BROOKLYN – Dr. Ioannis “Yanni” Hatzaras was named director of NYU Lutheran’s Surgical Oncology Outreach Program. The move will undoubtedly advance the scope of cancer care at the hospital and create further synergies between cancer-related subspecialties.
Hatzaras officially joined NYU Lutheran on September 1 and is also a member of NYU’s Perlmutter Cancer Center. He has been a member of the faculty in the Department of Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan since 2013. Hatzaras is bringing his talents and expertise in gastrointestinal cancers, sarcomas, and melanoma to help NYU Lutheran better serve the increasing number of patients arriving at the Sunset Park hospital for cancer care. This latest leadership appointment was announced jointly by Dr. H. Leon Pachter – The George David Stewart professor and chair of the Department of Surgery, and Dr. Kenneth M. Rifkind- chief of surgery at NYU Lutheran.
“In a very short time, Hatzaras has proven to be an extremely gifted surgical oncologist,” Pachter said. “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 Bellevue Hospital Center 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, stomach, 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,” Hatzaras said.
Curious about everything science-related from childhood, Hatzaras studied 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 Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.
In 2003, Hatzaras came to the United States to perform research in the Department of Surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, before starting 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, OH. 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.
The accomplished Hatzaras is also 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. In addition to Greek and English, Hatzaras is also fluent in French. He will be seeing patients at 6th Avenue Surgery and at the NYU Lutheran Medical Arts Pavilion, both in Brooklyn. More information is available online www.nyulangone.org.