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David W. Nierenberg, MD

Professor of Medicine
Edward Tulloh Krumm Professor
Chief-Clinical Pharm Section


Harvard Medical School, MD 1976
Harvard University, BA 1972

Academy of Master Faculty Educators


Contact Information:

Section of Clinical Pharmacology
Hinman Box 7506
Lebanon NH 03756

Office: Borwell 322W
Phone: 603-650-7679
Fax: 603-650-6841
Email: david.w.nierenberg@dartmouth.edu

Assistant: Joyce Wagner
Asst. Phone: 650-7811
Asst. Email: Joyce.Wagner@Dartmouth.edu

Professional Interests:

Dr. Nierenberg serves as Section Chief in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at DHMC, and also as the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education at Dartmouth Medical School

Dr. Nierenberg received his B.A. degree from Harvard College in 1971, took a fellowship at Oxford University for one year, and received his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School in 1976. He performed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, and completed a two-year clinical/research fellowship in clinical pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco. In 1980-81 he was invited to the Stanford Medical Center to be chief medical resident. In 1981 he joined the faculty at Dartmouth Medical School and established a new Division of Clinical Pharmacology. The new Division has been active in the areas of basic and clinical research, clinical care and consultations, and establishing educational programs for medical students and residents.

At Dartmouth, much of Dr. Nierenberg's initial work focussed on drug interactions between methotrexate and other drugs which share the same renal secretory pathway. Through a combination of in vitro and clinical studies, Dr. Nierenberg demonstrated that drugs which interact with methotrexate to increase toxicity can often be identified with an in vitro laboratory model of tubular secretion.

A second area of research has involved studies of the cancer chemopreventive effects of fat-soluble vitamins. In collaboration with Drs. Greenberg, Baron, and Colacchio, Dr. Nierenberg has been active in studying the clinical pharmacology of retinol, beta-carotene, and alpha-tocopherol, and also studying their abilities to prevent cancer in high-risk patients. Most recently, his work has extended to the study of the clinical pharmacology of these fat-soluble vitamins in patients with a variety of malignant and benign diseases; as well as the clinical pharmacology of various anticancer drugs.


Since coming to DMS in 1981, Dave has enjoyed being able to combine teaching and educational activities, clinical care, and scholarship in evolving ratios that were made for an interesting job description. He was recruited to DMS in 1981 to design and then teach a new required Y4 course in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and he also helped to teach the Y2 basic pharmacology course. In 1991, the Dean invited Dave to lead the Year 2 SBM (Scientific Basis of Medicine,) program, a series of 13 system-based multidisciplinary pathophysiology courses. Early on he pioneered the development of an intensive PBL curriculum for use during the entire second year of the curriculum. In 1995, Dave was invited to serve as the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, so he became very familiar with all of the different pieces of the curriculum. His Section has also run a nationally accredited fellowship program in clinical pharmacology since 1986, as well as an elective in clinical pharmacology for medicine residents and medical students. Dave’s educational research has focused on developing a core curriculum in clinical pharmacology for students and residents; using vertical integration groups to develop new themes for our medical school curriculum; and developing a new web-based system (DMEDS) to enable medical students to track their own educational experiences during all clinical clerkships. Dave has also had extensive experience writing items (questions) for Step 3 of the USMLE exam sequence (computer-based clinical scenarios), and most recently writing items in the area of biochemistry and pharmacology for all three steps of those board exams (Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 3). Since stepping down as the SADME in June 2012, Dave has focused more of his time on helping to develop the educational partnership with California-Pacific Medical Center, and mentoring younger faculty members who are interested in teaching and curriculum management.

Mentoring Information:

Dave would be delighted to privately mentor faculty, especially younger members of the Geisel faculty, in the areas of: preparing new lectures that actively engage students, and which are heavily case-based; mentoring PBL and other types of small instructional groups; writing NBME-style multiple choice exam questions; writing new PBL cases; and planning and managing a required medical school course.