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

Professor of Surgery and Radiology
Division of General Surgery
Chief, Section of Breast Care Surgery
Director, UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center

Contact Information

(415) 885-7691
Open Popup
  • 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 Carol Frank Buck Breast Care Center
  • UCSF Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • 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 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.

Most recent publications from a total of 43
  1. Wang F, Warren Peled A, Chin R, Fowble B, Alvarado M, Ewing C, Esserman L, Foster R, Sbitany H. The Impact of Radiation, Lymph Node Dissection, and Hormonal Therapy on Outcomes of Tissue Expander-Implant Exchange in Prosthetic Breast Reconstruction. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2015 Sep 10. View in PubMed
  2. Peled AW, Wang F, Foster RD, Alvarado M, Ewing CA, Sbitany H, Esserman LJ. Expanding the Indications for Total Skin-Sparing Mastectomy: Is It Safe for Patients with Locally Advanced Disease? Ann Surg Oncol. 2015 Jul 14. View in PubMed
  3. Amara D, Peled AW, Wang F, Ewing CA, Alvarado M, Esserman LJ. Tumor Involvement of the Nipple in Total Skin-Sparing Mastectomy: Strategies for Management. Ann Surg Oncol. 2015 May 29. View in PubMed
  4. Sbitany H, Wang F, Peled AW, Alvarado M, Ewing CA, Esserman LJ, Foster RD. Tissue Expander Reconstruction After Total Skin-Sparing Mastectomy: Defining the Effects of Coverage Technique on Nipple/Areola Preservation. Ann Plast Surg. 2014 Jul 23. View in PubMed
  5. Wang F, Peled AW, Garwood E, Fiscalini AS, Sbitany H, Foster RD, Alvarado M, Ewing C, Hwang ES, Esserman LJ. Total skin-sparing mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction: an evolution of technique and assessment of outcomes. Ann Surg Oncol. 2014 Oct; 21(10):3223-30. View in PubMed
  6. Sbitany H, Wang F, Saeed L, Alvarado M, Ewing CA, Esserman LJ, Foster RD. Immediate implant-based breast reconstruction following total skin-sparing mastectomy in women with a history of augmentation mammaplasty: assessing the safety profile. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2014 Jul; 134(1):1-9. View in PubMed
  7. Adisa CA, Eleweke N, Alfred AA, Campbell MJ, Sharma R, Nseyo O, Tandon V, Mukhtar R, Greninger A, Risi JD, Esserman LJ. Biology of breast cancer in Nigerian women: a pilot study. Ann Afr Med. 2012 Jul-Sep; 11(3):169-75. View in PubMed
  8. Garwood ER, Kumar AS, Baehner FL, Moore DH, Au A, Hylton N, Flowers CI, Garber J, Lesnikoski BA, Hwang ES, Olopade O, Port ER, Campbell M, Esserman LJ. Fluvastatin reduces proliferation and increases apoptosis in women with high grade breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Jan; 119(1):137-44. View in PubMed
  9. Zakhireh J, Fowble B, Esserman LJ. Application of screening principles to the reconstructed breast. J Clin Oncol. 2010 Jan 1; 28(1):173-80. View in PubMed
  10. Esserman L, Shieh Y, Thompson I. Rethinking screening for breast cancer and prostate cancer. JAMA. 2009 Oct 21; 302(15):1685-92. View in PubMed
  11. View All Publications
Publications provided by UCSF Profiles, powered by CTSI at UCSF. View profile of Laura J. Esserman, M.D., M.B.A.
Please note: UCSF Profiles publications are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact CTSI for help.