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Our Faculty

  • Ronald Salem

    Section Chief

    Lampman Professor of Surgery (Oncology); Section Chief, Surgical Oncology

    Ronald R. Salem, MD earned his medical degree from University of Rhodesia and is a Board Certified Surgeon. Passionate about improving the lives of patients with cancer, he is committed to advancing medical and surgical treatment and integrating the latest techniques and minimally invasive surgery in his clinical practice. He is one of the few surgeons in Connecticut with a high volume practice performing the Whipple procedure.

    Dr. Salem specializes in malignant and pre-malignant diseases of the pancreas, liver and biliary system, the gall bladder, stomach, colon and rectum, lymphoma, neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas and gastrointestinal tract as well as liver tumors in pregnant women.

    His research includes a special focus on optimizing clinical outcomes in patients undergoing pancreatic surgery, combined modality therapy for esophageal cancer and the management of benign and malignant liver tumors.

    He has received many honors and recognitions, including The Best Doctors, N.Y. Metro Area annually for over ten years; Best Doctors in Connecticut and Top Minimally Invasive Surgeons, NY Metro Area.

    He was recently awarded the prestigious David and Cindy Lefell Award for clinical excellence, the Yale New Haven Hospital Heroes Award, the Smilow Cancer Center Clinical Award the Alvin Feinstein Teaching Award and has received the Chief Resident in Surgery Teaching Award on seven separate occasions.

  • Nita Ahuja

    William H. Carmalt Professor of Surgery; Chair, Department of Surgery; Assistant Cancer Center Director, Surgery, Yale Cancer Center

    Nita Ahuja, MD, MBA, is the chair of the Department of Surgery at Yale School of Medicine and chief of surgery at Yale New Haven Hospital, effective February 1, 2018. Watch a video with Dr. Nita Ahuja>>

    Dr. Ahuja obtained her medical education at the Duke University School of Medicine and her training in general surgery at Johns Hopkins. She completed a fellowship in surgical oncology at Johns Hopkins focused on hepatobiliary malignancies and joined the faculty in 2003. 

    Dr Ahuja's surgical specialization is in management of sarcomas and complex gastrointestinal cancers, including gastric, rectal, and pancreatic cancers. She has developed an international reputation for management of peritoneal cancer metastases with cytoreduction and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy, which attracts patients from around the world. She is a strong advocate for working with various disciplines to deliver caring and cutting edge treatment to her patients and is honored as a top doctor by multiple organizations. Prior to coming to Yale as chair of surgery, she was the director of sarcoma program and gastric cancer program.

    Dr. Ahuja is also a passionate advocate of clinician scientist and has run a laboratory focused on developing new knowledge to improve cancer outcomes. Her NIH funded laboratory has been focused on identifying new biomarkers for pancreas and colon cancers using liquid biopsies and stool DNA. She has also led over twenty national and international clinical trials on testing new therapies in gastrointestinal and breast cancers based on concepts identified in her laboratory.

    She is a national and international surgical leader and surgeon scientist who serves on multiple editorial boards and in national leadership positions including as an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, member of the American Surgical Association, New England Surgical Society, Southern Surgical Association and on the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Faculty and Academic Societies Administrative Board. She has published over 300 papers and book chapters contributing to both the surgical and basic science fields. Her many awards and honors include the William J. Reinhoff, Jr. Scholar Award, the American Surgical Association Fellowship, the Society of Surgical Oncology Clinical Investigator Award, and the Abell Foundation Award: Johns Hopkins Alliance for Science and Technology Development.

  • Kevin Billingsley

    Chief Medical Officer, Yale Cancer Center; Professor, Surgery

    As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Billingsley is responsible for clinical cancer care across Yale Cancer Center, Smilow Cancer Hospital, and the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Centers, as well as clinical program development for cancer services throughout Yale New Haven Health. Among his many responsibilities, he oversees quality and patient safety initiatives, evaluates and optimizes our multidisciplinary team structure, assists  with facilities and space planning, supports our research mission, and interacts and coordinates with Yale New Haven Hospital's clinical leadership structure.

    Dr. Billingsley is an international leader in the clinical care and research of hepatobiliary cancers, and maintains a surgical practice for the care of patients with liver cancer, cholangiocarcinoma, gallbladder cancer, and pancreatic cancer.  During the course of his career, Dr. Billingsley has developed a particular focus on the treatment of patients with metastatic tumors to the liver.   His approach involves extensive multidisciplinary coordination with medical oncologists, interventional radiologists, and other specialists.  Dr. Billingsley employs a range of technical approaches in treating patients with liver and pancreatic tumors, including the use of minimally invasive techniques whenever possible.  

