Abdominal Transplant Fellowship »  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

  • End-Stage Kidney Disease
  • Fulminant Hepatic Failure
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma (Liver Cancer)
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Liver Cysts
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Living Donor Liver Transplantation
  • Living Donor Kidney Transplantation
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Pediatric Kidney Transplantation
  • Pediatric Liver Transplantation
  • Portal Hypertension

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.

 

Publications

Most recent publications from a total of 357
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Roll GR, Parekh JR, Parker WF, Siegler M, Pomfret EA, Ascher NL, Roberts JP. Left hepatectomy versus right hepatectomy for living donor liver transplantation: shifting the risk from the donor to the recipient. Liver Transpl. 2013 May; 19(5):472-81. View in PubMed
  5. Trompeta JA, Cooper BA, Ascher NL, Kools SM, Kennedy CM, Chen JL. Asian American adolescents' willingness to donate organs and engage in family discussion about organ donation and transplantation. Prog Transplant. 2012 Mar; 22(1):33-40, 70. View in PubMed
  6. Vagefi PA, Ascher NL, Freise CE, Dodge JL, Roberts JP. Use of living donor liver transplantation varies with the availability of deceased donor liver transplantation. Liver Transpl. 2012 Feb; 18(2):160-5. View in PubMed
  7. Vagefi PA, Parekh J, Ascher NL, Roberts JP, Freise CE. Outcomes with split liver transplantation in 106 recipients: the University of California, San Francisco, experience from 1993 to 2010. Arch Surg. 2011 Sep; 146(9):1052-9. View in PubMed
  8. Melcher ML, Freise CE, Ascher NL, Roberts JP. Outcomes of surgical repair of bile leaks and strictures after adult-to-adult living donor liver transplant. Clin Transplant. 2010 Nov-Dec; 24(6):E230-5. View in PubMed
  9. Melcher ML, Pomposelli JJ, Verbesey JE, McTaggart RA, Freise CE, Ascher NL, Roberts JP, Pomfret EA. Comparison of biliary complications in adult living-donor liver transplants performed at two busy transplant centers. Clin Transplant. 2010 Sep-Oct; 24(5):E137-44. View in PubMed
  10. Vagefi PA, Klein I, Gelb B, Hameed B, Moff SL, Simko JP, Fix OK, Eilers H, Feiner JR, Ascher NL, Freise CE, Bass NM. Emergent orthotopic liver transplantation for hemorrhage from a giant cavernous hepatic hemangioma: case report and review. J Gastrointest Surg. 2011 Jan; 15(1):209-14. View in PubMed
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