NEW YORK (Sept. 7, 2018)—Dr. Lisa Newman, an internationally renowned breast surgeon and researcher, has been appointed chief of the Section of Breast Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medicine, effective Aug. 20. At the NewYork-Presbyterian David H. Koch Center, Dr. Newman will lead multidisciplinary breast oncology programs and provide the finest, most compassionate care to women and men affected by breast cancer.
In her new role, Dr. Newman will lead a team of breast surgeons that uses state-of-the-art screening and imaging technologies, innovative surgical and reconstruction techniques, and radiation therapies to provide patients with comprehensive breast cancer care. As chief of the Breast Surgical Oncology Program, she will also extend this multidisciplinary approach—which is tailored to patients’ specific needs and personal preferences—to NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Queens. In addition, Dr. Newman will seek to expand research efforts of the Section of Breast Surgery—housed within the Department of Surgery—and will foster the mentorship and training of the next generation of breast surgeons. She will also broaden regional as well as international breast health outreach and education through global cancer initiatives.
Dr. Newman was recruited to Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian from the Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) in Detroit, where she was a surgical oncologist and director of its Breast Oncology Program. She is also founding medical director for the International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes, an international collaboration between the University of Michigan, the Henry Ford Health System and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Ghana, which will be headquartered at Weill Cornell Medicine. A board-certified surgeon, Dr. Newman specializes in the application of the most advanced breast surgical techniques, such as skin-sparing and nipple-sparing mastectomies, to enhance cosmetic results from breast reconstruction, and lymphatic mapping/sentinel lymph node biopsy to evaluate the extent of breast cancer spread. Her expertise also includes the use of medications to shrink tumors before surgery, known as neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
“Dr. Newman is an exceptionally talented surgical breast oncologist whose clinical and scientific excellence has driven critical advances in the field and has greatly improved the lives of countless patients,” said Dr. Fabrizio Michelassi, chairman of the Department of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine and surgeon-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. “I am thrilled that she will lead our breast surgery enterprise at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian, where she will ensure that our patients receive exceptional care.”
“In a country renowned for the strength of its multicultural and multiracial population, metropolitan New York is truly the epicenter of this beautiful diversity, which allows physicians to understand how biology, race and culture influence health—information that enhances our efforts to provide personalized care to our patients,” said Dr. Newman, who was recruited to Weill Cornell Medicine as a professor of surgery. “I am incredibly excited about opportunities to expand the breast oncology program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medicine so that more patients from Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens can take advantage of our superb services.”
In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Newman investigates how and why breast cancer risk and disease outcomes vary based upon patients’ race and ethnicity. She is particularly interested in the genetics of aggressive breast tumors, including triple-negative breast cancer, a subtype that does not respond to hormone therapies. This subtype accounts for 15-20 percent of all breast cancer cases, but occurs with greater frequency among African-American and younger women. These associations have intensified her studies into breast cancer disparities—such as the socioeconomic factors that affect early detection and access to treatment in diverse patient populations—and the disease’s genetic underpinnings among premenopausal patients and women with African ancestry.
“While we’ve made wonderful advances in breast cancer, this disease continues to cause far too much pain and suffering,” Dr. Newman said. “We are obligated to identify all of the features that account for variation in our ability to detect and control breast cancers.”
In her new role, Dr. Newman will continue to enhance the Section of Breast Surgery’s mission to provide exceptional clinical care to patients that takes into account individual perspectives and priorities, as well as tumor biology. To that end, the division offers a number of treatment options, including nipple- and skin-sparing mastectomies, intraoperative radiation therapy and cutting-edge breast reconstruction techniques. Much of this work will take place at the NewYork-Presbyterian David H. Koch Center, a new state-of-the-art ambulatory care center that combines innovative clinical approaches with the most advanced technology to provide exceptional care and a seamless patient experience.
