Remembering Jeanette S. Brown, MD

January 25, 2021 | By Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Jeanette S. Brown, MD, former Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Science, Urology and Epidemiology & Biostatistics at UCSF. Dr. Brown died in hospice on New Year’s Day after a long struggle with the neurodegenerative disorder, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

Dr. Brown was the Vice Chair for Clinical & Translational Research in our Department and a founding member of the UCSF Women’s Health Clinical Research Center, a multidisciplinary center dedicated to clinical and translational research in women’s health.  We remember Dr. Brown as a ground-breaking leader in the field of urogynecology, a generous mentor, and as a dear colleague.

Dr. Brown was a founding member of the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health and the UCSF Women’s Continence Center. She brought women-centered incontinence care to the forefront at UCSF, and pioneered multidisciplinary care by integrating medical, surgical and physical therapy treatments. Her mission was to make incontinence well understood, and to overthrow the stigma that left many women ashamed and socially isolated. Her “Mind over Bladder” patient education programs were legendary, informative, fun and actionable.

Dr. Brown sought out research training and launched a successful research career focused predominantly on female incontinence. Dr. Brown also had a passion for training the next generation of women’s health researchers - she expertly mentored countless trainees who have gone on to successful careers at UCSF and beyond, and co-founded the CTSI Mentor Development Program. For her excellence in mentorship, she was honored with the Mentoring Award by the UCSF Academic Senate.

She has been described by her peers as having an “upbeat optimistic vision and attitude,” and as an “advocate, champion, creative and energetic thinker.” I would like to extend my gratitude to Patty Robertson, Nancy Milliken and Elena Gates for sharing these memories of their friend and colleague.

Dr. Brown adored her family and loved living in nature with her horses and chickens on her family's ranch in Moss Beach. Her spouse Stephanie de Maria, their son Cal, stepchildren Sarah, John and Matthew, grandson Luca and brother Bill Brown survive her. She will be missed greatly; the impact of her work and commitment to UCSF lives on. 

A fund in her name has been established, and contributions in her honor may be made to the following: The Jeanette Brown Memorial Mentor Fund.

Additional information on a future celebration of Dr. Brown’s life will be shared as it becomes available.