It was during my research fellowship at The Liver Center at the University of California, San Francisco, that I became interested in focusing on liver, biliary, and pancreatic diseases. When I returned to clinical training, my interest in caring for patients with these disorders crystallized, so I pursued a surgical fellowship with Dr. Leslie Blumgart here at Memorial Sloan Kettering — and I never left.
In addition to my time in the clinic and operating room, I have a keen interest in research, and have been actively involved several clinical trials since joining the faculty at Memorial Sloan Kettering in 1997.
My colleagues and I are actively investigating novel therapies for patients with bile duct cancer and primary liver cancer that cannot be treated surgically. Alongside colleagues from medical oncology and radiology, we are studying how these tumors respond to treatment. We are also learning more about the most basic, molecular genetic changes that take place in bile duct cancers to understand how these tumors develop in the first place.
For patients undergoing surgery, we are also trying, whenever possible, to use minimally invasive approaches (laparoscopy and robotics) and image-guidance systems to treat cancers of the liver and pancreas. Such approaches may allow for faster recovery.
Outside of Memorial Sloan Kettering, I am currently president-elect of AHPBA (Americas Hepato Pancreato Biliary Association), the largest organization for liver and pancreas specialists in North and South America, and am an elected member of such national organizations as the American Surgical Association, the Society of University Surgeons, and the Southern Surgical Association.
Thus far in my career, I have been honored to speak around the world on a host of topics, and I have contributed to more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, and in collaboration with colleagues from Memorial Sloan Kettering, have edited two medical textbooks: The American Cancer Society Clinical Oncology Atlas Series: Hepatobiliary Cancer and Blumgart’s Surgery of the Liver, Biliary Tract and Pancreas.
On a personal note, I am especially proud of my six years of service as a member of the US Naval Reserve’s Medical Corps, a commitment that took me to naval bases around the country to train with physicians, nurses, and other naval personnel.
My wife and I live in New York City with our two daughters, and we enjoy spending time in our small cottage in Maine whenever we can get away.