Chief pediatric surgeon named at medical school and St. Louis Children’s Hospital

Brad W. Warner, M.D., has been named pediatric surgeon-in-chief at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. His appointment was announced jointly by Timothy Eberlein, M.D., Bixby Professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery, and Lee Fetter, president of St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Brad Warner

Warner has also been appointed the Apolline Blair St. Louis Children’s Hospital Professor of Surgery, an endowed chair of the medical school and the hospital. He begins his duties on July 1.

“Dr. Warner is an exceptional pediatric surgeon,” says Larry Shapiro, M.D., executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “His leadership as pediatric surgeon-in-chief will help strengthen Washington University’s position as a major center for pediatric surgery, research and training. He also will be instrumental in helping to recruit additional nationally recognized pediatric surgeons as we continue to expand the range of surgical services available to our young patients.”

Warner, who grew up in St. Louis, returns after a 25-year tenure in Cincinnati, where he was an attending surgeon in the division of pediatric surgery, program director for the pediatric surgery residency program and director of surgery research at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. He also was professor of surgery and pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Warner is widely recognized for his clinical expertise in pediatric cancer surgery and surgical procedures for short bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for over ten years, and he has trained more than 30 postdoctoral fellows.

“Dr. Warner’s arrival illustrates our continued dedication to providing world-class surgical care to children,” says Fetter. “He adds to our strength as a national referral center as the result of his tenure at Cincinnati Children’s, which, like our hospital is ranked among the top children’s hospitals nationwide by Child magazine and U.S. News & World Report. We’re thrilled to have him on board.”

Warner is board certified in general surgery and pediatric surgery with a special interest in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition. He has served as president of the Society of University Surgeons, is the upcoming chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ surgical section, and holds multiple leadership positions within the American College of Surgeons, the American Pediatric Surgical Association, and the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract.

“Brad Warner is a phenomenal addition to our Department of Surgery,” says Eberlein, also director of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center. “Not only does he bring an internationally recognized research program with him to St. Louis, but he is an outstanding surgeon and mentor. His recruitment will advance the stature of our entire pediatric surgery program as well as St. Louis Children’s Hospital.”

Warner’s research focuses on understanding how the body adapts when a large part of the intestine is surgically removed or lost due to injury, inflammation or a lack of the blood supply. In many cases, the part of the intestine that remains senses this loss and tries to compensate by growing back. Warner is hoping to identify key genes involved in this process, with the goal of enhancing intestinal growth. This would allow patients to live a more normal life and avoid the need for intravenous nutrition, which can itself lead to sepsis, liver failure and other complications.

Warner earned his medical degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. He completed his residency in surgery at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, with a fellowship in pediatric surgery at Cincinnati Children’s. He is a 1976 Parkway North High School graduate.

“I am excited to join the exceptional academic environment of the School of Medicine and clinical programs of St. Louis Children’s Hospital,” Warner says. “Working with the outstanding teams at both institutions, we will build world-class programs for pediatric surgery and a research infrastructure that is second to none with the common goal of making a difference in the lives of children and families.”

Washington University School of Medicine’s full-time and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.