David Whitcomb, MD, PhD

Dr. David Whitcomb Dr. David Whitcomb is the Giant Eagle Foundation Professor of Cancer Genetics, a Professor of Medicine (with tenure), Cell Biology and Physiology, and Human Genetics, the Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Currently, Dr. Whitcomb leads an active research team, focusing on pancreatic diseases, and provides an information service on pancreas-related issues to patients, physicians, and scientist through participation in Pancreas.org.

Dr. Whitcomb graduated from Manchester College, North Manchester, Indiana, in 1978 with a BS in Biology/Chemistry. Continuing his education, he received a MS in Physiology in 1979, a PhD in Physiology in 1983, and an MD in 1985 all from the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. He then completed a residency in internal medicine in 1988, followed by a fellowship in gastroenterology in 1991 at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. That same year, Dr Whitcomb was recruited to the University of Pittsburgh. Previously, he served as Chief of the Nutrition Support Service and Chief of Gastroenterology at the Pittsburgh VA Medical Center.

In addition to his responsibilities within the university, Dr. Whitcomb serves on national and international committees for the major gastroenterology and pancreatic societies. He served as a Counselor for the American Gastroenterology Association, the International Association of Pancreatology, and as President of the American Pancreas Association. He is also an Associate Editor for Pancreas and Pancreatology. He serves as a peer reviewer for a number of scientific journals, and serves as a grant reviewer for the NIH, VA, DOD, and other institutions. Dr. Whitcomb is co-founder of the Midwest Multicenter Pancreatic Study Group, the North American Pancreatic Study Group, the Collaborative Alliance for Pancreatic Education and Research (CAPER), and is the Director of the annual international meeting, PancreasFest.

Through his research, he has published over 200 manuscripts, over 200 abstracts, and has edited eight books on pancreatic disease. His laboratory group discovered the gene variants causing hereditary pancreatitis (Nat Genet 1996; 14(2):141-5), familial pancreatic cancer (PLoS Med. 2006;3(12):e516), the primary genetic risk for alcoholic chronic pancreatitis (Nat Genet 2012;44(12):1349-54), and a new CFTR-associated syndrome (PLoS Genetics. 2014;10(7):e1004376). His work on pancreatic diseases as a complex gene-environment disorder resulted in major advances in a paradigm for personalized medicine (Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012;9(7):418-24). Currently he is leading the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition as a uniquely organized translational research organization for complex inflammatory, functional, and neoplastic disorders (Academic Medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. 2011;86.(11):1353-9.)

View a list of Dr. Whitcomb’s publications here.


Dr. David Whitcomb
Phone: (412) 578-9515
Email: whitcomb@pitt.edu