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Surgical Specialties

at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital

Surgical Staff Biographies

Brigham and Women’s Thyroid Center

Dr. Matthew Nehs, Endocrine Surgeon
Dr. Nehs earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Hope College and studied medicine at the University of Michigan. He completed both his general surgery residency and an endocrine surgery fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Nehs specializes in endocrine surgery with specific interests in tumors of the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands. He is currently working on developing a robotics program in endocrine surgery. Dr. Nehs’ research focuses on targeted therapies for aggressive and anaplastic thyroid cancer. Dr. Nehs speaks fluent Spanish. View full profile >>

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Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

Dr. Malcolm Kenneth Robinson, Bariatric Surgeon
Director of Nutrition Support Services and Associate Chair for Clinical Operations at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Dr. Robinson received his college degree from Harvard University and medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He completed his surgical residency and advanced fellowships in nutrition and general surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is board certified in surgery and nutrition support. Dr. Robinson’s clinical interests include bariatric surgery, cost containment, nutrition and metabolic support of patients with complex nutrition issues and general and laparoscopic surgery. His research focuses on nutrition, metabolism and how to optimize weight loss surgery. View full profile >>

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Dr. Eric Sheu, Bariatric Surgeon
Dr. Sheu received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and his doctorate in immunology from Oxford University. He completed a general surgery residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a minimally invasive fellowship in advanced gastrointestinal and bariatric surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Sheu is board certified in general surgery and has clinical interests in laparoscopic and robotic gastrointestinal surgery, hiatal and paraesophageal hernia repair, gastroesophageal reflux disease and bariatric surgery. His research interests lie in developing therapies for diabetes and obesity by targeting gastrointestinal metabolism and immunology. View full profile >>

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Dr. Scott Shikora, Bariatric Surgeon
Director of the Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Dr. Shikora received his college degree from Muhlenberg College and his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed both his residency in surgery and his fellowship in hyperalimentation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is currently the Director of the Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and a Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Shikora has clinical interests in bariatric surgery, benign esophageal disease and surgery, gallstone disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastrointestinal disease and surgery, hernia repair, laparoscopic surgery, minimally invasive surgery and splenectomy. His research interests include minimally invasive bariatric and general surgery, neuromodulation and new surgical technologies. View full profile >>

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Dr. David Spector, Bariatric Surgeon
Director of Bariatric and Anti-Reflux Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital 
Dr. Spector received his medical degree from Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, Israel. Dr. Spector completed a general surgery residency at Ichilov Medical Center. In addition, he completed a general surgery residency and a bariatric surgery fellowship at Tufts Medical Center. Dr. Spector has clinical interests in bariatric surgery, anti-reflux surgery, paraesophageal hernias and abdominal wall hernias. Having grown up in Israel, Dr. Spector speaks Hebrew fluently. View full profile >>

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Dr. Ali Tavakkoli, Bariatric Surgeon 
Dr. Tavakkoli is a minimally invasive and bariatric surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital and Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He is the Co-Director of the Center for Weight Management and Metabolic Surgery as well as the Director of the Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship. He received his medical degree from The London Hospital Medical College in England and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (FRCS) before moving to Boston and finishing his surgical residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and subsequently completing the Harvard Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship. He leads an active research team, is an active member of many professional societies and he is a member of the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons. He is an associate editor for the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences and Annals of Surgical Innovation and Research. His clinical interests include laparoscopic bariatric surgery, gallstone disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hiatal hernia surgery, abdominal wall and groin hernia surgery, laparoscopic bowel surgery, adrenal surgery and splenectomy. Dr. Tavakkoli also speaks Persian. View full profile >>

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Dr. Ashley Haralson Vernon, Bariatric Surgeon
Dr. Vernon received her medical degree from the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn and completed her general surgery residency at the University of Alabama Hospital. She completed a pediatric laparoscopic surgery fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama and a laparoscopic surgery fellowship at Oregon Health and Science University. Dr. Vernon is board certified in general surgery and specializes in gastrointestinal and general surgery, metabolic health, bariatric surgery and weight management surgery. She has clinical interests in esophageal disease and surgery, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hernia repair, liver disease and surgery, minimally invasive surgery, pancreatic disease and surgery, splenectomy and supraesophageal reflux disease. Dr. Vernon’s research focuses on digestive system surgical procedures, appendectomy, gastroplasty and short bowel syndrome. View full profile >>

