Dr. Nancy Ascher has devoted her career to organ transplants and transplant research. Dr. Ascher completed her undergraduate and medical education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She then went on to complete a general surgery residency and clinical transplantation fellowship at the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Ascher joined the faculty of the Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota in 1982 and was named Clinical Director of the Liver Transplant Program. She was recruited in 1988 by the UCSF Department of Surgery to build a liver transplantation program. In 1991, she was appointed Chief of Transplantation, an expanded role that included liver, kidney and pancreas transplants.
In 1993, Dr. Ascher was appointed Vice-Chair of the UCSF Department of Surgery, and in 1999 was appointed Department Chair where she served until September 2016.
Dr. Ascher has had a distinguished career of public service that includes appointments to the Presidential Task Force on Organ Transplantation and the Surgeon General's Task Force on Increasing Donor Organs. She also served as Chair of the Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation for the Secretary of Health and Human Services from 2001 - 2005. Highly respected by her peers, Dr. Ascher was named to the list of U.S. News "America's Top Doctors," a distinction reserved for the top 1% of physicians in the nation for a given specialty.
Dr. Ascher is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and holds memberships in numerous other medical societies. She has taken an active leadership role in American Society of Transplant Surgeons activities and was its past-president. Dr. Ascher has published over 425 articles in medical and scientific journals. Her research interests are in hepatocyte immunogenicity, mechanisms of allograft rejection and clinical transplantation.
I. RECURRENT DISEASE AFTER LIVER TRANSPLANT The NIH Liver Transplant Data Base has been extended to address the important issue of disease recurrence after liver transplantation. Although short term liver transplant results have improved markedly over the past ten years, it is apparent that disease recurrence is an important source of patient morbidity and graft loss. Long term following of greater than 1000 patients in the Liver Transplant Data Base will facilitate our understanding of the factors associated with graft recurrence.
II. EXPANDED CRITERIA FOR LIVER TRANSPLANT FOR HEPATOCELLULAR CARCINOMA We have redefined the criteria for liver transplantation beyond the Milan criteria. The UCSF criteria enables additional patients to benefit from liver transplants without compromising outcome.
Most recent publications from a total of 363
O'Connell PJ, Ascher N, Delmonico FL. The Transplantation Society Believes a Policy of Engagement Will Facilitate Organ Donation Reform in China. Am J Transplant. 2016 Nov; 16(11):3297-3298. View in PubMed
Pruett TL, Vathsala A, Berney T, Lerut J, Odorico JS, Johnson M, Egawa H, Gonzalez-Martinez F, Haberal M, Ascher NL, Chandraker AK. Criminal Organ Retrieval: Unconscionable. Am J Transplant. 2016 Oct 3. View in PubMed
Braun HJ, Ascher NL, Roll GR, Roberts JP. Biliary complications following living donor hepatectomy. Transplant Rev (Orlando). 2016 Oct; 30(4):247-52. View in PubMed
Braun HJ, Dodge JL, Roll GR, Freise CE, Ascher NL, Roberts JP. Impact of Graft Selection on Donor and Recipient Outcomes After Living Donor Liver Transplantation. Transplantation. 2016 Jun; 100(6):1244-50. View in PubMed
Braun HJ, Dusch MN, Park SH, O'Sullivan PS, Harari A, Harleman E, Ascher NL. Medical Students' Perceptions of Surgeons: Implications for Teaching and Recruitment. J Surg Educ. 2015 Nov-Dec; 72(6):1195-9. View in PubMed
Ascher NL. Nancy L. Ascher, MD, PhD: Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery, UCSF; Past-President, ASTS; President-elect, The Transplantation Society. Transplantation. 2015 Jun; 99(6):1106. View in PubMed
Braun HJ, O'Sullivan PS, Dusch MN, Antrum S, Ascher NL. Improving interprofessional collaboration: evaluation of implicit attitudes in the surgeon-nurse relationship. Int J Surg. 2015 Jan; 13:175-9. View in PubMed
Dusch MN, Braun HJ, O'Sullivan PS, Ascher NL. Perceptions of surgeons: what characteristics do women surgeons prefer in a colleague? Am J Surg. 2014 Oct; 208(4):601-4. View in PubMed
Dusch MN, O'Sullivan PS, Ascher NL. Patient perceptions of female surgeons: how surgeon demeanor and type of surgery affect patient preference. J Surg Res. 2014 Mar; 187(1):59-64. View in PubMed
Vagefi PA, Parekh J, Ascher NL, Roberts JP, Freise CE. Ex vivo split-liver transplantation: the true right/left split. HPB (Oxford). 2014 Mar; 16(3):267-74. View in PubMed
Please note: UCSF Profiles publications are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact CTSI for help.
UCSF News reports on the celebration of Diversity Month 2015 at UCSF and the award of the Chancellor Diversity Award for the Advancement of Women to Nancy L. Ascher, M.D., Ph.D.:
Nancy Ascher, MD, has been chair of the UCSF Department of Surgery for the past 16 years. Ascher completed her undergraduate and medical education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She completed a general surgery residency and clinical transplantation fellowship at the University of Minnesota after which she [...]
A new video on AASLD TV (American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases) features the UCSF Liver Transplant Program and faculty John P. Roberts, M.D., Norah A. Terrault, M.D., M.P.H. and Francis Y.K. Yao, M.D. As a leader in the treatment of liver disease and transplantation, UCSF has performed more than 2,500 liver transplants in both children and adults, many in their growing living donor liver transplantation program. The UCSF team is also researching cures for hepatitis as well as [...]
