A gift to the Department of Surgery helps our physicians and scientists find new treatments and cures for serious diseases.
Michael Mann, M.D. joined the Thoracic Oncology Program in 2003 as a cardiothoracic surgeon. He received his M.D. from Stanford University and was awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Research Training Fellowship through the NIH. Dr. Mann completed his General Surgery residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School and his Cardiothoracic Surgery fellowship at UCSF.
Dr. Mann is Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and an attending surgeon at the UCSF Medical Center. His areas of expertise include lung cancer, mesothelioma, esophageal cancer, sarcoma and minimally invasive (video-assisted) thoracoscopic surgery. He also has expertise in performing cardiac procedures including coronary bypass, valve replacement, and aortic reconstruction.
Dr. Mann is widely admired for his teaching skills and is Assistant Director of the Thoracic Surgery Training Program. He holds memberships in numerous professional organizations including the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, American College of Surgeons, American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and the Massachusetts Medical Society. Highly respected by his peers, Dr. Mann was named to the list of U.S. News "Top Doctors," which denotes the top 10% of physicians within a region practicing a given specialty. He has received numerous awards including the Cardiovascular Medicine Award for Excellence in Research, Dean's Award for Excellence in Research, and William Randolph Hearst Endowment for Young Investigators. Dr. Mann also serves as a scientific reviewer for numerous professional journals.
While on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Mann founded the Cardiovascular Gene Therapy Group. He also invented several novel drug and delivery technologies and helped pioneer the application of gene regulation and vascular biology principles to the problem of coronary bypass graft failure. This led to one of the first large scale programs to evaluate the integration of molecular therapy into cardiac surgery.
Dr. Mann's research in genetic and molecular therapies has been widely recognized. He is currently an Associate Investigator in the UCSF Cardiovascular Research Institute. Dr. Mann also serves as a scientific advisor to the American Heart Association, the NIH Recombinant-DNA Advisory Committee, and to numerous device and pharmaceutical companies.
The Cardiothoracic Translational Research Laboratory is focused on turning a deeper understanding of the complex biology of failing heart cells into a new generation of cellular and molecular therapies that may actually reverse the ravages of heart failure. This lethal condition affects more than 5 million Americans and is already the greatest single economic burden in American health care, yet no existing therapies can either halt or reverse the disease process.
Michael J. Mann, M.D. is the Lab Director. His group is analyzing the molecular basis of the failing heart's response to non-embyonic stem cell transplantation, and these results will provide a framework for the first rational design of optimized strategies for human cardiac stem cell therapy. His group also works closely with the SFVAMC Cardiac Biomechanics Laboratory, headed by Drs. Mark Ratcliffe and Julius Guccione, which has developed among the world's most advanced computerized mathematical programs to model and predict the biophysics of cardiac function.
Together, they are applying these capabilities to better understand cell transplantation as well as the emerging field of surgical reconstruction of damaged hearts. In addition, Dr. Mann collaborates with Dr. Kevin Healy and other bioengineers from the UC Berkeley campus to apply novel artificial materials toward both the delivery of non-embryonic stem cells to intact hearts and the engineering of bioartificial heart tissue.
Building on their earlier work reported in The Lancet, two UCSF thoracic surgeons David M. Jablons, M.D. (left) and Michael Mann, M.D. (middle), and Johannes Kratz, M.D. (right) a former surgical resident in the Thoracic Oncology Lab, showed they could accurately stratify patients even with the earliest stage of lung cancer into groups at low-, intermediate- or high-risk of death based solely on the activity of 14 different genes found in their tumors. The group analyzed lung tumors of patients diagnosed as Stage 1A (T1a node-negative non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLC)), the earliest stage of the disease. One-quarter (1/4) of these patients will die within 5 years of their operation despite having apparently successful surgery. Current practice guidelines suggests consideration of adjuvant chemotherapy in high-risk stage I tumors, but the guidelines do not aid in the identification of high-risk T1a tumors.
In its most recent survey, U.S. News in collaboration with Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. listed twenty-five (25) surgeons in the UCSF Department of Surgery, nearly one-third (1/3) of the clinical faculty, on the list of U.S. News "Top Doctors". The list, compiled from the opinion of colleagues, denotes the top 10% of physicians within a region practicing a given specialty. Fifteen of the 25 department surgeons were also named by their peers to the list of America's Top Doctors (ATD), a distinction reserved for the top 1% of physicians in the nation for that specialty. The listings are published online at U.S. News. The group rankings are intended to guide patients in selecting a doctor and physicians in making specialty referrals.
In the two largest clinical studies ever conducted on the molecular genetics of lung cancer, an international team, led by UCSF thoracic surgeons David M. Jablons, M.D. and Michael Mann, M.D., demonstrated that a 14-gene prognostic molecular assay better predicted the likelihood of death in early-stage lung cancer patients versus conventional staging guidelines. Johannes Kratz, M.D., a former surgical resident in the Thoracic Oncology Laboratory, helped spearhead the development of the assay and was lead author of a paper published in The Lancet discussing the results. John Minna, M.D.", Max L. Thomas Distinguished Chair in Molecular Pulmonary Oncology at UT Southwestern lauded the results, stating that the assay was "head and shoulders" above the rest and ready for "prime time" clinical use.
"Soft tissue sarcomas are extraordinarily heterogeneous, so experience is particularly important when deciding among treatment options," says medical oncologist Thierry M. Jahan, M.D. (pictured right). At UCSF, referring physicians typically send patients with painful, growing soft tissue masses to orthopedic surgeon Richard J. O'Donnell, M.D., and general surgeon Eric K. Nakakura, M.D., Ph.D, (pictured left). If their initial examination convinces them that there is a sarcoma concern, they move on to a staging workup that includes various imaging modalities and, eventually, either a needle or incisional biopsy...."
"Surgeons may be capable of accelerating the translation of basic research into new clinical therapies. Nevertheless, most surgeon-scientists believe they are at a disadvantage in competing for peer-reviewed funding, despite a recent emphasis on "translational science" by organizations such as the NIH."