Newswise — Dr. Roshni Rao, a renowned expert in breast care, has been appointed chief of the Breast Surgery Program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, effective October 3. She will also serve as associate professor of surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. A skilled surgeon who is passionate in her commitment to breast health and her patients, Dr. Rao has expertise in the treatment of breast cancer that has spread to the areas surrounding the breast, known as locally advanced breast cancer, in addition to breast cancer that has spread further to other parts of the body, metastatic breast cancer. Her groundbreaking research includes the positive effects of exercise for patients with breast cancer who are preparing for surgery, and the impact of ethnicity on the risk of developing triple-negative breast cancer (when the three receptors known to fuel most breast cancers – estrogen, progesterone, and the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 – are not present in the cancer tumor).

“We are thrilled Dr. Rao has chosen NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center to continue her meaningful work in surgical and breast care,” said Dr. Laura Forese, executive vice president and chief operating officer at NewYork-Presbyterian. “Her surgical expertise and passion for research has already provided breast cancer patients with amazing treatment options, and we look forward to having her as a leading innovator in breast cancer prevention and treatment.”

 “Dr. Rao has distinguished herself with innovative surgical techniques to treat breast cancer and focused, individualized treatment plans for each of her patients. We are pleased to welcome such a strong surgeon, researcher and educator to our team of accomplished, caring specialists, and look forward to her leadership in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer,” said Craig R. Smith, MD, surgeon-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and the Johnson & Johnson Distinguished Professor in the Department of Surgery, Valentine Mott Professor of Surgery, and chair of the Department of Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Rao will oversee the breast cancer surgery program at the Comprehensive Breast Center of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia, a multi-site, multi-disciplinary entity that incorporates the legacy of innovation and trust associated with the Columbia University Medical Center. She will collaborate closely with its team of specialists across every discipline, including radiologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic surgeons and other breast cancer support staff.

“NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia has had a tremendous multidisciplinary program for decades, marked by a thoughtful team approach towards each patient who walks in the door and their particular case,” said Dr. Rao. “Women going through breast cancer are very motivated to get better, and I plan on building on this program’s tradition of helping these individuals survive and thrive. The team here, including Dr. Bret Taback, Dr. Margaret Chen and Dr. Lisa Wiechmann, have taken great care of patients for many years, and I look forward to continuing that care.”

Dr. Rao was repeatedly recognized with awards for her leadership at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, where she served as the director of the George N. Peters Center for Breast Surgery prior to joining NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia. She was elected by her peers to be a “Best Doctors in Dallas” in breast surgery every year from 2009 to 2017.

Dr. Rao received her medical degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine. She completed a general surgery residency at Baystate Medical Center/Tufts University School of Medicine, followed by a fellowship in breast surgical oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

She is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the Society of Surgical Oncology. She is currently the chair of the Patient Safety and Quality Committee for the American Society of Breast Surgeons. Dr. Rao serves as a reviewer for the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Annals of Surgical Oncology, and has served as a reviewer for Cancer and other journals. Her work has been published in these journals and many other surgical and oncology publications.


NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the nation’s most comprehensive, integrated academic healthcare delivery systems, whose organizations are dedicated to providing the highest quality, most compassionate care and service to patients in the New York metropolitan area, nationally, and throughout the globe. In collaboration with two renowned medical schools, Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian is consistently recognized as a leader in medical education, groundbreaking research and innovative, patient-centered clinical care.

NewYork-Presbyterian has four major divisions:

  • NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is ranked #1 in the New York metropolitan area by U.S. News and World Report and repeatedly named to the Honor Roll of “America’s Best Hospitals.”
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Regional Hospital Network comprises hospitals and other facilities in the New York metropolitan region.
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Physician Services, which connects medical experts with patients in their communities.
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Community and Population Health, encompassing ambulatory care network sites and community healthcare initiatives, including NewYork Quality Care, the Accountable Care Organization jointly established by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia.

For more information, visit and find us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. The campus that Columbia University Medical Center shares with its hospital partner, NewYork-Presbyterian, is now called NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. For more information, visit or