    In his own practice, and in his leadership of clinical care across the Smilow Care Network, Dr. Billingsley believes that highest quality clinical care rests on a foundation of scientific and technical excellence, delivered with compassion and respect for each individual patient and their family. Dr. Billingsley explains, "It is an honor for me to work with and lead a truly outstanding group of cancer care professionals at Yale Cancer Center and the Smilow Network. It is a privilege for us to serve our patients."

  • Charles Cha

    Associate Professor of Surgery (Oncology and Gastrointestinal)

    Charles H. Cha, MD, FACS earned his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School and is a Board Certified Surgeon. He completed a surgical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York. He is dedicated to advancing surgical techniques for removing tumors and advancing medical knowledge about tumor growth. In his practice, he continually integrates the latest in minimally invasive techniques and surgical technology to provide better outcomes for his patients. Dr. Cha is one of the few surgeons in the region with considerable experience in laparoscopic and robotic surgery for liver and stomach tumors. Watch a video with Dr. Charles Cha>>

    He specializes in benign and malignant diseases of the liver, esophagus, stomach, colon, and pancreas. He currently serves as the Director of the Minimally Invasive Hepatopancreatobiliary Program with an specific interest in robotic and laparoscopic surgery for the liver, pancreas and stomach.

    Dr. Cha has established an active research laboratory studying the effects of angiogenesis on colorectal and liver malignancy using gene-silencing techniques to silence angiogenic factors leading to decreased tumor growth. His clinical research includes the determination of the diagnostic and therapeutic utility of angiogenic inhibitors for treatment of colorectal and liver cancers. In addition, he is involved in clinical outcomes research in surgery for liver, gastric, esophageal, and colorectal malignancy using the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Database as well as the Connecticut Tumor Registry.

    He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his research and teaching, including the American College of Surgeons Faculty Research Award and the Ohse Surgical Research Award.

  • Anees Chagpar

    Professor of Surgery (Oncology)

    Anees is a full Professor in the Department of Surgery at Yale School of Medicine. Born and raised in Canada, she completed her BSc in Honors Biochemistry and MD with Honors in Research at the University of Alberta, and her general surgery residency training and MSc at the University of Saskatchewan. She went on to complete the Susan G. Komen Interdisciplinary Breast Fellowship at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, an MPH at Harvard School of Public Health and an MA in Bioethics and Medical Humanities at the University of Louisville. After fellowship, she joined the University of Louisville as Assistant Professor of Surgery, rising rapidly through the ranks to Associate Professor with tenure and Academic Advisory Dean. She built the first nationally accredited Breast Center in Kentucky at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center prior to being recruited to Yale in September 2010 where she led the effort for Yale to become the first NCI designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Northeast to have a nationally accredited breast center. She participates in investigator-initiated and cooperative group clinical trials, as well as translational and clinical research. Her most recent ground-breaking work was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. She enjoys teaching and mentoring medical students, residents, fellows and junior faculty, and is the Breast Surgery Section Editor for UpToDate, a commonly used resource. She is passionate about global health and leadership in academic medicine, having most recently completed an MBA for Executives with a focus on Leadership in Healthcare at Yale’s School of Management.

  • Courtney Gibson

    Assistant Professor of Surgery (Endocrine Surgery)

    Dr. Gibson (nee Quinn) is an Endocrine Surgeon and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Yale.School of Medicine. Her clinical interests are surgery of the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal gland, including minimally invasive laparoscopic and retroperitoneoscopic surgical techniques.
    Her research interests include outcomes after minimally invasive endocrine surgery (thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal), outpatient thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy, intraoperative laryngeal nerve monitoring, and endocrine oncology. She obtained her MD from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA. She was a postdoctoral research fellow in In Utero Stem Cell Transplantation at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Philadelphia, PA. She completed her training in General Surgery at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, NJ, and Endocrine Surgery at Scott and White Memorial Hospital, Temple, TX. Watch a video with Dr. Courtney Gibson >>

  • Mehra Golshan

    Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Surgical Services, Yale Cancer Center; Clinical Director of Breast Program, Yale Cancer Center; Chief of Breast Surgery (interim), Surgery; Director of Breast Fellowship, Surgery

    Mehra Golshan, MD, MBA, is a cancer surgeon and a nationally and internationally recognized leader in breast cancer treatment and research. In addition to caring for patients, he serves as Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Surgical Services and Director of the Breast Cancer Program for the Yale Cancer Center, Smilow Cancer Hospital, and Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Centers.

