Timothy R. Donahue, MD

Timothy R. Donahue, MD

Professor, Department of Surgery, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
Chief, Division of Surgical Oncology
Vice Chair, Surgical Cancer Care
Residency Program Director, General Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Surgical Director, Center for Pancreatic Diseases




Cancer, Gastrointestinal and Pancreatic Surgery

Institutional Affiliation

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center



Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine, 2002 - 2003


MD, Northwestern University Medical School, 2002


Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine, 2003 - 2009

Board Certification

Surgery, American Board of Surgery, 2010

Contact Information


(310) 206-7440 - Administrative
(310) 794-7788 - Appointments

Clinical Interests

Pancreatic Cancer, Gastrointestinal Cancers

Scientific Interests

Dr. Timothy Donahue is a very busy pancreatic surgeon, performing three to four pancreatic surgeries per week. He is genuinely interested in caring for patients with pancreatic cancer. His clinical research is focused on improving the care of patients with borderline resectable or locally advanced disease. Donahue is a strong advocate of prolonged preoperative chemo- or radiation therapy for this group of patients to optimally select for those who will benefit from a surgical resection.

In addition to his clinical work, Donahue is the principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health-funded research laboratory. His scientific research focuses on developing improved treatment strategies and earlier diagnostic markers for patients with pancreatic cancer. He collaborates closely with other scientists across the UCLA campus, including faculty in the Ahmanson Translational Imaging Division and California Nanosystems Institute. He is optimistic that therapy for pancreatic cancer will markedly improve during his career.

Highlighted Publications

Nguyen AH, Elliott IA, Wu N, Matsumura C, Vogelauer M, Attar N, Dann A, Ghukasyan R, Toste PA, Patel SG, Williams JL, Li L, Dawson DW, Radu C, Kurdistani SK, Donahue TR. Histone deacetylase inhibitors provoke a tumor supportive phenotype in pancreatic cancer associated fibroblasts. Oncotarget. 2017 Mar 21;8(12):19074-19088. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.13572.

Toste PA, Nguyen AH, Kadera BE, Duong M, Wu N, Gawlas I, Tran LM, Bikhchandani M, Li L, Patel SG, Dawson DW, Donahue TR. Chemotherapy-Induced Inflammatory Gene Signature and Protumorigenic Phenotype in Pancreatic CAFs via Stress-Associated MAPK. Mol Cancer Res. 2016 May;14(5):437-47. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-15-0348. Epub 2016 Mar 15.

Sherman MH, Yu RT, Engle DD, Ding N, Atkins AR, Tiriac H, Collisson EA, Connor F, Van Dyke T, Kozlov S, Martin P, Tseng TW, Dawson DW, Donahue TR, Masamune A, Shimosegawa T, Apte MV, Wilson JS, Ng B, Lau SL, Gunton JE, Wahl GM, Hunter T, Drebin JA, O'Dwyer PJ, Liddle C, Tuveson DA, Downes M, Evans RM. Vitamin D receptor-mediated stromal reprogramming suppresses pancreatitis and enhances pancreatic cancer therapy. Cell. 2014 Sep 25;159(1):80-93. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.08.007.

Kadera BE, Toste PA, Wu N, Li L, Nguyen AH, Dawson DW, Donahue TR. Low expression of the E3 ubiquitin ligase CBL confers chemoresistance in human pancreatic cancer and is targeted by epidermal growth factor receptor inhibition. Clin Cancer Res. 2015 Jan 1;21(1):157-65. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-14-0610. Epub 2014 Oct 27.

Donahue TR, Tran LM, Hill R, Li Y, Kovochich A, Calvopina JH, Patel SG, Wu N, Hindoyan A, Farrell JJ, Li X, Dawson DW, Wu H. Integrative survival-based molecular profiling of human pancreatic cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Mar 1;18(5):1352-63. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-1539. Epub 2012 Jan 18.