Haile Debas, MD

Title(s)Professor Emeritus, Surgery
SchoolSchool of Medicine
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    Haile T. Debas, MD, is recognized internationally for his contributions to academic medicine and is widely consulted on issues associated with global health. At the University of California, San Francisco, he served as the Founding Executive Director of UCSF Global Health Sciences (2003-2010), Dean of the School of Medicine (1993-2003), Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs for six years, and Chancellor for one year. A gastrointestinal surgeon by training, Dr. Debas chaired the UCSF Department of Surgery (1987-2003), and is the Maurice Galante Distinguished Professor of Surgery, Emeritus. He also was the Founding Director of the University of California Global Health Institute from 2009 to 2016.

    A native of Eritrea, Dr. Debas received his MD from McGill University and completed his surgical training at the University of British Columbia and post-doctoral fellowship at UCLA. He has held faculty positions at UBC, UCLA, and the University of Washington. Under his stewardship, the UCSF School of Medicine became a national model for medical education, an achievement for which he was recognized with the 2004 Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

    Dr. Debas’s prescient grasp of the implications of fundamental changes in science led him to create several interdisciplinary research centers that have been instrumental in reorganizing the scientific community at UCSF. He played a key role in developing UCSF’s new campus at Mission Bay. In 2012, he was awarded the UCSF Medal for his academic and leadership contributions to the University.

    Dr. Debas has held leadership positions with numerous membership organizations and professional associations, including serving as president of the American Surgical Association and Chair of the Council of Deans of the AAMC. He served for two terms as a member of the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy of the National Academy of Sciences; served four years on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health; and was a member of the United Nations’ Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa.

    Dr. Debas is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He currently serves as Chair pro-tem of the Board of Trustees of the Aga Khan University and previously served on the Board of Regents of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He was instrumental in the creation of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, where he served as Founding Chair of the Board of Directors (2009-2012). Dr. Debas was a lead editor of the Essential Surgery volume of Disease Control Priorities, Third Edition (DCP3), published by the World Bank in 2015.
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    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    NIH C06RR013580Sep 15, 1998 - Sep 14, 2000
    Role: Principal Investigator
    NIH C06RR012497May 15, 1998 - May 14, 2002
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Neural Regulation of Pancreatic Function
    NIH R01DK046285May 15, 1994 - Mar 31, 2014
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    NIH R01DK040471Aug 1, 1988 - Jul 31, 1991
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Research Training in Gastrointestinal Surgery
    NIH T32DK007573Jul 1, 1988 - Jun 30, 2021
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    NIH R01DK037173Jul 1, 1985 - Mar 31, 1997
    Role: Principal Investigator
    NIH R01AM037173Jul 1, 1985 - Mar 31, 1987
    Role: Principal Investigator
    NIH M01RR001271Dec 1, 1981 - Mar 31, 2007
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    NIH R01AM028297Apr 1, 1981 - Jun 30, 1985
    Role: Principal Investigator
    General Clinical Research Center
    NIH M01RR000079Dec 1, 1974 - Mar 31, 2009
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    General Clinical Research Center
    NIH M01RR000083Oct 1, 1974 - Nov 30, 2007
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator

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    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help. to make corrections and additions.
