Born and raised in Auckland Dr. Brennan is a graduate of Otago University and Harvard Medical School. During his time at OU he was President of the OU Students Association and represented Otago in rugby in the 1960’s before heading to Boston. He is an oncologic surgeon scientist and was Chair of the Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NYC from 1985 to June 2006 before assuming the position of Vice President of International Programs and Director of the Bobst International Center.
Dr. Brennan has lectured throughout the world and authored or co-authored more than 1,100 scientific papers and book chapters, and three books on soft tissue sarcoma. He has served as Director of the American Board of Surgery, Vice President of the American College of Surgeons, Chairman of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and President of the Society of Surgical Oncology, the James IVth Association, the Society of Clinical Surgery, the International Gastric Cancer Association, and the American Surgical Association.
He has been awarded Honorary Fellowships by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, of England, and in Ireland, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and Canada. Dr. Brennan has received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Edinburgh, Otago, and Goteborg and University College of London. In 1995, Dr. Brennan was honored with membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; in 2000 he received the American College of Surgeons’ highest award, the Distinguished Service Award. In January 2015 he was appointed by Her Majesty The Queen as Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
The Brennan family has a vineyard in the Gibbston Valley, Central Otago where Dr. Brennan’s son Sean (born in Boston, grew up in NYC, educated in California and Adelaide) is the manager and winemaker. Sean won the World’s best Red in London for his 2013, B-2 Pinot Noir, which is now served on Air New Zealand Business Class.