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Center for Perinatal Research
Pediatric Surgery Residency
Associate Program Director
Service Line Chief
As a surgeon and scientist, Gail E. Besner, MD, joined Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University in 1991 upon completion of her pediatric surgical training. She holds the H. William Clatworthy, Jr. Chair in Surgery and is the Chief of Pediatric Surgery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She is a member of the Center for Perinatal Research at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She was the Program Director of the Pediatric Surgery Residency Training Program for many years, and now serves as the Associate Program Director. In 1991, Dr. Besner established a basic science research laboratory in pediatric surgery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Dr. Besner’s research has received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health for the past 23 years. Her research focuses on identifying novel therapeutic strategies to protect the intestines from necrotizing enterocolitis including the use of probiotics, stem cells and a growth factors, as well as the production of tissue engineered intestine.
Dr. Besner received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati. She did her General Surgery Residency at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital and her Pediatric Surgery training at Buffalo Children’s Hospital. She completed her research training in the laboratory of Dr. Judah Folkman, during which time she discovered a new growth factor known as heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF). She participates actively on many national surgical and research committees. She previously served a four-year term as a member of the Surgery, Anesthesia and Trauma Study Section of the NIH, and a four-year term as a member of the National Advisory General Medical Council of the NIH.
Dr. Besner has made important contributions in both the clinical and basic science arenas. She is the author of more than 180 articles and has delivered over 450 local, national and international presentations. She was the lead surgeon for the successful separation of three sets of conjoined twins at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the first set (pygopagus) from Liberia, Africa, the second set (thoraco-omphalopagus) from Central Ohio, and the third set (pygopagus) from Uganda, Africa.View CV »
Dr. Besner appointed to National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council
Gail E. Besner, MD has been appointed to the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. This council of 17 of America’s most distinguished and accomplished scientists advises Secretary Sebelius, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, the Director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and other key government leaders on grant applications to support biomedical research and research training activities.
Read more about Dr. Besner's work in our Department of Surgery report