Sam Wang, M.D.

Sam Wang, M.D.

  • Surgery - Surgical Oncology
  • Stomach/EG Junction Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer


Sam Wang, M.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He specializes in surgical oncology, and his clinical focus includes cancers of the liver, pancreas, stomach, and bile duct.

Dr. Wang received a B.S. with honors in biological science and an A.B. with high honors in history from Stanford University. He then earned his medical degree at Duke University School of Medicine and completed a residency in general surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. He gained advanced training in complex general surgical oncology through a fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Certified by the American Board of Surgery in complex general surgical oncology, he joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2014.

Dr. Wang is a surgeon-scientist and a UT Southwestern Disease-Oriented Clinical Scholar. In the lab, he is studying cellular factors that regulate gastric cancer initiation, progression, and response to therapy. In addition, he is studying the molecular mechanisms behind the outcome disparities in Hispanic gastric cancer patients. The goals for his research are to identify new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to improve outcomes for cancer patients.

In 2022, Dr. Wang received an R37 NCI MERIT Award for Early-Stage Investigators from the National Cancer Institute.

He is a member of several professional organizations, including the Society of Surgical Oncology, the Association for Academic Surgery, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the American College of Surgeons.

Meet Dr. Wang

Surgical Oncologist

As a researcher and clinician at UT Southwestern Medical Center, surgical oncologist Sam Wang, M.D., wants a better future for his patients.

In pursuit of that goal, he strives to translate his research findings to improve the lives of his patients with gastrointestinal cancers of the liver, pancreas, stomach, and bile duct.

He has a particular focus on stomachliver, and pancreatic cancer. His current research seeks to understand the biology of these malignancies in order to develop new classes of therapy for patients.

The survival rates for patients with these diseases have not improved in the past decades despite marked improvement in diagnostic modalities and surgical techniques. Many patients still present with metastatic disease, and the options for treatment are limited. Dr. Wang wants to change that.

“As a physician as well as a basic scientist, my goal is to make discoveries that are clinically relevant to patients,” he says. “With every project, I think about how it could lead to faster diagnosis or a better therapy. And the time I spend with my patients helps me focus my research on what’s clinically important and helps me better understand what can really make a difference.”

In the operating room, Dr. Wang is skilled in traditional and minimally invasive techniques, including robotics. He evaluates each patient to determine the best surgical approach to his or her tumor and works with the larger GI cancer team to treat patients when surgery is not an immediate option.

Dr. Wang knows that a diagnosis of pancreas cancer or any GI cancer can be frightening. He makes sure he spends time with each of his patients and their families, explaining their disease and dispelling myths about treatments.

“The GI Surgical Oncology team works together to help our patients and their families get through this process,” Dr. Wang says. “In addition to medical or surgical treatment, we also guide and support and let patients know what they can expect. It’s a big team effort.”

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Education & Training
  • Fellowship - Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (2012-2014), Surgical Oncology
  • Residency - UCSF School of Medicine (2005-2012), Surgery
  • Medical School - Duke University School of Medicine (2000-2005)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • American College of Surgeons
  • Association for Academic Surgery
  • Society of Surgical Oncology
  • Dallas Country Medical Society
  • Texas Medical Association
  • Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract
  • American Association for Cancer Research
Honors & Awards
  • R37 NCI MERIT Award for Early-Stage Investigators 2022, National Cancer Institute
  • D Magazine Best Doctor 2020
  • Texas Monthly Super Doctors, Rising Star 2020
  • Jacobson Promising Investigator Award 2019, American College of Surgeons
  • Faculty Research Fellowship 2017-2019, American College of Surgeons
  • Health Care Disparities Research Award 2017-2019, Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract
  • Outstanding Mentor 2017, Center for Translational Medicine, UT Southwestern
  • Disease-Oriented Clinical Scholar 2015-2018, UT Southwestern
  • Conquer Cancer Foundation Merit Award 2014, American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Outstanding Resident Achievement Award 2012, Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco
Books & Publications
  • Biomarker discovery to guide cancer care
  • Gastric cancer
  • Molecular basis for cancer therapy resistance
  • Molecular mechanisms behind disparities in cancer outcomes

Clinical Focus

  • Stomach/EG Junction Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Gastrointestinal Cancers
  • Liver Cancer
  • Gallbladder/Bile Duct (Cholangiocarcinoma) Cancer

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