A gift to the Department of Surgery helps our physicians and scientists find new treatments and cures for serious diseases.
Wen T. Shen, M.D., M.A. is an Assistant Professor in Residence in the UCSF Department of Surgery, specializing in endocrine surgery of the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands. His surgical practice is based at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF/Mt. Zion.
Dr. Shen graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in History and Science from Harvard University. He obtained his M.D. with thesis from UCSF and also completed his surgical residency and research fellowship in endocrine surgery at UCSF.
Dr. Shen has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Esther Nusz Achievement Award from the UCSF Department of Surgery, the Residents' Prize from the Pacific Coast Surgical Association, the William Osler Medal from the American Association for the History of Medicine, and the Rothschild Prize from the Department of the History of Science at Harvard. Highly respected by his peers, Dr. Shen 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.
Dr. Shen's basic science research is focused on the molecular biology and genetic underpinnings of thyroid cancer. He is particularly interested in the redifferentiatiion 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 Cocoanut 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.
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.
Orlo H. Clark, M.D., former Chief of Surgery at UCSF Mount Zion, and his surgical colleagues Quan-Yang Duh, M.D., Wen T. Shen, M.D., and Jessica Gosnell, M.D. are leading efforts to identify molecular markers in biopsy tissue as the number of thyroid cases continue rise in the U.S.