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David M. Jablons, M.D.

A leading mesothelioma expert, Dr. David Jablons is devoted to improving patient lives through treatment and research. Dr. Jablons studied under distinguished mentor Dr. Sugarbaker of Sloan Kettering Memorial, a leading expert in mesothelioma cancer. Dr. Sugarbaker inspired Dr. Jablons’ interest in this rare and complicated disease.

Today, Dr. Jablons is a teacher, researcher, and surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco. He conducts research, treats patients, and is involved in educational outreach and philanthropy.


Dr. Jablons earned his undergraduate degree in American literature. He then attended  Albany Medical College of Union University in New York, where he earned his medical degree. Dr. Jablons completed a general surgical internship at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland, California and a general surgical residency at Tufts University. He completed a surgical oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute. Also, Dr. Jablons finished a lung transplantation fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. At Cornell University Medical Center, Dr. Jablons was a fellow of cardiothoracic surgery. Later, while working with Dr. Sugarbaker at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Jablons developed an interest in mesothelioma.

Early Career

Dr. Jablons’ first job was at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital, where he was a U.S. Navy Commander and Chief of Thoracic Surgery. In 1995, he moved to the University of California, San Francisco, where he an assistant clinical professor of cardiothoracic surgery. He was later promoted to associate professor.

Current Position

Dr. Jablons now holds several positions at UCSF. He is the Professor and Chief of the Section of General Thoracic Surgery, ADA Distinguished Professor in Thoracic Oncology, Nan T. McEvoy Distinguished Professor of Thoracic Surgical Oncology, Program Leader of Thoracic Oncology, and Director of the Thoracic Oncology Lab.

With a distinguished lineup of professional positions, Dr. Jablons has his hands in many pots. He is a practicing surgeon, a teacher of medical students, interns, and residents. Dr. Jablons is also the leader of seven principal investigators currently using grants from the National Institutes of Health to sequence one of the world’s largest thoracic tissue banks.


As a mesothelioma specialist, innovative treatments and procedures are crucial to Dr. Jablons’ patient care. Through his career, he has conducted research programs and co-authored numerous studies. His research at the Thoracic Oncology Lab focuses on discovering target drugs, commercializing new therapies, and developing gene assays to identify cancer biomarkers.

Philanthropy and Outreach

Dr. Jablons is more than a dedicated surgeon, teacher, and researcher; He is also a philanthropist. After performing a long and risky lung cancer surgery on patient Bonnie J. Addario, he started a foundation with her. Today, the Addario Foundation underwrites a significant amount of lung cancer research conducted in the U.S.

Also interested in educational outreach, Dr. Jablons is co-founder of the University of California, San Francisco Thoracic Oncology Conference. This annual gathering trains community surgeons in expert treatment techniques, allowing them to better care for patients. His work has even stretched to China. Dr. Jablons is co-founder of the China Clinical Trials Consortium, which researches lung cancer in that country.

Professional Organizations and Honors

Dr. Jablons’ is a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the American Association for Cancer Research, the American College of Chest Physicians, and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. He was recognized as one of America’s Top Doctors and has won the Surgical Resident Teaching Award twice. Dr. Jablons is also a member of the American Surgical Society.

His distinguished career and dedication to patients, education, and research have earned him the respect of colleagues and patients alike. If you are living with mesothelioma, working with Dr. Jablons and his team could be a great way to receive some of the best treatment available in the U.S.

Page Edited by Dave Foster

Dave has been a mesothelioma Patient Advocate for over 10 years. He consistently attends all major national and international mesothelioma meetings. In doing so, he is able to stay on top of the latest treatments, clinical trials, and research results. He also personally meets with mesothelioma patients and their families and connects them with the best medical specialists and legal representatives available. Connect with Patient Advocate Dave Foster

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