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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. The Gift of Being a Surgeon: Three Perspectives. Ann Surg. 2021 04 01; 273(4):636-639. Pellegrini CA, Debas HT, Brennan MF. PMID: 33351481.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    2. Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Surgical Training and Learner Well-Being: Report of a Survey of General Surgery and Other Surgical Specialty Educators. J Am Coll Surg. 2020 12; 231(6):613-626. Ellison EC, Spanknebel K, Stain SC, Shabahang MM, Matthews JB, Debas HT, Nagler A, Blair PG, Eberlein TJ, Farmer DL, Sloane R, Britt LD, Sachdeva AK. PMID: 32931914; PMCID: PMC7486868.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 24     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    3. Academic Partnerships in Global Surgery: An Overview American Surgical Association Working Group on Academic Global Surgery. Ann Surg. 2020 03; 271(3):460-469. Debas H, Alatise OI, Balch CM, Brennan M, Cusack J, Donkor P, Jaffe BM, Mazariegos GV, Mock C, Mutiibwa D, Numann P, Nyagatuba JKM, O'Neill JA, Tarpley JL, Tesfaye S, Tefera G, Tuttle TM. PMID: 31592897.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    4. Progress in Global Surgery Comment on "Global Surgery - Informing National Strategies for Scaling Up Surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa". Int J Health Policy Manag. 2018 11 01; 7(11):1056-1057. Debas HT. PMID: 30624879; PMCID: PMC6326634.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    5. Global Surgery: Effective Involvement of US Academic Surgery: Report of the American Surgical Association Working Group on Global Surgery. Ann Surg. 2018 10; 268(4):557-563. Mock C, Debas H, Balch CM, Brennan M, Buyske J, Cusack J, DeMeester S, Herndon D, Le Holterman AX, Jaffe B, Kandil E, Kauffman G, Mazariegos G, sMerchant N, Numann P, Oleynikov D, Olutoye O, O'Neill J, Shackford S, Stock P, Tarpley JL, Tuttle T, Wolf S, Wren SM, Yang GP. PMID: 30004921.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    6. Access to safe surgery. BMJ Glob Health. 2017; 2(Suppl 4):e000908. Debas HT. PMID: 29881641; PMCID: PMC5988065.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    
    7. Universal health coverage and intersectoral action for health: key messages from Disease Control Priorities, 3rd edition. Lancet. 2018 03 17; 391(10125):1108-1120. Jamison DT, Alwan A, Mock CN, Nugent R, Watkins D, Adeyi O, Anand S, Atun R, Bertozzi S, Bhutta Z, Binagwaho A, Black R, Blecher M, Bloom BR, Brouwer E, Bundy DAP, Chisholm D, Cieza A, Cullen M, Danforth K, de Silva N, Debas HT, Donkor P, Dua T, Fleming KA, Gallivan M, Garcia PJ, Gawande A, Gaziano T, Gelband H, Glass R, Glassman A, Gray G, Habte D, Holmes KK, Horton S, Hutton G, Jha P, Knaul FM, Kobusingye O, Krakauer EL, Kruk ME, Lachmann P, Laxminarayan R, Levin C, Looi LM, Madhav N, Mahmoud A, Mbanya JC, Measham A, Medina-Mora ME, Medlin C, Mills A, Mills JA, Montoya J, Norheim O, Olson Z, Omokhodion F, Oppenheim B, Ord T, Patel V, Patton GC, Peabody J, Prabhakaran D, Qi J, Reynolds T, Ruacan S, Sankaranarayanan R, Sepúlveda J, Skolnik R, Smith KR, Temmerman M, Tollman S, Verguet S, Walker DG, Walker N, Wu Y, Zhao K. PMID: 29179954; PMCID: PMC5996988.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 59     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    8. Global Surgery 2030: a roadmap for high income country actors. BMJ Glob Health. 2016; 1(1):e000011. Ng-Kamstra JS, Greenberg SLM, Abdullah F, Amado V, Anderson GA, Cossa M, Costas-Chavarri A, Davies J, Debas HT, Dyer GSM, Erdene S, Farmer PE, Gaumnitz A, Hagander L, Haider A, Leather AJM, Lin Y, Marten R, Marvin JT, McClain CD, Meara JG, Meheš M, Mock C, Mukhopadhyay S, Orgoi S, Prestero T, Price RR, Raykar NP, Riesel JN, Riviello R, Rudy SM, Saluja S, Sullivan R, Tarpley JL, Taylor RH, Telemaque LF, Toma G, Varghese A, Walker M, Yamey G, Shrime MG. PMID: 28588908; PMCID: PMC5321301.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 43     Fields:    
