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Resident Research »  Leadership »  Research Committee Members »  Laura J. Esserman, M.D., M.B.A.
Laura J. Esserman, M.D., M.B.A.

Laura J. Esserman, M.D., M.B.A.

Professor of Surgery and Radiology
Chief, Section of Breast Care Surgery
Division of Surgical Oncology
Alfred A. de Lorimier Endowed Chair in General Surgery
Director, UCSF Breast Care Center

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1974-77, Harvard University, A.B.
1978-83, Stanford University, M.D.

  • 1983-85, Stanford University School of Medicine, Resident, General Surgery
  • 1988-90, Stanford University School of Medicine, Resident, General Surgery
  • 1990-91, Stanford University School of Medicine, Chief Resident, General Surgery
  • 1985-88, Stanford University School of Medicine, Postdoctoral Fe, Oncology, Medical
  • 1991-93, Stanford University, M.B.A.
  • American Board of Surgery - General Surgery - 1992
  • UCSF Center of Excellence for Breast Cancer Care
  • UCSF Breast Care Center
  • UCSF Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in situ)
  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer
  • Invasive Breast Cancer
  • LCIS (Lobular Carcinoma in situ)
  • Lumpectomy/Partial Mastectomy
  • Lymphadenectomy
  • Mastectomy
  • Recurrent Breast Cancer
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy
  • Wire Localization Surgery
  • Breast Diseases
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Genes
  • Intraductal Carcinoma
  • Male
  • Mammary
  • Mastectomy
  • Noninfiltrating Carcinoma Lobular
  • Oncogenes
  • Precancerous Conditions
  • Segmental
  • Tumor Suppressor
  • Ultrasonography
  • BRCA1 Protein
  • BRCA2 Protein
  • Infiltrating Duct Carcinoma

 

Dr. Laura Esserman, M.D., M.B.A is a surgeon and breast cancer oncology specialist practicing at the UCSF Breast Care Center where she has also held the position of Director since 1996.  She co-leads the Breast Oncology Program, the largest of the UCSF Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center's multidisciplinary programs. The program is comprised of 69 faculty members who represent 16 academic specialties and is internationally recognized and well-established with major initiatives in epidemiology, genetics, biology, therapeutics, and clinical cancer care.  She is a professor of Surgery & Radiology at UCSF and Associate Director of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center where she has founded and led the program in Translational Informatics. As part of this program, her research has focused on bioinformatics, medical and clinical informatics, systems integration, and clinical care delivery.

 

Dr. Esserman received her Bachelor's degree in History of Science from Harvard University and completed her M.D. at Stanford University. She completed her surgery residency and oncology fellowship at Stanford University Medical Center.  After her training, she joined the faculty at Stanford and received a Hartford fellowship to attend Stanford Business School where she received her M.B.A. in 1993.  She then joined the faculty at the University of California, San Francisco.  She has worked at UCSF to develop interdisciplinary teams of clinicians and researchers to bring the best care to patients and find the best platform to integrate translational research and improve the delivery of breast cancer care.

 

Dr. Esserman has been a leader in the I-SPY TRIAL collaboration, a National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Center for Bioinformatics and SPORE program. In 2005, she received the NCI SPORE Investigator of the Year Award, an internationally recognized honor and designation.  As the Primary Investigator of a Department of Defense-funded Center of Excellence grant, she has also brought together an extraordinary, multidisciplinary group of investigators and health care industry partners to work on critical problems concerning the quality of breast cancer care. Highly respected by her peers, Dr. Esserman 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. Esserman is a prolific writer with numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals covering all aspects of breast health including information systems, immunology, decision making, health policy and the use of imaging. She speaks extensively at public and private forums within the U.S. and internationally.  Overall, Dr. Esserman's research and writing tends to focus on the goal of giving patients better access to accurate information so that they can become partners in their health care.

