Dr. Deepak Narayan specialized in the treatment of melanomas and skin cancers. He graduated from the University of Madras and received his training in General Surgery and Plastic Surgery at the Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale University. While at Yale, he completed a research fellowship in Surgical Oncology and is Board Certified in Surgery and Plastic Surgery. As a melanoma surgeon with extensive experience, Dr. Narayan provided patients with a unique resource of treating melanomas as well as reconstructing the defects that can occur from melanoma surgery. In addition, he was an expert in specialized procedures for melanoma treatment, such as sentinel node biopsies, axillary node dissection, radical neck dissection, parotidectomies, iliac node dissections, and isolated limb infusions. His other areas of expertise included hemangiomas and vascular malformations. He pioneered new reconstructive techniques for cancer, and has over 120 publications in peer-reviewed journals. He had an active research interest in melanomas and was a co-investigator in the prestigious, NIH-funded SPORE (Special Program of Research Excellence) Grant. He has won numerous awards for research, teaching, and clinical excellence and has been continually listed in “Americas Top Surgeons” since 2002 and “The Best Doctors in America” since 2007. In addition, he has received the following awards for his research: American Cancer Society, Basic Oncology Research Award 1995 Swebilius Cancer Research Award American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons Research Award 1998, 2009 Patient Care: Yale Melanoma and Skin Cancer,
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Deepak Narayan, MBBS, FRCS
The Department of Surgery mourns the loss of a dear friend, colleague, esteemed professor and faculty member; at 58 years young, Dr. Deepak Narayan lost his battle with cancer on Christmas Eve. As professor of surgery, Residency Program director, and interim director of the Cancer Center’s Melanoma Program, Deepak made remarkable clinical and academic contributions, and held key leadership roles both at Yale and nationally. He will be sorely missed by all who were touched by his life and gifts.
Deepak was born in India, where he began his medical career. He obtained his Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in the United Kingdom, and joined the Yale Surgery family shortly thereafter when he began his general surgery residency. He completed a research fellowship at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and a subsequent research fellowship in the Departments of Surgery and Genetics at Yale. Deepak completed his general surgery residency at the University of Connecticut Health center in Farmington, where he won every award offered at graduation for clinical excellence, research, humanism, and professionalism. Yale’s plastic surgery residency was next, followed by academic appointment in the Section of Plastic Surgery. Deepak quickly rose the ranks to full professor and chief of Plastic Surgery at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, where he served for the past 15 years.
Perhaps Deepak’s greatest legacy was his work in the field of melanoma. He was a longtime member of the Yale Cancer Center’s Melanoma Program, ultimately rising to the level of interim director, when he was afflicted by disease. He will be remembered for his prodigious and vast clinical knowledge base and his ability to develop innovative solutions for the most complex multidisciplinary cases.
As an inspiring leader and NIH R01-funded surgeon-scientist, he served as a research mentor for more than 37 research fellows, lectured from distinguished podiums around the world, and was published in numerous reputable journals. He held leadership roles with many national organizations, including the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, the New England Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (President 2017-18), and the American Board of Plastic Surgery, among others. Deepak was instrumental in partnering with the local and national Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education for the successful expansion of the Yale plastic surgery residency program.
What is not captured in the review of Deepak’s work, is his self-effacing, wry humor, and his keen interest in everything from ornithology to medical history. Deepak is an irreplaceable human being with a generous heart and creative mind. His many friends will not forget his smile, creativity, and friendship. He is survived by his father H.B.N Shetty, brother Prasanth Shetty, and sisters Shobha Shetty and Aruna Gupta. A memorial service is planned for the spring; details will be forthcoming.