Department of Surgery »  Faculty »  General Surgery »  Wen T. Shen, M.D.

Wen T. Shen, M.D., M.A.

Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery
Division of General Surgery

Contact Information

Campus Box 1674
University Of California San Francisco
Mt. Zion Medical Center
Hellman Bldg. Room C-349
San Francisco, CA 94115
415-885-3755 (Academic Office)
415-353-7687 (Clinic)
415-885-7617 (Fax)
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  • 1990-94, Harvard University, B.A., History and Science
  • 1994-99, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, M.D. with thesis
  • 2007-2009, University of California, San Francisco, M.A., History of Medicine
  • 1999-02 University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, Resident, Surgery
  • 2005-06 University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, Resident, Surgery
  • 2006-07 University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, Chief Resident, Surgery
  • 2002-05 University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, Research Fellow in Endocrine Surgical Oncology
  • American Board of Surgery
  • UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • San Francisco Veterans' Affairs Medical Center
  • Biomarkers of cardiovascular risk in primary hyperparathyroidism
  • Genetic profiles of adrenal metastases from solid organ and skin cancers
  • History of surgery
  • Minimally invasive endocrine surgery
  • Role of matrix metalloproteinases in thyroid cancer
  • Use of novel anti-neoplastic agents to treat thyroid cancer, including direct MMP inhibitors, histone deacetylase inhibitors, PPAR-gamma agonists, and demethylating agents.

Dr. Wen T. Shen is a 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 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. 

Insoo Suh, M.D.
Most recent publications from a total of 52
  1. Kluijfhout WP, Pasternak JD, Lim J, Kwon JS, Vriens MR, Clark OH, Shen WT, Gosnell JE, Suh I, Duh QY. Frequency of High-Risk Characteristics Requiring Total Thyroidectomy for 1-4?cm Well-Differentiated Thyroid Cancer. Thyroid. 2016 Jun; 26(6):820-4. View in PubMed
  2. Nixon IJ, Wang LY, Migliacci JC, Eskander A, Campbell MJ, Aniss A, Morris L, Vaisman F, Corbo R, Momesso D, Vaisman M, Carvalho A, Learoyd D, Leslie WD, Nason RW, Kuk D, Wreesmann V, Morris L, Palmer FL, Ganly I, Patel SG, Singh B, Tuttle RM, Shaha AR, Gönen M, Pathak KA, Shen WT, Sywak M, Kowalski L, Freeman J, Perrier N, Shah JP. An International Multi-Institutional Validation of Age 55 Years as a Cutoff for Risk Stratification in the AJCC/UICC Staging System for Well-Differentiated Thyroid Cancer. Thyroid. 2016 Mar; 26(3):373-80. View in PubMed
  3. Kluijfhout WP, Pasternak JD, Kwon JS, Lim J, Shen WT, Gosnell JE, Khanafshar E, Duh QY, Suh I. Microscopic Positive Tumor Margin Does Not Increase the Risk of Recurrence in Patients with T1-T2 Well-Differentiated Thyroid Cancer. Ann Surg Oncol. 2016 May; 23(5):1446-51. View in PubMed
  4. Pasternak JD, Epelboym I, Seiser N, Wingo M, Herman M, Cowan V, Gosnell JE, Shen WT, Kerlan RK, Lee JA, Duh QY, Suh I. Diagnostic utility of data from adrenal venous sampling for primary aldosteronism despite failed cannulation of the right adrenal vein. Surgery. 2016 Jan; 159(1):267-74. View in PubMed
  5. Pasternak JD, Seib CD, Seiser N, Tyrell JB, Liu C, Cisco RM, Gosnell JE, Shen WT, Suh I, Duh QY. Differences Between Bilateral Adrenal Incidentalomas and Unilateral Lesions. JAMA Surg. 2015 Oct 1; 150(10):974-8. View in PubMed
  6. Ganly I, Nixon IJ, Wang LY, Palmer FL, Migliacci JC, Aniss A, Sywak M, Eskander AE, Freeman JL, Campbell MJ, Shen WT, Vaisman F, Momesso D, Corbo R, Vaisman M, Shaha A, Tuttle RM, Shah JP, Patel SG. Survival from Differentiated Thyroid Cancer: What Has Age Got to Do with It? Thyroid. 2015 Oct; 25(10):1106-14. View in PubMed
  7. Campbell MJ, Seib CD, Candell L, Gosnell JE, Duh QY, Clark OH, Shen WT. The underestimated risk of cancer in patients with multinodular goiters after a benign fine needle aspiration. World J Surg. 2015 Mar; 39(3):695-700. View in PubMed
  8. Wu MH, Shen WT, Gosnell J, Duh QY. Prognostic significance of extranodal extension of regional lymph node metastasis in papillary thyroid cancer. Head Neck. 2015 Sep; 37(9):1336-43. View in PubMed
  9. Campbell MJ, Candell L, Seib CD, Gosnell JE, Duh QY, Clark OH, Shen WT. Unanticipated thyroid cancer in patients with substernal goiters: are we underestimating the risk? Ann Surg Oncol. 2015 Apr; 22(4):1214-8. View in PubMed
  10. Seib CD, Greenblatt DY, Campbell MJ, Shen WT, Gosnell JE, Clark OH, Duh QY. Adrenalectomy outcomes are superior with the participation of residents and fellows. J Am Coll Surg. 2014 Jul; 219(1):53-60. View in PubMed
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