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  • Surgical Oncology Training Grant
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    Jul 2020
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    Jun 2025
    Principal Investigator
  • Extending the Diversity, Reach, and Generalizability of the WISDOM Study
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    Mar 2020
    -
    Feb 2025
    Principal Investigator
  • I-SPY2 +: Evolving the I-SPY 2 TRIAL to include MRI-directed, adaptive sequential treatment to optimize breast cancer outcomes
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    Sep 2017
    -
    Aug 2022
    Principal Investigator
  • Elucidating the molecular and contextual basis for IDLE ultralow risk lesions and the tumor immune microenvironment of high risk in situ and invasive breast cancers
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    Funding Period:
    Sep 2015
    -
    Aug 2020
    Principal Investigator
  • Modeling the Impact of Targeted Therapy Based on Breast Cancer Subtypes
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    Sep 2014
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    Aug 2019
    Principal Investigator
  • Integrated Biomarkers to Characterize Breast Cancer Risk
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    Funding Period:
    Sep 2004
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    Jun 2011
    Principal Investigator
Data provided by UCSF Profiles, powered by CTSI
MOST RECENT PUBLICATIONS FROM A TOTAL OF 366
Data provided by UCSF Profiles, powered by CTSI
  1. Wang T, Huilgol YS, Black J, D'Andrea C, James J, Northrop A, Belkora J, Esserman LJ. Pre-Appointment Nurse Navigation: Patient-Centered Findings From a Survey of Patients With Breast Cancer. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2021 Oct 01; 25(5):E57-E62. View in PubMed
  2. Khoury AL, Keane H, Varghese F, Hosseini A, Mukhtar R, Eder SE, Weinstein PR, Esserman LJ. Trigger point injection for post-mastectomy pain: a simple intervention with high rate of long-term relief. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2021 Sep 17; 7(1):123. View in PubMed
  3. Symmans WF, Yau C, Chen YY, Balassanian R, Klein ME, Pusztai L, Nanda R, Parker BA, Datnow B, Krings G, Wei S, Feldman MD, Duan X, Chen B, Sattar H, Khazai L, Zeck JC, Sams S, Mhawech-Fauceglia P, Rendi M, Sahoo S, Ocal IT, Fan F, LeBeau LG, Vinh T, Troxell ML, Chien AJ, Wallace AM, Forero-Torres A, Ellis E, Albain KS, Murthy RK, Boughey JC, Liu MC, Haley BB, Elias AD, Clark AS, Kemmer K, Isaacs C, Lang JE, Han HS, Edmiston K, Viscusi RK, Northfelt DW, Khan QJ, Leyland-Jones B, Venters SJ, Shad S, Matthews JB, Asare SM, Buxton M, Asare AL, Rugo HS, Schwab RB, Helsten T, Hylton NM, van 't Veer L, Perlmutter J, DeMichele AM, Yee D, Berry DA, Esserman LJ. Assessment of Residual Cancer Burden and Event-Free Survival in Neoadjuvant Treatment for High-risk Breast Cancer: An Analysis of Data From the I-SPY2 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Oncol. 2021 Sep 16. View in PubMed
  4. Esserman L, Eklund M, Veer LV, Shieh Y, Tice J, Ziv E, Blanco A, Kaplan C, Hiatt R, Fiscalini AS, Yau C, Scheuner M, Naeim A, Wenger N, Lee V, Heditsian D, Brain S, Parker BA, LaCroix AZ, Madlensky L, Hogarth M, Borowsky A, Anton-Culver H, Kaster A, Olopade OI, Sheth D, Garcia A, Lancaster R, Plaza M. The WISDOM study: a new approach to screening can and should be tested. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2021 Sep 16. View in PubMed
  5. Esserman LJ. The use of neoadjuvant therapy to further personalize breast cancer treatment. Clin Adv Hematol Oncol. 2021 Sep; 19(9):569-572. View in PubMed
  6. View All Publications

 

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