We are pleased to announce that Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman, MD, has been appointed chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Health. She succeeds Dr. Linda Brubaker, who served as interim department chair since July 2020.
Dr. Gyamfi-Bannerman joins the faculty from Columbia University Irving Medical Center, where she spent the last 16 years of her career, most recently as the Ellen Jacobson Levine and Eugene Jacobson Professor and vice chair for faculty development in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Dr. Gyamfi-Bannerman said she chose UC San Diego because of its innovative research environment, rich leadership history and remarkable patient care. As a board-certified maternal-fetal medicine specialist, Gyamfi-Bannerman is internationally recognized for her work in obstetric complications with a primary focus on preterm birth.
She is also a perinatal epidemiologist with a Master of Science degree in biostatistics, answering clinical questions using available clinical data. In her leadership roles with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, she has co-authored numerous clinical guidelines for obstetric practice.
As the SARS-CoV-2 virus spread throughout the United States, New York City became an early epicenter. Dr. Gyamfi-Bannerman and her team at Columbia University reported on the first cases of pregnant women infected with the virus, identifying atypical and asymptomatic presentations in this patient population and the need for personal protective equipment. Her experience resulted in becoming co-chair of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ COVID Task Force.
Dr. Gyamfi-Bannerman has conducted multiple clinical trials and has published numerous research papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. She was the lead author on a large, multicenter, randomized clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine that found that antenatal administration of betamethasone, a type of steroid, to women at risk for late preterm delivery significantly reduced the rate of neonatal respiratory complications. These findings changed clinical practice in the nation and in many other parts of the world.
Dr. Gyamfi-Bannerman has been invited to speak about her research locally, nationally and internationally. She has served on several high-profile, professional committees and has been recognized with multiple honors and awards. She was named twice by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology for Research Excellence, received the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine research award and was elected to the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society.
Born in Germany of Ghanaian descent, her diverse background has played an integral role in her life and career. As the director of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship Training Program at Columbia University, one of the largest programs of its kind in the country, Gyamfi-Bannerman oversaw the training and development of future maternal fetal medicine physicians and was able to increase the program’s diversity. She also built out a research infrastructure where fellows routinely made national presentations and published work in top journals. Her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion will elevate the current work of the department’s Culture and Justice Quorum. She will work with other department chairs to implement and advance the strategic plans of UC San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Health.
Dr. Gyamfi-Bannerman earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Miami and her medical degree at the University of Miami School of Medicine. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital and her fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City before joining the faculty at Columbia.
She is married with two children. Her husband of 11 years, Christian Bannerman, MD, will also be part of UC San Diego Health as an emergency physician. She said their family is looking forward to moving to warmer weather, going on hikes and enjoying San Diego’s beaches.
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Gyamfi-Bannerman to UC San Diego.
Professor and Chair
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences
University of California, San Diego