Harold M. Maurer, M.D.
Harold M. Maurer, M.D., is an internationally recognized, award-winning medical scientist who led the University of Nebraska Medical Center to new heights during 15 years as chancellor. He became chancellor emeritus on Jan. 31, 2014, moving to the University of Nebraska Foundation to spearhead fund raising for the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, a $323 million project that will include space for cancer research and care, as well as a related $70 million project, the Lauritzen Outpatient Center and Fritch Surger Center.
Before becoming chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in December 1998, Dr. Maurer served as dean of the College of Medicine for five years. Prior to joining UNMC, Dr. Maurer spent 25 years at the Medical College of Virginia, serving as professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics for 17 of those years.
A native of New York, Dr. Maurer received his A.B. degree in 1957 from New York University and his M.D. degree in 1961 from State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn. He completed an internship at Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn and a pediatric residency at Babies Hospital, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, where he also fulfilled a fellowship in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology.
Dr. Maurer has been recognized widely for his achievements, both at MCV and UNMC. Among those, a few clearly stand out. A pediatric oncologist, Dr. Maurer is internationally known for his expertise in rhabdomyosarcoma, a childhood cancer. He served as principal investigator of NIH research grant awards and chaired the national Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Group for 26 years. That group has been credited with raising the cure rate from 20 to 75 percent. In 2003, the Children’s Oncology Group awarded Dr. Maurer with its most prestigious honor – the Lifetime Achievement Award – recognizing his leadership and contributions in this important area of cancer.
His achievements at UNMC include leading the merger of University Hospital and Clarkson Hospital to form the Nebraska Health System, now known as Nebraska Medicine, leading the institution to new heights of excellence in education, research and clinical care.
During his tenure as chancellor, several new facilities were constructed at UNMC. These include the Durham Research Center, the Durham Research Center II, the Sorrell Center for Health Science Education, the Student Plaza and Ice Rink, the Hixson-Lied Center for Clinical Excellence, the Weigel Williamson Center for Visual Rehabilitation, the Home Instead Center for Successful Aging, the Center for Nursing Science, the Harold M. and Beverly Maurer Center for Public Health, the Truhlsen Eye Institute, and currently under way the Lozier Center for Pharmacy Sciences and Education and Center for Drug Discovery, and the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center and Ambulatory Care Facility..
Upon becoming chancellor, Dr. Maurer set an aggressive goal to double UNMC’s research funding in five years and triple it in 10. Having reached these goals, UNMC ranks among the leading healthcare institutions in the country.
Among the many honors and awards received, Dr. Maurer has received the Prevent Blindness-Nebraska People of Vision Award in 2004, was named Midlander of the Year by the Omaha World-Herald in 2005, appointed King of Ak-Sar-Ben in 2005, and received the Omaha Press Club “Face on the Barroom Floor” award in 2007 in recognition of his contributions to UNMC, Omaha and the state of Nebraska. In 2008, he was presented the “Men of Honor” award from 100 Black Men of Omaha, Inc. He is the first person from UNMC to receive these honors. In 2009, he was inducted into the Omaha Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame. In 2013, he was honored by the Mid-America Council of Boy Scouts of America with the Citizen of the Year Award.
In 2009, Dr. Maurer was appointed to a three-year term on the board of directors of the Association of Academic Health Centers. In 2010, he was appointed by the U.S. Government Accountability Office to the newly created National Health Care Workforce Commission, a landmark group that is charged with finding answers to the health care workforce shortages that need to be addressed in this era of health care reform.