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New Physician Spotlight: Jeffrey Upperman

Nov. 11, 2019, 3:13 PM


Jeffrey Upperman, MD, a national leader in pediatric trauma and disaster preparedness, has joined Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt as surgeon-in-chief and chair of the Department of Pediatric Surgery. He started Nov. 1.

Jeffrey Upperman, MD

“Dr. Upperman has a great combination of energy, leadership and national accomplishments in taking care of children,” said Seth Karp, MD, the H. William Scott Jr. Professor, chair of the Section of Surgical Services, Surgeon-in-Chief of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and director of the Vanderbilt Transplant Center. “He has significant expertise in trauma and community engagement as well as an extensive research portfolio. We are excited to have him here to continue to grow and develop our clinical excellence in the care of children in Middle Tennessee and beyond.”

Upperman, who has published more than 180 peer-reviewed publications, 200 abstracts and 20 book chapters, focuses on sepsis, inflammation, trauma and disaster preparedness, and has received research funding support from the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Department of Health and Human Services.

“At Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, I see an absolute powerhouse of people, and the spirit and character of the people stand out for me. Children’s Hospital is uniquely positioned to be a juggernaut in children’s health care for the greater Southeast area. I am excited by the potential and the real possibilities,” Upperman said.

Upperman graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in human biology and a master’s degree in sociology. He earned a medical degree from New Jersey Medical School. He did his internship and residency at University Hospital in New Jersey and completed a fellowship in pediatric surgery at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Upperman recently moved from the USC Keck School of Medicine, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as a tenured professor of Surgery and Trauma medical director.

Upperman is also a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Army Medical Corps, having served as chief of Surgery during operation Iraqi Freedom 2 in 2004. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the American Red Cross. He was a member on the Institutes of Medicine panel on Prepositioning Antibiotics for Anthrax in 2012. He has served as a permanent member of the pediatrics study section in the Eunice Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development.


VUMC is continually adding new faculty members who bring a wealth of clinical expertise, research talent and academic leadership to our institution. These individuals come from a wide variety of disciplines and backgrounds, all of which support VUMC’s well-deserved reputation when it comes to providing the best, evidence-based care for our patients. Select new faculty will be introduced each month in MyVUMC, with the goal of fostering connections and collaborations with the new talent.

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