The thoracic surgery program at Rush draws upon more than 70 years of combined experience in traditional thoracic surgery and more than 15 years of combined experience in leading-edge laparascopic surgery. Surgeons in the program are supported by a team of physician assistants and nurses with extensive experience working with cancer patients and their families.
Read about the physicians and other staff members in the Section of Thoracic Surgery at Rush University Medical Center:
- Michael J. Liptay, MD
- William H. Warren, MD
- Gary W. Chmielewski, MD
- L. Penfield Faber, MD (Emeritus)
- Christopher Seder, MD
- Brannon Andrews, RN, BSN
- Martina Lomibao, RN
- Andrea Markham, MMS, PA-C
- Alison Michon, MPAS, PA-C
- Megan Svoboda, MPAS, PA-C
Michael J. Liptay, MD
Michael J. Liptay, MD, is head of the Division of Thoracic Surgery and vice chairperson in the Department of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Liptay is also the medical director of the Coleman Foundation Chest Tumor Clinic at Rush University Medical Center and holds an associate professor status in Rush Medical College. In 2010, he became the Thoracic Surgery Residency Program director.
The author of over 100 manuscripts, book chapters and scholarly reports, he has lectured on four continents. His primary research interests lie in lung cancer early detection, staging and prognosis. An innovator in the field of thoracic surgery, he pioneered intraoperative sentinel lymph node mapping in lung cancer surgery. His research team is currently active in the development of a serum blood test for lung cancer relying on biomarker and autoantibody signatures.
As the head of University Thoracic Surgeons, Liptay directs the busiest thoracic surgery practice in Chicago, with the most experience in minimally invasive techniques in the Midwest. He holds many national leadership positions in organized medicine. He is the American Medical Association House of Delegates representative for the American Association of Thoracic Surgery, editor of Thoracic Surgical News, editorial board member of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Database Task Force.
Liptay received his medical degree at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago as a member of its honors program in medical education. He completed a residency in general surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University in St. Louis, and a fellowship in thoracic surgery at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
William H. Warren, MD
William H. Warren, MD, is a professor of surgery and thoracic surgery at Rush University Medical Center. He is board certified in general surgery and thoracic surgery. He received his medical degree from the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. He completed a residency in general surgery at the University of Toronto Hospitals, a fellowship in pathology at Rush University Medical Center, and a fellowship in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Rush University Medical Center.
His special clinical interests include laser bronchoscope, tracheobronchial and esophageal stents, photodynamic therapy, thoracic outlet syndrome and minimally invasive thoracic surgery. He performs several special procedures, including video-assisted thorascopic surgery (VATS), esophagectomy, resection of locally advanced lung cancer, chest wall reconstruction and tracheal surgery.
Gary W. Chmielewski, MD
Gary W. Chmielewski, MD, FACS, is an associate professor of surgery at Rush University Medical Center. He is board-certified in thoracic surgery and general surgery. He received his medical degree from the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago. He completed a residency in general surgery and a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center.
His clinical interests include Barrett's esophagus focusing on early detection and treatment of esophageal cancer, prevention of esophageal cancer through radiofrequency ablation for Barrett's esophagus, esophageal preservation for early-stage esophageal cancers through endomucosal resection techniques, minimally invasive esophagectomy, minimally invasive (VATS) lung cancer surgery, and chest wall and mediastinal tumor resection. In addition, he specializes in the evaluation and treatment of benign esophageal disease such as laparoscopic nissen fundoplication for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), laparoscopic or robotic heller myotomy for achalasia, and laparoscopic repair of giant paraesophageal hernias. Chmielewski's research interests include participation in national cancer clinical trials and early detection and treatment of Barrett's-related cancers of the esophagus through the formation of multidisciplinary teams. He currently serves on committees for the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group. He is a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and American College of Physician Executives and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
To learn more about Rush University Thoracic Surgeons expertise in benign or malignant esophageal disease evaluation and treatment please visit: www.midwestesophagus.com
L. Penfield Faber, MD (emeritus)
L. Penfield Faber, MD (emeritus), is a professor of surgery and thoracic surgery at Rush University Medical Center. Faber received his medical degree at Northwestern School of Medicine in Chicago. He completed a residency in general surgery at Rush University Medical Center and a residency in thoracic surgery at Edward Hines, JR., VA Hospital in Hines, Ill.
