November 23, 2017

Day 25: Dr. Haile Debas

In honour of Black History Month we will be recognising notable contributions to the STEMs from people of African origin. Today we recognise Dr.Haile Debas.

Born (1937) in Eritrea, Dr. Debas is gastrointestinal surgeon by training best known for his contribution to academic medicine. He completed his college education in Ethiopia before earning his MD at McGill University. He subsequently completed his surgical training at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). His career path has seen him hold faculty positions at UBC, UCLA and the University of Washington before ending up at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) with over 40 scientific papers published.

Dr, Debas was the Founding Executive Director of UCSF Global Health Sciences (2003-2010), Dean (Medicine) (1993-2003), Vice Chancellor (Medical Affairs) and Chancellor at UCSF; during which he led the School of Medicine to become a national model for medical eductaion. He also chaired the Department of Surgery and is the Maurice Galante Distinguished Professor of Surgery, Emeritus. In addition to positions held at his University, he has held other leadership positions including president of the American Surgical Association, Chair of the Council of Deans of the AAMC and a member of the United Nations’ Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa

Dr. Debas has been awarded with the Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education of the AAMC and the UCSF Medal. He currently is a member of the Board of Regents of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, a member of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Aga Khan University. He continues to be widely consulted on issues associated with global health and is an advocate of affirmative action to increase the number of minority race physicians.

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