The ASTS Pioneer award is the most distinguished award bestowed upon an individual by the ASTS for a significant contribution to the field of transplantation. (Previous Award Recipients)
Nancy L. Ascher, MD, PhD, chair of the UCSF Department of Surgery, has devoted her career to organ transplants and transplant research. Dr. Ascher completed her undergraduate and medical education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She then went on to complete a general surgery residency and clinical transplantation fellowship at the University of Minnesota, after which she joined the faculty. She was recruited in 1988 by the UCSF Department of Surgery to build a liver transplantation program. In 1991, she was appointed Chief of Transplantation, an expanded role that included liver, kidney, and pancreas transplants. In 1993, she was appointed Vice-Chair of the UCSF Department of Surgery and in 1999 was appointed Department Chair.
Dr. Ascher has had a distinguished career of public service that includes appointments to the Presidential Task Force on Organ Transplantation and the Surgeon General's Task Force on Increasing Donor Organs. She also served as Chair of the Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation for the Secretary of Health and Human Services from 2001–2005. Highly respected by her peers, Dr. Ascher 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. She joined the IOM in 1994. Dr. Ascher was ASTS President in 2000–2001 and is currently President-Elect of The Transplantation Society.
Dr. Ascher has published over 425 articles in medical and scientific journals. Her research interests are in hepatocyte immunogenicity, mechanisms of allograft rejection and clinical transplantation.