Faber's special clinical interests include lung cancer, esophageal cancer and thoracic neoplasms. His research interests included advanced lung cancer and tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in lung cancer.
Christopher Seder, MD
Christopher W. Seder, MD, is an assistant professor of surgery at Rush University Medical Center. After graduating from Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine, Seder trained in general surgery at William Beaumont Hospital, during which he spent one year in University of Michigan's Thoracic Surgery Laboratory. He completed his cardiothoracic surgery training at the Mayo Clinic, with a focus on general thoracic surgery.
His clinical interests include all aspects of general thoracic surgery, including thoracoscopic and robotic approaches to pulmonary, mediastinal and esophageal diseases. Seder's academic interests include resident educational as well as clinical and translational research focusing on thoracic oncology. He is a member of multiple national societies, serves on the Society of Thoracic Surgeons' General Thoracic Surgery Database Committee, and has over 20 peer-reviewed publications.
Brannon Andrews, RN, BSN
Brannon Andrews is the newest member of the University Thoracic Surgeons team. A native of Nashville, she recently moved to Chicago. After graduating from Belmont University with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in art education, she went to nursing school, returning to Belmont to complete her Bachelor of Nursing degree. After graduating, Brannon worked at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the Regional Burn Unit for seven years as a critical care nurse. Her passion for caring for the critically ill with the burn team has prepared her for the transition to caring for the thoracic surgery patient. Her clinical focus includes pre and post operative care and education in the outpatient setting.
Martina Lomibao, RN
Martina Lomibao serves as the RN coordinator for UTS. She is a licensed RN and she received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at West Suburban College in Oak Park. Martina has vast clinical experience in many settings including working with the cardiovascular/thoracic team in the operating room. Her clinical duties include patient care in clinic and educating patients about surgery and oncology concerns, assisting the team with formulation and execution of treatment plans, and facilitating participation of patients for lung research studies conducted at Rush.
Andrea Markham, MMS, PA-C
Andrea Markham received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Loyola University in Chicago and her Master of Medical Science in physician assistant studies from Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Ill., and is a licensed and certified physician assistant. She has a passion for surgical specialties and worked in an obstetrics and gynecology practice prior to joining the thoracic surgery team. She is a Chicago native and, as a mother of three, enjoys providing compassionate care to patients dealing with difficult medical diagnosis and conditions. Her responsibilities include preoperative and postoperative clinical assessments, long-term cancer surveillance follow-up, first or second assistant in the operating room, inpatient care of postoperative patients and inpatient consultations.
Alison Michon, MPAS, PA-C
Prior to joining University Thoracic Surgeons in 2014, Alison Michon received her Bachelor of Arts degree in integrative physiology from University of Colorado at Boulder and her Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago. During her PA education, she completed several rotations in surgical specialties throughout Chicago. After graduation, she completed a 14-month training program as a physician assistant surgical resident at Montefiore Medical Center and Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y. Her clinical interests focus on the pre-operative workup of thoracic patients, assisting in the operating room, thoracic surgery consults and post-operative management of surgical inpatients. She grew up in Chicago and enjoys practicing at a local medical center while continuing to expand her knowledge base in an academic setting.
Megan Svoboda, MPAS, PA-C
Megan Svoboda serves as the supervising physician assistant for the Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Department as well as clinical practitioner in thoracic surgery. Prior to joining University Thoracic Surgeons in 2010, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston. During her PA education, she completed several clerkships in surgical specialties and was very active as a volunteer working with diverse patient groups. Her clinical interests include all aspects of thoracic surgery and she enjoys providing continuity of patient care, conducting preoperative clinical visits, assisting in the operating room for minimally invasive surgeries, participating in inpatient hospital care and post-operative clinical follow up. She enjoys practicing at an academic center with weekly educational thoracic conferences and participating in the education of future physician assistants by lecturing and precepting students.