Melissa Zimel, MD, named Director of the UCSF Sarcoma Program


SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 6, 2023) -- The UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is thrilled to announce that Melissa Zimel, MD, has been appointed Director of the UCSF Sarcoma Program. She will lead a team of multidisciplinary sarcoma specialists dedicated to providing patients with cutting-edge treatment of bone and soft tissue sarcomas.

A distinguished orthopaedic oncologist, Dr. Zimel has been an integral part of our sarcoma program since joining the faculty in 2017. She will be taking over the directorship from Dr. Richard O'Donnell, who has led the program for the past 20 years. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to him for his many years of dedicated service.

"Dr. Zimel is not only an outstanding surgeon, but she is also a true leader in the field of orthopaedic oncology -- her compassion and dedication to her patients are unparalleled, and I have no doubt that she will lead the UCSF Sarcoma Program to even greater heights," said Dr. Rosanna Wustrack, Acting Chair of the UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

About Melissa Zimel, MD

Dr. Melissa Zimel is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of children and adults with bone and soft tissue tumors and tumor-like conditions. She has vast experience in limb salvage surgery for adult and pediatric patients, custom pelvic implants and treatment of metastatic bone disease.

Dr. Zimel grew up in Portland, Oregon. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California. She received her M.D. degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and she completed her residency in orthopaedic surgery at the William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. She then completed two additional years of fellowship training in orthopaedic oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Dr. Zimel joined the faculty in the UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in 2017. She has been director of the multidisciplinary tumor board since 2020. Dr. Zimel also has a passion for diversity, equity and inclusion. She is the chair of the UCSF Department of Orthopedic Surgery’s DEI Committee and oversees the monthly DEI education program as well as efforts around retention and recruitment. She is an IDEAL Academy member and member of the UCSF SOM Diversity Leaders. Dr. Zimel is also one of the organizers of UC Women of Ortho, a yearly leadership summit for female orthopedic faculty and residents across all UC sites.