Beth Y. Karlan, MD
Accepting new patients

Beth Y. Karlan, MD

  • Gynecologic Oncology
OBGYN Oncology | 100 Medical Plaza, Suite 383, Los Angeles, CA 90095


Academic and medical staff appointments: Nancy Marks Endowed Chair in Women's Health Research, Vice Chair and Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Director, Cancer Population Genetics, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Professional memberships

  • National Academy of Medicine
  • National Cancer Policy Forum
  • National Cancer Advisory Board
  • Society of Gynecologic Oncology (Past President)
  • Fellow, American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons
  • Fellow, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • American Medical Association
  • Association of Women's Surgeons
  • International Gynecologic Cancer Society

An internationally renowned physician-scientist and recognized expert on ovarian cancer, Dr. Karlan has more than 30 years of experience treating women with gynecologic cancers and investigating pressing clinical and translational questions related to gynecologic malignancies. Her clinical practice is dedicated to delivering cutting-edge compassionate cancer care to women and their families, and her research focuses on understanding the genetic drivers and phenotypic determinants of ovarian cancer, as well as hereditary predisposition to cancers, and molecular biomarkers for early detection, treatment, and prognostication. In 1989 she established a human tissue biorepository to collect fresh frozen tissue, serum, and germline DNA from women with ovarian and other gynecologic cancers in order to study cancers' biologic differences and develop improved treatments. This resource has been used in national and international collaborations including The Cancer Genome Atlas project (TCGA), Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA), and Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC) - partnerships that have helped to shape current standards of care for gynecologic oncology.

Dr. Karlan has also been at the forefront of scientific and clinical efforts related to women/families with BRCA and other cancer predisposition and inherited mutations. She currently serves as co-PI on a national effort using a digital platform to implement population-based genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Dr. Karlan holds several patents related to ovarian cancer research and has received multiple recognitions for her work including an American Cancer Society Research Professorship, the Society of Gynecologic Oncology Distinguished Service Award, the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance Rosalind Franklin Award for Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research, and the National Cancer Institute Director's Service Award.
Board-certified in both obstetrics and gynecology and gynecologic oncology, Dr. Karlan received her undergraduate degree at Harvard-Radcliffe College and completed her medical degree at Harvard Medical School. She completed both a Clinical Residency and Post Doctoral Research Fellowship at Yale University and a Fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at UCLA School of Medicine. After almost 30 years leading the gynecologic oncology program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Dr. Karlan returned to UCLA in 2019 as Professor and Vice-Chair, Women's Health Research in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of Cancer Population Genetics at UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

In addition to her busy clinical practice and robust research portfolio, Dr. Karlan is passionate about training the next generation of clinicians and scientists, as well as advocating for women's health and the specialty of gynecologic oncology. She actively participates in medical student, residency, and fellowship training at UCLA is co-author of Surgery for Ovarian Cancer: Principles and Practice, and is Editor-in-Chief of her specialty's journals Gynecologic Oncology and Gynecologic Oncology Reports. Dr. Karlan was appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Cancer Advisory Board and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. She serves on multiple non-profit Boards and is Vice-Chair of the Board of Overseers for Harvard University.

Comprehensive expertise

  • hereditary cancer syndromes
  • BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations
  • ovarian cancer surgery and treatment
  • ovarian neoplasms
  • uterine cancer surgery and treatment
  • cervical cancer surgery and treatment
  • cancer chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, and other targeted therapies
  • clinical trials
  • biomedical research




Medical Board Certifications

Gynecologic Oncology, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1991
Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1990


Gynecologic Oncology, UCLA School of Medicine, 1989


Obstetrics & Gynecology, Yale-New Haven Hospital, 1986


MD, Harvard Medical School, 1982



West Los Angeles

OBGYN Oncology

Obstetrics and Gynecology| Gynecologic Medical Oncology| Cancer Genetics +2 more specialties

Hospital Affiliations

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center


Personalizing Ovarian Cancer: Knowing your Genetics



Link to Dr. Karlan's PubMed publications


  1. Surgery for Ovarian Cancer: Principles and Practice, 3Edition CRC Press, Robert E Bristow, Beth Y Karlan, Dennis S Chi (eds), Taylor and Francis Publishing, United Kingdome 2016
  2. Danforth's 10Edition Obstetrics and Gynecology (multiple languages), Ronald S Gibbs, Beth Y Karlan, Arthur F Haney, Ingrid E Nygaard (eds), Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA 2008
  3. Gynecologic Oncology: Clinical Practice and Surgical Atlas (English, Spanish and Chinese), Beth Y Karlan, Robert E Bristow and Andrew J Li (eds), McGraw-Hill Publishers, New York New York, 2012


  1. Continuation of Follow-up of DES Exposed Cohorts - National Institutes of Health/University of Massachusetts, Principal Investigator
  2. Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts Alter the Composition of β Cells in Solid Malignancies – National Cancer Institute, Co-Investigator
  3. Immune Infiltrate Dynamics in Cancer Progression, Department of Defense, Co-Investigator
  4. Co-Evolution of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer and Tumor Stroma, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Principal Investigator
  5. Untapped Therapeutic Targets in the Tumor Microenvironment, Department of Defense, Co-Investigator

In the News

Note: News website links may expire without notice.


  • Aetna
  • Anthem Blue Cross
  • Blue Shield of California
  • Centivo
  • Cigna
  • First Health
  • Health Net of California
  • Interplan (part of HealthSmart)
  • L.A. Care
  • MultiPlan
  • UFCM Health System
  • Prime Health Services
  • Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS)
  • UnitedHealthcare

The list of health care plans above may not be comprehensive and could change. 
Please contact your benefits coordinator or health insurance company directly to verify coverage.

Visit our health insurance information page for more details.


  • Super Doctors® Southern California, 2023, 2024
  • Top Doctors, Los Angeles Magazine, 2021, 2019
  •  "100 in 100", Recognizing 100 Trailblazing Women at UCLA Health on 100th Anniversary of the passage of 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, 2020
  • Recipient, Spirit of Hope Award, Tower Cancer Research Foundation, 2019
  • Recipient, Giants of Cancer Care Award in Gynecologic Malignancies, 2019
  • Gynecologic Oncology: Clinical Practice and Surgical Atlas named Core Title in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Doody Enterprises Core Titles in the Health Sciences, 2019
  • Director's Service Award, National Cancer Institute, 2018
  • Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (FASCO), 2018
  • Professorship, American Cancer Society, 2011-2017
  • Pioneer in Medicine Award, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 2016
  • Triumph Award, American Cancer Society, 2016
  • Rosalind Franklin Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Award, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, 2015
  • Claudia Cohen Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Researcher, Foundation for Women's Cancer, 2015
  • Distinguished Service Award, Society of Gynecologic Oncology, 2015
  • Ten Women Leaders Who Impact LA, Los Angeles Magazine, Game Changers,  2012
  • Nominated for the PROSE Award Association of American Publishers, 2012
  • Honoree, American Cancer Society's Southern California Invitational 2011 Harvard Physician Leadership in Academic Medicine Program, 2011
  • Early Detection Professorship, 2006-2011
  • Margaret Greenfield/Carmel Cohen M.D. Prize for Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Gynecologic Cancer Foundation, 2008
  • American Cancer Society, California Division