Daniel Clarke-Pearson, MD, Robert A. Ross Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will step down from his position as chair effective July 1, 2019. He will remain on faculty, focusing his attention on caring for women with gynecological cancers, teaching, and mentoring.


Daniel Clarke-Pearson, MD, Robert A. Ross Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will step down from his position as chair effective July 1, 2019. He will remain on faculty, focusing his attention on caring for women with gynecological cancers, teaching, and mentoring.

Clarke-Pearson has served as chair of the department since 2005. Through his tenure, Clarke-Pearson has spearheaded an expansion of the department’s clinical capabilities across nine divisions, the creation of a Global Women’s Health Program, overseen a major research enterprise, and built a nationally recognized training program.

A native of Southern California, Clarke-Pearson attended Harvard University, where he was a two-year varsity football letterman. Following medical school at Case Western Reserve University, Clarke-Pearson completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology and a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at Duke University.

He then joined the Duke faculty in 1981. In 1985, he left Durham for the University of Illinois at Chicago where he served as director of gynecology and gynecologic oncology for two years, returning to Duke in 1987. Throughout his tenure at Duke, Clarke-Pearson served as director of the division of gynecologic oncology and director of the fellowship in gynecologic oncology. Ultimately, he joined the UNC School of Medicine in 2005.

Clarke-Pearson’s clinical and research focus has been the prevention, treatment, and diagnosis of venous thromboembolic events.

He has long been a nationally recognized leader in his discipline, serving in numerous leadership roles in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He has also served as President of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists and currently serves as President of the Council of University Chairs of OB-GYN.

From now until Clarke-Pearson steps down in July of 2019, additional expansions are planned, including the opening of a full-time practice in West Cary, expanding the fetal surgery program in collaboration with the division of pediatric surgery, and further expanding professional service agreements at UNC REX, Moses Cone, and First Health-Moore Regional.

The department is currently fifth nationally in NIH funding, with annual research funding totaling nearly $20 million. Department faculty publish hundreds of papers per year, conducting research that makes tangible impacts on women here in North Carolina and across the world through the Division of Global Women’s Health.

In the realm of education, UNC’s OB-GYN residency is consistently rated among the best in the United States.

“During his time as Chair, Dr. Clarke-Pearson has built one of the nation’s celebrated OB-GYN departments,” said Wesley Burks, MD, Executive Dean at the UNC School of Medicine. “We see that reflected in high rankings and research funding, but also in tremendous clinical care, research, and training programs.”

His legacy will also remain strong at UNC through the Drs. Daniel and Kathleen Clarke-Pearson Distinguished Professorship in Obstetrics and Gynecology, endowed in 2017 by Clarke-Pearson and his wife Katchy, a graduate of the UNC School of Medicine and pediatrician.

A national search will soon commence finding a new chair for the department.