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Vernon Sondak MD

Vernon K. Sondak MD

Chair, Department of Cutaneous Oncology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida; Professor, Departments of Oncologic Sciences and Surgery, University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Tampa, Florida

Dr Sondak is Chair of the Department of Cutaneous Oncology at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida. He holds the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Distinguished Endowed Chair in Cutaneous Oncology, and is also a Professor in the Departments of Oncologic Sciences and Surgery at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. Since 2004, when he came to Tampa, the Cutaneous Oncology Clinic at Moffitt has grown into one of the largest multidisciplinary treatment centers for adult and pediatric melanoma and related conditions in the world. Dr. Sondak has been a leader in studies of surgical treatment of melanoma and other cutaneous malignancies, particularly the application of sentinel lymph node biopsy and lymph node dissection to the staging and treatment of melanoma, and has been instrumental in mentoring and training many surgeons in these techniques over the years. Dr. Sondak also has a strong research background, having served as Principal Investigator of the Moffitt Skin SPORE, a major NCI-funded “team science” grant conducting translational research in melanoma and other cutaneous malignancies. His research interests include surgical treatment of melanoma in adults and children; adjuvant (postoperative) and neoadjuvant (preoperative) therapy of melanoma; and evaluation of new therapies for localized or disseminated melanoma.

A graduate of Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Sondak did his surgical training at the University of California Los Angeles. Prior to joining Moffitt in 2004, Dr. Sondak was a Professor of Surgery in the Division of Surgical Oncology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Sondak has received numerous awards, including the Golden Scalpel Award (Outstanding Chief Resident) from the UCLA Division of General Surgery, a Distinguished Alumnus Award from Boston University School of Medicine, the William W. Coon Award for Outstanding Faculty Teaching from the University of Michigan Section of General Surgery, and the Rays of Hope Leadership Award from the Shade Foundation of America, devoted to skin cancer education and prevention for children. He is a past member of the National Cancer Institute’s Board of Scientific Counselors for Clinical Sciences and Epidemiology, the group responsible for peer review and oversight of the NCI’s intramural research program, and has served on and even chaired many prestigious NCI and Department of Defense peer-review panels. He is also an Executive Board member of the Melanoma World Society, and a member of the Lancet Oncology International Advisory Board, as well as an external advisor to several SPORE grants at other US institutions.

Dr. Sondak is the author or coauthor of over 470 articles in peer-reviewed publications and over 250 abstracts, in addition to 8 books and 83 book chapters. He has served as a peer reviewer for manuscripts in over 50 different journals, including virtually all of the most prestigious surgery, oncology and dermatology journals.


Dr. Sondak is a compensated consultant for Alkermes, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eisai, Genesis Drug Discovery & Development, Iovance, Merck, Novartis, Regeneron and Ultimovacs, and receives research funding from Neogene Therapeutics, Skyline and Turnstone.