David Jablons

David Jablons M.D.

Thoracic Oncology Program Leader; Ada Distinguished Professor of Thoracic Oncology; Professor and Chief of Thoracic Surgery

Specialty: Thoracic Oncology
Medical Treatment Center: The UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center 1600 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

About Dr. Jablons

David Jablons, M.D., program leader of Thoracic Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Comprehensive Cancer Center and director of the Thoracic Oncology Lab at the UCSF Cancer Research Center, came to his positions in 1997 when he was recruited by UCSF to build up programs in thoracic oncology and thoracic surgery. The Thoracic Oncology Lab was one of Jablons’ first projects at the school.

Lab projects conducted under Jablons’ direction have involved molecular pathways, stem cells and genetic therapy. One of these projects, an investigation of a specific pathway used in the treatment of mesothelioma, earned a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Fast Fact: Dr. Jablons completed three fellowships at the National Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital and New York Hospital.

Novel Therapies

Jablons’ research team is “seeking to discover … therapeutic agents and cures for lung cancer and mesothelioma.”  His team of recruits strives to “pursue target discovery and novel therapies” for these diseases. Many of the treatments explored in this lab have gone on to show considerable promise in the treatment of thoracic malignancies.

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Additionally, Jablons and his laboratory team have developed a thoracic tissue bank that is one of the largest in the world. The team realized the importance of preserving tissue samples from the patients who underwent surgery at the facility, and more than 1,000 specimens of cancerous tumors collected at their tissue bank have made groundbreaking biological research possible.

Jablons’ achievements in medical school at Albany Medical College of Union University served as a springboard for his career. While enrolled as a medical student at Union, Jablons was awarded a prestigious training opportunity to study clinical science at the National Cancer Institute (NCI).  He spent a year studying tumor immunology and surgical oncology at the Institute, where he was able to learn from some of the leading experts in the field, including David Sugarbaker, M.D.


Jablons has authored and co-authored 28 articles that discuss mesothelioma. Two of these were published in 2012, both of which discussed genetic treatment of this cancer.

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