Dr. Laura Esserman, M.D., M.B.A is a surgeon and breast cancer oncology specialist practicing at the UCSF Carol Franc Buck 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.
UCSF Director of the Carol Franc Buck Brast Care Cancer Center weighs in on proposed changes to cancer screening.
“By recognizing that cancer is not one disease, but a number of different diseases, we can individualize our treatment based on biology and avoid overtreatment,” said panel chair Laura J. Esserman, M.D., M.B.A., director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.