Guest Faculty

Patrick Forde MB, MRCP UK
Director, Thoracic Cancer Clinical Research Program,
Associate Professor of Oncology
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center,
Johns Hopkins University

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Patrick Forde, M.B.B.Ch. treats patients with lung cancer, mesothelioma and other thoracic cancers. He completed training in internal medicine and oncology in Ireland prior to undertaking a further fellowship at Johns Hopkins. He is currently Associate Member of the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and has led development of a clinical-translational research program focused on the immuno-oncology of upper aerodigestive malignancies. Dr. Forde’s research examines the role of neoadjuvant anti-PD-1 therapy in earlier stage lung cancer and his work has led to the development of several ongoing phase 3 trials.

He leads several international phase 2 and 3 clinical trials of novel immunotherapy approaches for lung cancer and mesothelioma that are currently active in Europe, Asia and North America while also serving as principal investigator for the thoracic cancer immunobiology biospecimen repository at Johns Hopkins. He is focused on providing compassionate, state of the art care for his patients in conjunction with a team of oncology specialist nurses, nurse practitioners and dedicated staff.

Donald E. Low, FACS FRCS(C) FRCSI(Hon) FRCSE(Hon) FRCSEdin(Hon)
Head of Thoracic Surgery and Thoracic Oncology
Director, Digestive Disease Institute Esophageal Center of Excellence
President, Ryan Hill Research Foundation
Virginia Mason Medical Center

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Donald E. Low, FACS FRCS(C) FRCSI(Hon) FRCSE(Hon) FRCSEdin(Hon) is the Director of the Esophageal Center of Excellence at the Digestive Disease Institute, President of the Ryan Hill Research Foundation, and Chief of Thoracic Surgery and Thoracic Oncology at Virginia Mason Medical Center.

Dr. Low’s clinical interests include all aspects of general Thoracic Surgery but are focused on the treatment of Esophageal Cancer, Barrett’s esophagus, benign tumors of the esophagus, primary and revisional antireflux surgery, paraesophageal hernia and achalasia.

Dr. Low is a Board Certified General Thoracic Surgeons, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. He has received Honorary Fellowships from the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He is Associate Editor of the Diseases of the Esophagus journal and is responsible for the formation of the Esophageal Complications Consensus Group (ECCG) and the International Online Esodata database.

Tiago Noguchi Machuca, MD, PhD
Surgical Director UF Lung Transplant Program
Director UF Adult ECMO Program
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
University of Florida

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Tiago Machuca, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Machuca joined the Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery after completing clinical fellowships in thoracic surgery and lung transplantation at the University of Toronto. He was also a research fellow at the Latner Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratories at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Machuca earned his medical degree at the Federal University of Parana, followed by his general surgery residency at the University of Sao Paulo, a thoracic surgery residency at Santa Casa de Porto Alegre and a doctoral degree in respiratory sciences from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, all in Brazil.

At University of Florida, he is the Surgical Director of Lung Transplantation. He also established the UF Adult ECMO Program in 2015, for which he serves as the current Director. His clinical interests include lung transplantation, thoracic surgical oncology, robotic surgery and extracorporeal life support, while his research interests include lung preservation, ex vivo lung perfusion, lung transplantation and donation after determination of circulatory arrest.

Dr. Machuca is a member of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Mark W. Onaitis, MD
Thoracic Surgeon
Associate Professor of Surgery
Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health
Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center at UC San Diego Health

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Mark Onaitis, MD, is a board-certified thoracic surgeon who specializes in malignant and benign conditions of the chest, including lung cancer, esophageal cancer, thymic malignancy, gastroesophageal reflux, achalasia, paraesophageal hernia, and myasthenia gravis. He uses minimally invasive approaches – thorascopy and robotics – to treat these conditions.
As a professor in the Department of Surgery, Dr. Onaitis trains medical students, residents and fellows at UC San Diego School of Medicine. His basic science research interests include stem and progenitor cells and lung cancer. His clinical research focuses on quality indicators in thoracic surgery.

Dr. Onaitis completed a fellowship in thoracic surgery and a residency in general surgery at Duke University School of Medicine, where he served as chief resident. He also earned his medical degree and obtained a master’s degree in clinical research from Duke University School of Medicine. He is board-certified in thoracic surgery.

Dr. Onaitis is a member of the American College of Surgeons, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American Association of Thoracic Surgeons. He has published widely and serves as a reviewer for several professional journals.

Dirk Van Raemdonck, MD, PHD, FEBTS, FERS
Head of Transplant Center, University Hospitals Leuven
Head of Clinic, Department of Thoracic Surgery, University Hospitals Leuven
Surgical Director, Leuven Lung Transplant Group
Professor of Surgery, KU Leuven University
Program Director Medical School, KU Leuven University

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Dirk Van Raemdonck became a staff member in the department of thoracic surgery at the University Hospitals Leuven in 1992 (Prof Dr T. Lerut) where he has been working since then (current chief Prof Dr P. De Leyn). He did his surgical research in the laboratory for experimental surgery and anaesthesiology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven where he obtained his PhD degree of Doctor in Medical Sciences in 1998 for the work entitled “Lung Viability After Circulatory Arrest; An Experimental Study In Rabbits”. He is a full professor of surgery at the same University since 2009.

Currently, Dirk Van Raemdonck is the surgical director of the Leuven Lung Transplant Group with a volume of about 50-60 lung transplants per year over the last 10 years. He is also responsible for the care programs of pulmonary metastasectomy and mediastinal tumor surgery. In addition, he holds the position of Director of the Leuven Transplant Center since 2006 and is the Program Director of the Medical School at the Faculty of Medicine, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven since 2012.

Dirk Van Raemdonck is the co-chair of the PGD working group and the chair of the DCD Registry Steering Committee within the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. He was a co-investigator in the Inspire trial and is the European principal investigator of the Expand trial sponsored by Transmedics, Andover, MA.

Dirk Van Raemdonck is a former president of the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) and currently serves as the president of the UEMS Section of Thoracic Surgery