"Everyone was wonderful, from the nurses to the residents to the surgeons. They were all so caring and dedicated. They became almost like family to me." – UCSF Department of Surgery patient


Surgery at UCSF

The care of patients is primarily what attracted our clinical faculty and residents to surgery. It is a core part of the Department of Surgery’s three-fold mission: 1) To develop the next generation of leaders in surgery; 2) To provide outstanding clinical care, which is compassionate, yet cost-effective; 3) To foster significant advances in scientific knowledge and clinical practice through basic and clinical research.

Select Accomplishments

  • The Division of Transplant Surgery, led by John P. Roberts, M.D., performs more kidney transplants than any other institution in the U.S.
  • UCSF is the birthplace of fetal surgery. Founded 25 years ago by Michael R. Harrison, M.D., the Fetal Treatment Center has served as a model for the development of fetal therapy around the world. The Division of Pediatric Surgery, led by Hanmin Lee, M.D., is an acknowledged leader in minimally invasive surgery for the pediatric population.
  • The Thoracic Oncology Program, led by David M. Jablons, M.D. is known for its willingness to treat high-risk lung cancer patients. The progam’s thoracic tissue bank is one of the nation’s largest such repositories and a catalyst for research into personalized, targeted therapies.
  • UCSF’s Breast Care Program, led by Laura J. Esserman, M.D., M.B.A. is an acknowleged world leader in breast cancer treatment and research. Dr. Esserman is Principal Investigator in the I-SPY 2 trial, one of the most ambitious and innovative trials ever sponsored by the NIH.
  • UCSF is the only center west of the Mississippi offering islet transplantation as a cure for diabetes resulting from removal of the pancreas as a last-resort treatment for severe chronic pancreatitis. This complex and innovative procedure is performed by Hobart W. Harris, M.D., M.P.H., Chief of the Division of General Surgery, and transplant surgeon Andrew Posselt, M.D., Ph.D., co-director of the UCSF Pancreatic Islet Transplant Program.
  • William Y. Hoffman, M.D., Chief of the Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, led a successful effort to pass legislation in California greatly expanding insurance coverage for children with disfiguring cleft palate and other craniofacial anomalies. Hoffman, a pioneer of cranial re-animation surgery and acknowledged innovator in the field, performs complex and intricate surgeries at the UCSF Center for Craniofacial Anomalies.
  • The UCSF Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, led by Michael S. Conte, M.D. has a long and distinguished history. It was the first to create a vascular surgery fellowship and has trained more than one-hundred fellows for distinguished service in the field, many rising to leadership positions in academic medicine. The Division is an innovator in developing device technology for aneurysms and its faculty are investigating, new and novel biologic therapies to improve clinical outcomes in conditions such as PAD.

“We have a major commitment to creative activity in bench research, clinical training, education, clinical research and global health.” Nancy L. Ascher, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Surgery

For more information on supporting Surgery at UCSF, please contact Sarah Krumholz at or 415/502-1899.