Featured Profile

Mara Antonoff, MD

“To me, being a cardiothoracic surgeon is an enormous privilege and one that I do not take lightly. It is an incredible gift to be a part of so many individuals’ lives, to be trusted by families during times of vulnerability, and to have a chance to make an impact.  Every day, I think about how lucky I am to be a part of a phenomenally talented team–a team comprised of nurses, surgical technologists, advanced practitioners, therapists, trainees, and so many more folks behind the scenes.” (quote continues below)

“Just as it takes a diverse, collaborative team in the hospital to provide outstanding care for patients, it also takes a team to support surgeons outside of work.  In this regard, I am also beyond lucky, as I have support from a spectacular husband, 4 amazingly understanding children, and a great network of friends and family who enable me to do what fulfills me both inside and outside of the hospital.  Being a mother of 4 and cardiothoracic surgeon certainly comes with its challenges.  However, I have found that there are elements of pride, lessons learned, and ways that I have inadvertently taught my kids what it means to work diligently toward a goal, to give of yourself to others, and to try to make a difference in this world.”

Mara Antonoff, MD, is a general thoracic surgeon at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, Texas, where she is currently an Assistant Professor and Assistant Program Director of Education. She has been continuously involved in the Women in Thoracic Surgery leadership since 2012, when she was still a trainee, and she has developed the WTS Social Media presence. She holds numerous leadership positions with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, (STS) CTSNet, the American Association of Thoracic Surgery (AATS), the Thoracic Education Cooperative Group (TECoG), the Thoracic Surgery Social Media Network (TSSMN), the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS), and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).


As highlighted in her nomination from WTS supporter and #HeforShe advocate, Dr. Tom Varghese:

Dr. Mara Antonoff does everything at the highest level of professionalism – and she is certainly involved in an incredible number of activities at such an early stage of her career! From undergraduate studies in Chemistry and Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, MD at University of Minnesota, General Surgery Residency at University of Minnesota, and Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency at Washington University, St. Louis – Dr. Antonoff’s track record has been one of outstanding work and delivery of the highest level of achievement at every step of the way. It comes as no surprise as a young faculty member at MD Anderson that her record of excellence has continued. Her clinical research interests focus on lung cancer and pulmonary metastatic disease, with particular interest in local consolidate therapy for oligometastatic lung cancer. She is also the lead PI of a multi-institutional randomized controlled trial exploring treatment modalities for patients with lung-limited metastatic colorectal cancer. She is one of the founding members of the Thoracic Education Cooperative Group (TECoG), and serves on the editorial boards of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Journal of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Innovations, Journal of Thoracic Diseases, and CTSNet.  A rising star in our field who will continue to raise the standards for all of us!

Dr. Antonoff was also nominated by Dr. Jane Yanagawa:

“I literally wonder all the time how Mara is able to do as much as she is always doing! Even if a normal person never slept ever, I don’t think they would come close to accomplishing as much. In all aspects of her life, work and family, she is always doing WAY above and beyond. She is smart, innovative, ambitious, and beautiful!”