Using the understanding gained by major thinkers who have gone before us can guide our current paths. The Department of Surgery at the University of Louisville has been home to several outstanding major thinkers serving as our Chair: Samuel David Gross, MD (Chair, 1841-1856), David Wendel Yandell, MD (Chair, 1873-1896), William Owen Roberts, MD (Chair, 1896-1912), R. Arnold Griswold, MD (Chair, 1938-1952), Hiram C. Polk, Jr., MD (Chair, 1971-2005), and Kelly M. McMasters (Chair, 2005-current). We are guided and committed to building on our rich history of innovative thinkers by supporting the often-challenging experience of discovery in research. Our current innovative team of researchers are meeting the everyday challenges to discover solutions to many medical obstacles. The Department of Surgery offers a rich environment and experience for guiding junior faculty in their surgery academic careers as independent investigators.

Robert C. G. Martin, MD, PhD was appointed Vice Chair of Research in January 2018 to align research support and resources with faculty toward the mission and goals set forth for the Department and by the Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation at the University of Louisville. As the Vice Chair for Research, Dr. Martin offers section-by-section advice to junior faculty at small group research discussion meetings to assist them in resolving challenges they may face with their clinical research projects. Three examples of this include the establishment of a biostatistical support system for faculty, solutions to database challenges, and clear resident research guidelines. Dr. Martin has been Professor and the Sam and Lolita Weakley Endowed Chair of the Division of Surgical Oncology at the UofL since 2010. He is also a surgical oncologist by training and a basic scientist with a PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology. He studied hepatobiliary surgery as a Fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and is the Director of Surgical Oncology Program at the University of Louisville. Dr. Martin has a busy cancer research laboratory located in the Price Institute of Surgical Research as well as an active academic and clinical practice. Through his own research, he has continued the expansion of an innovative clinical research program with over a million dollars brought into the University of Louisville Research Foundation through clinical trial accrual both as a selected site for innovative surgical research as well as funded innovative surgical research through both pharmaceutical and surgical device companies. Dr. Martin has also provided mentorship and surgical research mentorship for over 20 surgical oncology fellows, general surgical residents, UofL medical students, as well as undergraduate students.


The Department of Surgery is committed to offering support throughout the innovative research process.

Robert C.G. Martin, II, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice Chair for Research
Sam and Lolita Weakley Endowed Chair
Director, Division of Surgical Oncology