Harold Brem, MD

Chief of Wound Healing & Regenerative Medicine
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center/RWJBarnabas Health

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Dr. Brem was mentored by Dr. Judah Folkman, with whom he studied cell biology, growth factors, and the mechanisms of healing. He has been practicing medicine and conducting research in the New York City area for the past 15 years, specializing in the complicated problem of treating chronic, non-healing wounds, including diabetic foot ulcers, venous ulcers, pressure ulcers, sickle-cell ulcers, non-healing abdominal wounds, non-healing radiation wounds, and wounds related to complications of cancer. As Chief of Wound Healing and Regenerative Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Dr. Brem oversees one of the nation's leading clinical wound care programs. He has extensive clinical experience as a surgeon operating on patients with diabetic foot ulcers and other chronic wounds, and has compiled a notable safety record of salvaging limbs that might otherwise require amputation, and saving lives of patients with even the most complex wounds.

Dr. Brem has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in the area of wound healing, and has also applied for or been granted numerous U.S. patents related to the treatmentof chronic wounds. His accomplishments include developing the first evidence-based clinical protocols for diabetic foot ulcers—protocols that are now among the most widely referenced articles in the field, and which have since been adopted by clinicians around the world; identifying, along with his longtime research partner Marjana Tomic-Canic, PhD, the first gene, known as c-myc, demonstrated to impair wound healing; establishing the first cell bank for patients with diabetic foot ulcers, a resource that continues to play an important role in facilitating the study of wound healing in patients with diabetes among researchers everywhere; and elucidating the molecular mechanisms responsible for impaired wound healing in elderly patients with diabetic foot ulcers—a mechanism that involves a synergy between specific physiological impairments due to diabetes, and other specific impairments due to aging.

With the support of the National Institute on Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), Dr. Brem and his team have also led the way in developing innovative surgical debridement techniques that utilize molecular markers to guide removal of wound tissue, in order to maximize wound healing while minimizing the number of debridement procedures required for healing. These debridement procedures have now become the standard care for treating diabetic foot ulcers that pose a risk of limb loss. Dr. Brem and his colleagues also published the first article describing a new regenerative cellular therapy for patients with diabetic foot ulcers, involving the use of human fibroblast keritanocytes and stem cells—an approach that promises to further decrease the risk of limb loss in patients with diabetes.

In addition to his own clinical research activities on various aspects of wound healing, Dr. Brem mentors a number of clinical diabetes researchers in training, including research fellows, medical students pursuing sub-specialties in clinical research and diabetes, and junior faculty members who are learning to apply their own specialty areas to help improve outcomes for patients with diabetic foot ulcers and other complex wounds.

View Dr. Brem's bibliography.

See a list of Dr. Brem's patents and patent applications.