Guest Faculty


Joel D. Cooper, MD FACS, FRCPS
Professor of Surgery, Division of Thoracic Surgery
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
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Joel D. Cooper is Professor of Surgery in the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Health System. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, cum laude. After completing an internship and residency in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, he served as Senior Registrar in Thoracic Surgery, Southwest Regional Hospital Board, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, England and completed a fellowship in the Department of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, London, England. Returning to Massachusetts General Hospital, he served as Chief Resident in Surgery and was a Clinical and Research Fellow in Thoracic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Cooper’s special interests include general thoracic, esophageal and tracheal surgery, adult lung transplantation, lung volume reduction surgery, lung cancer and swallowing disorders. He is widely recognized for his contributions in the field of tracheal surgery, esophageal surgery, pulmonary physiology, lung transplantation and surgery for emphysema. Dr. Cooper is past president of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and the recipient of numerous honorary degrees. He has received the Jacobson Innovation Award from the American College of Surgeons and the Earl Bakken Scientific Achievement Award from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Over the past 33 years Dr. Cooper has served as the Chief of Thoracic Surgery at The University of Toronto, Washington University in St. Louis, and The University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Dr. Cooper currently serves as an active member of numerous professional societies and has served on the editorial boards of many scientific journals. He also is the author or coauthor of more than 450 original publications.

Most recently, he was the initial recipient of the Joel D. Cooper Award for Outstanding Contribution to Lung Transplant in Canada and in 2013 was the recipient of the prestigious Thomas E. Starzl Prize in Surgery & Immunology, which is awarded to national and international leaders in the field of organ transplantation.


Joel Dunning, FRCS, PhD
Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
James Cook University Hospital
Middlesbrough, UK
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Joel Dunning is a Consultant Thoracic Surgeon from the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough in the UK. He graduated in Medicine from Oxford University in 1997 and did his PhD at Manchester University in 2002.

He is Co-Editor in Chief of www.CTSNet.org the world’s largest cardiothoracic surgery website. He was the associate editor for cardiothoracic surgery for the EJCTS for 8 years and previously developed a literature review section in the ICVTS called Best Evidence Topics. He has been on the EACTS clinical guidelines committee since 2007 and has authored 5 EACTS guidelines.

He is also currently Chairman of the STS workforce on resuscitation after arrest following cardiac surgery and founded a course to better prepare for arrests after cardiac surgery (www.csu-als.com) culminating in an STS guideline published this year on this subject. A key passion of his is to promote the implementation of this guideline in all cardiac surgical centres worldwide to improve the quality of care patients receive after heart surgery.

In thoracic surgery, he has a particular interest in novel forms of VATS Lobectomy and Robotic thoracic surgery. He has experience with anterior and posterior approach VATS lobectomy, uniportal lobectomy, subxiphoid uniportal lobectomy, and has developed a novel version of lobectomy called microlobectomy ( www.microlobectomy.com). He is PI of the VIOLET study – a randomised study of VATS versus open lobectomy, PULMICC – an RCT for colorectal metastases, a radiolabelled nodule excision study and is a proctor for Intuitive for robotic surgery and for Dextera for the microcutter, a 5mm diameter stapling device. He was also recently guest editor in the annals of cardiothoracic surgery for an issue on minimally invasive mediastinal surgery. His interests include sharing videos on thoracic surgery with colleagues and travelling to meet new cardiothoracic surgeons worldwide to hear about their great new ideas!

For more information see www.joeldunning.co.uk


John Reynolds, MCh, FRCSI
Professor of Surgery and Head of Department,Trinity College Dublin
Specialist Oesophageal and Gastric Surgeon, St. James’s Hospital
Dublin, Ireland
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Professor Reynolds is Professor of Clinical Surgery at the St. James’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin. He is the National Lead for oesophageal and gastric cancer. He is Cancer Lead at St. James’s Hospital and the Trinity School of Medicine, and a Principal Investigator in the Trinity Translational Medicine Institute. He has formerly held Fellowship positions with the University of Pennsylvania and Wistar Institute in Philadelphia and at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York. He was a Senior Lecturer at St. James’s University Hospital in Leeds (1994-6).

Professor Reynolds has obtained numerous research awards and has published widely in cancer research, with over 250 publications and approximately €5m research grant income. His clinical interest is in diseases of the oesophagus and stomach. His research interest is in four areas: (1) pathogenesis of Barrett’s oesophagus and progression; (2) prediction of response and resistance to chemotherapy and radiation therapy; (3) obesity, altered metabolism, and cancer; (4) malnutrition and peri-operative nutrition.


Joshua R. Sonett, MD
Chief, General Thoracic Surgery NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia
Director, The Price Family Center for Comprehensive Chest Care, Lung and Esophageal Center
New York, NY
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Joshua R. Sonett MD FACS is the Edward C. and Anne K. Weiskopf Professor of Surgical Oncology (in Surgery) at CUMC, Chief of General Thoracic Surgery and Director, The Price Family Center for Comprehensive Chest Care, Lung and Esophageal Center. He is instrumental in making the Thoracic Surgery section at Columbia University Medical Center one of the best in the U.S. and he is one of the youngest professors of surgery at a major academic institution in the United States.

Dr. Sonett is best known for his work on the multidisciplinary treatment of lung and esophageal malignancies. Leading work in minimally invasive treatment of lung and esophageal cancer, Dr. Sonett and his team at Columbia are innovators in the development and teaching techniques of Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS) and Minimally Invasive Esophageal (MIE) surgery, allowing surgeons to incorporate these techniques into their daily practices. Dr. Sonett and his team make up one of the few programs in the country to employ a combination of maximal chemo and radiation and surgical therapies in the treatment of locally advanced lung malignancies. He is also a leader in multi-modality therapies for lung and esophageal cancers, and a pioneer in endo-bronchial palliation of benign and malignant airway stenosis. In the clinical area of lung transplantation, Dr. Sonett is best known for developing an extended-donor lung transplant criteria protocol. Extended donor criteria (EDC) applies to the use of organs that don’t meet the usual criteria for transplantation due to various health problems, but are still healthy enough for a successful transplant (Liver MD 2006).

Dr. Sonett received his MD from Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University Medical School, and completed his surgical residency at the University of Massachusetts, and Thoracic Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Professional Memberships include the New York Thoracic Society, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and member of the American Association for Thoracic Surgeons Dr. Sonett has received numerous award and honors including annual awards to America’s Top Doctors, Castle Connolly America’s Top Doctors for Cancer, New York Magazine’s Best Doctors, the Barbara Neibauer Celebration of Life Award, Foundation for Thymic Cancer and the Humanitarian Award, Chesed of New Square.