About Dr. Jablons
Dr. David Jablons currently works for the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Health. He serves as the chief of general thoracic surgery at UCSF Medical Center and spearheads the Thoracic Oncology Program at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.
As the director of the UCSF Thoracic Oncology Laboratory, he also pursues medical research on molecular biology and genomics.
Dr. Jablons speaks English, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.
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Dr. Jablons’ Career Highlights
As an accomplished thoracic oncologist, Dr. Jablons’ career highlights include:
- Awarded an NIH grant to research the role of Wnt signaling in mesothelioma
- Co-founded the UCSF Thoracic Oncology Conference, which brings together top surgical oncologists from all over the world
- Extensive research into the genetic treatment of mesothelioma and lung cancer
- Former U.S. Navy Commander and Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the Naval Hospital
- Helped develop one of the world’s largest tissue banks, used to research mesothelioma and other cancers
- Mentored by renowned mesothelioma expert, the late Dr. David Sugarbaker
Dr. Jablons’ Background
Dr. Jablons holds a bachelor’s degree in American literature from Yale University and a medical degree from Albany Medical School at Union University.
During this time, he received a preceptorship from the National Cancer Institute that gave him the opportunity to work with Dr. Steven Rosenberg, an expert in tumor immunology and surgical oncology.
He completed his general surgery residency at Tufts University/New England Medical Center, followed by a cardiothoracic surgery residency at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center (formerly Weill Cornell University Medical Center).
Dr. Jablons was mentored by the late Dr. David Sugarbaker at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he learned about mesothelioma firsthand.
As a result of that mentorship, Dr. Jablons and Dr. Sugarbaker completed a handful of mesothelioma publications together, with a focus on genomics.
Dr. Jablons served in the U.S. Navy as a commander and chief of thoracic surgery at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital. It was there that he met his wife, Dr. Tamara Jo Hicks, a psychotherapist and co-founder of Potrero Hill Psychotherapy.
In his current role at UCSF, Dr. Jablons has helped further the world’s research and understanding of mesothelioma.
He has helped create one of the world’s largest tissue banks, preserving tumors removed from the hospital’s patients and using them in biological cancer research.
This has allowed Dr. Jablons and other researchers to access more specimens and conduct groundbreaking discoveries toward the improved treatment and cure of mesothelioma patients.
Dr. Jablons is a certified thoracic surgeon with expertise in the areas of:
- Genetic therapy
- Molecular pathway
- Stem cell research
He oversees UCSF’s tissue lab, which is one of the largest in the world.
“[The lab] houses one of the largest thoracic tissue bank repositories in the U.S., with specimens for more than 1,300 patients, including fresh/frozen matched tissue (tumor, normal, serum, pbmc) for lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other cancers.”
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Dr. Jablons’ Career Accomplishments
Dr. Jablons is an accomplished oncologist who has contributed significantly to the medical community’s molecular and genetic understanding of mesothelioma.
His gene therapies are a monumental step towards eradicating mesothelioma. He has developed and directed a leading thoracic program that continues to research new treatment options for various forms of cancers, with hopes of finding a cure for lung cancer.
Dr. Jablons is also a champion for cancer education and research. He co-founded the UCSF Thoracic Oncology Conference, which meets annually to connect top surgical oncologists from around the world.
Awards & Honors
- American Chemical Society Fellow
- America’s Top Doctors
- America’s Top Doctors for Cancer
- Surgical Resident Teaching Award – University of California
Dr. Jablons’ Current Work
Dr. Jablons currently leads the Thoracic Oncology Program of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, where he works directly with cancer patients to develop treatment plans.
He is also chief of General Thoracic Surgery at UCSF Medical Center and directs the university’s Thoracic Oncology Laboratory. At the lab, he researches genomics and molecular biology, including the Wnt signal transduction pathways that contribute to the creation of mesothelioma.
He is a member of numerous professional organizations, including:
- American Association for Cancer Research
- American College of Chest Physicians
- International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC)
- Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Notable Work by Dr. Jablons
Dr. Jablons co-authored and published a paper entitled, “Wnt inhibitory factor-1, a Wnt antagonist, is silenced by promoter hypermethylation in malignant pleural mesothelioma.”
Originally published in Volume 342, Issue 4 or Biochemical and BioPhysical Research Communications, this publication helped further the scientific community’s understanding of how signaling pathways in cells can be modified to help prevent or eliminate cancers.
Wnt signaling is linked to the growth of mesothelioma, and this study used tissue samples to evaluate the impact of WIF-1, a protein, in stopping those signals. Eight of the nine samples tested demonstrated these positive results.
The research ultimately concluded that inhibiting the Wnt pathways using WIF-1 protein be a promising therapy for treating malignant mesothelioma.
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