Columbia University Medical Center

Dr. Ansgar Brambrink Named Chair of Anesthesiology

Dr. Brambrink also will serve as anesthesiologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center

Brambrink, Ansgar

Ansgar Brambrink, MD, PhD

Ansgar Brambrink, MD, PhD, has been named chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons (P&S) and anesthesiologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), effective July 1, 2016.

Dr. Brambrink, an internationally renowned expert in brain injury, specializes in clinical care, research, and educational aspects of anesthesia and its applications to the treatment of patients with neurological conditions, including stroke. He is currently professor and the vice chair of faculty development and advancement in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University.

“Dr. Brambrink has extensive experience in applying the expertise of multiple disciplines to enhance the care of patients who require anesthesia, particularly those with stroke-related challenges, and to minimize any adverse effects of anesthetic agents,” said Lee Goldman, MD, executive vice president and dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine and chief executive of CUMC. “We welcome Dr. Brambrink to this key leadership role and look forward to his research and clinical contributions to patient-centered care, as well as his educational contributions to training the next generation’s physician-scientists.”

“Dr. Brambrink is one of the top minds in the field of anesthesiology,” said Steven J. Corwin, MD, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian. “His unique, multidisciplinary expertise will be a tremendous asset to us and will enhance our ability to care for all of our patients, especially those being treated for stroke. We look forward to having him join our team.”

Dr. Brambrink’s research interests include brain ischemia, the loss of oxygen and nutrients for brain cells due to inadequate blood flow, and the effects of anesthesia on the brain. In particular, his work has advanced knowledge of anesthesia-induced developmental neurotoxicity; the alteration of normal nervous system activity after exposure to toxins; the application of neuroscience and anesthesiology research to the care of neurosurgery patients; neurocritical care for life-threatening neurological disorders; and neurosurgical complications due to surgery. Dr. Brambrink also has investigated the pathophysiology of brain ischemia and treatment strategies and the brain’s endogenous repair after ischemic stroke.

His clinical research has included studies of the effects of modified immune response following severe trauma, techniques for regional anesthesia, and innovative airway devices in pediatric and adult anesthesia. Additionally, he investigates the effects of anesthetics and sedatives on the developing brain, in order to optimize delivery of anesthesia in infants and children.

Recent studies explore regeneration and plasticity after stroke and effects of anesthesia on the developing brain. His long-term goal is to investigate the growth of new nerve cells after stroke and its underlying mechanisms.

As an educator, Dr. Brambrink has earned high ratings and recognition among peers, students, and mentees. He has edited several textbooks and educational volumes on topics including pediatric anesthesia, trauma anesthesia, airway management, neuroanesthesia, neurocritical care, and preoperative management of patients with pre-existing disease. He has authored more than 260 scientific articles, book chapters, and other educational publications.

Dr. Brambrink recently served as president of the Society of Neuroscience in Anesthesiology and Critical Care, and he belongs to a dozen professional societies. He has served on the editorial board of Stroke for several years and is now on the editorial board of the Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology.

Dr. Brambrink will succeed Margaret Wood, MD, the E.M. Papper Professor of Anesthesiology, who is retiring after successfully leading the Department of Anesthesiology for more than 20 years. Her tenure included the creation of new divisions, expansion of clinical and research activities, and growth of the critical care division. Dr. Wood was the first woman appointed to chair a clinical department at P&S.

Dr. Brambrink received his doctorate and medical degrees from Westfälische Wilhelms-University School of Medicine in Germany and completed a residency in anesthesiology and an anesthesiology and neurosurgery fellowship in the intensive care units at University Hospital at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. He also completed a clinical and research fellowship in anesthesiology at Johns Hopkins University. He served on the faculty of Johannes Gutenberg University from 1996 until 2003 before joining OHSU. Within four years, Dr. Brambrink had joint appointments in three OHSU departments: anesthesiology and perioperative medicine, neurology, and neurologic surgery. At OHSU, he was instrumental in building a multidisciplinary neuroscience intensive care unit, which he directed for five years.



Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. For more information, visit or


NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center 

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and its academic partner, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine and is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital. The hospital is also closely affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian/Queens. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area, according to U.S. News & World Report, and consistently named to the magazine’s Honor Roll of best hospitals in the nation. For more information, visit