David R Nelson, M.D. - Background

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David R. Nelson, M.D., director of the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute since 2010, was appointed in April 2019 to serve as senior vice president for health affairs at the University of Florida and president of UF Health. In this role, Dr. Nelson guides operations for all components of UF Health, the university’s academic health center, with campuses in Gainesville and Jacksonville. This includes six health science colleges, eight interdisciplinary research centers, two hospital systems and more than 100 physician practices .

The UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute serves as a catalytic hub for translational science at UF, throughout the state and across the country. The CTSI has received two National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Awards totaling more than $42 million since 2009, and Nelson helps drive the institute’s mission to speed the translation of scientific discoveries into better health by transforming the university’s ability to advance research across a wide range of disciplines, diseases and populations.

A professor of medicine and an expert in liver disease, Nelson’s record of academic achievement includes more than $80 million in research funding, more than 200 publications and multiple leadership roles in his area of expertise. He has co-authored the U.S. treatment guidelines for hepatitis C, the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium (CPIC) guidelines for the use of genomic-guided hepatitis C (HVC) therapy, and is representing the United States on the World Health Organization HCV guidelines committee. As a principal investigator on basic science, translational research and training grants, he co-leads an international hepatitis C research network and oversees more than 15 ongoing clinical trials.

In 2013, he was recognized for one of the Clinical Research Forum’s Top 10 Clinical Research Achievements related to his clinical trials work on hepatitis C, and in 2014, he received the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Learning Health System Research Champion Award. He has continuously been recognized as one of America’s top physicians/gastroenterologists and has been the recipient of multiple exemplary teaching awards, an outstanding alumnus award from his medical school, a UF Research Foundation Professorship Award and a UF Term Professorship Award.

Nelson received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate University in Syracuse, New York. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Massachusetts and obtained fellowship training in gastroenterology and hepatology at UF.


Fellowship - Gastroenterology
University of Florida

Residency - Internal Medicine
University of Massachusetts

Medical Degree
SUNY Health Science Center

Board Certification

  • Gastroenterology - American Board of Gastroenterology
  • Internal Medicine - American Board of Internal Medicine

Honors and Awards

  • Excellence in Teaching Award - University of Florida Department of Medicine
  • Exemplary Teaching Award - University of Florida College of Medicine
  • Outstanding Alumnus Award - Syracuse Medical Alumni