Meet David Linehan, Our New CEO and Dean

Feb. 1, 2024

Beginning today, David C. Linehan, MD, takes the reins as CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD). A surgical oncologist and an accomplished surgeon-scientist, Linehan chaired URMC’s Department of Surgery for the past 10 years. He succeeds Mark B. Taubman, MD, who was the first person to assume the dual role of CEO of the Medical Center and dean of SMD.

Recruited from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis in 2014, Linehan will serve as the top executive of URMC, encompassing UR Medicine, the University’s vast clinical enterprise; the School of Medicine and DentistrySchool of Nursing; and Eastman Institute for Oral Health.

Calling his move to Rochester “the best professional decision” he ever made, Linehan is deeply committed to and entrenched in URMC’s patient care, research and education missions. He’s developed successful clinical programs in Surgery; taught and mentored a wide range of trainees, including graduate students, post-docs, residents, and nursing students; and run a productive research lab investigating immunotherapies for patients with hard-to-treat cancers.  

“I’m excited to begin this new role and to work with all of the dedicated people across our organization to improve health throughout our region,” said Linehan. “I’ve seen firsthand how we thrive when research, clinical care and education work together, and I’m confident that integrating the strengths of the University, our UR Medicine health system, and our medical and nursing schools will help us confront the challenges we face today. I’m honored to have the opportunity to mobilize our talented teams to achieve our collective goal of optimizing health in Rochester and beyond.”

Learn More about Linehan:

  • Patient Care: As the Seymour I. Schwartz Professor in Surgery, Linehan has specialized in treating cancers and benign surgical conditions of the liver, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts. He is recognized for bringing novel and innovative therapies to patients with difficult-to-treat cancers, and for his compassionate, patient-centered approach to care.
  • Research: Internationally renowned for his research into new immunotherapy treatments for pancreatic cancer, Linehan’s laboratory has been continuously funded by the National Cancer Institute for nearly two decades. A prolific bench-to-bedside scientist at UR Medicine’s Wilmot Cancer Institute, he’s attracted and promoted the growth of surgeon-scientists at URMC.
  • Education: With a passion for training the next generation, Linehan believes in a culture of collaboration that brings physicians, allied health professionals, and scientists together to focus on impactful projects that solve unmet clinical needs.
  • Leadership Approach: Be empathetic, trusting and collaborative. “I know I’m only as good as the people around me,” noted Linehan. “My approach is to surround myself with stellar people and trust them to do their best work. There are challenges ahead, and I don’t have all the answers, but our URMC and University community has the talent and knowledge to overcome them.”
  • Something Surprising: A Religion major in college, Linehan credits a high school community service project in a hospital for planting the seed that eventually led him to medical school.
  • Favorite Things about Rochester: Proximity to the Finger Lakes and its abundance of outdoor activities helped to make Rochester attractive to Linehan. Among his favorite local activities are visiting the Public Market on Saturday mornings, skiing at Bristol Mountain, fly fishing in Oatka Creek, and walking his dog in Ellison Park.

University President Sarah Mangelsdorf is optimistic about a new era for URMC with Linehan at the helm. “Dr. Linehan has distinguished himself as one of the true stars of our clinical enterprise. He brings to the role of CEO and dean a vision for advancing the Medical Center, including the School of Medicine and Dentistry and School of Nursing, that draws on his outstanding track record of leadership and expertise as a physician, surgeon, researcher, and academic administrator. He is well-poised to lead our world-class clinical operations and our nationally recognized medical school into the next chapters of success.”

A graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Linehan completed his internship and residency at Deaconess-Harvard Surgical Service in Boston. He was chief resident in surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and completed a research fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He was then the Kristin Ann Carr Fellow in Surgical Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Read more about Linehan in the University of Rochester’s Dec. 19 appointment announcement.