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Chief of Abdominal Transplant Surgery
George F. Sheldon, MD Distinguished Professor of Surgery


Solid organ transplantation, living-donor organ donation, stem cell and regenerative medicine, immunology, liver cancer, liver surgery, hepatobiliary, laparoscopic liver surgery, gallbladder, liver transplantation, kidney transplantation


David A. Gerber, MD, was born in NY and graduated with a BS from Cornell University in 1985 and received an MD from the University of Pittsburgh in 1989. From 1989 to 1996 he completed general surgery training at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and a post-doctoral fellowship in Transplantation Immunology. Between 1996 and 1998 he was a clinical transplant fellow at the Starzl Transplantation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He subsequently joined the Division of Abdominal Transplant, Department of Surgery in the School of Medicine in 1998 and currently is the George F. Sheldon, MD, Distinguished Professor with Tenure. In 2008 he was appointed Chief of the Division of Abdominal Transplant at UNC and in 2016 he was appointed Executive Medical Director of the UNC Healthcare Center for Transplant Care and Jason Ray Transplant Clinics. In 2017 he became the Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs for the Department of Surgery.

Clinically he has expertise in solid organ transplantation and liver cancer including the integration of navigation and minimally invasive surgery technologies. He is actively engaged in basic science research focusing on stem biology and tissue engineering in the field of Regenerative Medicine. By integrating novel bioengineering technologies his research has focused on the relationship of the matrix/environment that supports the growth and differentiation of select stem cell populations into functional tissues.

Dr. Gerber has received >25 basic science grants including extramural funding from the American Liver Foundation, the Roche Organ Transplant Research Foundation, the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons and the National Institutes of Health. He has been involved as principal investigator or co-investigator in >40 industry-sponsored clinical trials focused on advancing patient outcomes in transplantation and hepatocellular carcinoma. He has published >200 peer-reviewed publications, peer-reviewed abstracts and book chapters in the areas of transplantation, stem cell biology, regenerative medicine and liver cancer. In addition, he has received two patents and he has given more than 100 national and international presentations in healthcare and biotechnology.

His extracurricular activities in national and international organizations include selection as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Fellow of the American Surgical Association, Fellow of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases along with election as a Member of the Southern Surgical Association and Halsted Society. He also has membership in the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, The Transplantation Society, Society of University Surgeons and the Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association. In 2008 he was chosen as a James IVth Traveling Fellow. From 2007 to present he has been continuously selected to “Best Doctors in America.” In 2010 he was appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to the Advisory Committee on Transplantation. In 2019 he was appointed by the Governor of North Carolina to serve as a member of the License to Give Trust Fund Commission. He was elected as the Associate Councilor for Region 11 in the United Network of Organ Sharing from 2019 to 2021 and will serve as Councilor from 2021 to 2023.

He has been elected by the faculty to UNC’s Faculty Council and the University’s Faculty Executive Committee that oversees faculty governance for the University of North Carolina, and in 2020 he was elected to the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee. In 2007 he was selected to the School of Medicine’s Academy of Educators and he has been one of the key players to develop an educational platform that introduces entrepreneurship to the academy. In 2008 he developed an introductory course on “Entrepreneurship in Life Sciences” that he taught in the School of Medicine as a way of introducing the concepts surrounding biotechnology commercialization. He is a founding member of the UNC Healthcare Innovation Council. In 2012 he began serving as the Chair of UNC’s Institutional Conflicts of Interest committee.

He is a retired Colonel in the US Air Force Reserve Medical Corps with an Adjunct Professorship at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. In 2013 he received the Clinical & Academic Grand Master Special Experience Identifier Award from the Office of the Surgeon General in the USAF and in 2015 completed Air War College. In 2020, the Secretary of Defense authorized the award of the Defense Meritorious Service Medal to Dr. Gerber for exceptionally meritorious service for the Armed Forces of the United States.

He serves as the Chief Medical Officer of SmartPerfusion, LLC, a company focused on developing ex vivo organ preservation technologies and is a consultant for tissue engineering company InRegen, LLC. Dr. Gerber was also on the Scientific Advisory Board of Pathfinder Therapeutics, Inc. and assisted during their acquisition by Analogic Corp., a global medical device company. He is a clinical advisor to Excelerate Health Ventures. His external activities include past service as a board member for SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals, a facility built for families and critically ill patients.


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  • Phone Numbers

    (919) 966-8008 (Office Phone)

  • (919) 966-6308 (Fax)

  • Address

    Department of Surgery

    4001B Burnett Womack Building

    Campus Box 7211

    Chapel Hill, NC 27599