Brian Feeley, MD receives Ron Conway Family Endowed Professorship in Sports Medicine Research


SAN FRANCISCO (June 16, 2022) -- The UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is delighted to announce that Brian Feeley, MD, the Chief of the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service and a Professor in Residence, has been appointed the Ron Conway Family Endowed Professorship in Sports Medicine Research.

This Professorship will facilitate Dr. Feeley’s pioneering research on muscle tissue and its impact on common musculoskeletal problems, such as rotator cuff tears, knee pain, limb immobilization, joint contractures, and low back pain, as well as Dr. Feeley’s extensive mentorship and teaching activities.

“Time and again, Mr. Conway has demonstrated incisive acumen, identifying potential for transformative innovation in technology,” Dr. Feeley said. “To have my medical research be dubbed worthy of his investment is a true honor. Through his generosity, UCSF will continue raising the bar for management of sports medicine injuries as well as training future generations of orthopaedic surgeons, with particular attention paid to supporting those from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.”


Video: Meet the Doctor. Dr. Brian Feeley (Courtesy of UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery)

“Dr. Feeley is a uniquely talented orthopaedic surgeon, educator, and investigator,” said Dr. Thomas P. Vail, Chair of the Department. “His creative approach to characterizing stem cells in muscle and studying the role of stem cells in muscle degeneration – and regeneration – is truly remarkable. We congratulate him on receiving this very generous support to continue his pursuit of understanding cellular and molecular changes that occur within muscle after injury.”


Video: Brian Feeley, MD, gives a summary of the paper "Intramuscular Brown Fat Activation Decreases Muscle Atrophy and Fatty Infiltration and Improves Gait After Delayed Rotator Cuff Repair in Mice" for the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

In addition to Dr. Feeley’s clinical practice at the UCSF Orthopaedic Institute, he runs the Feeley-Liu Laboratory for Muscle Regeneration with colleagueXuhui Liu, MD, a research scientist in the field of orthopaedic surgery.

“Dr. Feeley is truly passionate about understanding the how and why of cell healing. He continuously partners with peers, using evidence-backed science to find answers to these questions,” said Dr. Liu.

To date, the Feeley-Liu Lab has published approximately 35 research studies on muscle tissue quality and its impact on common problems such as rotator cuff tears, low back pain, and neurologic conditions. They use cutting edge research tools such as CRISPR gene editing, single cell trancriptomics, and 2-photon microscopy to study the effects of muscle stem cells on tissue regeneration. 

“We hope to eventually be able to improve surgical outcomes and decrease recovery times by influencing the way stem cells in an injured rotator cuff behave after repair, that is, to use the tricks we figured out for stimulating beige fat in mice to prompt humans’ own stem cell regeneration,” Dr. Feeley said.

About Ron Conway

 Ron Conway is the Founder and Co-Managing Partner of SV Angel. He has been an active angel investor since the mid 90s and has received wide recognition for his role in the tech ecosystem. He was included on Vanity Fair’s 100 most influential people in the Information Age in 2010, awarded Best Angel at the 2009 TechCrunch Crunchies Awards, and has been named on Forbes Magazine Midas list of top “deal-makers” since 2011. Prior to founding SV Angel, Conway was with National Semiconductor Corporation in marketing positions (1973-1979), Altos Computer Systems as a co-founder, President, and CEO (1979-1990), taking the company public on Nasdaq in 1982, and served as CEO of Personal Training Systems (PTS) (1991-1995). PTS was acquired by SmartForce/SkillSoft (Nasdaq SKIL).

Conway is an advocate for civic engagement, immigration reform, racial equity, and gun safety. He is founder and Chairman of and a co-founder of FWD.US, and is working diligently on efforts to solve for systemic racial inequity and to support founders of color, especially through the launch of Slauson and Co. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 Conway has been involved in efforts to secure PPE and fundraise for a drug therapy/vaccine, and organized the Covid-19 Tech Task Force.

Philanthropically, Conway is a member of the Giving Pledge and Board Member of the Salesforce Foundation. He is a major donor and advisor to many organizations, including UCSF Medical Center and the UCSF Benioff Children’s HospitalCollege TrackTHORN FoundationSandy Hook, and March for Our Lives.

About Brian Feeley, MD

Brian Feeley, MD is the Chief of the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, and is currently a Professor in Residence. He grew up in the Bay Area and received his Bachelor of Science degree and his medical degree from Stanford University before his residency in the UCLA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He completed a sports medicine and shoulder fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, where he also served as an assistant team physician to the New York Giants. He has been at UCSF since 2008.

Dr. Feeley's clinical focus is on athletic injuries of the shoulder and knee and the use of minimally invasive/arthroscopic procedures to treat these problems. In the shoulder, he treats rotator cuff tears/impingement, shoulder instability and labral tears, clavicle fractures, shoulder arthritis, and shoulder replacement with reverse shoulder arthroplasty. In the knee, he treats ACL and other ligament injuries, meniscus tears, cartilage injuries, and early arthritis.

He has published over 250 peer reviewed articles, review studies, and book chapters, as well as a book on rotator cuff injuries. He has received the AOSSM and OREF Young Investigator Awards for his research, and in 2012 received the Western Orthopaedic Young Investigator Award. He is currently funded by the NIH and VA for his research, and was the 2014 Kappa Delta Young Investigator Award winner from the OREF and ORS. He has won the prestigious Neer Award from the American Shoulder and Elbow Society in 2019 and 2020, and the AOSSM Excellence in Research Award in 2021.