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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Surgery
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Thoracic Surgery

The Division of Thoracic Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is among the top programs in the country for clinical care, research and education. We offer the most advanced surgical treatments across the entire spectrum of thoracic diseases based on cutting-edge medical research. We constantly strive for excellence within all aspects of academic thoracic surgery and work to develop innovative solutions for all of our patients, with both simple but also the most complex medical conditions.


We aim to provide unparalleled personalized care to our patients based on clinical innovation, scientific advancements and state-of-the art technology.”

Ankit Bharat, MBBS, Chief

What We Do


We offer both a traditional track cardiothoracic surgery fellowship following completion of general surgery residency as well as an integrated six-year cardiothoracic surgery residency with direct admission following completion of medical school. In addition, we offer an advanced thoracic surgery fellowship focused on developing surgical and clinical skills in lung transplantation and mechanical life support.


The Division of Thoracic Surgery is NIH-funded for research in thoracic oncology, lung transplantation and transplant and tumor immunology. Our research has been directly translated into clinical care to fundamentally improve our patient outcomes.

Our research efforts include both basic science investigation as well as health services research. In the basic science arena, we use highly sophisticated tools such as single cell transcriptomics, spatial proteomics, two photon imaging, animal solid organ transplant and humanized mouse models to find solutions to clinically relevant problems. The health services research is directed toward the improvement of surgical outcomes in patients undergoing cancer surgery, lung transplantation, and treatment with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

In addition, our clinical research team has developed a clinical trial portfolio that includes both device and drug testing. Our multidisciplinary research team comprises of NIH-funded investigators from different departments and schools within Northwestern University as well as academic institutions across the country. We are also highly committed to the research training of our housestaff and provide funding for interested candidates.

 Patient Care

Our patients can expect to be treated as though they were a member of our family, with the utmost attention to detail and compassion. Patients will receive the best care possible for their medical condition from every member of our team. Our outcomes are among the best in the nation, and we take great pride in formulating individualized care plans for each patient based upon their specific condition and needs, rather than simply following a generic "cookie-cutter' approach. Additionally, we are committed to exploring all possible care options and creating innovative solutions to seemingly untreatable thoracic diseases.

Meet Our Team

Ankit Bharat

Associate Professor of Surgery (Thoracic Surgery) and Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care)

Dr Bharat is board certified in general surgery and thoracic surgery. His clinical interests include malignant and benign chest and esophageal diseases. Dr Bharat's research is focused on lung preservation, transplant immunology and airway biology, achieved through collaboration with the Kovler Comprehensive Transplant Center and the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.

Samuel S Kim

Associate Professor of Surgery (Thoracic Surgery) and Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care)

David D Odell

Associate Professor of Surgery (Thoracic Surgery)

Dr. Odell is a fellowship-trained general thoracic surgeon. His clinical practice is focused on thoracic oncology, dovetailing with his research interest in healthcare systems and quality improvement in cancer care. Dr. Odell has developed expertise in thoracic oncology with over 20 years of training and experience. He completed medical training at the University of Washington School of Medicine and then went on to an academic residency in general surgery at Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel ...

Chitaru Kurihara

Instructor of Surgery (Thoracic Surgery)

Rafael Garza-Castillon, Jr.

Instructor of Surgery (Thoracic Surgery)


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Contact Us

Support What We Do

We invite your philanthropic partnership in helping us achieve our research and teaching missions each day.

You can contact David McCreery for more information on supporting our division at 312-503-6099 or

Make an online donation
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