Joseph Young, M.D.

Joseph Nilas Young, M.D.


  • Chief Emeritus, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Professor, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery


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

UC Davis Medical Center - Cypress Building

2221 Stockton Blvd., Suite 2112
Sacramento, CA 95817
Driving Directions

Primary Phone:

Additional Phone Numbers

Clinic Phone: 916-734-2680
Clinic Phone: 916-734-4893
Clinic Fax: 916-734-7417
Clinic Referral Phone: 916-734-3861
Physician Referrals: 800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Philosophy of Care

Dr. Young's philosphy of care is to combine extensive experience and skill with the most advanced technologies and procedures to provide complete surgical care for complex diseases of the heart, chest, lungs and esophagus. He believes like his division that research-based, multidisciplinary approaches to surgery and providing expert care in the following three primary areas- Adult Cardiac Surgery, Congeitial Cardiac Surgery and General Thoracic Surgery are important.

Clinical Interests

J. Nilas Young has a long record as an innovative surgeon and educator. He has been Professor and Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery since 2001, as well as Program Director for the Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency Program. In 1989, he founded Heart to Heart International Children's Medical Alliance, a nonprofit organization that has established six cardiothoracic surgery programs in Russia. Dr. Young's clinical interests include complex valve repair, aortic disease, coronary revascularization, and congenital heart disease. His current research interests include outcomes for coronary bypass surgery, and his basic research involves myocardial cell ion transport and RNA profiling in myocardial stem cells.

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Young's clinical research interests have focused primarily on surgical outcomes in a variety of clinical scenarios-specifically outcomes for congenital heart disease and coronary bypass grafting for ischemic heart disease. His basic research interests have involved collaborative studies examining molecular mechanisms of various myocardial cell functions. He has a strong interest in international cardiac surgical outreach programs, and has documented several decades of his group’s efforts and outcomes in this arena. 


Cardiac Surgery

Center/Program Affiliation

Cardiovascular Services
UC Davis Medical Group


M.D., Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans LA 1970

Biology, Spring Hill College, Mobile AL 1966


Thoracic Surgery, Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland CA 1977

General Surgery, St. Mary's Hospital, San Francisco CA 1975

Board Certifications

American Board of Thoracic Surgery,

CA Physicians and Surgeon,

Physician Assistant Supervisor,

Radiography and Fluoroscopy,

Professional Memberships

American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Association for Thoracic Surgery

American College of Cardiology

American College of Chest Physicians

American College of Surgeons

American Heart Association

American Medical Association

International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery

Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, State of California CABG Outcomes Reporting Program, Clinical Advisory Panel

Society of Thoracic Surgeons

Thoracic Surgery Directors Association, Professionalism and Ethics Committee

Western Thoracic Surgical Association

Women in Thoracic Surgery

Honors and Awards

Pfizer International Volunteerism, American College of Surgeons. Washington, DC, 2016

ISMICS Poster Competition Winner - Complete Tricuspid Valve Regeneration: A Novel Minimally Invasive Surgical Technique and New Surgical Paradigm, Prague, Czech Republic, 2013

The World of Children Health Award Honoree, New York, NY, 2012

Hibbard Williams Extraordinary Achievement Award, University of California Davis, Sacramento, CA. March 29, 2012

2012 Dean's Award for Excellence in Community Engagement, UC Davis, School of Medicine, Sacramento, CA, 2012

Distinguished Service Award - Heart to Heart Foundational Children's Medical Alliance, 2009

Outstanding Physician Alumnus of the Year Award - The Highland Foundation, Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland, CA, 1996

Paul Harris Fellowship Award - Rotary International (For Russian cardiac surgical experience), 1995

Commissioner's Leadership through Collaboration Citation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Washington, DC, 1993

Mayor's Citation Medal, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1991

Certificate of Appreciation, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Committee of St. Petersburg, Russia, City Council, 1989

