Expert List

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Brain Tumors


Joachim Baehring, MD


Area of Expertise: brain cancer

●  Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery

●  Director, Yale Brain Tumor Program


In Dr. Baehring’s clinical and laboratory work he mainly focuses on primary brain tumors and neurological complications of cancer. His current research efforts are on the molecular markers of brain cancers and nervous system lymphoma.

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Joseph Piepmeier, MD

Area of Expertise: brain and spinal cord cancers

●  Professor of Neurosurgery


The primary focus of Dr. Piepmeier’s clinical and laboratory work is neuro-oncology. He specializes in acoustic neuroma, general neurosurgery, brain and spinal cord cancer, and stereotactic needle biopsy. He has also written extensively on topics including the management of low-grade gliomas and surgeries involving tumors of lateral ventricles. Dr. Piepmeier, along with several other Yale Physicians, opened Smilow’s 3T (Tesla) MRI integrated suite for neurosurgery and neurovascular procedures. This suite is the only such unit in the US and allows surgeons to take high resolution pictures throughout the procedure, without moving the patient.

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Breast Cancer


Anees Chagpar, MD


Areas of Expertise: breast cancer, women's health

● Director, Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven

● Associate Professor, Surgical Oncology


Dr. Chagpar concentrates her clinical research on molecular expression and biomarkers in breast cancer and has served as the principal investigator for several clinical studies analyzing sentinel node biopsy, new therapeutic options, and hormonal therapies for patients.

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Lajos Pusztai, MD

Areas of Expertise: breast cancer research and care; translational research

Professor of Medical Oncology

Director, Breast Medical Oncology Section

Dr. Lajos Pusztai is a leader in translational cancer medicine. He is focused on integrating basic breast cancer research to improve outcomes and develop new treatment options for women with breast cancer. His goal is to discover the next generation of tamoxifen-and trastuzumab-like drugs through the identification of critical drug targets in human breast cancer.

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Liane Philpotts, MD

Areas of Expertise: breast biopsy and breast imaging

Professor of Diagnostic Radiology

Chief, Breast Imaging

Dr. Philpotts looks at all aspects of breast imaging consultation, and intervention. Her research interests include improvements in breast biopsy and patient management.

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Cancer Prevention and Control

Susan Mayne, PhD

Areas of Expertise: cancer epidemiology and Nutrition and cancer prevention

● Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases)

● Associate Director, Population Sciences at Yale Cancer Center

● Division Head, Chronic Disease Epidemiology


Dr. Mayne is a member of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program. Her research interests include, Nutritional epidemiology of chronic diseases; Nutrition and cancer prevention and survivorship; cancer epidemiology and genetics.

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Endocrine Cancers

Robert Udelsman, MD

Areas of Expertise: endocrine surgery, thyroid cancer

● William H. Carmalt Professor of Surgery and Oncology

● Surgeon-in Chief, Yale-New Haven Hospital


Dr. Udelsman’s area of expertise is endocrine surgery, including thyroid cancer and other surgeries of the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands. He also specializes in laparoscopic adrenalectomy and outpatient, minimally-invasive parathyroidectomy.

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Howard Hochster, MD


Area of Expertise: gastrointestinal cancers

● Professor of Medicine, Medical Oncology

● Director, Gastrointestinal Cancers Program

● Associate Director, Clinical Research, Yale Cancer Center

Dr. Hochster concentrates his clinical research on the study of new treatments, and combinations of therapies, for patients with advanced and relapsed colorectal cancer and pancreatic cancer. He is a leader in translational research and development of targeted agents for GI cancers. He has led national, pivotal clinical trials in the use of Bevacizumab and Cetuximab in colorectal cancer, and maintenance Rituximab for the treatment of low-grade lymphoma.

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Ronald Salem, MD


Areas of Expertise: pancreatic, esophageal and hepatobiliary cancer surgery

● Lampman Professor of Surgery & Oncology

● Section Chief, Surgical Oncology


Dr. Salem’s area of expertise is malignant and pre-malignant diseases of the pancreas, liver and biliary system, esophagus, and the colon and rectum. He also focuses on the laparoscopic staging of malignancies, laparoscopic splenectomy and distal pancreatectomy, gall bladder cancer, lymphoma, melanoma, sarcoma, multimodality management of pancreas, esophageal, and liver tumors in pregnancy.

