Diana L. Farmer, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.R.C.S. for UC Davis Health

Diana L. Farmer, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.R.C.S.

Chairperson, Department of Surgery

Surgeon-in-Chief, UC Davis Children’s Hospital

Distinguished Professor and Pearl Stamps Stewart Endowed Chair

Founder and Co-Director, Department of Surgery Center for Surgical Bioengineering

To see if Diana L. Farmer is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).



Fetal Surgery

Pediatric Surgery

Surgery - Pediatric

Fetal Intervention



Locations and Contact

UC Davis Children's Hospital

UC Davis Children's Hospital
2315 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817

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Additional Numbers

Clinic Referral Phone

800-UCD-4-KIDS (800-823-4543)

Physician Referrals

800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Clinical Interests

Dr. Farmer is an internationally renowned fetal and neonatal surgeon, and is chair of the Department of Surgery. Her clinical interests include: pediatric surgery, fetal surgery, in utero stem cell therapy, myelomeningocele, lymphatic malformations, surgical bioengineering, and surgical global health.

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Farmer is principal investigator of several National Institutes of Health clinical trials on the effectiveness and safety of spina bifida treatments before birth, and she is researching a novel stem cell therapy for repairing damaged neural tissue in spina bifida patients.


Pediatric Surgery
Fetal Care and Treatment Center

Center/Program Affiliation

UC Davis Children's Hospital

Undergraduate School

B.A., Wellesley College, Wellesley MA 1977

Medical School

M.D., University of Washington, Seattle WA 1983


General Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle WA 1985-1986


General Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle WA 1986-1993


Pediatric Surgery, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit MI 1993-1995


Surgical Oncology, UC San Francisco, San Francisco CA 1987-1989

Academy of Master Surgeon Educators, American College of Surgeons, 2021

President-Elect, American Surgical Association (ASA), 2021

Hibbard Williams Award for Extraordinary Achievement, UC Davis School of Medicine, 2021

Regent, American College of Surgeons, 2019

Dean’s Collaborative Research Award (DECOR), UC Davis, 2019

Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM). Electronic address: pubs@smfm.org; Society of Family Planning (SFP), Norton ME, Cassidy A, Ralston SJ, Chatterjee D, Farmer D, Beasley AD, Dragoman M. Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Consult Series #59: The use of analgesia and anesthesia for maternal-fetal procedures. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2021 Dec;225(6):B2-B8. Epub 2021 Aug 28.

Jackson JE, Pivetti C, Stokes SC, Theodorou CM, Kumar P, Paxton ZJ, Hyllen A, Reynaga L, Wang A, Farmer DL. Placental Mesenchymal Stromal Cells: Preclinical Safety Evaluation for Fetal Myelomeningocele Repair. J Surg Res. 2021 Nov;267:660-668. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Lazar SV, Mor S, Wang D, Goldbloom-Helzner L, Clark K, Hao D, Farmer DL, Wang A. Engineering extracellular vesicles for Alzheimer's disease: An emerging cell-free approach for earlier diagnosis and treatment. WIREs Mechanisms of Disease. 2021 Oct 19.

Stokes SC, Theodorou CM, Jackson JE, Pivetti C, Kumar P, Yamashiro KJ, Paxton ZJ, Reynaga L, Hyllen A, Wang A, Farmer DL. Long-term safety evaluation of placental mesenchymal stromal cells for in utero repair of myelomeningocele in a novel ovine model. J Pediatr Surg. 2021 Sep 20:S0022-3468(21)00640-0. Epub ahead of print.

He S, Walimbe T, Chen H, Gao K, Kumar P, Wei Y, Hao D, Liu R, Farmer DL, Lam KS, Zhou J, Panitch A, Wang A. Bioactive extracellular matrix scaffolds engineered with proangiogenic proteoglycan mimetics and loaded with endothelial progenitor cells promote neovascularization and diabetic wound healing. Bioact Mater. 2021 Sep 11;10:460-473. 2021.08.017.

Stokes SC, Yamashiro KJ, Vanover MA, Galganski LA, Jackson JE, Theodorou CM, Pivetti CD, Farmer DL, Wang A. Preliminary Evaluation of a Novel Fetal Guinea Pig Myelomeningocele Model. Biomed Res Int. 2021 Aug 13;2021:2180883.

Ellison EC, Nagler A, Stain SC, Matthews JB, Spanknebel K, Shabahang MM, Blair PG, Farmer DL, Sloane R, Britt LD, Sachdeva AK. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on surgical trainee education and well-being spring 2020-winter 2020: A path forward. Am J Surg. 2021 Jun 9:S0002-9610(21)00324-X. Epub ahead of print.

Yamashiro KJ, Farmer DL. Fetal myelomeningocele repair: a narrative review of the history, current controversies and future directions. Transl Pediatr. 2021 May;10(5):1497-1505.

Stokes SC, Jackson JE, Theodorou CM, Pivetti CD, Kumar P, Yamashiro KJ, Wang A, Farmer DL. A Novel Model of Fetal Spinal Cord Exposure Allowing for Long-Term Postnatal Survival. Fetal Diagn Ther. 2021;48(6):472-478.  Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Zhang X, Chen H, Gao K, He S, Ma Z, Liu R, Hao D, Wang Y, Kumar P, Ramasubramanian L, Pivetti CD, Li Y, Guo F, Wang F, Carney R, Farmer DL, Wang A. Engineered neuron-targeting, placental mesenchymal stromal cell-derived extracellular vesicles for in utero treatment of myelomeningocele. bioRxiv. 2021.09.22.461362 

Diana Farmer on her latest spina bifida study

Life's little miracles: The Figone family story

World-class Children's Surgery Center, close to home -- UC Davis Children's Hospital

UC Davis Children’s Hospital Dr. Diana Farmer Sac&Co 11/14/18