In Memoriam – David Branksi

David Branksi
Professor David Branksi – 1944-2013

Professor David Branski was born in Tel Aviv in 1944. He graduated from Tzeitlin high school where he met his future wife Efrat, his life-long companion. He studied at the Hebrew University specializing in Pediatrics and his sub-specialty in Pediatric Gastroenterology was obtained at the Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, USA.

Upon his return to Israel, Professor Branski filled different positions at the Shaare Zedek hospital amongst which included inter alia the positions of Acting Head of Pediatrics and Director of the Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Unit. In 1989, he was appointed director of Pediatrics, and in1991, as the chief of pediatrics at Shaare Zedek Hospital. Under his leadership, the department flourished and added new units. In 2002, he was also appointed director of the Division of Hadassah Children’s Hospital in Jerusalem, a position in which he served until his retirement in 2010. During these years, Professor Branski developed the department in terms of quantity and quality of services provided in various pediatric units, set up new departments, and led his division to be a leading center of pediatrics worldwide. He also developed an impressive academic career that began in 1975 – becoming an instructor in pediatrics and culminating in his appointment as Full Professor in Pediatrics at the Hebrew University in 1996. Professor Branski was a world-renowned leader in pediatrics, both internationally and in Israel;  in the years 2000 to 2004 he was elected Chairman of the Israeli Association of Pediatrics.. He served as a member and consultant to various scientific committees in the country and abroad, as well as various government committees. He was an active member of the Scientific Council and served as chairman of the examination board in pediatrics.  He participated in many international conferences, and was a central figure in the ESPHGAN conferences held over the years. In May 2013, ESPGHAN honored his outstanding lifetime achievements with the society’s Distinguished Service Award. He was the gastroenterology specialty delegate for the European Academy of Pediatrics.  Professor David Branski was a Council member and later Secretary General of the European Society of Pediatrics EPA/UNEPSA, between the years 2003 to 2009; from 2010 until his death he served as the scientific gastroenterology coordinator of CIP, The Global Initiative for Consensus in Pediatrics and Child Health. In 2011, he was named as one of the founders and served as secretary General of the Global Consortium for Medical Education, GPEC.

Professor Branski was actively involved in medical and scientific writing. He has published numerous articles and edited chapters, books, and various scientific papers in his fields, and in the basic textbooks of Pediatrics including book chapters on Pediatric Gastroenterology Nelson Pediatric Textbook latest edition. He recently was elected editor of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

Professor Branski will continue to live on in our memories because of his warm personality, humanity and devotion to patients and their families. His impressive list of publications will remain as his scientific legacy for all of us.

We will miss him.