November 9, 2016

In Memoriam: Daniel H. Teitelbaum, MD

Dr. Teitelbaum was a wonderful clinician, a devoted teacher and a brilliant researcher

Daniel H. Teitelbaum, M.D., passed away on Aug. 17, 2016, after a long struggle with a brain tumor. He completed undergraduate studies at Northwestern University before earning his medical degree at the Ohio State College of Medicine in 1983. After training in general surgery and pediatric surgery at the Ohio State University Hospital and Columbus Children’s Hospital, respectively, he joined the U-M faculty as an assistant professor of surgery in 1992, and rose through the ranks to be named full professor in 2004. Dr. Teitelbaum performed a wide range of general pediatric surgery with a particular interest in disorders of sexual development, short bowel syndrome and pediatric colorectal problems, including Hirschsprung Disease.

The primary focus of Dr. Teitelbaum’s investigative work was parenteral nutrition and short bowel syndrome. He was working on a device to grow the intestines of the many patients he managed that had inadequate intestinal length; approaches to creating artificial intestine; ways to manipulate the intestinal microbiome by altering the composition of the nutrition administered; and new non-immunosuppressive treatments for inflammatory bowel disease. Other research interests included prevention of hyperalimentation-associated liver disease as well as gut immunology and mucosal permeability in the newborn. Dr. Teitelbaum had 259 peer-reviewed publications and was continuously funded by the NIH for 17 years. He recently served as the President of the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, or ASPEN, teaching and promoting optimal nutrition for individuals around the world.

As the pediatric surgery training program director, Dr. Teitelbaum was passionate about training the best pediatric surgeons and educating, supporting, and mentoring pediatric surgery fellows. He was nominated by the fellows and received the annual Section on Surgery American Academy of Pediatrics Salzberg Award in recognition of his teaching and mentoring. In his honor, fellows and faculty, along with a family grateful for their care, established the Daniel H. Teitelbaum Collegiate Professorship which will forever memorialize Dr. Teitelbaum within the University of Michigan and the Section of Pediatric Surgery.

Dr. Teitelbaum was a proud husband and father. He was married for 29 years to his wife, Mindy Teitelbaum, with whom he had three daughters: Hannah, Abigail and Rachel.

Dr. Teitelbaum was a wonderful clinician, a devoted teacher and a brilliant researcher. He was a man of great wisdom and intuition who cared for the most complicated patients with devotion and medical and surgical skill. Everything that he did professionally was for the patient, for the resident or fellow, for the field of pediatric surgery, or for society. He was an extraordinary Michigan physician-scientist whose skill as a surgeon affected the lives of thousands of patients and their families and whose legacy as a scientist will forever impact the care of children.

By Ronald B. Hirschl, M.D.

Those wishing to contribute to the Daniel H. Teitelbaum Collegiate Professorship, please contact our development office for more information.