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Four surgical oncologists from Roger Williams Cancer Center named “Top Docs”

Four surgical oncologists from Roger Williams Cancer Center have been recognized as “Top Docs” in the May 2016 issue of Rhode Island Monthly. The list is compiled each year as the magazine asks physicians across Rhode Island to name their choices for the state’s best spe­cialists.

The surgical oncologists from Roger Williams Cancer Center who were named “Top Docs” are Dr. N. Joseph Espat, Dr. Steven Katz, Dr. R. James Koness, and Dr. Ponnandai Somasundar. There were a total of six surgical oncologists on the “Top Doc” list; four of them are from the Roger Williams Cancer Center.

“On a daily basis, we utilize data and patient outcomes to measure how successful we are as surgeons and as a cancer program,” said Dr. Espat, Chairman of Surgery, Chief of Surgical Oncology, and Director of the Cancer Center. “This recognition as “Top Doctors” -- as voted by our physician peers in Rhode Island -- is a positive reflection on the reputation of our surgeons, physician colleagues, support staff, and overall program.”

The four surgeons were among 48 physicians from Char­terCARE Health Partners who were recognized as “Top Doctors”.  To make an appointment with any of our surgical oncologists, please call 401-456-2077.

About our four surgical oncologists named “Top Docs”:

N. Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS, is Chairman of the Department of Surgery, Chief of Surgical Oncology, and Director of the Cancer Center at Roger Williams. A Professor of Surgery and Assistant Dean of Clinical Affairs at Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Espat focuses his practice on Hepatobiliary and Surgical Oncology. Dr. Espat received his fellowship training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He completed residency and medical school at University of Florida College of Medicine, where he received the Alpha Omega Alpha Award for graduating at the top of his class.. His clinical expertise is in the areas of liver surgery, pancreas surgery, abdominal wall reconstruction, HIPEC, radiofrequency and microwave ablation. Dr. Espat is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and has research interests in a number of areas including the effect of fatty acids on pancreas cancer growth and response to chemotherapy, chemo-sensitizing of pancreatic cancer, cancer-induced weight loss/metabolism, thermal means of tumor ablation, and biomaterials for tissue regeneration.

Steven C. Katz, MD is Director of Surgical Immunotherapy and Director of the Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Roger Williams. He is an Associate Professor of Surgery at the Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Katz attended the New York University School of Medicine, receiving the Alpha Omega Alpha Award for graduating at the top of his class. He completed his general surgery residency at the New York University Medical Center. Dr. Katz completed Fellowships in Immunology and Surgical Oncology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he served as the Chief Administrative Fellow. His Clinical Expertise is in liver surgery, pancreatic surgery, sarcoma, and melanoma. His laboratory research endeavors focus on immunotherapy for liver metastases and sarcoma. He was the principal investigator for the Hepatic Immunotherapy for Metastases (HITM) program, which tests a novel form of regional immunotherapy. Dr. Katz has received research grants from numerous societies, in addition to an NIH K08 award and an NIH COBRE project. He is a member of numerous professional societies, is a reviewer for numerous scientific and clinical journals, and serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Surgical Research and Cancer Gene Therapy.

R. James Koness, MD, is Director of the Breast Health Program at Roger Williams Medical Center. A general surgeon and surgical oncologist, Dr. Koness is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at Brown University School of Medicine. He was fellowship-trained in Surgical Oncology at Roger Williams Medical Center/Brown University. Dr. Koness completed a residency in General Surgery at Brown University and graduated from SUNY-Buffalo School of Medicine New York. He is a Diplomat in both the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Surgery.

Ponnandai Somasundar, MD, is Associate Chief of Surgical Oncology and Director of Geriatric Oncology at Roger Williams. He received his Fellowship training at Roger Williams Medical Center/Boston University School of Medicine. After graduating from Madras Medical College, Dr. Somasundar completed residencies at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, and West Virginia University. Dr. Somasundar’s clinical expertise is in the areas of liver surgery, pancreas surgery, melanoma, thyroid cancer, colorectal surgery, HIPEC, and abdominal wall reconstruction. Board certified by the American Board of Surgery, Dr. Somasundar’s research interests include leptin, obesity and cancer, Immunotherapy, and clinical trials.