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Gynecologic Oncology


Thomas Rutherford, MD


Areas of Expertise: ovarian, uterine, vaginal, cervical and vulvar cancers

● Section Chief, Gynecologic Oncology

● Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences


Dr. Rutherford’s clinical specialties are ovarian, uterine, vaginal, cervical and vulvar cancer, difficult gynecologic surgery, trophoblastic neoplasia, unknown primary cancer, brachytherapy and gestational trophoblastic neoplasia. Based on extensive studies and experience, he now advocates the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy before surgery in patients with unresectable disease.

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Head and Neck Cancers

Wendell Yarbrough, MD

Areas of Expertise: head and neck cancer oncology, salivary oncology

● Section Chief, Otolaryngology

● Director, Head and Neck Cancer Program

Dr. Yarbrough has a longstanding clinical interest in head and neck cancers and research interests in head and neck cancer translational research as well as identification of tumor suppressors and their mechanism of action. The ultimate goal of Dr. Yarbrough's lab work is to improve outcomes for patients with head & neck and salivary cancers through innovative and rational development of new therapies.

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Benjamin Judson, MD

Area of Expertise: otolaryngologic surgery


● Assistant Professor of Surgery (Otolaryngology)


● Associate Residency Program Director, Otolaryngology

Dr. Judson specializes in the surgical treatment of benign and malignant tumors of the head and neck. His clinical interests include oral cavity, pharynx, and larynx tumors, salivary tumors, thyroid malignancies, skin cancers, and sinonasal tumors.

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Francine Foss, MD


Areas of Expertise: lymphoma, T-cell lymphoma, stem cell transplantation, graft-versus-host disease


● Professor of Medicine, Hematology 

Dr. Foss’ expertise is in the treatment of lymphoma (T-cell lymphoma), stem cell transplantation and graft-versus-host disease. Her research interests include stem cell allotransplantation, pharmacologic agents for lymphoma, and bone marrow transplantation.

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Madhav  V.  Dhodapkar, MBBS

Area of Expertise: myeloma

● Arthur H. and Isabel Bunker Professor of Medicine (Hematology) and Professor of Immunobiology

● Chief, Section of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine

● Director of Hematologic Malignancies, Yale Cancer Center

Dr. Dhodapkar is interested in studying the biology of the human immune system and how it interacts with growing tumors in patients. He is particularly interested in understanding the tumor and host related factors underlying the transformation of preneoplastic monoclonal gammopathy to its malignant counterpart, multiple myeloma (MM).

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David Leffell, MD


Areas of Expertise: diagnosis and treatment of melanoma, basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, rare tumors, Mohs surgery, plastic reconstruction

● David Paige Smith Professor of Dermatology & Surgery

● Professor of Dermatology, Plastic Surgery and Otolaryngology

● Chief, Section of Dermatologic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology

● CEO, Yale Medical Group

● Deputy Dean for Clinical Affairs, Yale School of Medicine


Skin cancer and melanoma are reaching epidemic proportions. One of the goals of Dr. Leffell’s program is to combine the highest quality clinical care and service with research into the causes of and novel therapies for skin cancer. What excites him most is the opportunity to take care of so many great patients, and collaborate on translational research with colleagues, residents and medical students.

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Mario Sznol, MD


Areas of Expertise: melanoma, cancer immunotherapy and novel agents


Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology)


● Co-Director, Melanoma Program

Dr. Sznol treats patients with melanoma and studies new immunologic therapies. His other clinical interests include kidney carcinoma and Phase I clinical trials.

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Richard Edelson, MD


Areas of Expertise: dermatology, skin care, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL)

● Lerner Professor and Chairman, Dermatology

● Former Director, Yale Cancer Center


Dr. Edelson’s expertise is in dermatology and skin cancer, especially cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). His colleagues and he have developed an immunotherapy known as "Photopheresis," which is FDA approved and used to treat CTCL and other T cell mediated diseases in more than 100 centers worldwide.

