Inderpal S. Sarkaria, M.D., M.B.A. F.A.C.S, is Professor and Chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery in the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He specializes in general thoracic surgery and thoracic oncology including surgical treatment of esophageal cancer, lung cancer, lung nodules and cancers metastatic to the lung, thymoma and other mediastinal tumors, chest wall tumors, malignant pleural mesothelioma, myasthenia gravis, hiatal hernia and anti-reflux operations for GERD (Nissen), giant paraesophageal hernias, achalasia (POEM and Heller myotomy), re-operative esophageal surgery, diaphragm hernias and paralysis, benign and malignant tracheal and airway diseases, thoracic outlet syndrome, and other associated conditions of the chest. Dr Sarkaria is certified by the American Board of Surgery and American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

An internationally known academic thoracic surgical oncologist and expert in minimally invasive thoracic robotic surgery, Dr. Sarkaria has made several significant contributions to the field of thoracic surgery and has an outstanding record of transformative scholarly research, instructional excellence, academic leadership, and proven clinical outcomes. As a surgeon-scientist, his academic efforts have had an impact in many focused areas, including lung cancer genomics, robotic thoracic surgery, and advanced imaging technologies in thoracic surgery.

Dr. Sarkaria completed undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated medical school top five in his class and as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honors society from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He obtained his MBA in Executive Healthcare in 2019 with honors from the University of Pittsburgh Katz School of Business and is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma National Business Honor Society.

Dr. Sarkaria completed his general surgery residency at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University/New York Presbyterian Hospital and spent two years as a fellow in thoracic oncology research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), where his early research significantly contributed to the identification of EGFR driver mutations in lung adenocarcinomas, a seminal finding leading to a paradigm shift in the understanding and treatment of these cancers. He completed his cardiothoracic and thoracic oncology surgery fellowships at MSKCC/New York Presbyterian Hospital, and completed an additional fellowship in minimally invasive esophageal and thoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) before joining the MSKCC thoracic surgery faculty in 2010. Early in his career, Dr. Sarkaria also focused his research on the development and application of novel advanced surgical robotic and imaging technologies to complex thoracic operations including esophagectomy, for which he is internationally recognized.

Prior to joining the UT Southwestern faculty in 2024, Dr. Sarkaria returned to UPMC in 2014 where he held the Endowed Chair of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery and served in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery in various roles including Vice Chairman for Clinical Affairs, Co-Division Chief of Thoracic and Foregut Surgery, Director of Robotic Thoracic Surgery and Thoracic Surgery Quality and Outcomes, and Co-Director of the Esophageal and Lung Surgery Institute. During his tenure at UPMC, he established the Robotic Thoracic Surgery Program, which expanded under his guidance to gain international recognition for its high-volume, high-complexity, and high-quality outcomes. Dr. Sarkaria also developed a comprehensive robotic training curriculum for residents and attending surgeons, contributing to the thoracic division's prominence as an international leader in thoracic surgical robotics.

Dr. Sarkaria is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and an active member in numerous surgical societies including the American Association of Thoracic Surgeons (AATS) and Society of Thoracic Surgery (STS), for which he has directed several national and international robotic training programs. He serves on the executive boards of the Society of Robotic Surgery (SRS) and the Upper Gastrointestinal International Robotic Surgery Association (UGIRA), and is senior surgical editor for the journal Clinical Lung Cancer. Dr. Sarkaria has published and lectured extensively and has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications (with over 26 as first author), more than 75 abstracts, and more than 25 invited manuscripts and book chapters focusing on general thoracic surgery. He is a sought-after speaker and has delivered more than 90 lectures at home and abroad related to his research and expertise.


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