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John B. Holcomb, M.D.

Acute care surgery • Injury research • Trauma surgery • Military medicine • Use of whole blood

Media contact: Anna Jones, 

John B. Holcomb, M.D.

Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine

Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery



Areas of expertise:

  • Acute care surgery
  • Injury research
  • Trauma surgery
  • Military medicine
  • Use of whole blood



Before joining UAB in 2019, John B. Holcomb, M.D., served for 23 years in the U.S. Army. Holcomb graduated from the University of Arkansas Medical School in Little Rock in 1985. Holcomb completed his general surgery training in 1991 and then deployed with the Joint Special Operations Command for the next decade.

Holcomb has served in multiple combat deployments, including in Mogadishu, Somalia, where he was a part of the surgical team that delivered 48-hour non-stop care to soldiers during the battle that inspired the book and film “Black Hawk Down.”

From 2002 to 2008, Holcomb served as the Commander of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research and Trauma Consultant for the Army Surgeon General. He retired from active duty in 2008.

Among other awards, Holcomb has received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Trauma Resuscitation Science from the American Heart Association and is a three-time recipient of the Army’s Greatest Invention Award. He has been a member of the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care since 2001. In 2016, he received the Major Jonathan Letterman Medical Excellence Award from the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and in 2022, he received the Robert Danis Prize from the International Surgical Society.

Holcomb is actively involved in clinical medicine, education, research and entrepreneurship. He reviews papers for more than 44 journals, has published more than 720 peer reviewed articles, consults with several companies and serves on multiple boards.

According to Holcomb, we must transfuse blood pre-hospital to those patients in shock. No other intervention will save more lives, both here in the United States and on the next battlefield.



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