Dr. Michael Conte received his medical degree in 1986 at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his surgical residency at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in 1993, which included a two year research fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. He completed his vascular surgery training in 1994 as the John Homans Fellow at BWH and Harvard Medical School (HMS), in Boston.
Dr. Conte was an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Yale University from 1994-1997, and a member of the Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine. Subsequently he returned to BWH where he served as Assistant Professor (1997-2001) and then Associate Professor (2001-2008 ) of Surgery at HMS. From 2002-2008, he was the Director of Vascular Surgical Research at BWH and from 2005-2008, he was Co-Director of the Clinical Trials Group at the Center for Surgery and Public Health (a joint initiative between HMS, BWH, and the Harvard School for Public Health).
Dr. Conte is a member of many professional organizations, including the Society for Vascular Surgery and the Society of University Surgeons. Dr. Conte has also been an invited lecturer for many regional, national, and international meetings and conferences. In 2006, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the New York Weill Cornell Medical Center Alumni Council. He is on the Editorial Board for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Vascular Medicine, Journal of Vascular Surgery, and Vascular. He has served as an Associate Editor for Circulation.
Dr. Conte's clinical interests include diseases of the aorta and its major branches, aneurysms, carotid artery disease, and peripheral artery disease (PAD). He is particularly interested in diabetic vascular disease, and in complex revascularization to preserve limb function and prevent amputation in patients with advanced forms of PAD. He had led the largest multicenter clinical trial to date examining the outcomes of leg bypass surgery in patients with severe PAD and is nationally and internationally recognized for his leadership in this area.
Dr. Conte's research is focused on developing new molecular therapies to improve the long-term results of cardiovascular procedures. His translational research program includes basic laboratory investigations as well as prospective clinical trials to study the causes of failure of angioplasty and bypass surgery and develop new approaches to stratify patients at risk.
The UCSF Division of Vascular & Endovascular Surgery announces the opening of the UCSF Center for Limb Preservation. Led by vascular surgeon Michael S. Conte, M.D. (pictured left), and podiatric surgeon Alexander M. Reyzelman, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S. (pictured right), the Center, the first of its kind in the Bay Area, pools the expertise of vascular surgeons, podiatrists and other specialists to provide integrated, multidisciplinary, care for patients at high risk of foot and leg amputation, particularly diabetic patients. The center treats patients with foot ulceration, peripheral artery disease (PAD) and at risk for developing these conditions. The Center also coordinates care with other UCSF specialists in infectious disease, endocrinology, cardiology, plastic surgery, orthopedics, and rehabilitation. Because foot ulcers are the most common pathway leading to amputation, the team is focused on their treatment, preventing recurrence, and returning patients to independent walking.
Bypass surgery to repair blocked arteries in the legs leads to more durable and long-lasting results in approximately twenty-percent of patients with two copies of a specific gene variation, one inherited from each parent. The study, co-funded by Vascular Cures and the NIH, was led by Michael S. Conte, M.D., Chief of the Division of Vascular & Endovascular Surgery, and co-director of the Heart and Vascular Center at UCSF and Alexander Clowes, M.D., Professor of Surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Conte noted that "this is the first genetic biomarker identified to date that can be used to help predict how durable the restoration of blood flow is likely to be after bypass surgery." Clowes added that the newly identified biomarker, "may help us identify patients at increased risk of treatment failures, and accelerate drug development to prevent re-narrowing of vascular reconstructions."
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) puts people at increased risk for heart attack, stroke, amputation and other vascular-related conditions, but is significantly underdiagnosed. "These are very vulnerable patients," says Michael S. Conte, MD, chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery and one of the country's leading PAD experts. "Most are over 70. Many are diabetics or smokers or both, and have other vascular conditions - and many are asymptomatic. Moreover, the course of the disease in individual patients is unpredictable. That's why physicians must be especially diligent in looking for PAD in at-risk populations."