in 1972. He left Chicago to join the faculty of UC-San Diego, rising through the ranks to full professor of surgery while serving at the San Diego VA Medical Center as chief of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit and chief of General Surgery.

In 1986 Dr. Greenburg joined the faculty of Brown, where for 20 years he was a professor of surgery and, for five years, the acting chairman of the Department of Surgery. He also served as surgeon-in-chief of The Miriam, from 1986 to 2005, and chief of Clinical Quality Management from 2003 until his retirement in 2006. In 2005, he received the hospital’s Charles C. J. Carpenter Outstanding Physician of the Year Award, and he led the effort to organize The Miriam’s submission for the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

An expert in oxygen therapeutics, in the 1970s Dr. Greenburg developed a method for preparing a solution of chemically modified hemoglobin for use as a red blood cell substitute. He served as president of the International Symposium on Blood Substitutes and in leadership positions at the National Board of Medical Examiners as well as consulting and leadership roles at the National Institutes of Health. A diplomate of the American Board of Surgery and a member of the American College of Surgeons and many other professional organizations, he authored hundreds of publications and served on the editorial board or as a reviewer for numerous journals, including five years as an associate editor of the Journal of Surgical Research.

Dr. Greenburg retired from Brown in 2006 as professor emeritus. He is survived by his wife, Reva; their three daughters, including Joan Greenburg Smith MD’95; and five grandchildren.


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