Robert J. Downey, MD, FACS


Thoracic surgeon Robert Downey talks about the quality of the multidisciplinary care at Memorial Sloan Kettering and the experience of following patients for years after helping to cure them.


I am a chest surgeon who specializes primarily in the treatment of three groups of patients: those with lung cancer, those with cancers that have spread to the lung from other sites, and those with tumors that arise from structures in the chest other than the lung, such as the thymus gland or the chest wall.

My clinical work outside of the operating room is focused on administering Memorial Sloan Kettering's Surgical Advanced Care Unit, which provides a heightened level of postoperative monitoring and care for patients who either have undergone extensive operations, or who present with significant debilities (for example, advanced age or preexisting lung disease) prior to surgery.

My research interests involve investigating whether adult cancers arise from the stem cells that all adults have in their bodies, and, if so, what the implications are for understanding the behavior and treatment of cancer.

Appointments for New Patients
646-497-9163 (Manhattan); 908-542-3000 (Basking Ridge)
212-639-8124 (Manhattan); 908-542-3000 (Basking Ridge)
Clinical Expertise

Lung Cancer; Mediastinal Tumors; Mesothelioma; Pulmonary Metastases; Pulmonary and Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, including Laser Endoscopy; Critical Care Medicine; Thoracic Surgical Oncology; Tracheobronchial and Esophageal Stents

Languages Spoken

MD, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons


Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center


Mayo Clinic; Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center

Board Certifications

Thoracic Surgery; Surgical Critical Care; General Surgery

Publications by Robert J. Downey

Selected Book Chapters
“Resection of colorectal metastases to the lung.” Downey RJ. In: Colorectal Cancer: Multimodality Management. Saltz L, ed. Clifton, NJ: Humana Press; 2002.

“Physiology of bed rest.” Downey RJ. In: The Physiological Basis of Rehabilitation Medicine. 2nd ed. Downey JA, Myers SJ, Gonzalez EG, Lieberman JS, eds. Boston: Butterworth-Heineman; 1994: 448-454.

“Surgical problems in the critically ill oncologic patient.” Downey RJ, Espat J, Hsu FI.  In: Textbook of Critical Care Medicine. 4th ed. Grenvik A, Ayres SM, Holbrook PR, Shoemaker WC, eds. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 2000.

“Perioperative care of the patient undergoing lung resection.” Downey RJ. Pulmonary Diseases and Disorders. Fishman AP, Elias JA, Fishman J, Grippi MA, Kaiser LR, Senior RM, eds. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 1998.

Visit PubMed for full listing of Robert J. Downey journal articles
Pubmed is an online index of biomedical articles maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.