    9. Building Evidence for Global Surgery One Experience at a Time. JAMA Surg. 2015 Nov; 150(11):1085. Debas HT. PMID: 26266527.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    10. A New Master's Degree in Global Health: Reflections on a 5-year Experience. Ann Glob Health. 2015 Sep-Oct; 81(5):618-26. Dandu M, Baltzell K, Nelson K, Gulati S, Debas HT, Ziegler JL. PMID: 27036718.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    11. The Emergence and Future of Global Surgery in the United States. JAMA Surg. 2015 Sep; 150(9):833-4. Debas HT. PMID: 26176410.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    12. Systematic Review of Surgical Literature from Resource-Limited Countries: Developing Strategies for Success. World J Surg. 2015 Sep; 39(9):2173-81. Pauyo T, Debas HT, Kyamanywa P, Kushner AL, Jani PG, Lavy C, Dakermandji M, Ambrose H, Khwaja K, Razek T, Deckelbaum DL. PMID: 26037025.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    13. Can diaspora-led organisations play a prominent part in global surgery? Lancet Glob Health. 2015 Jul; 3(7):e364. Ahmed F, Ahmed N, Keogh B, Nicholson D, Debas HT, Farmer PE. PMID: 26087983.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    14. Essential surgery: key messages from Disease Control Priorities, 3rd edition. Lancet. 2015 May 30; 385(9983):2209-19. Mock CN, Donkor P, Gawande A, Jamison DT, Kruk ME, Debas HT, DCP3 Essential Surgery Author Group. PMID: 25662414; PMCID: PMC7004823.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 125     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    15. Commentary: Academic surgery and global health. Surgery. 2013 Mar; 153(3):324-6. Debas HT. PMID: 23062654.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    16. Educating enough competent health professionals: advancing educational innovation at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania. PLoS Med. 2012; 9(8):e1001284. Kaaya EE, Macfarlane SB, Mkony CA, Lyamuya EF, Loeser H, Freeman P, Kirumira EK, Pallangyo K, Debas HT. PMID: 22904688; PMCID: PMC3419186.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    17. Specialization in health care. JAMA. 2012 May 16; 307(19):2025-6; author reply 2026-7. Johns MM, Debas HT, Miller RH. PMID: 22665094.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    18. Partnering on education for health: Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences and the University of California San Francisco. J Public Health Policy. 2012; 33 Suppl 1:S13-22. Pallangyo K, Debas HT, Lyamuya E, Loeser H, Mkony CA, O'Sullivan PS, Kaaya EE, Macfarlane SB. PMID: 23254839.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    19. The University of California Global Health Institute opportunities and challenges. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2011 Sep; 25(3):499-509, vii. Debas HT, Coates TJ. PMID: 21896355.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    20. Message to the UAEU conference on "Global Health and the UAE: Asia-Middle East Connections": the university's vital role in global health. Asia Pac J Public Health. 2010 Jul; 22(3 Suppl):12S-13S. Debas HT. PMID: 20566527.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    21. Essential surgery at the district hospital: a retrospective descriptive analysis in three African countries. PLoS Med. 2010 Mar 09; 7(3):e1000243. Galukande M, von Schreeb J, Wladis A, Mbembati N, de Miranda H, Kruk ME, Luboga S, Matovu A, McCord C, Ndao-Brumblay SK, Ozgediz D, Rockers PC, Quiñones AR, Vaz F, Debas HT, Macfarlane SB. PMID: 20231871; PMCID: PMC2834708.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 79     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    22. Human resource and funding constraints for essential surgery in district hospitals in Africa: a retrospective cross-sectional survey. PLoS Med. 2010 Mar 09; 7(3):e1000242. Kruk ME, Wladis A, Mbembati N, Ndao-Brumblay SK, Hsia RY, Galukande M, Luboga S, Matovu A, de Miranda H, Ozgediz D, Quiñones AR, Rockers PC, von Schreeb J, Vaz F, Debas HT, Macfarlane SB. PMID: 20231869; PMCID: PMC2834706.