Juan Sanabria, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS

Juan Sanabria, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS
General Surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Surgical Oncology for Treatment of Liver and Pancreatic Cancer


Vice Chair & Professor


General Surgery
Minimally Invasive Surgery
Surgical Oncology for Treatment of Liver and Pancreatic Cancer


Dr. J. Sanabria grew up in South America where he obtained his MD, a degree that subsequently was validated at the University of Toronto. His research centered in the digestive system as he defended a Thesis regarding the patho-physiology of gallstone formation and re-perfusion injuries during cold preservation of the liver graft on animal models and humans. After his academic general surgery residency was completed, he pursued his interest in liver and pancreas by a Clinical Fellowship in HPB surgery and Abdominal transplantation. He stayed at the Multi-Organ Transplant Unit in Toronto before moving to Ohio. During his stay in Toronto, he published more than 20 peer review papers, and he was part of the team that started the living related liver transplantation program, nowadays the most successful program of its kind in America. He, as well, was part of the team that started the Mount Sinai Cancer registry for patients with familial polyposis, that evolved to become today the Ontario Cancer Registry, the largest in Canada. He successfully started a liver and pancreas transplant programs in Ohio, and he established a basic, translational and clinical research program at Case Western Reserve University, where he still has his laboratory and holds a Faculty position. Dr. Sanabria's interests include 1) primary liver tumors and liver regeneration, 2) treatments for locally advanced liver and pancreas tumors and 3) patient/population outcomes. Dr. Sanabria will focus on improving clinical practices by leveraging local talent and emphasizing translational and outcomes research specially at the Comprehensive Cancer Center and at the newly to form Transplant Center.


  • 1985, MD degree with Honours, Colegio Mayor Ntra Sra del Rosario
  • 1990, MCCEE passed (Canadian Licensing Examination)
  • 1992, TOEFL and Test for Spoken English passed. Recertified, 2002
  • 1992, Samuel Lunenfield Research Scholarship
  • 1994, MD Degree, International Medical Graduates Program, U. of Toronto
  • 1994, M.Sc., Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto
  • 1994, Institute of Medical Science Scholarship for excellent academic
  • 1995, LMCC part I passed (Canadian equivalent to USMLE)
  • 1995, ATLS certification. Recertified, 2012
  • 1995, ACLS certification. Recertified, 2012
  • 1996, LMCC part II passed
  • 1996, Alan Wu Award for best clinical poster at the Institute of Medical Science
  • 1996, Bruce Tovee Award, runner up
  • 1997, Technical Skills Certificate in General Surgery - University of Toronto
  • 1997, A.W. Harrison Resident Teaching Award
  • 1998, Bruce Tovee Award, runner up
  • 1999, LMCC part III passed
  • 1999, Fellow Royal College of Surgeons of Canada
  • 2000, American Board of Surgery, Certified. Recertified, 2010
  • 2001, USMLE part 1 and part 2, passed
  • 2001, Fellow American College of Surgery, Associate
  • 2001, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Medical College of Ohio
  • 2002, Teacher of the Year, given by the Surgical Residents, MCO
  • 2002, ECFMG, permanent validation
  • 2003, Fellow American College of Surgeons (FACS)
  • 2004, UNOS Certification for Liver and Pancreas Transplantation
  • 2004, Director Liver & Pancreas Transplant Programs
  • 2004, Alternate representative of MCO for UNOS
  • 2004, Member of the Liver and Pancreas Committee, Ohio Solid Organ
  • 2004, Committee member first USA School of Transplant Coordinators, MCO
  • 2004, Member Executive Committee, Ohio Solid Organ Transplant Consortium
  • 2004, Counselor at large, The Toledo Surgical Society
  • 2004, Program Director, Case Western Reserve University
  • 2004, Medical Advisory Committee Life Bank of Ohio
  • 2005, UNOS Region 10 Representative, Pancreas Committee
  • 2005, Director Research at the Institute of Surgery and Innovation, Department
  • 2006, USMLE part 3, passed
  • 2006, Faculty Minority Award, University Hospitals – Case Medical Center
  • 2006, Facilitator, Block 3 Medical School Curriculum, Case Western Reserve
  • 2007, Cross appointment, Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Metabolism
  • 2008, Board of Directors, Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland
  • 2008, Physicians Community and Services Award for outstanding community
  • 2008, NIH Research Award, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive
  • 2009, Consultant in HPB Surgery at the Cleveland VA Medical Center
  • 2010, Nominated for Counselor at Large, AASLD
  • 2010, Leadership Committee, Association for the Academic Surgery
  • 2010, Steering Committee, Liver Transplantation AASLD
  • 2011, Leadership Committee, Association for Academic Surgery
  • 2012, Life Banc award, Faithful Stewardship Award
  • 2012, President & Chair NMRI-NIDDK at NIH and Program Committee
  • 2012, Study Group Reviewer for the NIH-NIDDK ZDK1 GRB-J O2 1, RFA
  • 2012, Certification, DaVinci CSi Robotic GI Surgery
  • 2013, National Hispanic Medical Association Leadership Fellowship Award
  • 2013, UH Regional Hospitals Excellence in Teaching Award
  • 2014, Director Medical Students Surgical Rotation, CTCA
  • 2014, WIRB Board member, for IRB CTCA
  • 2014, NHMA Board member
  • 2014, Navy reserve LCDR, NOSC Great Lakes Navy Base
  • 2015, Consultant Captain Lowell Federal Health Care Center and VA, Great Lakes Navy Base, IL
  • 2015, Fellow AASLD
  • 2015, Research Post-graduate Program Committee RFU CMS
  • 2015, Oversight Committee NMRI-NIDDK, NIH, Bethesda


  • Colegio Mayor Ntra Sra del Rosario and University of Toronto - MD
  • Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Toronto - MSc
  • Toronto General Hospital & Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Academic residency in General Surgery
  • Toronto General Hospital, University of Toronto, Fellowship in Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic surgery and Abdominal Transplantation


Marshall Surgery
Appointments: 304-691-1200
Toll Free: 855-316-1081

Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center - Surgery
Appointments: 304-399-6600 / 304-399-6556