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Zureikat appointed vice chair for surgical oncology

Photo submitted to the Times Observer Dr. Amer Zureikat, F.A.C.S., vice chair of surgery, UPMC Department of Surgery, and chief of surgical oncology, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

PITTSBURGH — Following an extensive national search, Dr. Amer Zureikat has been appointed vice chair of surgery for surgical oncology in the UPMC Department of Surgery and chief of surgical oncology at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

Zureikat also was awarded the UPMC Professorship in Clinical Surgery and serves as the division chief for gastrointestinal (GI) surgical oncology in the UPMC Department of Surgery and associate professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

A leader in the management of pancreatic cancer and other advanced GI malignancies, Zureikat also has excelled in state-of-the-art robotic surgery. His surgical robotic training program has attracted specialists throughout the world who have traveled to UPMC to improve their surgical and robotic techniques for complex cancers of the abdomen.

“We are confident that Dr. Zureikat will lead our surgical oncology programs to even greater national and international prominence,” said Dr. Robert Ferris, Ph.D., director of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. “He is responsible for building care teams to provide the best patient outcomes and for developing innovative pre-surgical clinical trials to give patients access to novel treatments throughout the vast Hillman network.”

Zureikat will bring his expertise to patients in northwest PA and southwest NY at a recently established clinic at 2500 W. 12th St., Erie, in the new UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. Zureikat will travel to Erie monthly to examine patients who have complex GI cancers to determine the best course of treatment. It’s expected that all treatment, with the exception of complex surgeries, can be accomplished in Erie to avoid unnecessary travel to Pittsburgh.

Zureikat received his medical degree with honors from The Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland, and completed his internship at Beaumont Hospital RCSI in Dublin and then went on to complete general surgical training at the University of Chicago. He then came to UPMC to complete a Society of Surgical Oncology Fellowship in surgical oncology.

In addition to Zureikat’s extensive surgical experience, he has authored or co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and reviews focusing on outcomes of GI and pancreatic cancer, and robotic and minimally invasive pancreatic surgery. He is a member of the Society of University Surgeons, Society of Surgical Oncologyand the Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, serves on various societal committees, and on the editorial boards of the Annals of Surgical Oncology, Journal of Surgical Oncology and the Journal of Surgical Research. Zureikat also is the principal investigator on several clinical trials at the University of Pittsburgh and has trained and mentored surgeons nationally and internationally in robotic surgery.

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