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David R Nelson, MD : Bio and credentials

Gastroenterologist, Transplant Hepatologist

Photo of David R Nelson

My bio

David R. Nelson, M.D., was appointed senior vice president for health affairs at the University of Florida and president of UF Health in April 2019. Dr. Nelson oversees 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, nine interdisciplinary research centers, three hospital systems and more than 100 physician practices. He is committed to strategically position UF Health for smart growth; enhancing operations; supporting faculty, staff and students; and fostering a diverse, inclusive and equitable community. He also has continued to explore ways to optimize the speed of translation of research, bringing science to the bedside and to the community to improve patient care for individuals and populations. A professor of medicine and an expert in liver disease, Dr. Nelson’s record of academic achievement includes more than $100 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 guidelines for the use of genomic-guided hepatitis C (HCV) therapy, and represented the United States on the World Health Organization HCV guidelines committee. As a principal investigator on basic science, translational research and training grants, he developed an international real world data network (HCV-TARGET), a collaboration between clinician investigators, the pharmaceutical industry and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This transformed drug development pathways and led to faster and safer development of HCV therapies, resulting in his recognition by the FDA with the Regulatory Science Excellence Honor in 2018. In 2013, he was recognized for one of the Clinical Research Forum’s Top 10 Clinical Research Achievements 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.

Dr. 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.

Board certifications

  • Gastroenterology

    American Board of Gastroenterology

  • Internal Medicine

    American Board of Internal Medicine

  • Transplant Hepatology

    American Board of Internal Medicine


  • Fellowship - Gastroenterology

    University of Florida, 1996

  • Residency - Internal Medicine

    University of Massachusetts, 1993

  • Medical Degree

    SUNY Health Science Center, 1990

My areas of focus