"This issue of Inside Surgery highlights the UCSF Lung Transplant Program and the new technology called ex vivo lung perfusion that will help to increase the availability of donor lungs. It also features the Cardiac Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program as well as the Pediatric Heart Failure and Pediatric Heart and Lung Transplant Program. Read an update by Nancy Ascher, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the UCSF Department of Surgery.........."
"Dr. (Nancy) Ascher excels in her role as Chair of Surgery, not only for her inexplicable foresight, but because she stays connected to trainees and students. This year, Dr. Ascher received the Francis Moore Excellence in Mentorship in the Field of Transplantation Surgery Award from the American Society of Transplant Surgeons."
"Residents and fellows noted that Dr. Nancy Ascher is an effective mentor because she treats them like colleagues and not just trainees. Residents and fellows felt [...]
"It was 1975 when Nancy Ascher, MD, PhD, chose surgery, a specialty shoulder-deep in men. Then again, so was medical school - Ascher was one of 20 women in her class of 180. After her residency, she blew past every gender barrier to become the first woman to perform a liver transplant, garnering enough speed to break through the stainless-steel ceiling to serve as UCSF's first female chair of surgery - one of three women holding that title in the country. The pace at which Ascher propels [...]
On November 5th, Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, III spoke to a UCSF audience at Cole Hall on "Leadership in Advancing National Efforts in Patient Safety and Optimal Quality of Care". He was introduced by Hobart W. Harris, M.D., M.P.H., Chief of the Division of General Surgery, who underscored how Sullenberger's aviation experience has informed patient safety and the evolution of modern clinical practice.Captain Sullenberger spoke at the invitation of Nancy L. Ascher, M.D., [...]
Liver cancer patients in need of an organ transplant often face a cruel reality -- while waiting for a deceased-donor liver, their cancer may worsen, spreading to other organs and making them ineligible for a transplant. With two children to raise and time ticking down, Amy Baghdadi was fast running out of options. But at her daughter's soccer practice, a fellow parent, who happened to be UCSF transplant surgeon, Andrew Posselt, M.D., Ph.D., heard Amy's story, and convinced there were other [...]
In its survey for 2012, 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 [...]
Nancy Ascher, MD, PhD on NPR's Forum with Michael Krasny
Each day in the U.S., 19 people die waiting for donated organs. To help increase supply, some health experts and economists want to legalize the market for human organs. We take up the issue with a panel of experts.
Dr. Nancy Ascher and Dr. Holger Willenbring were interviewed by PBS NewsHour correspondent Spencer Michaels about the transformation of embryonic stem cells into new liver cells as a treatment for patients.
"Of all the things for a married couple to bicker about, Nancy Ascher and John Roberts have hit on a first -- a pulsing human liver. To be precise, they are standing forehead to forehead with a man splayed out between them. Roberts wants more of his liver to take next door to a waiting recipient. Ascher wants more of it left behind for the donor's recovery."
UCSF Medical Center - by Liz Krieger - March 06, 2015
Chris Schroeder has been extraordinarily unlucky — and extraordinarily lucky. The 58-year-old Walnut Creek, Calif., resident grew up in a family where the specter of polycystic kidney disease, a disorder in which cysts form on the kidneys and eventually stop them from functioning, loomed large.
His mother had a kidney transplant in her late 60s, and her father died of hereditary disease at the age of 56. So, from a young age, Schroeder was on the lookout for signs that he too would face similar challenges.
Chris Schroeder with his wife and son
By the time he was in his early 40s, his[...]
UCSF Medical Center - by Catherine Guthrie - April 01, 2013
An international attorney specializing in data privacy and employment law, Sheila FitzPatrick
spent three weeks of every month hopscotching the globe. Curious and passionate, she nurtured a worldwide network of friends who became her second family. A self-described "super-active" person, she loved heart-pounding 2-mile swims in the morning and long, leisurely walks around the great cities of Europe.
She approached staying healthy with the same drive. Regular checkups never revealed the slightest hint of kidney disease. But in 2008, her[...]
UCSF Medical Center - by Kim Wong & Tom Seawell - May 01, 2012
Amy Baghdadi was living a perfectly normal life — working as a lawyer and raising two young kids with her husband in San Francisco. While training for a half marathon her side would ache after long runs. She figured it was just pulled a muscle. Then one evening the pain was so excruciating that her husband made her go to the emergency room. An ultrasound revealed that her liver was full of tumors, which were quickly diagnosed as cancer.
After an aggressive chemotherapy regimen failed, Baghdadi's treatment options were running out. Liver[...]
UCSF Medical Center - by Abby Sinnott - May 01, 2007
Stephen Fowler and Patrick Caldie have more in common than teaching at-risk high school students at the El Dorado County Office of Education. On Feb. 1, 2007, Fowler donated part of his liver to Caldie at UCSF Medical Center's Liver Transplant Program, one of the nation's leading centers for adult and pediatric liver transplants.
Fowler underwent a new procedure, called a living donor transplant, which allows a living person to donate a segment of their liver that then grows or regenerates to full size in the recipient. UCSF liver transplant[...]
UCSF Transplant Surgery - by Sarah Krumholz - September 01, 2006
When Gloria Ramos received the call in August 2000 that UCSF Medical Center had a liver for the transplant she badly needed, the Ramos family drove to the hospital with great anticipation and excitement. But further testing of the available organ revealed it wasn't a good match for Gloria and her daughters and husband expressed their disappointment.
"This only means that I'm at the top of the list," Gloria recalls assuring her family. "I'll get called again!"
Gloria contracted Hepatitis C through a blood transfusion in 1982 but the deadly virus lived undetected in her body until the summer[...]