Faculty Details

Juan Sanabria, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS




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.

Honors & Memberships

  • 1997 A.W. Harrison Resident Teaching Award - University of Toronto
  • Fellow - Royal College of Surgeons of Canada
  • 2002 Teacher of the Year Award - Medical College of Ohio Residents
  • Fellow - American College of Surgeons
  • 2006 Faculty Minority Award - University Hospitals Case Medical Center
  • 2008 NIH Research Award - NMRI - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
  • 2012 Faithful Stewardship Award - Lifebanc
  • 2013 Leadership Fellowship Award - National Hispanic Medical Association
  • 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award - UH Regional Hospitals
  • 2014, Lieutenant Commander - Navy Reserves
  • 2015, Consultant Captain - Lowell Federal Health Care Center and VA, Great Lakes Navy Base
  • Fellow - American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
  • Member - NMRI - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Oversight Committee
  • America's Top Doctor since 2019 - Castle Connolly


  • Certified: American Board of Surgery
  • Certified: Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support
  • Certified: Advanced Trauma Life Support, American College of Surgeons
  • Certified: da Vinci® CSi Robotic GI Surgery
  • Certified: Liver and Pancreas Transplantation, UNOS

Education & Training

  • Graduate: University of Toronto, Institute of Medical Sciences (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
  • Medical School: Colegio Mayor Nuestra Senora del Rosario (Bogata, Colombia)
  • Medical School: University of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
  • Residency: University of Toronto, Toronto General Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital - General Surgery (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
  • Fellowship: University of Toronto, Toronto General Hospital - Hepatobiliary, Pancreatic Surgery and Abdominal Transplantation (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)