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NYU Lutheran Names Greek Cancer Surgeon to Lead New Outreach Program

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Looking to advance its scope of cancer care and create further synergies between cancer-related subspecialties, NYU Lutheran recently named Ioannis "Yanni" Hatzaras, MD, to direct its Surgical Oncology Outreach Program.

Hatzaras, who officially joined NYU Lutheran on September 1, has been a member of the faculty in the Department of Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center since 2013. He is bringing his talents and expertise in gastrointestinal cancers, sarcomas, and melanoma to help NYU Lutheran better serve the increasing number of patients turning to the Sunset Park hospital for cancer care. This latest leadership appointment was announced jointly by H. Leon Pachter MD, The George David Stewart Professor of Surgery and chair of the Department of Surgery, and Kenneth M. Rifkind, MD, chief of surgery at NYU Lutheran.

"In a very short time, Hatzaras has proven to be an extremely gifted surgical oncologist," Pachter says. "In addition, he has shown to be a leader in building strong, working partnerships with other cancer-focused clinicians. He is the ideal person to advance NYU Lutheran's Surgical Oncology Outreach Program to the next level of excellence."

A fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Hatzaras holds the academic title of assistant professor of surgery at NYU School of Medicine and served as an attending surgeon at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue for three years prior to his appointment at NYU Lutheran.

Hatzaras brings a wide range of clinical and research experience in surgical oncology to the Brooklyn campus of NYU Langone. He is board certified in complex general surgical oncology and specializes in surgery for cancer of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract—from esophageal cancer to stomach, liver, pancreatic, bile duct, gallbladder, and colorectal cancer, as well as melanoma and other soft tissue cancers. He has particular expertise in the Whipple procedure—a complicated pancreatic cancer operation to remove parts of the pancreas, the small intestine, and the gallbladder and to reattach the remaining organs in order to restore digestive function.

At NYU Lutheran, Hatzaras will work with medical and radiation oncologists to manage the multidisciplinary care for patients with cancer. "The oncology team will work together to determine the best treatment strategy and tailor a management plan for each individual patient," says Hatzaras.

Inquisitive and curious about everything science-related from an early age, Hatzaras began his professional path in medicine and research at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki School of Medicine in Greece. While still a medical student, he spent a rotation in GI oncology research at the Institut Jules Bordet, a major cancer center affiliated with the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.

In 2003, Hatzaras came to the United States to do research in the Department of Surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, which preceded his internship in general surgery at St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury, CT. He completed his residency training at Ohio State University (OSU) Medical Center, where he also conducted research at the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute at OSU's Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus. Hatzaras also earned a master's degree in public health in the clinical investigation track from OSU. He subsequently trained in surgical oncology and hepatobiliary surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD.

Hatzaras is the co-author of more than 50 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and three book chapters, and has given several scientific presentations and lectures nationally and internationally.