Dr. Shanda Blackmon is a powerhouse in the field of Thoracic Surgery. She obtained her BA in Fine Arts from the University of Texas – Austin, an MPH from Emory University, Atlanta, MD from Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, and subsequent surgical training at Georgia Baptist Hospital (General Surgery), Baylor (CT Surgery Residency) and MD Anderson (Thoracic Oncology Fellowship). Her journey from Texas and Georgia to the highest positions in our field have been embodied by a tireless work ethic, dedication to patient care, and the willingness to take on outdated surgical practices by seamless incorporation of cutting edge technology in the setting of rigorous evidence-based clinical trials. Her experience building the General Thoracic Surgical practice at Methodist Hospital as a Division Chief caught the eyes of the Mayo Clinic, where she was recruited to join in 2015. She has attained the highest leadership positions in our field including serving on the Board of Directors for the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator at Mayo Clinic in several thoracic surgery clinical trials addressing mediastinal tumors, lung cancer, esophageal cancer, and diseases of the esophagus. Her clinical niche is in minimally invasive Thoracic surgery, and she has led several training courses for both the STS and AATS across the globe.