Meet Our Team

A team of top surgeons, radiologists, and researchers led by Raja M. Flores, MD, Chairman of Department of Thoracic Surgery, and Claudia I. Henschke, PhD, MD, Professor of Radiology at The Mount Sinai Health System, is using earlier diagnoses and less invasive surgery to give patients with lung cancer significantly higher cure rates and faster recovery times. "Lung cancer becomes a curable disease when it is found early and treated," says Dr. Henschke. "It is critical to find the cancer early."


Claudia Henshke, PhD, MD
Director, Lung Screening Program

A pioneer and leading expert in the field of diagnostic radiology, Dr. Henschke has more than 20 years of clinical and research experience. Since 1993, she has detected some 800 lung cancers using CT scans. In reading CT scans of the lungs and tracking lung lesions, she and her team have created a protocol that recommends additional imaging to determine growth of lung lesions and possible malignancy, which saves patients unnecessary invasive testing. Today, approximately 60 sites worldwide use the screening regimen she developed. A Professor of Radiology, Dr. Henschke also heads the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program (I-ELCAP) - an international collaborative group of lung cancer experts - and has authored more than 250 peer-reviewed publications, two books and more than 30 chapters in textbooks.

Raja M. Flores, MD
Chairman, Department of Thoracic Surgery

Raja M. Flores, MD, Chairman of Department of Thoracic Surgery at Mount Sinai Health System, is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in thoracic surgery. An Ames Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, he a leading expert on lung cancer and has helped pioneer the use of intraoperative chemotherapy for mesothelioma. He has also established VATS lobectomy as a gold standard in thoracic surgery, a minimally invasive approach that uses three small incisions in the treatment of lung cancer. Dr. Flores has proven that this procedure results in fewer complications and shorter hospital stays when compared to a standard thoracotomy. Dr. Flores has participated in numerous major studies involving chemotherapy and radiation therapy. His research has been featured in many journals and he has participated in numerous publications.

Paolo Boffetta, MD
Director, Institute for Translational Epidemiology

Paolo Boffetta, MD, is the Director of the Institute for Translational Epidemiology and Associate Director for Population Sciences at The Tisch Cancer Institute of the Icahn School of Medicine. He coordinates research and training activities in epidemiology and directs the Cancer Prevention Program. His research is focused on cancer epidemiology and prevention, including studies on tobacco-related cancers and lung cancer. Dr. Boffetta also serves as the Vice President of the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France, and previously worked for 20 years in various capacities for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Jorge Gomez, MD
Medical Director, Thoracic Oncology Program

An Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Jorge Gomez, MD, is a medical oncologist whose interests include the treatment and study of lung cancer in patients who have never smoked and the improvement of patients with locally advanced disease though the development of better multimodality therapies. Dr. Gomez's main research focus is the incorporation of new therapeutic agents into the standard treatment of lung cancer through clinical trials. He is especially interested in identifying subpopulations of patients with lung cancer whose tumors may harbor driver mutations that can be targeted for treatment. As Medical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program, Dr. Gomez aims to foster interdisciplinary clinical collaboration with surgery, radiation therapy and other supportive care subspecialties, as well as expand clinical and translational research in thoracic oncology.

Charles Powell, MD
Chief, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

Charles Powell, MD’s translational research in lung cancer has helped lead to the recategorization of this disease. With clinical and research interests in lung cancer and mesothelioma, Dr. Powell’s investigations center on understanding the genetic and susceptibility factors for these diseases, and the molecular events that are important in the early stages of lung cancer development and progression. His numerous articles and abstracts have been published in journals, such as the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, American Journal of Pathology, CHEST, Cancer, and the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. He is Chair of the Thoracic Oncology Section of the American Thoracic Society, an elected member of the Fleischner Society, and a recipient of the American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award.

Kenneth Rosenzweig, MD
Chairman, Department of Radiation Oncology

Kenneth Rosenzweig, MD, is a pioneer in the development of innovative methods for the delivery of precise doses of radiation to lung tumors during certain points in the respiration cycle, allowing physicians to safely increase the radiation dose, shorten treatment and spare healthy tissue. He has also worked to incorporate positron emission tomography (PET), an imaging procedure that produces advanced biological images of the body, into the radiation treatment. A groundbreaking researcher, Dr. Rosenzweig was the principal investigator for a critical-dose escalation study that established the maximum tolerated dose of radiation therapy that can be safely delivered. He has published more than 70 articles in journals, has authored numerous textbook chapters, and has served on many professional committees, including consulting for the International Atomic Energy Association.

Cardinale Smith, MD
Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology and Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine 

Cardinale B. Smith, MD, MSCR is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology and Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. She is a medical oncologist and specializes in the treatment of patients with lung cancer. Her research focuses on improving the quality of care for patients with cancer with a special emphasis on minority populations. She is particularly interested in evaluating treatment disparities in cancer care, evaluating determinants of cancer patients’ quality of care, characterizing barriers to optimal cancer and palliative care, and developing approaches to eliminating those barriers. Dr. Smith is the past recipient of a Clinical and Translational Science KL2 Scholar Award and is completing a PhD in clinical research with a focus on population health and outcomes. She has an early career development award from the American Cancer Society to evaluate determinants of disparities in the utilization of palliative care among patients with lung cancer. She has been named one of Hospice and Palliative Medicine’s inspirational leaders under 40 by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. As a lung cancer oncologist she uses her palliative care expertise to provide the best symptom management and quality of life for patients receiving chemotherapy.

David Yankelevitz, MD
Director, Lung Biopsy Service

An experienced thoracic radiologist and Professor of Radiology, David Yankelevitz, MD,  focuses on fine needle aspirations (FNAs) of lung lesions and has developed one of the largest FNA practices in the United States. His main academic interest is in the area of diagnosis of early lung cancer. He was one of the initiators of the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program (I-ELCAP) lung screening study, which has enrolled more than 50,000 people in eight countries worldwide. He also helped develop software for diagnostic purposes, including techniques for rapid assessment of pulmonary lesion volumes scanned by CT on multiple dates. This approach is now becoming a standard approach in the workup of lung lesions. Additionally, he has been Principal Investigator on four National Cancer Institute grants related to evaluation of lung nodules and evaluation of early lung cancer and has authored more than 200 books and chapters.






Contact Us

Thoracic Surgery: 212-241-9466

Lung Screening: 212-241-2420

Request an Appointment
Explore Our Research
Join Our Cessation Study
Watch Our Videos
Make a Gift