School of Medicine


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  • Leah Backhus

    Leah Backhus

    Associate Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery (Thoracic Surgery)

    Bio Leah Backhus trained in general surgery at the University of Southern California and cardiothoracic surgery at the University of California Los Angeles. She practices at Stanford Hospital and is Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the VA Palo Alto. Her surgical practice consists of general thoracic surgery with special emphasis on thoracic oncology and minimally invasive surgical techniques. She is also Co-Director of the Thoracic Surgery Clinical Research Program, and has grant funding through the Veterans Affairs Administration and NIH. Her current research interests are in imaging surveillance following treatment for lung cancer and cancer survivorship. She is a member of the National Lung Cancer Roundtable of the American Cancer Society serving as Chair of the Task Group on Lung Cancer in Women. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. As an educator, Dr. Backhus is the Associate Program Director for the Thoracic Track Residency and is the Chair of the ACGME Residency Review Committee for Thoracic Surgery which is the accrediting body for all cardiothoracic surgery training programs in the US.

  • Edward Bender

    Edward Bender

    Clinical Professor, Cardiothoracic Surgery

    Bio Dr. Edward Bender specializes in the treatment of adult cardiac abnormalities, including ischemic heart disease, structural and valvular disease, and arrhythmias. Additionally, he has an interest and expertise in General Thoracic and Vascular surgery. Dr. Bender currently works with organizations within the medical community to develop software to aid in the teaching and practice of medicine.

  • Mark Berry, MD

    Mark Berry, MD

    Mylavarapu Rogers Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery

    Bio Dr. Berry joined the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Stanford in August 2014. He came to Stanford from Duke University, where he had most recently served as Associate Professor. He received his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine after receiving bachelors and masters degrees in Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his residency in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Duke University Medical Center after performing a residency in General Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. His Cardiothoracic Surgical training included a year dedicated to Minimally Invasive General Thoracic Surgery, a period that also included an American Association for Thoracic Surgery sponsored Traveling Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh.

    Dr. Berry practices all aspects of thoracic surgery, including procedures for benign and malignant conditions of the lung, esophagus, and mediastinum. He has a particular interest in minimally invasive techniques, and has extensive experience in treating thoracic surgical conditions using video-assisted thoracoscopic surgical (VATS), laparoscopic, robotic, endoscopic, and bronchoscopic approaches. He serves as the co-Director of the Stanford Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Center (SMITS), and has both directed and taught in several minimally invasive thoracic surgery courses.

    Dr. Berry also has a Masters of Health Sciences in Clinical Research from Duke University. His clinical research activities mirror his clinical interests and activities in optimizing short-term and long-term outcomes of patients with thoracic surgical conditions. He has more than sixty peer-reviewed publications, most of which are related to both the use of minimally invasive thoracic surgical techniques as well as evaluating outcomes after treatment of thoracic malignancies. His clinical practice and his research both focus on choosing the most appropriate treatment and approach for patients based on the individual characteristics of the patient and their disease process.

  • Thomas Burdon

    Thomas Burdon

    Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery (Adult Cardiac Surgery)

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests New technologies in the area of catheters, clamps, and, visualization devices for aid in cardiac surgery; distribution of, cardioplegia, both anterograde and retrograde as determined by, techniques in technetium pyro-phosphate scans; glucose insulin, potassium as an adjunct in cardiac surgery.

  • Elan Chanel Burton, MD, MHA

    Elan Chanel Burton, MD, MHA

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Cardiothoracic Surgery

    Bio Dr. Burton is a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon. She is also a clinical assistant professor in the Stanford University School of Medicine Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

    She offers her patients exceptional expertise in advanced cardiothoracic surgical techniques. For each patient, she develops a customized, comprehensive, and compassionate care plan.

    In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Burton has conducted research on health disparities in cardiovascular disease, diversity in radiology and molecular imaging, and other topics. She is the consultant on an innovation research grant from the National Science Foundation for her work on an app for emotional support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Dr. Burton has made presentations to her peers as a guest lecturer on subjects including coronary artery disease, primary cardiac tumors, and minimally invasive cardiac surgery. In addition, she has made presentations to the American Heart Association, International Conference on Clinical Ethics and Consultation, and other organizations.

    Dr. Burton has published articles on advanced surgical techniques as well as issues such as balancing work and family during the COVID-19 pandemic plus health disparities and social determinants of health. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Cardiac Surgery, JTCVS Techniques, International Social Work, and elsewhere.

    Dr. Burton has earned honors including the Coleman Connolly Award in Thoracic Surgery, which recognizes the exemplary efforts of thoracic surgery residents. She also won the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons Resident Achievement Award and the Dr. Albert G. Marrangoni Research Award.

    She is a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, American College of Cardiology, American College of Physicians–American Society of Internal Medicine, Lillehei Surgical Society, Women in Thoracic Surgery, Western Thoracic Surgical Association, American Society of Professionals in Patient Safety, Women Health Care Executives, Association of Women Surgeons, Society of Black Academic Surgeons, and American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management.

    She has volunteered her time and expertise as a high school medical club faculty mentor, as an elementary school community health nutrition interventionist, and with the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society.

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