Professor Brian Cason, MD, Chief, VAMC Anesthesia 1989-2004, Has Passed Away

Brian Cason leading his lab group in a discussion

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Professor Brian Cason, MD, who was Chief of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care at the SF Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center from 1989 until 2004. A huge loss for the department and specialty, Dr. Cason was an influential teacher and mentor to generations of anesthesia residents throughout his time at the VA, where he remained on faculty until his retirement in early 2018. He was an active clinician-scientist, focused on outcomes in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.  As eloquently stated by Dr. Cason’s VAMC anesthesia colleague, Dr. Martin Stechert, “For all the staff at the VA, he was perceived as a (nowadays rare) combination of noble and humble individual and outstanding physician whom we could only look up to. I am sure that the UCSF community includes many whose lives have been deeply touched by Brian's work or persona in some shape or form.”

Please provide any remembrances you would like to share of Dr. Cason here.

His official obituary is below.

Brian Austin Cason (August 10, 1952 - August 04, 2019) was born and raised in Clinton, Missouri, the first child of William Jennings Cason and Patricia Ann Wilson Cason.

After the remarriage of his mother, Patricia, to Grant M. Clothier, moved to Liberty, Missouri where he graduated from Liberty High School.

Brian attended the University of Missouri with full scholarship support, as a National Merit Scholar and Curator’s Scholar. At Mizzou, he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Zoology, 1974.   Brian further distinguished himself by his election to Phi Beta Kappa, his election as Vice-president of the Missouri Students Association, and his selection in 1974 for induction into Mystical Seven, an honorary society which chooses seven outstanding seniors for membership based on their good deeds and selfless leadership and service to the campus and community. 

In 1974, Brian packed up a trailer and drove west to Palo Alto, California, to attend Stanford Medical School.  Graduating from Stanford, he completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Stanford, and in Anesthesiology at the University of California, San Francisco.  His professional career focused on cardiac anesthesia and critical care medicine. 

Brian remained at UCSF and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center for his entire professional career. As a respected teacher, clinician, researcher, and administrator, Brian was promoted to the position of Professor of  Clinical Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care, and served for many years as the Chief of Anesthesiology at the SF VAMC and Vice-Chair,  department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care, University of California, San Francisco.

A talented musician and composer, Brian played classical and flamenco guitar, and loved making music for dance performance.  He often appeared on the professional stage in the San Francisco Bay Area in support of various Bay Area Flamenco Dance companies. 

Brian was predeceased by his father William J. Cason, by his mother Patricia Ann Clothier, by his brother Patrick J. Cason, and his sister Candiss Cason.  He is survived by his beloved wife Kathleen A. Infante of Redwood City, his stepmother Lois V. Cason of Clinton, MO, and by his brother William W. Cason, of Santa Fe, NM.  At Brian’s request, there will be no public ceremony. His ashes will be scattered overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Skylawn Cemetery, San Mateo, CA.

In lieu of flowers, Brian asked that donations be directed to 

Best Friends Animal Society

5001 Angel Canyon Road

Kanab, UT 84741

tel. 435-644-2001.

Portraits of Brian Cason

Brian Cason at Department of Anesthesia EventsUCSF Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care Group Photo, 2008, including Brian CasonBrian and Kathy Cason at Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care EventsKathy and Brian Cason and William Hamilton at Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care 50th Anniversary Celebration