01. Doctor Overview

Doctor Overview

Dr. Elliot Wakeam is an assistant professor of thoracic surgery at the University of Michigan. Dr. Wakeam joined the faculty in 2019 after completing two fellowships at Toronto General Hospital. After completing his first fellowship in thoracic surgery, Dr. Wakeam studied the sub-specialty of lung transplants. He completed his second fellowship through the Toronto Lung Transplant Program, one of the largest lung transplant programs in the world.

While Dr. Wakeam trained at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre at the University of Toronto, the center treated approximately 100 mesothelioma patients each year. The hospital also pioneered Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy (SMART). Dr. Wakeam is currently working to initiate SMART at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Wakeam’s clinical expertise is thoracic surgery. He has experience treating benign and malignant conditions of the lung, esophagus, thymus and chest wall. Dr. Wakeam is particularly interested in minimally invasive surgeries, including procedures for mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Dr. Wakeam has also contributed to a number of studies for non-small cell lung cancer, mesothelioma and other conditions. Dr. Wakeam continues to research the quality, efficiency and delivery of surgery. He also contributes to prospective clinical trials in thoracic oncology and lung transplantation.

02. Fast Facts

Doctor Fast Facts

Main Specialty: Thoracic Surgery

Other Interests & Specialties: General surgery, minimally invasive thoracic surgery for mesothelioma, lung transplants and lung cancer treatments.

Certifications, Awards & Accolades: American Board of Surgery Certification in Surgery, fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, member of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, member of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, member of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, member of the American College of Surgeons

Education & Experience:

  • Medical Degree from Jefferson Medical College
  • Master’s Degree in Public Health from Harvard University
  • Residency in General Surgery at University of Toronto
  • Fellowship in Thoracic Surgery at Toronto General Hospital
  • Fellowship in Lung Transplant at Toronto General Hospital
03. Publications


Defining the role of adjuvant therapy for early-stage large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma. The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. September 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2019.09.077

Measuring the quality of multi-disciplinary thoracic oncology care. Journal of Thoracic Disease. March 2019;11(Suppl 4):S562–S565. doi: 10.21037/jtd.2019.02.72

Optimizing health before elective thoracic surgery: systematic review of modifiable risk factors and opportunities for health services research. Journal of Thoracic Disease. March 2019;11(Suppl 4):S537-S554. doi: 10.21037/jtd.2019.01.06

Surgical Treatment for Early Small Cell Lung Cancer: Variability in Practice and Impact on Survival. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. December 2017;104(6):1872-1880. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2017.07.009

Trends, practice patterns and underuse of surgery in the treatment of early stage small cell lung cancer. Lung Cancer. July 2017;109:117-123. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2017.05.004

Gene Therapy for Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. February 2010;42(4): 385-93. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2010-0026RT

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