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 51     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    23. Increasing access to surgical services in sub-saharan Africa: priorities for national and international agencies recommended by the Bellagio Essential Surgery Group. PLoS Med. 2009 Dec; 6(12):e1000200. Luboga S, Macfarlane SB, von Schreeb J, Kruk ME, Cherian MN, Bergström S, Bossyns PB, Denerville E, Dovlo D, Galukande M, Hsia RY, Jayaraman SP, Lubbock LA, Mock C, Ozgediz D, Sekimpi P, Wladis A, Zakariah A, Dade NB, Donkor P, Gatumbu JK, Hoekman P, Ijsselmuiden CB, Jamison DT, Jessani N, Jiskoot P, Kakande I, Mabweijano JR, Mbembati N, McCord C, Mijumbi C, de Miranda H, Mkony CA, Mocumbi P, Ndihokubwayo JB, Ngueumachi P, Ogbaselassie G, Okitombahe EL, Toure CT, Vaz F, Zikusooka CM, Debas HT, Bellagio Essential Surgery Group (BESG). PMID: 20027218; PMCID: PMC2791210.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 71     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    24. Applying innovative educational principles when classes grow and resources are limited: Biochemistry experiences at Muhimbili University of Allied Health Sciences. Biochem Mol Biol Educ. 2008 Nov; 36(6):387-94. Omer S, Hickson G, Taché S, Blind R, Masters S, Loeser H, Souza K, Mkony C, Debas H, O'Sullivan P. PMID: 21591227; PMCID: PMC7401713.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    
    25. Think globally, act locally, and collaborate internationally: global health sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. Acad Med. 2008 Feb; 83(2):173-9. Macfarlane SB, Agabian N, Novotny TE, Rutherford GW, Stewart CC, Debas HT. PMID: 18303363.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 19     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    26. University partnership to address the shortage of healthcare professionals in Africa. Glob Public Health. 2008; 3(2):137-48. Tache S, Kaaya E, Omer S, Mkony CA, Lyamuya E, Pallangyo K, Debas HT, Macfarlane SB. PMID: 19288367.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    
    27. The problem of heavy reliance on international medical graduates to supply the surgical workforce in the United States. Surgery. 2006 Sep; 140(3):359-61. Debas HT. PMID: 16934595.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    28. Surgery in developing countries: essential training in residency. Arch Surg. 2005 Aug; 140(8):795-800. Ozgediz D, Roayaie K, Debas H, Schecter W, Farmer D. PMID: 16106579.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 31     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    29. American Surgical Association Blue Ribbon Committee Report on Surgical Education: 2004. Ann Surg. 2005 Jan; 241(1):1-8. Debas HT, Bass BL, Brennan MF, Flynn TC, Folse JR, Freischlag JA, Friedmann P, Greenfield LJ, Jones RS, Lewis FR, Malangoni MA, Pellegrini CA, Rose EA, Sachdeva AK, Sheldon GF, Turner PL, Warshaw AL, Welling RE, Zinner MJ, American Surgical Association Blue Ribbon Committee. PMID: 15621984; PMCID: PMC1356839.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 46     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    30. Residency training in surgery in the 21st century: a new paradigm. Surgery. 2004 Nov; 136(5):953-65. Pellegrini CA, Warshaw AL, Debas HT. PMID: 15523386.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 17     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    31. Surgical education in the United States: portents for change. Ann Surg. 2004 Oct; 240(4):565-72. Brennan MF, Debas HT. PMID: 15383783; PMCID: PMC1356457.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    32. Research: a vital component of optimal patient care in the United States. Ann Surg. 2004 Oct; 240(4):573-7. Jones RS, Debas HT. PMID: 15383784; PMCID: PMC1356458.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    33. Panel on surgical practice. Arch Surg. 2003 Sep; 138(9):977-86. Debas HT, Freischlag JA, Schecter WP, Warshaw AL, Pacific Coast Surgical Association. PMID: 12963655.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    34. The UCSF Academy of Medical Educators. Acad Med. 2003 Jul; 78(7):666-72. Cooke M, Irby DM, Debas HT. PMID: 12857682.