As a surgeon with specialty training in surgical oncology, I care for patients with benign and malignant (cancerous) diseases of the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas, as well as cancer that has spread (metastasized) to the liver from the colon.
I am one of seven board-certified surgeons here at Memorial Sloan Kettering who specializes in treating these diseases, and together we perform between 800 and 1,000 cancer-related operations every year. Our team works very closely with colleagues in medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology, gastroenterology, nursing, and other specialties to provide the very best, individualized care for our patients.
One of my main goals as a surgeon is to find more-effective ways to remove liver and pancreas tumors through techniques that are considered “minimally invasive” – so that the physical stress on the body and the amount of time it takes for my patients to recover from an operation can be reduced. Advances in laparoscopic and robotic surgical approaches have helped make this happen, and many of these techniques were originally developed here at Memorial Sloan Kettering. That said, we are always looking for even more ways to reduce the impact of surgery on our patients, including using heat and cold to kill tumors through an approach called image-guided ablation.
In addition to my patient care responsibilities, an exciting part of working at Memorial Sloan Kettering is having the chance to conduct clinical research. Currently I am directing a clinical trial that examines a new method for quickly determining the stage of pancreatic cancer, which in the future could be performed as an outpatient procedure. Knowing the stage of a cancer early on could help us avoid operating on patients with advanced disease so they can get the chemotherapy treatment they need much faster. I have also written several book chapters and many papers on surgical oncology topics.
When I am not in the clinic or operating room at Memorial Sloan Kettering, I try to share what I have learned with healthcare professionals around the world. Over the past decade, I spent time in developing countries around the world — in Tanzania, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Mexico, Malawi, and Nigeria — providing basic healthcare, surgery, and training to local medical professionals.
These experiences led me, in 2007, to co-found Surgeons OverSeas (SOS), a non-profit organization for which I now serve as president. Our mission is to help build surgical capacity in developing countries through collaborative training, funding, and research initiatives, with projects currently centered in West Africa. We hope to expand these efforts within Memorial Sloan Kettering with long-term collaborations in developing countries to help improve cancer care throughout the world.
- Clinical Expertise: Benign and Malignant Disease of the Liver, Bile Ducts, and Gallbladder; Pancreatic Cancer; General Surgical Oncology; Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery; Ablation Therapy
- Languages Spoken: English
- Education: MD, SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine
- Residencies: NYU Medical Center
- Fellowships: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
- Board Certifications: Surgery
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.Learn more