The Thoracic Oncology Program was started over a decade ago by Dr. David Jablons, a world-renowned thoracic surgeon, and Dr. Thierry Jahan, one of the region's most highly respected thoracic oncologists. Their goal was to establish UCSF as a Center of Excellence for the treatment of lung cancer, mesothelioma and esophageal cancer - to offer patients compassionate multidisciplinary care, innovative treatment, personalized care, and access to the most promising clinical trials, all supported by a vibrant, translational research enterprise.
In the mid-1990s, Dr. Jablons began preserving fresh-frozen tissue specimens from surgical patients. The thoracic tissue bank has proved to be an invaluable resource, a vast repository of genetic and molecular data for future research. Soon thereafter, Dr. Jablons received funding for the Thoracic Oncology Laboratory and recruited three outstanding scientists, Liang You, M.D., Ph.D. Zhidong Xu, Ph.D. and Biao He, Ph.D. Since 2001, the group has performed thousands of experiments and published over a hundred peer-reviewed articles. In 2005, the lab was awarded a prestigious NIH R01 grant to study mesothelioma and in 2007 it received a sizable grant from the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation to study systems genetics in lung cancer, paving the way for more effective treatment of the disease.