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New Director, New Direction for Downstate Cardiothoracic Surgery

Daniel L. Beckles, MD ’97, PhD, FACS Downstate Chief, Cardiothoracic Surgery

The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at SUNY Downstate Medical Center is celebrating more than 60 years of innovation, education and clinical services for the care of complex cardiac and thoracic diseases in Brooklyn and beyond. Downstate is also celebrating its one-year anniversary appointment of Daniel L. Beckles, MD ’97 as Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

During the past year, Dr. Beckles has made tremendous changes to improve the quality of surgical care. Changes were made in the division’s structure, its processes, investment in state-of-the-art equipment, technology and education for all staff members. He improved interdepartmental collaboration within the institution, and aligned with Downstate Medical Center’s mission to put patient safety first.

Previously, as Director of Minimally Invasive Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery at Downstate, he performed minimally invasive mitral valve, aortic valve and ASD surgical procedures. He has also performed minimally invasive thoracic surgery including VATS lobectomy, endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy, and VATS thymectomy procedures. The first percutaneous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) procedure was performed in Downstate’s history earlier this year. His next goal is to develop a ventricular assist devices program to care for the heart failure patients in our community, and eventually reopen the Heart Transplant Program.

Dr. Daniel L. Beckles is an alumnus of the SUNY DMC COM class of 97. He stayed at Downstate and Kings County Hospital Center to complete his general surgery internship, residency and chief residency along with his PhD in molecular and cellular biology. He matched for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas for his cardiothoracic surgery residency and specialized in thoracic organ transplantation.  He spent a year at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital-Harvard Medical School specializing in minimally invasive surgery. He is double boarded by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

Dr. Beckles is an academic surgeon, researcher, educator and innovator with numerous peer-reviewed clinical and basic science papers and abstracts, book chapters in cardiovascular surgery and cardiac molecular biology. He is an inventor on two US and international patents developed for heart diseases. He has numerous teaching, research and clinical awards of excellence. This year he was elected by his peers as a New York Top Doctor as seen in New York Times Magazine 2016. His interest and specialization is in minimally invasive cardiac and thoracic surgery, heart failure and academic healthcare leadership.


Are you an alumnus or alumna who has reached a career milestone? Let us know! Email, or call the Alumni Office at 718-270-2075.


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