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John P. Roberts


Organ transplant surgeon
Avid tennis player, advocate of regular exercise

Dr. John Roberts is a surgeon with expertise that includes kidney, liver and pancreas transplants. He is also an expert in surgically managing liver diseases, such as portal hypertension (high blood pressure in the vein going from the digestive organs to the liver), as well as in liver surgery for cancer.

Roberts is one of the few surgeons in the U.S. who has extensive experience in performing the Rex shunt – a procedure that restores normal blood flow to the liver – in children and adults. He also has spearheaded an effort to expand the use of living donors for liver transplantation, one of his many projects to make more organs available.

Roberts earned his medical degree at the University of California, San Diego and completed a surgical residency at the University of Washington. He also served as a postdoctoral fellow in transplantation in the Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Roberts joined UCSF Medical Center in 1988. In addition to his leadership of the transplant service, he teaches medical students and supervises the training of surgical residents.

Roberts has won numerous awards and has received grants from the National Institutes of Health for his research. He has produced nearly 170 papers on topics that include organ transplant rejection, immunogenicity (ability of a substance to provoke an immune response) and immunosuppression (intentionally subduing immune response to lower the chance of organ rejection).

Roberts speaks nationally on transplant issues. He is a fellow of the American Surgical Association and a member of many professional organizations.

  • Education

    UC San Diego, 1980

  • Residencies

    University of Washington, Surgery, 1983

  • Fellowships

    University of Minnesota, Transplant Surgery, 1987

  • Board Certifications

    Surgery, American Board of Surgery

  • Academic Title


I love helping patients through the decisions surrounding a surgical procedure, so they have the best possible outcome and see their health improve.

Where I see patients (4)

    My work

    Living donor gives patient with liver cancer another chance

    Amy was running out of treatment options when a family friend offered to donate part of her liver. Dr. Roberts was on the team that made Amy's surgery a success.

    A "multi-organ exchange" saves two lives

    Aliana was desperate to save her mom from kidney failure but wasn't eligible to donate a kidney herself. So she reached out to Dr. Roberts with a brilliant proposal.

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    74 Ratings
    About our process
    Oct 18, 2023
    Dr Roberts is awesome!!!
    Aug 30, 2023
    I would recommend them.
    Aug 26, 2023
    Dr. Roberts was kind listened carefully and answered all my questions. He seem to have plenty of time to offer me and was very understanding.
    Jul 02, 2023
    Attention when I asked
    Oct 10, 2022
    Very kind courteous and informative.
    Sep 15, 2022
    Good experience
    Aug 23, 2022
    May 30, 2022
    He was very clear about what was going to happen
    May 18, 2022
    I needed surgical notes for UCSF procedure I had outside of his area and he provided them for me. Thanks!
    Apr 28, 2022
    Dr. Roberts was incredibly thorough kind and listened. He answered all my questions and never made me feel rushed. He's excellent.
    Mar 25, 2022
    Mar 20, 2022
    Very good.
    Mar 05, 2022
    Dr. Roberts is an excellent communicator and made me feel at ease. He went through my Kaiser medical history and explained the transplant program. I could not have had a better referral to a kidney transplant program made by Kaiser Santa. Clara.

    Selected research