New Surgery Chair Brings International Expertise in Pancreatic Cancer

Jul. 31, 2014

The University of Rochester Medical Center has recruited Washington University surgeon David C. Linehan, M.D., to serve as its next Chair of Surgery. The University Trustees are expected to approve the appointment shortly; Linehan will begin his tenure in Rochester on October 1, 2014. 

A Boston native, Linehan graduated from the University of Massachusetts Medical School before serving his internship and residency at Deaconess-Harvard Surgical Service. He was chief resident in Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and completed a research fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He was also the Kristin Ann Carr Fellow in Surgical Oncology at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

For the last 15 years, Linehan has risen through the academic ranks at Washington University, where he currently serves as chief of Hepatobiliary, Pancreatic and Gastrointestinal Surgery and he also directs the section’s fellowship training program. Known for his surgical skill in treating patients with cancers of the liver, pancreas, gastric and biliary tract, Linehan is a member of major surgical societies, including the American Association of Cancer Research, the Association of Academic Surgeons, and the American Surgical Association, among others.  

Since completing his training, Linehan has been continuously funded for his research, studying ways to attack the biology of pancreatic tumors in order to improve patient survival. At Washington University, he oversees a division of surgical oncology in which all research faculty, including junior members, are funded. 

“David quickly rose to the top of a short list of highly skilled individuals considered by the Search Committee,” said Dean Mark B. Taubman, M.D. “His training is outstanding and he brings with him a portfolio of seminal research on pancreatic cancer and a reputation for collegiality that’s an ideal fit for URMC.”  

Linehan has more than 85 publications to his credit.          

“The Department of Surgery at University of Rochester has a proud legacy of training many national leaders in academic surgery,” Linehan said.  “I am honored to accept this challenge to lead the department to the highest possible level by sustaining an environment that fosters excellence and propels advancement in patient care, research, education and community service.”

University of Rochester Medical Group CEO Michael Rotondo, M.D., co-chaired the search committee with Senior Associate Dean Jeffrey Lyness, M.D., which drew from a national pool of candidates. “David won the unanimous support of the committee as a candidate that’s internationally recognized for his contributions to American surgery. Not only is he one of the busiest clinicians in the Midwest, he has an intelligence, energy, and interpersonal skill that brings people together,” Rotondo said. “I look forward to all that he brings to Rochester.”