Skip to Main Content

Jason W. Smith


Cardiac and transplant surgeon
Surgical Director, Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Programs

Dr. Jason W. Smith is a cardiac and transplant surgeon who specializes in heart transplantation and the use of mechanical circulatory support, such as artificial heart pumps and left ventricular assist devices. He has expertise in complex cardiac procedures that include mitral valve repair and replacement, aortic valve surgery, transcatheter aortic valve procedures (minimally invasive techniques to replace a failing valve), surgeries to treat the ascending aorta and aortic arch, treatment of endocarditis (infections of the heart's inner lining), operations to correct atrial fibrillation (irregular and often rapid heartbeats), and sternal repair and reconstruction. He also manages extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which supports the heart and lungs by using a machine to oxygenate blood outside of the body. He is the surgical director of UCSF's heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support programs.

Smith has been active in a national effort to increase access to heart transplantation by improving the use of donor organs. He served as a primary investigator for a nationwide clinical trial on donation after cardiac death.

Smith earned his medical degree from the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago, then completed a residency in general surgery and a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Loyola University Medical Center. He completed a fellowship in heart and lung transplantation at Stanford Medicine. Upon completing his training, he joined the surgical faculty at the University of Washington. Prior to joining UCSF, he served as surgical director of transplant and mechanical circulatory support at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Smith serves on the membership and professional standards committee of the national Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. He frequently makes presentations on issues related to organ transplantation and utilization and belongs to numerous professional and honorary societies. He is a San Francisco native.

  • Education

    Loyola University, MD, 2002

  • Residencies

    Loyola University Chicago, General Surgery, 2006

  • Fellowships

    Loyola University, Cardiothoracic Surgery, 2011

    Stanford Medicine, Heart and Lung Transplant, 2012

  • Academic Title


Where I see patients (4)

    My work

    UCSF's 35 years of heart transplant experience

    A leader in treating advanced heart failure, UCSF performed nearly 80 heart transplants in 2023. Dr. Smith shares his perspective on our commitment to cutting-edge care.

    An innovative approach to heart transplant surgery

    A new technique could shorten wait times for patients who need a heart transplant. Dr. Smith explains how.