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Pediatric Hematology and Oncology


Gary Kupfer, MD


Area of Expertise: pediatric oncology

● Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology

● Chief of Section of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology


Dr. Kupfer’s area of specialty is pediatric oncology. He performs analyses using serum from patients with pediatric malignancies, and searches for genetic markers that can identify disease and then be used for diagnosis, prognosis, staging, and tracking of disease in patients. His research interests include investigating the relationship of genomic instability and the propensity towards the development of cancer, and focusing on the genetic syndrome Fanconi anemia (FA).


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Prostate and Urologic Cancers

John Colberg, MD

Areas of Expertise: prostate cancer, robotic surgery

● Associate Professor and Director, Yale Uro-Oncology Program

Dr. Colberg specializes in prostate and other urological cancers, including kidney, testicular, penile and bladder cancers.

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Daniel P. Petrylak, MD

Areas of Expertise: genitourinary cancers; clinical trials for prostate cancer

● Leader of the Genitourinary Cancers Medical Oncology Team

● Director, Prostate Cancer Research Group

Dr. Petrylak is an internationally known medical oncologist focused on clinical trials for men with prostate and bladder cancers. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on prostate and bladder cancer research outcomes. 

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Peter  Schulam, MD, PhD

Areas of expertise: minimally invasive surgery and laparoscopic techniques

● Chair, Department of Urology, Yale School of Medicine

● Chief, Department of Urology, Yale-New Haven Hospital

Dr. Schulam has longstanding clinical interests in adrenal disorders; bladder, prostate, and kidney cancer; donor nephrectomy; and kidney stones and kidney reconstruction; and he is nationally known for his expertise in minimally invasive surgery and laparoscopic techniques.

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Gary Elliot Friedlaender, MD


Areas of Expertise: sarcomas, fusions and bone regeneration

● Wayne O. Southwick Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation and Professor of Pathology


Director, Sarcoma Program

Dr. Friedlaender has written numerous scientific publications and received national awards for his basic science research n sarcoma. His focus is on

biomolecules for bone repair and musculoskeletal oncology.

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Thoracic Oncology


Frank Detterbeck, MD


Areas of Expertise: lung and thoracic cancer, esophageal cancer, thymoma, mediastinal tumors, chest wall tumors, pancoast tumors, chest surgery, minimally invasive thoracic surgery

● Professor and Chief, Thoracic Surgery

● Surgical Director, Thoracic Oncology Program

Dr. Detterbeck’s main interest is cancer of the chest, and lung cancer, in particular. What excites him about cancer surgery is that it has become much easier for patients. The vast majority of operations are minimally invasive. They are also doing bigger surgeries that previously couldn’t be approached.


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Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD


Areas of Expertise: lung cancer, personalized medicine, genetics

● Chief of Medical Oncology, Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven

● Professor of Medicine, Medical Oncology

Dr. Herbst is internationally known for his expertise in lung cancer, particularly personalized therapies matching a patient’s genetic mutation to a specific drug therapy. 

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Thomas J. Lynch, M.D.


Areas of Expertise: lung cancer, personalized medicine

● Director, Yale Cancer Center

● Physician-in-Chief, Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven

● Richard Sackler and Jonathan Sackler Professor of Medicine


As Director of an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Lynch works broadly across the spectrum of issues impacting cancer care and research. He has particular interest in access to care, performance of clinical research and the field of molecular profiling of cancer. He feels that the next decade will be an explosive time of progress in cancer research fueled by our ability to molecularly profile cancers. He is also particularly interested in lung cancer and the development of novel treatments.

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Lynn Wilson, MD, MPH


Areas of Expertise: lung cancer, thoracic cancer, cutaneous t-cell lymphoma, benign and malignant skin cancer, general radiation therapy

● Professor, Vice Chairman, Clinical Director, Department of Therapeutic Radiology


Dr. Wilson’s area of expertise is in the evaluation and management of patients with cutaneous lymphoma and lung cancer.  His specialized expertise is in the use of radiation in the management of patients with these diseases.  Radiation oncology is a highly technical field which incorporates cutting edge technology. Research continues to explore novel therapeutic developments which are offered to patients through clinical trials.

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