Dr. Shah has special expertise in the surgical treatment of benign and malignant tumors in the head and neck area, including tumors of the mouth, pharynx, (throat), larynx, (voice box), sinuses, skull base, thyroid, parathyroid, and salivary glands as well as tumors of the skin, soft tissues, and bones.
He served as Chief of the Head and Neck Service in the Department of Surgery from 1992 to 2015 and also led the Head and Neck Disease Management Team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. This multidisciplinary team of more than 30 specialists includes head and neck surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, endocrinologists, radiologists, maxillofacial prosthodontists, as well as plastic and reconstructive surgeons. Members of the team work together to develop treatment plans for each of our head and neck cancer patients that incorporate the latest technology and most advanced surgical techniques, including minimally invasive surgery, laser surgery, robotic surgery, and non-surgical cancer therapies.
Dr. Shah’s special interests are in the field of skull base surgery and surgery to preserve the function of the throat (pharynx) and the voice box (larynx). He has developed many new surgical procedures that enable surgeons to remove tumors from complex areas, such as the base of the skull. Because of these advances it is now feasible to preserve organ function and facial appearance to a far greater degree than was previously possible.
Dr. Shah is actively involved in training the next generation of head and neck cancer surgeons, and he and his colleagues have developed a surgical training program supported by the National Cancer Institute. This program draws talented surgeons from all over the world who travel to Memorial Sloan Kettering to learn the latest surgical techniques for the treatment of head and neck cancer.
Over the years he has written six books in the field of head and neck cancer and has published nearly 400 scientific articles. (For a full listing of his publications, click on the icon at the right.) His textbook of head and neck surgery and oncology has won several awards and has been named the “Best Book in the Specialty” in the past five years by the University of London.
Dr. Shah has lectured extensively, both nationally and internationally and serves on the editorial boards of 12 scientific journals. He is professor of surgery at the Weill Cornell Medical College and holds the Elliot W. Strong Chair in Head and Neck Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering. He has been listed in “Best Doctors in America” directories continuously for the past 20 years.
In addition to his clinical and research activities at Memorial Sloan Kettering, Dr. Shah is actively involved in head and neck oncology both nationally and internationally. He has served as president of the Society of Head and Neck Surgeons, the North American Skull Base Society, the New York Head and Neck Society, the New York Cancer Society, and the International Academy of Oral Oncology. He founded the International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Over the years, he has also served in varying capacities on the American Board of Surgery, the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, and the Advanced Training Council for Head and Neck Surgery.
His expertise in the specialty of head and neck surgery has been recognized with honorary fellowships from the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of London, Edinburgh, and Australia, and honorary PhD degrees from the University of Athens and the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. He is an honorary member of specialty medical societies in Australia and New Zealand, Philippines, Korea, India, Belgium, Israel, South Africa, Brazil, and Peru. He has been honored by the establishment of an endowed chair in his name at Memorial Sloan Kettering.