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Message from The Chief

Welcome to the Division of Transplant Surgery at UCSF. Our division is deeply committed to offering the best clinical care, the most productive and innovative research programs and an outstanding educational program that trains future leaders in the field of transplantation. 

As one of the oldest and most respected programs in transplantation, UCSF has served as a watermark for numerous transplant centers around the world. Our liver transplant program is one of the nation's largest, has a one-year survival rate of 92 percent (compared with the national average of 87 percent), and achieves excellent results even with high-risk patients.  The UCSF kidney transplant program, also one of the nation's largest, was established in 1964 and has completed more than 8,300 such procedures. 

UCSF transplant researchers are leaders in the field, pursuing studies related to organ preservation, utilization, and allocation; surgical technique; pre and post-transplant medical management; drug investigations, human immune responses, and more.  Significant milestones have been achieved at UCSF in immunogenetics, immune responses and immunosuppressive therapy.  UCSF transplant researchers have been among the most successful in the nation at attracting competitively awarded NIH grants for their work, including studies of: 

  • Gradual discontinuation of anti-rejection drugs in pediatric and adult organ transplant recipients, both liver and kidney.
  • Donors and recipients involved in adult to adult living donor liver transplantation.
  • HIV-positive kidney and liver transplant candidates undergoing treatment with HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy)
  • The regenerative properties of liver cells, and the possibility of cell differentiation in response to injury.
  • Genetic factors in the origins of drug-induced liver diseases.
  • Optimal management and clinical outcomes of acute liver failure
  • Novel treatment strategies for recurrent hepatitis C after liver transplantation.
  • Non-invasive immunologic strategies to diagnose kidney and liver transplant rejection. 
  • Studies in islet transplantation to treat diabetes.

The UCSF Abdominal Transplant Fellowship Program, directed by Dr. Sandy Feng, is designed to provide comprehensive training in abdominal transplantation, including the evaluation of transplant candidates, the management of patients with acute and chronic liver disease, and the operative, peri-operative, and post-operative care of organ transplant patients. The program provides ample exposure to deceased donor multi-organ procurement and living donor nephrectomy and hepatectomy. There is a strong didactic program with many weekly meetings including Transplant Mortality and Morbidity Conference, meetings of the Kidney and Liver Selection Committees, Transplant Laboratory Group Meeting, Liver Transplant Pathology Conference, and the Transplant Seminar Series. 

We have an outstanding team of faculty and staff that are dedicated to providing the best clinical care and advancing science through research and education. As Chief of the Transplant Surgery division here at the UCSF, I am truly grateful to the excellent work that is carried out by our team everyday here at the medical center. I sincerely hope that our website provides you with information on our extraordinarily talented faculty, exceptional educational and training programs and a portfolio of research activities currently in progress that span the spectrum of science to improve the health and well being of patients here at the medical center and beyond.   


Chris E. Freise, M.D.
Professor & Interim Chief,
Division of Transplant Surgery
University of California, San Francisco 

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