Leading the Way in Salivary Surgery
Leading the Way in Salivary Surgery
September 23, 2019–The UC San Diego Health Head & Neck Center is at the forefront of clinical practice and research in several aspects of the management of salivary gland disorders. Dr. Charley Coffey has developed a wide referral base for the use of salivary endoscopy and extended gland-preserving techniques for the management of inflammatory salivary diseases, and serves on the faculty of courses which seek to foster expertise in these techniques amongst head & neck surgeons.
Predicting Overall Survival in Patients with Metastatic Rectal Cancer: A Machine-Learning Approach
Predicting Overall Survival in Patients with Metastatic Rectal Cancer: A Machine-Learning Approach
September 23, 2019–Colon and rectal cancer is now the fourth most common cancer diagnosis in the United States. Although scientific advances in recent years have improved overall survival rates for metastatic disease, overall survival remains highly variable. A study led by Beiqun "Mark" Zhao, MD and co-authored by Bryan Clary, MD, recently published in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, analyzed how machine learning can more accurately predict survival of patients with colorectal cancer.
UC San Diego Faculty Named Top Docs in San Diego Magazine Survey
UC San Diego Faculty Named Top Docs in San Diego Magazine Survey
September 23, 2019–More than 120 UC San Diego Health physicians in 47 specialties were named "Top Docs" in the annual San Diego Magazine "Physicians of Exceptional Excellence" survey. These outstanding physicians were recognized among San Diego County's best doctors by their peers.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams Shares “Priorities of the Nation’s Doctor”
July 28, 2019–He likes to joke that he's not a surgeon, and he's certainly not a general. But Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, is, in fact, "the nation's doctor," and he paid a visit to several departments within the UC San Diego School of Medicine at combined Grand Rounds earlier this month to share his priorities for the country as it moves into a new era of healthcare challenges.
Cardiovascular Institute at UC San Diego Health
UC San Diego Heart Transplant Program Boasts Nation’s Best Survival Rates
July 28, 2019–The heart transplant program at UC San Diego Health has demonstrated the best one-year survival rate for patients in the United States among health care providers with a volume of more than 50 heart transplants per year, according to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR).
Donate Live
Honor Walks for Our Organ Donors
July 28, 2019–Earlier this month, UC San Diego Health, in partnership with Lifesharing, will begin conducting "Honor Walks" to acknowledge and express our deep gratitude for our organ donors.


These special events will occur inside our hospitals, both at Hillcrest and La Jolla, as a demonstration of respect and tribute to patients who, at the end of their lives, chose to selflessly donate organs with the intention of saving lives.

