Chapman named as Bricker chair

William C. Chapman, MD, has been named as the Eugene M. Bricker Chair of Surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The endowed chair was established by The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital in memory of Eugene M. Bricker, MD, a renowned surgeon and professor of surgery whose medical career at Barnes-Jewish and the School of Medicine spanned more than a half-century.

Known by his colleagues as a master surgeon, Bricker developed surgical procedures that improved the lives of patients with bladder and cervical tumors and other cancers. Through the years, hundreds of medical students trained under Bricker, who was well regarded as a compassionate teacher and role model. He died in 2000.


“This chair recognizes Will Chapman for his extraordinary passion and surgical talent,” says Richard Liekweg, president of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and of Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. “He has helped make our transplant center a national leader in medicine, known for its innovation and outstanding care.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Dr. Chapman, a collaboration that will continue to ensure that Barnes-Jewish and Washington University provide the best care possible to our patients.”

Chapman is an internationally known surgeon who specializes in liver transplantation and surgery for liver cancer. He is chief of both the Division of General Surgery and the Section of Transplantation. He also is surgical director of the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital Transplant Center Program. In 2009, Chapman was named surgical director of the newly established Transplant Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

“In many ways, Will Chapman embodies the legacy of Eugene Bricker,” says Larry Shapiro, MD, executive vice chancellor and dean of the School of Medicine. “Gene was a brilliant surgeon and a devoted mentor, and Will brings extraordinary skill to his specialty while consistently carving out time to mentor students and residents.”

Chapman joined the Washington University faculty in 2002. He has made pioneering contributions to the field of liver surgery and developed new surgical procedures for liver cancer. He also has helped to make liver transplants more widely available by demonstrating in clinical studies that livers from donors over age 60 function just as well after transplant as those from younger donors. And his studies have shown that novel treatment strategies can lead to excellent outcomes in properly selected patients with advanced liver cancer.

“Eugene Bricker was a giant in the field of surgery and I am grateful for his many years of inspirational leadership and service to the medical center,” Chapman says. “By supporting my research, the Bricker chair will help improve the success of liver transplantation and help us continue to deliver outstanding care to patients.”

Chapman’s research focuses on the injury to blood vessels that can occur when blood flow resumes after a liver transplant. He is also working to identify molecular markers of liver cancer that may help to diagnose the disease at an earlier stage.

Chapman is active in many surgical societies and now serves as president-elect of the American Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association. He earned a medical degree from the Medical College of South Carolina and completed a residency in general surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Afterward, he completed a fellowship in hepatobiliary surgery and liver transplantation at King’s College Hospital in London.

Chapman serves on the staff of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the St. Louis Veteran’s Administration Medical Center.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed 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 sixth 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.