    Dr. Golshan is a leader in the research with over 125 peer reviewed publications. He has led numerous Phase I, II and III clinical trials and translational science innovations impacting the treatment options and outcomes for women. He is an innovator in tailoring surgery and therapy for women with early stage breast cancer with funding support from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and National Institutes of Health. He is the principal investigator of several phase II trials aiming to reduce the need for second surgeries or re-excisions in women with breast cancer, one of which uses innovative image-guided operating room capabilities to capture and remove all residual tumor utilizing MRI and mass spectrometry which is used at Yale’s hybrid operating room.

    Dr. Golshan prides himself on being an educator having trained and mentored over a hundred breast surgical fellows as well as international surgeons. He has lectured and taught surgeons, trainees and students nationally and internationally in the field of oncology and breast cancer treatment.

    Dr. Golshan is a Board Member of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), Chair of the Society of Surgical Oncology Corporate Relations Committee, Vice Chair of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Interprofessional Education and Practice, and Chair of the American Society of Breast Surgeons Question of the Week Committee.

    Dr. Golshan completed his fellowship in breast surgical oncology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He earned his Medical Degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and an MBA at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management in Cambridge Massachusetts.

    Prior to joining Yale, he spent 17 years in Boston at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute where he was the inaugural and incumbent Dr. Abdul Mohsen and Sultana Al-Tuwaijri Distinguished Chair in Surgical Oncology. He also served as the Director of the Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital and was an Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

    Dr. Golshan’s approach to breast cancer treatment is through a specialized team approach. For each new patient, Smilow brings together a team of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, reconstruction surgeons, pathologists, genetics, breast imagers, radiologists, program nurses, and a robust clinical research program. “I work closely with so many colleagues dedicated deeply to treating and curing breast cancer who inspire me to be a better physician, scientist, and person every day."

  • Nina Horowitz

    Assistant Professor of Surgery (Oncology)

    Dr. Horowitz graduated from Columbia University and did her General Surgery residency at Yale University. One of the first women in her residency class, she went on to build and sustain a thriving practice in New Haven and joined the faculty at Yale in 2010 where she has focused solely on breast cancer. She has over 25 years of experience in surgery and is one of the most respected surgeons in the region.

  • Sajid A Khan

    Associate Professor of Surgery (Oncology); Co-Director of Team Science, Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI)

    Sajid A. Khan, MD is an Associate Professor of Surgery (Oncology) at Yale University School of Medicine. He earned his medical degree from the State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse and is Board Certified in both Complex General Surgical Oncology and General Surgery. He completed general surgery training at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OR and Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore in the Bronx, NY. He also completed a research fellowship in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY and a clinical and research fellowship in surgical oncology at The University of Chicago Medical Center in Chicago, IL. Watch a video with Dr. Sajid Khan >>

    Dr. Khan is dedicated to improving the lives of patients with cancer through his clinical practice and research endeavors. His clinical practice specializes in the surgical management of patients with benign and malignant tumors of the liver, pancreas, bile ducts, gallbladder, stomach, and colon. Additionally he treats individuals diagnosed with cutaneous malignancies and soft tissue sarcomas. His commitment to the care of his patients incorporates a multidisciplinary team approach in addition to state of the art minimally invasive surgical techniques. He is an active member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Center (NCCN), Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO), Society of Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT), Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), American College of Surgeons (ACS), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI), Yale Cancer Center, and Yale School of Medicine Admissions Committee.

    In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Khan is also involved in clinical translational research studying cancer metastases and differences in tumor biology based on ethnicity/race and sex.  Dr. Khan is an NIH-funded, well published, surgeon-scientist who seeks to use modern molecular biology to improve our understanding and treatment of patients with gastrointestinal cancers. Using molecular and clinical markers, he identifies patients with a limited number of metastases (oligometastasis) who will benefit from curative surgical resections.  In addition, his lab studies the relationship with metabolite and protein expression on colon cancer patient outcomes based on race/ethnicity and sex. He also performs clinical outcomes research in all types of gastrointestinal cancers. Dr. Khan has been recognized for excellence in both clinical care and research in oncology.

  • John Kunstman

    Assistant Professor of Surgery (Oncology); Assistant Professor, Surgery (Surgical Oncology)

    John W. Kunstman, MD, MHS is a board-certified surgeon specializing in care of patients with cancers or benign diseases of the pancreas, liver, bile ducts, stomach, and intestines. He received an undergraduate degree (with honors) from the University of Wisconsin and also attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Kunstman completed residency training in general surgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital as well as a fellowship in complex general surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He also holds a master's degree from Yale University.