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Colorectal Surgery

Dr. Nelya Melnitchouk, Colorectal Surgeon
Dr. Melnitchouk received her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She completed her general surgery residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She completed a colorectal surgery fellowship at the combined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and New York Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center Colorectal Surgery Program. She is board certified in general surgery and Colon and Rectal Surgery. Her research interests are in outcomes research and global health, colorectal cancer screening and surgery for colorectal cancer in low-to-middle income countries, gastrointestinal complications involving cardiac surgery patients with LVAD and heart transplant and sphincter sparing surgery for rectal cancer. Her clinical interests include minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopic, robotic and combined endoscopic laparoscopic surgery), sphincter preserving/saving surgery in rectal cancer, colon and rectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disorders. Dr. Melnitchouk also speaks fluent Russian and Ukrainian. View full profile >>

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Dr. Jennifer Irani, Colorectal Surgeon
Dr. Irani received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She completed her general surgery residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and her colon and rectal fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Irani is board certified in surgery as well as colon and rectal surgery, and is also a surgeon for the gastrointestinal cancer treatment center at the Dana Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. Dr. Irani has clinical interests in colon and rectal cancer, sphincter sparing surgery, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, diverticular disease, surgical management of fecal incontinence and anorectal surgery.  She performs laparoscopic surgery, robotic surgery and traditional open surgery. View full profile >>

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General and Gastrointestinal Surgery

Dr. Douglas Smink, Chief of Surgery
Douglas S. Smink, MD, MPH, is Chief of Surgery at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital. He is also an Associate Professor in Surgery at Harvard Medical School and a minimally invasive general surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His clinical interests include abdominal wall hernias, foregut surgery, and biliary tract disease. Dr. Smink trained in general surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and in minimally invasive surgery at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Dr. Smink is the program director of the general surgery residency at Brigham and Women’s and the associate chair of education for the BWH Department of Surgery. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Surgical Education and serves as a member of the editorial board of SCORE (Surgical Council on Resident Education).

Dr. Smink’s research focuses on resident and faculty education through simulation. He is co-leader of the Surgical Culture program at the Center for Surgery and Public Health, where he studies how to teach communication, leadership, and decision-making to surgeons and surgical teams. View full profile >>

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Dr. Pardon R. Kenney, General Surgeon
Dr. Kenney was Chief of Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital from 1989 to 2019. Prior to that, he served as Associate Director of the surgical residency program at Brown Medical School and Director of the trauma service at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.  He received his medical and master’s of medical sciences degrees from the Brown University School of Medicine in 1975, and completed his surgical residency at Rhode Island Hospital in 1980. Dr. Kenney was initially board certified in general surgery in 1981, and was recertified in 1990, 1999 and 2010. His clinical interests include all areas of general surgery, with a specific focus on acute care surgery, hernias and diseases of the gallbladder and bile ducts. Dr. Kenney holds an appointment as a Senior Lecturer in surgery at Harvard Medical School. In this role he has primary responsibility for the education of surgical residents and Harvard medical students rotating to Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital from Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Over the almost three decades since his appointment as Chief of Surgery, he has won many teaching awards from both surgical residents and medical students. View full profile >>

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Dr. Erika Rangel, General Surgeon
Director of Surgical Critical Care and Inpatient Programs at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital
Dr. Rangel received her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. She then went on to her residency in surgery at Stanford University Medical Center and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She completed a fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in pediatric trauma surgery, and another fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in surgical critical care. Dr. Rangel is board certified in general surgery and surgical critical care, and has clinical interests in emergency surgery, general surgery, post-surgical infection and surgical critical care. Her research interests include improving outcomes in geriatric patients undergoing emergency surgery and surgical education. View full profile >>

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Dr. Brent Shoji, General Surgeon
Dr. Shoji received his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine and completed his general surgery residency at Harbor-University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center. Dr. Shoji is board certified in general surgery and his clinical interests include spleen surgery, cost containment, gallstone disease, gastrointestinal surgery, general surgery and complex hernia repair. He previously served as Surgical Director of the Operating Rooms at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. View full profile >>

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BRIGHAM AND WOMEN’S FAULKNER HOSPITAL


Offering comprehensive medical, surgical and psychiatric care as well as complete emergency, ambulatory and diagnostic services to residents of southwest Boston and the surrounding suburbs.

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