Wen T. Shen, M.D., M.A. is an endocrine surgeon specializing in procedures for thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal gland surgery. His research focuses on the molecular biology, genetics and treatment of thyroid cancer as well as the use of minimally invasive surgery. Shen also has an interest in medical history and has studied the development of hormonal therapies for benign and malignant conditions and the impact of the 1942 Coconut Grove Fire in Boston on the evolution of surface treatment for burns.
Dr. Shen graduated magna cum laude at Harvard College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in history and science. He earned a medical degree and completed a surgical residency and research fellowship in endocrine surgery at UCSF. He received the Esther Nusz Achievement Award from the UCSF Department of Surgery, Resident's Prize from the Pacific Coast Surgical Association, William Osler Medal from the American Association for the History of Medicine and Rothschild Prize from the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University.
In 2016, Dr. Shen was elected the 67th President of the UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society for its 2016-2017 term.
Dr. Shen's basic science research is focused on the molecular biology and genetic underpinnings of thyroid cancer. He is particularly interested in the redifferentiation and growth inhibitory effects of novel anti-tumor agents such as PPAR-gamma agonists and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors in thyroid cancer. Dr. Shen is investigating the effects of modulating matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity as a strategy for treating thyroid cancer. He is also studying the genetic profiles of adrenal metastases from solid organ and skin cancers.
Dr. Shen's current clinical research interests include predictors of lymph node metastases in papillary thyroid cancer, treatment of adrenal metastases from solid organ and skin cancers, the development of minimally invasive endocrine surgical techniques, and the impact of primary hyperparathyroidism on cardiovascular health and aging.
Dr. Shen's research has been generously funded by grants from the American College of Surgeons, the James Ewing Foundation through the Society of Surgical Oncology, the University of California Cancer Research Coordinating Committee, and the UCSF Resource Allocation Program.
In addition to his basic and clinical research, Dr. Shen maintains a strong interest in the history of surgery. Topics of his historical research have included the use of DES and other hormonal therapies in the 1950s, the 1942 Coconut Grove Fire in Boston and its impact on burn care, and the history of adrenal incidentaloma. He holds a masters' degree in the History of Medicine from the UCSF Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine.