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Dr. Aurora D. Pryor to Head Newly Created Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery

Aurora D. Pryor, M.D., has been appointed Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of General Surgery, Trauma, Surgical Critical Care, and Burns, as well as Department Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Stony Brook University School of Medicine, effective September 15, 2011, announced Todd K. Rosengart, M.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery. Most recently Associate Professor of Surgery and Co-Director of the Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery Program at Duke University School of Medicine, and Chief, General Surgery and Bariatric Surgery at Durham Regional Hospital, Dr. Pryor is a nationally recognized leader in bariatric and minimally invasive surgery, and will also head a new Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery at Stony Brook.

Dr. Pryor will oversee a Division that is presently comprised of seven board-certified surgeons, and a dedicated staff of researchers, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and trauma coordinators. The general surgery service within the Division functions as a tertiary referral center for patients with complex surgical cases from throughout Suffolk County. The Division's faculty, trained in all aspects of traumatology and critical care medicine, manages Stony Brook University Medical Center's Surgical Intensive Care Unit and the Stony Brook Burn Center, the only one in Suffolk County. Trauma Service surgeons and staff practice in Suffolk County's only designated Regional Level I Trauma Center with Stony Brook's Emergency Department and Shock Trauma Unit.

"We are thrilled to have been able to recruit Dr. Pryor, a national thought leader and innovator whose broad expertise in surgery, including minimally invasive and advanced surgical methods, and her leadership roles in training surgeons, makes her an ideal fit to head the Division," says Dr. Rosengart. “I look forward to working closely with Dr. Pryor to bring national prominence to the Division, as well as the new bariatric surgery program and our minimally invasive surgical programs."

Dr. Pryor has performed more than 1,000 bariatric surgery cases and will build the new Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery at Stony Brook into a multidisciplinary evaluation and comprehensive treatment service to individuals seeking weight loss surgery. She says the Center will provide all of the weight loss procedure options for patients, including Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric banding via laparoscopic and single site surgical techniques.

"I am very excited to be joining the Department of Surgery and Division of General Surgery and look forward to working with the very talented surgeons at Stony Brook to build a major bariatric referral center in Long Island," says Dr. Pryor.

In her newly created position of Surgery Department Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs, Dr. Pryor will work closely with Dr. Rosengart, Surgery faculty and residents to help ensure that the department fulfills its mission to provide exceptional clinical care encompassing leading-edge technologies, including "single site" laparoscopic surgery – a challenging new technique typically involving the use of a single incision, instead of multiple incisions currently used for laparoscopic surgery.

During Dr. Pryor's 16 years within Duke's Department of Surgery, she helped advance the institution's Surgery program and developed clinical expertise in numerous areas. Her clinical interests include expertise in surgical management of reflux disease, achalasia and other esophageal conditions, as well as advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgery.

While on the faculty at Duke, Dr. Pryor also served as Program Director of the Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Fellowship Program, Associate Program Director of the Duke General Surgery Residency Program, and as Surgical Director of the Duke Surgical Education and Activities (SEAL) Laboratory. Dr. Pryor was also Director of the Duke Minimally Invasive Surgery Program at the Durham Regional Hospital, a wholly-owned Duke University Medical Center affiliate, and Site Director of the Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship there.

Nationally and internationally recognized for her research and scholarship, Dr. Pryor has published more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, abstracts, and book chapters, and is co-editor of two recently published books in her field. Dr. Pryor has made over 130 presentations and has received a number of research grants and patents related to her areas of interest. Dr. Pryor's current research is focused on advancing laparoscopic bariatric surgery techniques and outcomes and on use of new technology in the training of surgical residents.

Dr. Pryor currently serves as a member of the Board of Governors of SAGES, which represents the international community of surgeons committed to advancing laparoscopic, endoscopic, and emerging minimal access surgical methods for the management of gastrointestinal disease. In addition, she currently serves on the editorial boards of two of the major publications in her field, Surgical Endoscopy and Bariatric Times. She was appointed last year to serve as an in-training exam basic science consultant of the American Board of Surgery.

Board certified in Surgery, Dr. Pryor received her MD from Duke University School of Medicine. She then completed her residency training in General Surgery at Duke, followed by a fellowship in laparoscopic surgery. She also served as a postdoctoral fellow in the Departments of Biochemistry and Experimental Surgery and as Chief Resident, General Surgery.

Editor's Note: Dr. Pryor lives in Stony Brook with her husband, Bill Beasley, and their two children, daughter Ariana (10) and son Sage (13).
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