SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University Appoints New Chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Sep 3, 2014

Dr. Shivakumar Vignesh is an Expert in Advanced Endoscopic Procedures and Endoscopic Oncology

Brooklyn, NY – SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University has appointed Shivakumar Vignesh, MD, as associate professor and chief, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and program director of the Gastroenterology Fellowship.

Dr. Vignesh is a superbly trained interventional gastroenterologist with expertise in advanced endoscopic procedures and endoscopic oncology. He is an expert in endoscopic ultrasound; pancreatic-biliary endoscopy; endoscopic ablation; and resection techniques for precancerous abnormalities of the GI tract, including early esophago-gastric cancer and large colorectal adenomas. Dr.Vignesh is also experienced in conducting clinical trials to evaluate novel endoscopic devices and diagnostic biomarkers, as well as in developing innovative GI curriculums for students, residents, and fellows. While at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, Dr. Vignesh directed a unique Advanced Endoscopic Oncology fellowship and designed a rigorous curriculum that offered training in advanced endoscopic procedures focusing on gastrointestinal cancers.

"Dr. Vignesh is a strong addition to SUNY Downstate's Department of Medicine and its very capable GI team," said Moro Salifu, MD, professor and chair of medicine. "He brings invaluable experience and is an important and strategic addition to the medical school. Dr. Vignesh will play the lead role in expanding the clinical and academic missions in gastroenterology at Downstate."

Immediately prior to coming to SUNY Downstate, Dr. Vignesh directed the Advanced Endoscopic Oncology Fellowship at Moffitt, and was a tenured associate professor of Oncologic Sciences and Internal Medicine at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, where he served as site director of the USF Gastroenterology fellowship. Before that, he served as a faculty member in the division of gastroenterology at Yale for three years, where he was actively involved in medical student and fellowship education. Subsequently, Dr. Vignesh served as the director of endoscopic ultrasound, therapeutic endoscopy at M.S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Vignesh graduated with distinction from Madras Medical College and University in Chennai, India. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital/UMDNJ in New Brunswick, New Jersey. His specialty training includes a fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Albert Einstein Medical Center/Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and a fellowship that focused on ERCP and interventional endoscopy at Yale University School of Medicine.

He completed an advanced fellowship in endoscopic ultrasound at the Medical University of South Carolina, training under the pioneers of therapeutic endoscopy, Drs. Peter Cotton and Robert Hawes. He also underwent hands-on training in endoscopic submucosal dissection at Tokyo National Cancer Hospital and Keio University Hospital under the “Masters of Endoscopy,” Drs. Saito and Yahagi.

He has presented widely at Grand Rounds and as an invited speaker at national and international symposia. Dr. Vignesh is an ad hoc reviewer for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American Journal of Gastroenterology, and PLOS ONE, and has published articles focusing on advanced endoscopy and early diagnosis of esophageal and pancreatic cancer.


About SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn is one of four academic health centers (AMCs) in The State University of New York (SUNY) 64-campus system and the only SUNY AMC in New York City dedicated to health education, research, and patient care for the borough’s 2.7 million residents. Its flagship hospital, University Hospital at Downstate (UHD), is a teaching hospital and benefits from the expertise of Downstate’s exceptional medical school and world-class academic center research facilities. With a staff of over 800 physicians representing 53 specialties and subspecialties, Downstate offers comprehensive healthcare services to the community.

UHD provides high-risk neonatal and infant services, pediatric nephrology, and dialysis for kidney diseases and is the only kidney transplantation program in Brooklyn. Beyond its clinical expertise, Downstate houses a range of esteemed educational institutions, including its College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, School of Graduate Studies, and School of Public Health. Downstate fosters innovation through its multifaceted biotechnology initiative, the Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT, which support early-stage and more mature biotech companies.