Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius Appoints Dr. Gail Besner to National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council

July 5, 2013

Gail E. Besner, MD, chief of Pediatric Surgery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the H. William Clatworthy, Jr. Professor of Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, has been appointed to the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Dr. Besner is also director of the Pediatric Surgery Training Program, principal investigator in the Center for Perinatal Research in The Research Institute and associate burn director at Nationwide Children’s.

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.  In addition, council members advise the NIH Director concerning pertinent programs and provide recommendations to stimulate additional work in promising fields of basic and biomedical science.  The members of this group include some of the most influential individuals in American science and medicine.

During the last 22 years, Dr. Besner has achieved a level of academic excellence that places her among the most acclaimed pediatric surgeons in the world. In the process, she has authored more than 130 original scientific articles, delivered over 200 presentations, mentored dozens of fellows and has been awarded seven patents. Dr. Besner is a member of every significant surgical organization in her field and has served as visiting professor around the United States and on several continents. In addition, Dr. Besner is a professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Dr. Besner earned her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati and completed an internship and residency in Surgery at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, a research  fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital, and pediatric surgery fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo prior to her appointment at Nationwide Children’s in 1991.


Dr. Gail Besner will serve on the Council for four years.

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.5 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at