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 13     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    35. Impact of the health care crisis on surgery: perspective of the dean. Arch Surg. 2001 Feb; 136(2):158-60. Debas HT. PMID: 11177132.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    36. Medical education and practice: end of century reflections. Arch Surg. 2000 Sep; 135(9):1096-100. Debas HT. PMID: 10982517.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    37. Manpower and training in the 1990s. Am Surg. 1997 Oct; 63(10):847-9. Debas HT. PMID: 9322654.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    38. Molecular insights into the development of the pancreas. Am J Surg. 1997 Sep; 174(3):227-31. Debas HT. PMID: 9324127.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    39. The merger of Stanford's and UCSF's clinical enterprises: impact on education. JAMA. 1996 Dec 04; 276(21):1770-1. Bauer EA, Debas HT. PMID: 8940329.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    40. Neuroendocrine tumors: common presentations of uncommon diseases. Compr Ther. 1995 Dec; 21(12):719-25. Kirkwood KS, Debas HT. PMID: 8789136.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    41. Neuroendocrine gut neoplasms. Important lessons from uncommon tumors. Arch Surg. 1994 Sep; 129(9):965-71; discussion 971-2. Debas HT, Mulvihill SJ. PMID: 7915900.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    42. A role for calcitonin gene-related peptide in protection against gastric ulceration. Ann Surg. 1994 Jan; 219(1):58-64. Gray JL, Bunnett NW, Orloff SL, Mulvihill SJ, Debas HT. PMID: 8297178; PMCID: PMC1243091.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    43. Tachykinins contract the circular muscle of the human esophageal body in vitro via NK2 receptors. Gastroenterology. 1993 Oct; 105(4):981-7. Huber O, Bertrand C, Bunnett NW, Pellegrini CA, Nadel JA, Debas HT, Geppetti P. PMID: 7691676.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    44. Tachykinins mediate contraction of the human lower esophageal sphincter in vitro via activation of NK2 receptors. Eur J Pharmacol. 1993 Aug 03; 239(1-3):103-9. Huber O, Bertrand C, Bunnett NW, Pellegrini CA, Nadel JA, Nakazato P, Debas HT, Geppetti P. PMID: 8223885.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    45. Impact of the changing economy and new technology on surgical practice and education. Invest Radiol. 1993 Aug; 28 Suppl 3:S23. Debas HT. PMID: 8376050.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    46. Clinical and functional characterization of high gastroesophageal reflux. Am J Surg. 1993 Jan; 165(1):163-6; discussion 166-8. Patti MG, Debas HT, Pellegrini CA. PMID: 8418693.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 22     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    47. Esophageal manometry and 24-hour pH monitoring in the diagnosis of pulmonary aspiration secondary to gastroesophageal reflux. Am J Surg. 1992 Apr; 163(4):401-6. Patti MG, Debas HT, Pellegrini CA. PMID: 1558280.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 25     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    48. Control of dumping symptoms by somatostatin analogue in patients after gastric surgery. Arch Surg. 1991 Oct; 126(10):1231-5; discussion 1235-6. Gray JL, Debas HT, Mulvihill SJ. PMID: 1929823.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 11     Fields:    Translation:HumansCTClinical Trials
    49. The effect of somatostatin on experimental intestinal obstruction. Ann Surg. 1988 Feb; 207(2):169-73. Mulvihill SJ, Pappas TN, Fonkalsrud EW, Debas HT. PMID: 2893593; PMCID: PMC1493368.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    50. Measurement of prostaglandin E2 in interstitial fluid from the dog stomach after feeding and indomethacin. Gastroenterology. 1983 Dec; 85(6):1391-8. Bunnett NW, Walsh JH, Debas HT, Kauffman GL, Golanska EM. PMID: 6578991.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
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