Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Surgery

(2017-2019) - MENTOR: Karl Bilimoria, MD

Dr. Ellis’ research centers on surgical quality improvement and outcomes research pertaining to complex surgical oncology under the guidance of his mentor, Dr. Karl Bilimoria. Specifically, he is focusing on hepatopancreaticobiliary (HPB) surgery and factors associated with adverse outcomes in this patient population. Dr. Ellis is also studying the effects of regionalization of complex surgical care, as well as developing national quality standards for management of patients before and after HPB surgery. This includes research examining what factors drive patients to choose one hospital or surgeon over another prior to having surgery. Dr. Ellis is an American College of Surgeons Clinical Scholar as well as a T32 postdoctoral fellow at the Northwestern Center for Healthcare Studies. He obtained a master’s degree in Health Services and Outcomes Research at Northwestern University during his research time.


Ellis RJ, Yang AD. Selected Readings in General Surgery. 2017:43(6):e1. Accessed January 5, 2018. Review of: Macht R, Gardner I, Talutis S, Rosenkranz P, Doherty G, McAneny D. Evaluation of a Standardized Risk-Based Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis Protocol in the Setting of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery.

Ellis RJ, Ko CY. Improving the quality of surgical care: The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality improvement Program. Revista d Calidad Asistencial.  2017 Nov - Dec;32(6):301-302. doi: 10.1016/j.cali.2017.10.002. Epub 2017                             

Ellis RJ, Merkow RP, Bilimoria KY. Effects of the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program: Targeting Our Weaknesses and Finding the Readmission Floor. JAMA Surgery. 2017 Nov 22. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2017.4586. [Epub ahead of print]

Ellis RJ, Merkow RP. Exploring the Underlying Mechanisms of the Volume-Outcome Relationship in Complex Cancer Care. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2017 Aug;24(8):2067-2068. doi: 10.1245/s10434-017-5874-7. Epub 2017 May 5.

Ellis RJ, Patel D, Prodanov T, Nilubol N, Pacak K, Kebebew E. The presence of SDHB mutations should modify surgical indications for carotid body paragangliomas. Annals of Surgery. 2014 Jul;260(1):158-62

Ellis RJ, Patel D, Prodanov T, Sadowski SM, Nilubol N, Adams KT, Steinberg SM, Pacak K, Kebebew E. Response after surgical resection of metastatic pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma: can postoperative biochemical remission be predicted? Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2013 Sep;217(3):489-96

Ellis RJ, Wang Y, Stevenson H, Boufraqech M, Patel D, Nilubol N, Davis S, Edelman DC, Merino MJ, He M, Zhang L, Meltzer PS, Kebebew E. Genome-wide Methylation Patterns in Papillary Thyroid Cancer are Distinct Based on Histologic Subtype and Tumor Genotype. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2014 Feb;99(2):E329-37

Straughan DM, Neychev VK, Sadowski SM, Ellis RJ, Thomas F, Patronas NJ, Pacak K, Kebebew E, Nilubol N. Preoperative Imaging Features are Associated with Surgical Complications Following Carotid Body Tumor Resection. World Journal of Surgery.  2015 Aug;39(8):2084-9

Mehta A, Patel D, Rosenberg A, Boufraqech M, Ellis RJ, Nilubol N, Quezado MM, Marx SJ, Simonds WF, Kebebew E. Hyperparathyroidism-jaw tumor syndrome: Results of operative management. Surgery. 2014 Dec;156(6):1315-24; discussion 1324-5

Sadowski SM, Weisbrod AB, Ellis R, Patel D, Alimchandani M, Quezado MM, Millo C, Venson D, Nilubol N, Linehan M, Kebebew E. Prospective evaluation of the clinical utility of  18-Fluorodeoxyglucose PET CT scanning in patients with von hippel-lindau-associated pancreatic lesions. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2014 May;218(5):997-1003

Boufraqech M, Zhang L, Jain M, Patel D, Ellis R, Xiong Y, He M, Nilubol N, Merino MJ, Kebebew E. miR-145 suppresses thyroid cancer growth and metastatsis and targets AKT3. Endocrine Related Cancer. 2014 Aug;21(4):517-31

Patel D, Ellis R, Howard B, Boufraqech M, Gesuwan K, Gulati N, Gara S, Zhang L, Nilubol N, Kebebew E. Analysis of IGF and IGFBP as prognostic serum biomarkers for adrenocortical carcinoma. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2014 Oct;21(11):3541-7

Patel D, Gara SK, Ellis RJ, Boufraqech M, Nilubol N, Millo C, Stratakis CA, Kebebew E. FDG PET/CT Scan and Functional Adrenal Tumors: A Pilot Study for Lateralization. World Journal of Surgery. 2016 Mar;40(3):683-9

Singh M, Morris CP, Ellis RJ, Detamore MS, Berkland C. Microsphere-Based Seamless Scaffolds Containing Macroscopic Gradients of Encapsulated Factors for Tissue Engineering. Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods. 2008 Dec;14(4): 299-309

Podium Presentations

Ellis RJ et al. Surgical Resection of Carotid Body Paragangliomas: Should Genetic Background Modify Surgical Indications? American College of Surgeons 2013 Clinical Congress, Washington DC, Oral Presentation as Scientific Paper.

Ellis RJ et al. Programmed Death-Ligand 1 as a Prognostic Marker in Papillary Thyroid Cancer. American College of Surgeons 2013 Clinical Congress, Washington DC, Oral Presentation in Surgical Forum.

Poster Presentations

Ellis RJ et al. Genome-wide Methylation Patterns in Papillary Thyroid Cancer are Distinct Based on Histologic Subtype and Tumor Genotype. American College of Surgeons 2013 Clinical Congress, Washington DC, Medical Student Poster Presentation.

Ellis RJ et al. Response after Surgical Resection of Metastatic Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma: Can Postoperative Biochemical Remission Be Predicted? ENDO – The Endocrine Society National Conference, San Francisco, CA. Poster Presentation 17 June 2013.