Dr. Newman will also supervise the Breast Surgical Oncology Program at NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Queens. Her goal is to provide a multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer treatment through a standardized clinic and tumor board system implemented in each hospital so that patients receive the same high-quality care and have equally optimal experiences and outcomes across the boroughs.
Dr. Newman is also a champion of global health, having spent the last 15 years training physicians and working with patients in developing countries. In 2006, Dr. Newman launched the International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes (ICSBCS) to identify the genetic origins of triple-negative breast cancer and determine why it particularly affects women of African descent. This program will relocate to NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine, and continue its work providing medical supplies and training opportunities to its partners in the United States, Africa, the Caribbean and India while studying breast cancer incidence across the world.
“The ICSBCS program represents a wonderful intersection between research and global engagement,” Dr. Newman said. “We anticipate accelerated advances in understanding the genetics of breast cancer by being able to take advantage of the many strengths of Weill Cornell Medicine’s and NewYork-Presbyterian’s existing global health program.”
Dr. Newman’s team includes Drs. Alexander Swistel, an associate professor of clinical surgery, Rache Simmons, the Anne K. and Edwin C. Weiskopf Professor of Surgical Oncology, and Jennifer Marti, an assistant professor of surgery, who will all deliver care at the NewYork-Presbyterian David H. Koch Center; and Drs. Beth Siegel, Manmeet Malik, Jacqueline Tsai and Kap-Jae Sung, who are all assistant professors of clinical surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine and deliver care at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens. Dr. Newman intends to recruit additional breast surgical oncologists at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital.
About Dr. Lisa Newman
A New York City native, Dr. Newman received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Harvard University in 1981, a medical degree in 1985 from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and a master’s degree in public health in 2001 from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Newman completed a general surgery residency at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, joining its faculty as an assistant professor of surgery before pursuing fellowship training in surgical oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1997. After completing her fellowship, she joined MD Anderson’s faculty as an assistant professor and staff surgical oncologist in 1999. She served as associate director of the Walt Breast Center at the Karmanos Cancer Institute/Wayne State University from 2000 to 2002, when she was recruited to serve as director of the Breast Care Center for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor from 2002 to 2015. Dr. Newman left the University of Michigan in 2015 to become director of the Breast Oncology Program for the multi-hospital Henry Ford Health System, and has retained adjunct professorships with both the University of Michigan and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Dr. Newman has held leadership positions on several national committees, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women, the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Trials Advisory Committee, and the National Institute on Minority Health and Disparities’ Advisory Council. She has authored 136 studies published in peer-reviewed journals, and is currently on JAMA Surgery’s editorial board.
A fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Dr. Newman’s work has been recognized through several awards, including Crain’s “Health Care Hero” in 2017, the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation Hero Award in 2012, and the National Medical Association Women in Medicine Award in 2010. She was named “Michigander of the Year” by the Detroit News in 2011 and a Breast Cancer Angel by O Magazine in 2012. Hour Detroit Magazine has named her one of the “Top Docs” for surgical oncology annually since 2009. She is a Castle Connolly “Top Doctor for Cancer” in America. In 2016, she was named a Komen Scholar by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and was appointed to the Komen Scientific Advisory Board in 2017.
Weill Cornell Medicine
Weill Cornell Medicine is committed to excellence in patient care, scientific discovery and the education of future physicians in New York City and around the world. The doctors and scientists of Weill Cornell Medicine — faculty from Weill Cornell Medical College, Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and Weill Cornell Physician Organization—are engaged in world-class clinical care and cutting-edge research that connect patients to the latest treatment innovations and prevention strategies. Located in the heart of the Upper East Side's scientific corridor, Weill Cornell Medicine's powerful network of collaborators extends to its parent university Cornell University; to Qatar, where Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar offers a Cornell University medical degree; and to programs in Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Weill Cornell Medicine faculty provide comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Queens and NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. Weill Cornell Medicine is also affiliated with Houston Methodist. For more information, visit weill.cornell.edu.
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