Robert J. Downey, MD, FACS

Robert J. Downey, MD, FACS



Co-Director, Specialized Advanced Care Unit

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

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Accepted Insurance Providers

Dr. Downey accepts the following list of insurance providers. Select your insurance provider to see more details.

Contact and Location

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Find a Convenient Location

Memorial Sloan Kettering has locations throughout New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester. These locations offers many services, including screening, chemotherapy, and medical testing.

About Me


MD, Columbia University


Surgery - Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center


Surgery - Mayo Clinic; Surgery - Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center

Board Certifications

Thoracic Surgery; Surgical Critical Care; General Surgery

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.


Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering work as teams, with specialists from all different areas. This allows us to consider all your needs together, and to give you the best possible care.

Clinical Trials

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Find a Clinical Trial for You

Memorial Sloan Kettering's doctors and scientists are constantly developing new treatments for cancer. MSK is typically running hundreds of clinical trials at a given time.

You may be able to participate in a clinical trial even if you are new to MSK. Search our online directory to find trial information and see more about who can participate.

Research and Publications

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.

“Oncologic emergencies.” Downey RJ, Groeger JS. In: Critical Care. 3rd ed. Civetta JM, Taylor RW, Kirby RR, eds. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 1997: 2245-2253.

“Physiology changes associated with bed rest and major injury.” Downey RJ, Weissman C. In: Downey and Darling’s Physiology Basis of Rehabilitation Medicine. 3rd ed. Gonzalez EG, Myers SJ, Edelstein JE, Lieberman JS, Downey JA, eds. Boston: Buttersworth-Heinemann; 2001.

“Follow-up after lung cancer resection.” Downey RJ. American Cancer Society Atlas of Clinical Oncology: Lung Cancer. Ginsberg RJ. Hamilton, Ontario: BC Decker; 2002.

“Non-small cell lung cancer—stage III disease.” Downey RJ. In: Current Therapy in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. Yang SC and Cameron DE, eds. Philadelphia: Mosby; 2004.


Publications on PubMed

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Downey’s journal articles. Pubmed is an online index of research papers and other articles from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.