Second Award for Excellence, Scientific Exhibit, American College of Cardiology, 27th Annual Scientific Session, Anaheim, CA, March. The Internal Configuration of Saphenous-Coronary Anastomoses as Determined by the Cast Injection Technique, 1978

Resident's Prize Essay Winner, The Western Thoracic Surgical Society, 3rd Annual Meeting, Colorado Springs, CO, June. The Internal Configuration of Saphenous-Coronary Anastomoses as Determined by the Cast Injection Technique, 1977

Distinguished Academic Record, Fellow, Undergraduate Medical and Surgical Society, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, 1970

Select Recent Publications

Li Z, Anderson J, Romano PS, Parker JP, Young JN, Chang DC. Impact of Risk Adjustment for Patient Sociodemographic Status in Public Reporting of Cardiac Surgery Outcomes. J Am Coll Surg. 2015 Oct;221(4):S128. doi:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2015.07.302.

Li Z, Amsterdam EA, Young JN, Hoegh H, Armstrong EJ. Contemporary Outcomes of Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Among Patients With Insulin-Treated and Non - Insulin-Treated Diabetes. Ann Thorac Surg. 2015;100(6):2262–2269. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2015.06.028. Epub 2015 Aug 25.

Young, JN, Everett J, Simsic JM, Taggart NW, Litwin SB, Lusin N, Hasse L, Krivoshchekov EV, Marcin JP, Raff GW, Cetta F. A Stepwise Model for Delivering Medical Humanitarian Aid Requiring Complex Interventions. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Dec;148(6):2480-9.e1. doi:10.1016/j.jtcvs.2014.07.067. Epub 2014 Aug.

Li Z, Carlisle DM, Marcin JP, Castellanos LR, Romano PS, Young JN, Amsterdam EA. Impact of Public Reporting on Access to Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery: The California Outcomes Reporting Program. Ann Thoracic Surg. 2010 Apr;89(4):1131-8. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2009.12.073.

Cao L, Young N, Liu H, Silvestry S, Sun W, Zhao N, Diehl J, Sun J. Preoperative aspirin use and outcomes in cardiac surgery patients. Ann Surg. 2012 Feb;255(2):399-404. doi:10.1097/SLA.0b013e318234313b.

Sirish P, López JE, Li N, Wong A, Timofeyev V, Young JN, Majdi M, Li RA, Chen HS, Chiamvimonvat N. MicroRNA profiling predicts a variance in the proliferative potential of cardiac progenitor cells derived from neonatal and adult murine hearts. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2012 Jan;52(1):264-72. doi:10.1016/j.yjmcc.2011.10.012. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Castellanos LR, Li Z, Yeo KK, Young JN, Ayanian JZ, Amsterdam EA. Relation of race, ethnicity and cardiac surgeons to operative mortality rates in primary coronary artery bypass grafting in California. Am J Cardiol. 2011 Jan;107(1):1-5. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2010.08.036.

Tuteja D, Rafizadeh S, Timofeyev V, Wang S, Zhang Z, Li N, Mateo RK, Singapuri A, Young JN, Knowlton AA, Chiamvimonvat N. Cardiac small conductance Ca2-activated K channel subunits form heteromultimers via the coiled-coil domains in the C termini of the channels. Circ Res. 2010 Oct 1;107(7):851-9. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.109.215269. Epub 2010 Aug 5.

Li Z, Denton T, Yeo KK, Parker JP, White R, Young JN, Amsterdam EA. Off-pump bypass surgery and postoperative stroke: California coronary bypass outcomes reporting program. Ann Thorac Surg. 2010 Sep;90(3):753-9. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2010.04.018.

Rogers JH, Yeo KK, Carroll JD, Cleveland J, Reece TB, Gillinov AM, Rodriguez L, Whitlow P, Woo YJ, Herrmann HC, Young JN. Late surgical mitral valve repair after percutaneous repair with the MitraClip system. J Card Surg. 2009 Nov-Dec;24(6):677-81. doi:10.1111/j.1540-8191.2009.00901.x. Epub 2009 Jul 24.