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Doctor David Jablons MD

Dr. David Jablons

Thoracic Surgeon

Dr. David M. Jablons is a respected thoracic surgeon and professor at the University of California San Francisco. He leads the Thoracic Oncology Program, treating pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer while conducting molecular biology and genomics research. Dr. Jablons is a veteran of the United States Navy, having served as a Commander. Learn more about Dr. Jablons and get our help connecting with him today.

or call (866) 608-8933


About Dr. David M. Jablons

A distinguished name in thoracic surgery, Dr. David M. Jablons, M.D., FACS, serves as the Professor and Chief of the Section of General Thoracic Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He boasts an illustrious academic trajectory and a vibrant career. He holds esteemed titles such as the Ada Distinguished Professor in Thoracic Oncology and the Nan T. McEvoy Distinguished Professor of Thoracic Surgical Oncology.

Dr. Jablons’ medical education commenced at Albany Medical College, where he trained under the esteemed surgeon and tumor immunologist Steven Rosenberg. Over the years, he was fortunate to be guided by giants in thoracic surgical oncology like Robert Ginsburg and David Sugarbaker.

Besides his academic prowess, Dr. Jablons was a U.S. Navy commander before becoming the Chief of General Thoracic Surgery at UCSF in 1997. Dr. David Jablons currently works for the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Health. He currently 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. He’s a revered thoracic surgeon, known not only for his surgical skills but also for his dedication to patient care and research.

As the director of the UCSF Thoracic Oncology Laboratory, he also pursues medical research on molecular biology and genomics. His collaborative work with Bonnie J. Addario birthed the Addario Foundation, significantly advancing lung cancer research. Dr. Jablons is not just a healer but also a mentor, shaping future leaders in medicine.

Dr. Jablons speaks English, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.

Dr. Jablons’ Career Highlights

As an accomplished thoracic oncologist, Dr. Jablons’ career highlights include:

Dr. Jablons’ mark in thoracic oncology is indelible. His noteworthy contributions include:

  • Securing an NIH grant to explore Wnt signaling in mesothelioma.
  • Co-founding the UCSF Thoracic Oncology Conference.
  • Pioneering genetic treatment research for mesothelioma and lung cancer.
  • Establishing one of the globe’s largest tissue banks for cancer research.
  • Serving as a U.S. Navy Commander and Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the Naval Hospital.

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, focusing on genomics.

Dr. Jablons served in the U.S. Navy as a commander and chief of thoracic surgery at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital. There, 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.

Medical Specializations

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.”

- Dr. David Jablons

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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 cancer types, hoping to find 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 worldwide.

Awards & Honors

  • American Chemical Society Fellow
  • America’s Top Doctors
  • America’s Top Doctors for Cancer
  • Surgical Resident Teaching Award – University of California
  • TopDoc

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
  • American Chemical Society Fellow
  • America’s Top Doctors
  • Surgical Resident Teaching Award – University of California
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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 of Biochemical and BioPhysical Research Communications, this publication helped further the scientific community’s understanding of how cell signaling pathways 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 concluded that inhibiting the Wnt pathways using WIF-1 protein is a promising therapy for treating malignant mesothelioma.

Get Connected with Top Doctors Like Dr. Jablons

Dr. David M. Jablons is a true paragon in thoracic oncology, his contributions both in the operating room and the laboratory have left an indelible mark on the world of medicine. Whether through his surgical expertise, his research, or his mentorship, he continues to shape the future of thoracic oncology. If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, choosing the right doctor can be a matter of life and death.

Call (866) 608-8933 to get connected with top doctors like Dr. Jablons today.

Mesothelioma Hope has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Dr. David Jablons. Any contact information listed is for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Dr. David Jablons directly.

Jenna TozziWritten by:

Director of Patient Advocacy

Jenna Tozzi, RN, is the Director of Patient Advocacy at Mesothelioma Hope. With more than 15 years of experience as an adult and pediatric oncology nurse navigator, Jenna provides exceptional guidance and support to mesothelioma patients and their loved ones. Jenna has been featured in Oncology Nursing News and is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators & the American Nurses Association.

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  1. Batra, S., Shi, Y., Kuchenbecker, K. M., He, B., Reguart, N., Mikami, I., You, L., Xu, Z., Lin, Y. C., Clément, G., & Jablons, D. M. (2006). Wnt inhibitory factor-1, a Wnt antagonist, is silenced by promoter hypermethylation in malignant pleural mesothelioma. Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 342(4), 1228–1232. Retrieved from: Accessed on February 14, 2024.
  2. UCSF Health. “David M. Jablons.” Retrieved from: Accessed on February 14, 2024.
  3. UCSF Thoracic Oncology Program Department of Surgery. “David M. Jablons, M.D., FACS.” Retrieved from:,-md.aspx. Accessed on February 14, 2024.
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