Cedars-Sinai Blog

Faces of Cedars-Sinai: Dr. Todd Brennan, Transplant Director

Cedars-Sinai transplant director Todd Brennan, MD

Cedars-Sinai Transplant Director Dr. Todd Brennan

In 2018, Dr. Todd Brennan and his family packed up their lives in North Carolina to return to LA, where he had accepted a role as transplant director at Cedars-Sinai.

Now he and his family are settled in and loving their lives in California. We sat down with him to learn more about his journey to Cedars-Sinai and his life outside the hospital.

What does an average day look like for you?

Dr. Todd Brennan: I start my morning on my exercise bike in the garage, where I watch whatever Netflix series I'm on—currently that's Parks and Recreation.

After that, I see patients in the hospital or the clinic. And then there are the transplants, which come in at different times.

Most of our work is actually at night—between midnight and 6 am. During the day, sometimes I can sneak out with my co-director Dr. Irene Kim and hit the gym. 

In the evening, I often grocery shop and cook. I like to cook stir fry, lasagna, fish, chicken, beef. I'm in charge of a lot of the cooking in the house!

In Discoveries: Triumph for Transplants

The transplant surgeries typically happen at night?

What kind of activities do you do with your kids?

TB: My daughter Tori is 11 and my son Ty is 13.

We like to play tennis and go biking.

We also like to hike—Franklin Park is really nice. And we bike along Santa Monica beach.

Sometimes on Sunday we'll watch the polo matches at Will Rogers State Park. 

In Discoveries: Good Blood

What excites you about the future?

TB: The prospect of artificial organs because the number of deceased donors is limited.

The waitlist is always growing and there's not enough living donors.

With artificial organs, we could potentially clear the entire list.

How far away are we from that?

How do you like to wind down outside of work?

TB: I listen to audiobooks.

I like sci-fi. I love books by Wallace Stegner. He wrote Angle of Repose, All the Little Live Things, and Crossing to Safety. Those are really good books.

I want to start a book club and I've already recruited a few other physicians. I used to do one in San Francisco and it was really fun.

I also love gardening. I had a beautiful yard in North Carolina—with perennials, flowers, hedges, and grass. I also grew chili peppers and had a bat house for mosquito control.

How do you and your wife juggle your careers and your family life?

What's it like being back in Southern California after 20+ years away?

TB: I love living here.

I have great, supportive colleagues.

And the family's really enjoying it too. My wife and kids are very happy, so it's been great.