    Dr. Kunstman has a special interest in treatment of patients with cystic diseases of the pancreas. He maintains an active research program at Yale examining the development of such cystic lesions as well as the genetics of associated pancreatic cancers. He also conducts clinical research seeking to improve the outcomes of those patients undergoing pancreatic surgery.

    Dr. Kunstman served as chief resident for education during his general surgical training. He has received numerous awards throughout his career recognizing his contributions to research and teaching, as well as excellence in clinical care, including the Samuel Harvey Award for Outstanding Performance as a Chief Resident and Resident of the Year Award for Research in the Basic Sciences. He is a member of numerous professional societies including the Society of Surgical Oncology and the American College of Surgeons.

  • Donald Lannin

    Professor of Surgery (Oncology)

    Dr. Lannin graduated from the University of Minnesota where he also completed his General Surgery residency and went on to do a fellowship in oncology funded by the National Institutes of Health. He rose through the ranks to Professor of Surgery at East Carolina University and joined the faculty at Yale in 2002. With nearly 30 years of experience in surgery, he has been instrumental in building The Breast Center -- Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, serving as its Executive Director from 2002 to 2010.

  • Kelly Olino

    Assistant Professor of Surgery (Oncology)

    Kelly Olino, MD, FACS, Assistant Professor of Surgical Oncology joins the melanoma, skin cancer and sarcoma program to provide patients with comprehensive surgical care including resection of skin and soft tissue tumors including head and neck, trunk, extremities as well as minimally invasive techniques for metastatic disease.  Dr. Olino joins the Yale School of Medicine from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, where she was recognized as a Texas Rising Star.  She is board certified in Complex Surgical Oncology and General Surgery.  While in Texas she was recognized for her melanoma research as a Provost Scholar and a recipient of the Society for Surgical Oncology’s Clinical Investigator Award to support her research in tumor immunology.   She continues this work at Yale where she is currently a Calabresi Immune-Oncology scholar.   She completed her surgical residency at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a fellowship in complex surgical oncology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Olino cares for patients at the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven and Guilford, along with strong multi-disciplinary disease specific teams.  She looks forward to partnering with colleagues in the community and providing her expertise to patients.

  • Tristen Park

    Assistant Professor of Surgery (Oncology); Assistant Professor of Surgery (Oncology)

    Dr Tristen S. Park  earned her medical degree at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons and is a surgical oncologist specializing in the treatment of breast cancer and breast diseases. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Cell and molecular biology with honors from Cornell University. She completed a general surgery residency at Rutgers University and a three year Surgical Oncology and Clinical Immunotherapy fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health under the world-renowned  Dr. Steven A Rosenberg. She subsequently completed a Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Duke University. She currently is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Yale and heads the Breast oncology cancer research bank, where all tissue and blood is stored for future research within the Yale Cancer Center.

    Dr. Park's clinical interests include triple negative breast cancer and cancer immuno-oncology,  from her training at the National Cancer Institute she has a particular interest in cancer immunology and the potential role of immunotherapy in the treatment of breast cancer. Outside of medicine, she is a classically trained pianist and had studied solo piano, chamber music and history at Cornell University, and the preparatory divisions of the Aaron Copland College of Music and the Mannes Conservatory of Music in New York City. She is currently a patron of the Yale School of Music.

  • Mary Pronovost

    Assistant Professor of Surgery (Oncology); Assistant Professor of Surgery (Oncology)

    Dr. Mary Pronovost is a board-certified breast surgeon, specializing in breast diseases and oncology. She earned her undergraduate degree at Holy Family College and her medical degree at Temple University School of Medicine. She also received a Master’s Degree from Villanova University and carried out her post-baccalaureate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her residency at Temple University Hospital and fellowship training in breast diseases at Boston University Medical Center.

    Dr. Pronovost spent over seven years as a practicing general surgeon in New England and two years as the director of the Breast Health Program at St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston, Maine. She operated a breast surgery solo practice for three years in Fairfield, Connecticut and was a breast surgeon for over ten years at Bridgeport Hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

    Her teaching career began in 1994 at Temple University School of Medicine, followed by Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Pronovost first came to Yale in 2006 and served for ten years as Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Surgery. Most recently, she joined the section of Oncology as Assistant Professor.

    Dr. Pronovost is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American Society of Breast Surgeons. For over 12 years, she has served as Medical Director at The Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center in Fairfield, Connecticut.