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Introducing Dr. Mark A. Talamini, Our New Chairman of Surgery

Renowned Surgeon and Innovator Assumes Leadership of the Department

Dr. Mark A. Talamini
Dr. Mark A. Talamini

We are very pleased to introduce Mark A. Talamini, MD, who officially joined Stony Brook Medicine on October 1, 2013, as the new chairman of surgery. Dr. Talamini came to Stony Brook from the University of California, San Diego, where he led the surgery department for the past eight years. He is the Stony Brook Department of Surgery’s fifth chairman since its establishment in 1974.

In addition to his position here as chairman of surgery and chief of surgery at University Hospital, Dr. Talamini will also serve Stony Brook Medicine as founding director of the Stony Brook Medical Innovation Institute, where he will be charged with developing and testing new techniques and devices that solve challenges in surgical and procedurally-based medical, pediatric, and radiological specialties.

"Through his myriad accomplishments, Dr. Talamini has become a national and internationally-known surgeon as well as a highly respected innovator, researcher, and teacher," says Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, dean of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

"With his remarkable clinical expertise and leadership skills, Dr. Talamini will be an inspirational mentor to our medical students, surgical residents, and young faculty members, while helping Stony Brook reach its goal of creating a world-class medical center."

"I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the Department of Surgery at Stony Brook to fulfill the surgical aspect of the Stony Brook Medicine vision."

Dr. Talamini specializes in gastrointestinal surgery, with an emphasis on the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis). He is considered a pioneer in minimally invasive abdominal surgery, and is recognized as one of the leading authorities on laparoscopic and robotic-assisted surgery in the United States.

A native of New Jersey, Dr. Talamini received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Johns Hopkins University, and remained at Hopkins to perform his surgical residency. He spent a year at the University of Cincinnati for fellowship training in surgical nutrition, before returning to Hopkins for his chief surgical residency and then joined the faculty there. His area of surgical expertise is gastrointestinal and minimally invasive surgery. A surgical innovator and prolific scholar, he rapidly rose through the academic ranks at Hopkins to become professor of surgery.

Model of Great Academic Surgeon

Recognized for his expertise in advanced laparoscopic surgery, Dr. Talamini was appointed director of minimally invasive surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, a post he held from 1992 to 2004. He was one of the first surgeons there to use robotic-assisted laparoscopic techniques for general abdominal procedures such as gallbladder removal and treatment of gastroesopheageal reflux.

In 2005, Dr. Talamini was recruited by UC San Diego to lead the Department of Surgery. In 2008, his surgical team gained worldwide attention for pioneering natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES), the practice of removing diseased organs through natural body openings. Part of the UC San Diego Center for the Future of Surgery, the team was the first in the United States to remove an appendix through the mouth.

In partnership with engineers and computer scientists, he and his team developed a new surgical camera that boasts auto focus and optical zoom. Designed for NOTES, the prototype — called SurgiCam — can be inserted through a half-inch incision to provide enhanced visual imaging.

With more than 200 scholarly publications to his name, Dr. Talamini is the editor of Advanced Therapy in Minimally Invasive Surgery (2006), an in-depth exploration of new and emerging surgical practices. He serves on the editorial boards of multiple surgical journals, and is editor-in-chief of Surgical Endoscopy, one of the highest impact general surgery journals.

From 2008 to 2009, he served as president of the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons. He has also held key roles with the American College of Surgeons and the Association for Academic Surgery.

Reflecting on his imminent move from San Diego to Stony Brook, Dr. Talamini says, "The Department of Surgery at Stony Brook has a strong and longstanding tradition of excellence. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the Department of Surgery at Stony Brook to fulfill the surgical aspect of the Stony Brook Medicine vision. I am also absolutely delighted to be signing on to the bold vision defined by, and being executed by, the spectacular leadership team at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine."

"In the last 5 years, natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) has quickly garnered the interest of surgeons as a result of its potential to further enhance the advantages of minimally invasive surgery by decreasing postoperative pain, lowering the incidence of wound-related complications, and improving cosmetic results.… Our experience demonstrates that NOTES is safe and feasible, as well as reproducible with previous training in the laboratory, a consistent team, and high volume. This likely resulted in no intraoperative complications and no need to convert to standard laparoscopy during these procedures. Prospective, randomized studies of large patient populations are necessary to assess the long-term results of NOTES procedures."

— Horgan S, Meireles OR, Jacobsen GR, Sandler BJ, Ferreres A, Ramamoorthy S, Savides T, Katagiri T, Dotai T, Sedrak M, Majid SF, Nijhawan S, Talamini MA. Broad clinical utilization of NOTES: is it safe? Surgical Endoscopy (June 2013; summary).

Click here to see the journal publications of Dr. Talamini on PubMed of the National Library of Medicine.