Yolonda Colson, MD, PhD

Dr. Colson is the past President of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Chief for the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and Hermes C. Grillo Professor of Surgery in the Field of Thoracic Surgery at Harvard Medical School. She is a member of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine and has served as an Officer and Exam Chair for the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, being integral to the creation and execution of the first virtual ABTS Certifying Exam.  In addition to her cardiothoracic surgical training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, her academic training includes a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an M.D. from Mayo Medical School, and a Ph.D. in pathology (transplant immunology) and general surgery residency at University of Pittsburgh. She is the recipient of the George H.A. Clowes, Jr. Research Career Development Award from the American College of Surgeons, the Edward M. Kennedy Award for Health Care Innovation from CIMIT and served as a permanent member of the NIH Developmental Therapeutics Study Section.

She has a specific clinical interest in improving the identification and treatment of lung cancer, extending the chance of cure through novel technologies, and broadening our understanding of the unique differences of lung cancer in women. She is co-inventor on three awarded patents, has received over twenty foundation grants and has been PI or co-PI on 11 grants from the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute. She has mentored over 40 undergraduate, post-doctoral & PhD candidates in her laboratory with receipt of dozens of resident research awards & scholarships. Dr. Colson’s research focuses on the development of unique mechanisms of polymer and nanoparticle drug delivery aimed at preventing cancer recurrence, and the investigation of novel near-infrared imaging methods to identify hidden tumor that has spread to nearby lymph nodes. She has over 160 peer reviewed publications highlighting her previous work in transplantation, interest in women’s lung cancer, investigations in sentinel lymph nodes in lung cancer and recent new nano, material and cellular based platforms for locoregional drug delivery.


Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital;

Hermes C. Grillo Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School


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