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Department of Surgery »  Faculty »  Nancy L. Ascher, M.D., Ph.D.

Nancy L. Ascher, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery
Division of Transplant Surgery
Isis Distinguished Professor in Transplantation
Leon Goldman, MD Distinguished Professor in Surgery

Contact Information

(415) 353-1888 Clinical, Liver
(415) 353-1550 Clinical, Kidney and Pancreas
(415) 476-1236 Academic
nancy.ascher@ucsfmedctr.org

Education

  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, B.A., 1967-70
  • University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, M.D., 1970-74
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, Ph.D., 1974-85

Residencies

  • University of Minnesota, Department of Surgery, Minneapolis, MN,  Surgical Internship, 1974-75
  • University of Minnesota, Department of Surgery, Minneapolis, MN, Surgical Residency, 1975-77
  • University of Minnesota, Department of Surgery, Minneapolis, MN, Surgical Residency, 1979-81

Fellowships

  • University of Minnesota, Department of Surgery, Minneapolis, MN,   Transplant Fellowship, 1981-1982

Postdoctoral Training

  • University of Minnesota, Department of Surgery, Minneapolis, MN, Research Fellowship, 1977-79

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Surgery, 1982, renewed 2012

Clinical Expertise

Research Interests

  • Clinical Transplantation
  • Recurrence After Liver Transplantation
  • Transplant Ethics
  • Transplant Policy

Biography

Dr. Nancy Ascher, chair of the UCSF Department of Surgery, 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. She is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery.

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, she was appointed Vice-Chair of the UCSF Department of Surgery, and in 1999 was appointed Department Chair. 

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.

Research Overview

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.

 

Featured Publications

  1. Painter P, Krasnoff J, Paul SM, Ascher NL. Physical activity and health-related quality of life in liver transplant recipients. Liver Transpl 7(3):213-9, 2001.
  2. Yao F, Ferrell L, Bass N, Bacchetti P, Ascher NL, Roberts J. Liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma: comparison of the proposed UCSF criteria with the Milan criteria and the Pittsburgh modified TNM criteria. Liver Transpl 8(9):765-74, 2002.
  3. Yao FY, Bass NM, Nikolai B, Davern TJ, Kerlan R, Wu V, Ascher NL, Roberts JP. Liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma: analysis of survival according to the intention-to-treat principle and dropout from the waiting list. Liver Transpl 8(10):873-83, 2002.
  4. Stock PG, Roland ME, Carlson L, Freise CE, Roberts JP, Hirose R, Terrault NA, Frassetto LA, Palefsky JM, Tomlanovich SJ, Ascher NL. Kidney and liver transplantation in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients: a pilot safety and efficacy study. Transplantation 76(2):370-5, 2003.
  5. Shergill AK, Khalili M, Straley S, Bollinger K, Roberts JP, Ascher NA, Terrault NA. Applicability, tolerability and efficacy of preemptive antiviral therapy in hepatitis C-infected patients undergoing liver transplantation. Am J Transplant 5(1):118-24, 2005.

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