Jeffrey Drebin, MD, PhD

About Me

As Chair of the Department of Surgery, I oversee a team that is world-renowned for its innovation and expertise in cancer surgery. In addition to my administrative duties, I am also a surgeon and scientist. I specialize in treating people with pancreatic cancer, gallbladder and bile duct cancers, liver cancer, and stomach cancer.

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I knew from a young age I wanted to be a doctor, and losing a number of relatives to cancer gave me a personal stake in finding better ways to treat the disease. But it wasn’t until I was almost finished with medical school, going through my final rotations, that I decided to change paths and become a surgeon. I was inspired by how quickly and substantially surgeons are able to help people.

I came to MSK not only because it is the preeminent cancer institution in the country, but also because it is a place where people are committed to going above and beyond the scope of their work. Everyone here is simultaneously dedicated to caring for patients and advancing our knowledge of this disease.

When I meet patients, they’re often frightened. I find the best way to deal with that is by giving them accurate information. While I am always honest, I lean on the side of hopeful: I have treated many people with very bad cancers who are alive and well years later. This is an exciting time to be in the field because I believe the areas of immunotherapy, which harnesses the body’s immune system to fight cancer, and targeted therapy, which directly attacks the altered biochemical pathways in cancer cells, hold great potential for pancreatic and other gastrointestinal cancers. MSK has a number of clinical trials that are looking at how we can add immunotherapy and targeted therapies to conventional treatments so that, in essence, we’re giving people tomorrow’s treatments today. We are also looking at ways to improve early detection methods.

When I’m not working, I like to spend time with my family, ski, and read.

  • Clinical Expertise: Pancreas Cancer; Pancreas Cysts; Liver Tumors; Bile Duct Tumors; Stomach Cancer
  • Awards and Honors: Castle Connolly: New York Magazine Top Doctors (2018); American Association for Cancer Research Surgeon Scientist Award (2016)
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Education: MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School
  • Residencies: The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Fellowships: The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Board Certifications: Surgery


Visit PubMed for a full listing of Jeffrey Drebin’s 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.

Clinical Trials

As home to one of the world’s top cancer research centers, Memorial Sloan Kettering is typically involved in more than 900 clinical trials at a given time. Currently, clinical trials focused on the conditions I treat are enrolling new patients. If you’re interested in joining a clinical trial, click to learn about the trial’s purpose, eligibility criteria, and how to get more information.

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Most major health insurers offer plans that include MSK as one of their in-network providers. If MSK is in-network, it means all our doctors are too. Medicaid and New York State Medicare also provide benefits for care at MSK.

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