San Joaquin County Sheriff-Coroner/Chief Medical Examiner
Associate Clinical Professor of Pathology, University of California, Davis
Dr. Bennet Omalu was born to refugee parents in eastern Nigeria during the Biafra-Nigerian civil war. He survived the war and later attended medical school at the University of Nigeria, Enugu, Nigeria where he earned a M.B.,B.S. [M.D.] degree in medicine in 1990. He came to the United States in 1994 with a World Health Organization scholarship as a visiting scholar in Epidemiology at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. He completed residency training in anatomic pathology and clinical pathology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, at Harlem Hospital Center, New York, New York. He completed fellowship training in forensic pathology at the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office, Pennsylvania, under Dr. Cyril Wecht. He completed fellowship training in neuropathology at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He completed a Masters in Public Health [MPH] program at the University of Pittsburgh, and a Masters in Business Administration [MBA] program at the Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Omalu is board certified in four specialties of medicine: anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, forensic pathology and neuropathology. He holds MPH and MBA degrees and is a certified physician executive [CPE]. He also holds a board certification in medical management awarded by the American College of Physician Executives.
Dr. Omalu identified and described Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy [CTE] in American football players beginning in 2002 when he performed an autopsy on Mike Webster. Between 2002 and 2007, Dr. Omalu identified the very five cases of CTE in football players, and identified the very first case of CTE in a professional American wrestler in 2007 when he examined the brain of Chris Benoit. He also identified the first and second cases of CTE in war veterans when he examined the brains of a retired Vietnam War veteran, and a retired Iraq war veteran in 2007 and 2010 respectively. Dr. Omalu’s 2008 book, “Play Hard, Die Young: Football Dementia, Depression and Death” helped shine a light on this issue, which is just now gaining wider exposure and attention by athletes and the media
Dr. Omalu has been retained as an expert witness in forensic pathology, neuropathology and forensic science in thousands of cases in federal, state and county courts across the United States in both civil and criminal cases. He has testified twice before the United States Congress and has provided hundreds of testimonies as an expert witness in federal courts and state courts across the United States. He is currently a Chief Medical Examiner in the central wine valley of California and is an associate clinical professor of Medical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Omalu is a member of many professional organizations, including but not limited to the College of American Pathologists, American Society of Clinical Pathology, American College of Physician Executives, American College of Epidemiologists, American Association of Neuropathologists, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, National Association of Medical Examiners, International Academy of Pathology and American Medical Association.