Sharona Ben-Haim, MD
Dr. Sharona Ben-Haim Performs First-In-Kind Procedure to Treat Refractory Epilepsy
July 28, 2019–With the aid of new upgraded technology in the Jacobs Medical Center Neurosurgery suites, UC San Diego Neurosurgeon Sharona Ben-Haim, MD, recently was able to perform what is thought to be a first-in-kind procedure on a patient suffering from refractory epilepsy, a type of epilepsy that can't be treated with medication.
Dr. Kristin Mekeel
Dr. Kristin Mekeel Takes On Role as Medical Director of Surgical Quality
July 28, 2019–We are pleased to announce that Dr. Kristin L. Mekeel has accepted the role of Medical Director of Surgical Quality for UC San Diego Health. Dr. Mekeel was among the many qualified candidates who underwent a two-round interview process with a panel that included UC San Diego Health leadership, including CEO Patty Maysent, Financial Analyst Lisa Rhodes, Dr. Ruth Waterman, Chief of Quality and Patient Safety Chad VanDenBerg, Dr. Mike McHale and Dr. Joseph Califano. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Mekeel in her new role.
Dr. Shawn Liu
General Surgery Residents Take a Fond Look Back Before Graduation
June 27, 2019–Residency can be one of the most stressful and busy times in a surgeon’s fledgling career. Surgery residents learn the ins and outs of the field by becoming fully immersed in the life of a surgeon. Fresh out of medical school, surgery residents are put on the front lines of the field. They work long hours in order to gain exposure to the complex surgical procedures they one day hope to lead. Subsequently, they deal with tremendous stress and pressure. Despite its immense difficulty, it is a time of self discovery and maturation, both professionally and personally. 
Undergraduates Delve into Library Collections to Develop Award-Winning Research
Undergraduates Delve into Library Collections to Develop Award-Winning Research
June 27, 2019–This year’s students– including first-prize winner Jaideep Chakladar, who was mentored by Department of Surgery Associate Professor Weg Ongkeko – explored theories about the microbiome and its connection to cancer progression.
2019 Research Symposium in Surgical Sciences
2019 Research Symposium in Surgical Sciences: “Sparking Partnerships, Potentials and Inspiration”
May 30, 2019–The UC San Diego Department of Surgery held its annual Research Symposium in Surgical Sciences earlier this month, with a record-breaking 91 abstracts submitted from researchers working in both basic and clinical and outcomes research from nearly every division within the department.
Dr. Joseph Tector
Dr. Joseph Tector Presents Marshall J. Orloff Lecture – “Xenotransplantation: Moving Toward Clinical Implementation”
May 30, 2019–Dr. Joseph Tector, MD, PhD, FACS, a professor of surgery and director of the Xenotransplant Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, delivered the UC San Diego School of Medicine’s annual Marshall J. Orloff Lecture last month on his work to determine the effectiveness of combining genetic modification with immune suppression to conduct kidney xenotransplantation, or transplantation from one species to another.
Humans in Surgery
Humans of Surgery
March 26, 2019–Humans of Surgery, created by Lindsay Morgan (Communications Director for the Department of Surgery from 2017-2019), shares the stories of the people who strive every day to give quality care to patients.
2019 MATCH Results
March 15, 2019–The National Resident Matching Program announced the results of the 2019 Main Residency Match. The Department of Surgery is thrilled to welcome our 2019 class of interns—in general surgery, plastic surgery, otolaryngology, and neurosurgery—and to begin another year educating the best and brightest in academic surgery.
Rare Condition Results in Placing Patient’s Kidney in Pelvis
March 14, 2019–Julianne Bachman was in such debilitating pain a year ago that she had to take a leave of absence from her job as a science teacher and used a walker and abdominal brace to move around. She found herself in the emergency room just a few weeks later. An MRI determined Bachman had a rare condition called nutcracker syndrome. Kristin Mekeel, MD, a transplant and hepatobiliary surgeon at UC San Diego Health and her team performed an autotransplant.
Sarah Blair
FDA approves tumor localization device based on UC San Diego microparticle technology
March 1, 2019–Cancer screening is better than ever at identifying tumors, including very small ones. But small, nonpalpable tumors remain challenging for surgeons to identify (and thus eliminate completely, microscopically) in the operating room. Dr. Sarah Blair, Professor of Surgery in the Division of Breast Surgery, who specializes in breast cancer, was awarded an NIH grant in 2011 to continue research into the use of the stationary silica particles for tumor localization.
Joseph Califano
Joseph Califano Named Physician-In-Chief, Moores Cancer Center
February 26, 2019–Dr. Joseph Califano III has been named Physician-In-Chief for Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health. Moores Cancer Center is the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in San Diego. Dr. Califano will retain his roles as Professor of Surgery and Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Center, as well as maintain an active clinical practice in head and neck surgery.
SPECIAL REPORT: Engineering the Future of Surgery
February 19, 2019–Collaborations between engineers and surgeons in the UC San Diego Institute of Engineering in Medicine are helping to drive the next generation of medical care. This story looks at three recent collaborations: one aimed at developing a treatment for pancreatic cancer; another focused on ensuring telesurgery can be done safely and efficiently; and a training course in which engineering students shadow physicians as they visit patients, perform surgeries and diagnose disease.
Expanding Surgical Services at Hillcrest Medical Center
February 18, 2019–When UC San Diego announced in 2005 its plan to consolidate its Hillcrest and La Jolla medical operations under one roof in La Jolla (more than 10 miles north of Hillcrest—and many more for San Diego's southern population), many worried that the Hillcrest Medical Center—and the community it serves—would be abandoned. But rather than being abandoned, Hillcrest is in the midst of what will be a major redevelopment, one that includes a significant expansion of surgical services.
Changing Lives Through Living Donor Kidney Transplant
February 5, 2019–There are more than 100,000 people on the waitlist for a kidney in the United States—20,000 in California alone—and only about 10,000 deceased donors per year. In California, a patient with blood type O or B will wait 10-15 years for a kidney transplant. Living donation reduces the time sick patients spend on the wait list in addition to other health benefits. Living donation is on the rise at UC San Diego, with a more than 100% increase in the number of living donor kidney transplants since 2014.
Jason Sicklick Reports from Canada and Europe
January 16, 2019–Dr. Jason Sicklick, a surgical oncologist and Associate Professor of Surgery, was in Toronto in October and Italy in November as part of his travels for the James IV Association of Surgeons Traveling Fellowship, which supports young, academic surgeons for a four-week period of travel, with the goal of promoting communication and collaboration in the surgical community. Here are the highlights of the Toronto and Italian legs of his James IV travels.
Q&A with Amanda Gosman
January 15, 2019–Dr. Amanda Gosman was recently named Chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery at UC San Diego. She also serves as Director of Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery; as the Chief of Plastic Surgery at Rady Children's Hospital; and as Director of the Plastic Surgery Residency Program. In this interview she discusses her hopes for the Division of Plastic Surgery in patient care, training and research; and shares the unlikely road that led her to medicine.


​News Archives