Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS Appointed as Chair of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Inaugural Vice Dean for Population Health and Health Equity

July 21, 2017

Dean Talmadge E. King, Jr., MD, announced the appointment of Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS, as the new chair of the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, effective October 1, and the inaugural vice dean for Population Health and Health Equity, effective August 1.

Dr. Bibbins-Domingo is the Lee Goldman, MD, Endowed Chair in Medicine, a professor of medicine, and a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics. She is a general internist and attending physician at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where she directs the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations. She is also the director of the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) training programs.

The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics plays a critical role in advancing our research mission in the basic, clinical and population sciences through high-quality original scholarship, outstanding training programs, and collaborative research. The department's activities in scholarship, teaching, and collaboration are essential to many cutting-edge initiatives at UCSF, including precision medicine, bioinformatics, and clinical data sciences, all areas that will continue and expand under Dr. Bibbins-Domingo's departmental leadership.

As vice dean, Dr. Bibbins-Domingo will develop an organizational strategy for integrating population health and health equity into all facets of our academic mission. She will be responsible for convening leaders and faculty from UCSF School of Medicine departments, centers, institutes and programs to create strategies to advance the science of population health and health equity; inform the conduct of clinical and translational research; disseminate this science in effective and innovative educational programs; and most importantly, accelerate the translation of this science into improvements in health and health equity within UCSF and other health care systems and more broadly into communities locally, nationally, and globally.

Dr. Bibbins-Domingo received her undergraduate degrees from Princeton University in molecular biology and in public policy from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs. After Princeton, she studied chemistry at the University of Ibadan in Ibadan, Nigeria before coming to UCSF to complete her PhD in biochemistry. Dr. Bibbins-Domingo earned her medical degree and completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at UCSF, as well as her general medicine fellowship and her MAS in clinical research. She joined the UCSF faculty as an assistant professor in 2004.

Dr. Bibbins-Domingo's research focuses on cardiovascular disease prevention, where she uses observational epidemiology, simulation modeling, and pragmatic trials to generate novel insights into how to prevent cardiovascular disease most effectively, particularly in high-risk populations. She has helped elucidate the factors that contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease in young adults, and in particular the earlier age at disease onset in many race/ethnic minority and low-income populations. She leads the team at UCSF using simulation modeling with the Cardiovascular Disease Policy Model to examine the health and cost impact of clinical and public health interventions among US adults and for specific US population sub-groups, including older adults. She has led collaborations of similar modeling work in Mexico.

Dr. Bibbins-Domingo's work has been published widely, including in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Annals of Internal Medicine, the American Journal of Public Health, and Circulation. Her scientific contributions have been recognized through her election to the National Academy of Medicine, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians.

With Dean Schillinger, MD, she co-founded the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations (CVP) at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center in 2006. A research center focused on communities at risk for poor health and inadequate healthcare due to social circumstances, CVP has experienced greater national visibility and expanded its reach under Dr. Bibbins-Domingo's leadership. The recent 10th-anniversary celebration of CVP highlighted the extraordinary scientific productivity of CVP faculty through high-impact scholarship and leadership of multiple NIH collaborative center and network grants. CVP is also recognized for its strong community, clinical, and policy partnerships and translating science into health impact.

Dr. Bibbins-Domingo is the immediate past chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a national independent panel of experts in prevention that develops evidence-based guidelines for the use of clinical preventive services. She served on the Task Force from 2010-2017 as a member, vice-chair, and chair. Dr. Bibbins-Domingo is a devoted teacher and mentor who has worked extensively with trainees and junior faculty at UCSF and nationally, one-on-one and through programs including the CTSI K Scholars Program, SF-BUILD and the NHLBI-funded RISE program in implementation sciences. She is also committed to advancing public education on science and evidence-based medicine. Earlier this year, Dr. Bibbins-Domingo received the UCSF Chancellor's Award for Public Service.

"I am thrilled to have Kirsten as a dynamic leader to further collaborations within UCSF," said Dean King. "She embodies UCSF's commitment the rigorous pursuit of science and to using discovery and innovation to advance the health of all, particularly the most vulnerable in our community."

He continued, "I want to thank Dr. Robert Hiatt for his ten years of expansive leadership and service as department chair. I'm also grateful to the search committee chaired by Dr. Claire Brindis for their dedicated work."


This article was originally published by the UCSF School of Medicine.