The Department of Surgery is pleased to announce the appointment of Kiran Turaga, MD, MPH to the position of Division Chief of Surgical Oncology, effective Oct. 1, 2022. He succeeds Dr. Ronald Salem, who is stepping down from the leadership position, having led surgical oncology at Yale for the past 30 years.
“I am humbled to take the reins from Dr. Salem who has been instrumental in establishing Yale’s world-class reputation for surgical cancer care and pioneering research,” said Dr. Turaga.
In addition to his department role, Dr. Turaga will serve as Assistant Medical Director for the Clinical Trials Office at Yale Cancer Center.
Dr. Turaga joins the Yale community via the University of Chicago where he is Vice Chief of the Section of General Surgery and Surgical Oncology, Director of the Surgical Gastrointestinal Cancer Program, and Director of Regional Therapeutics.
Widely considered a thought leader in the management of oligo-metastatic cancer, Dr. Turaga is an expert in regional perfusion including hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), a technique that delivers high doses of heated chemotherapy directly to abdominal organs to kill cancer cells that may remain after surgical removal of visible tumors. His research focuses on development of novel diagnostics and therapeutics for oligometastatic cancer and is currently the PI on several clinical trials exploring the interface of immunotherapy, and liquid biopsy in the surgical management of cancer. He is also interested in studying how big data systems can be used to provide the most optimal, cost-effective patient care.
"Dr. Turaga is a triple threat academic surgeon, educator, and scientist, and I am energized by the tremendous growth potential of our surgical oncology programs that he brings to our community — a continuation of Dr. Salem’s 28 years of esteemed servant-leadership that has had such a positive and permanent influence on our culture and growth,” said Department of Surgery Chair, Dr. Nita Ahuja.
Since 1994, Dr. Salem has grown the Division of Surgical Oncology into a multi-disciplinary enterprise, that includes the sections of Breast Surgery, Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary (HPB) Surgery, and Endocrine Surgery.
“It has been a true privilege to have led a group with so many exceptionally talented individuals, and I feel confident that I can now step down from the very rewarding role as Division Chief, and that Dr. Turaga is the best person to lead and develop our mission and our people going forward,” said Dr. Salem.
The Department of Surgery partnered with the Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center leadership on the recruitment — a nationwide search that began in March of 2021. Section Chief of HPB Surgery, Dr. Sajid Khan, and Dr. Pamela Kunz, Leader of the Center for Gastrointestinal Cancers at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center led the search committee, with members: Drs. Alan Dardik, Mehra Golshan, Kimberly Johung, Chen Liu, and Katerina Politi.