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Meet Our Team

Breast Surgical Oncologists

Catherine Akay, MDCatherine Akay, M.D. 
Assistant Professor, Surgical Oncology

Dr. Akay received her medical degree from Saint Louis University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. She completed her general surgery residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX and her breast surgical oncology fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She is board certified by the American Board of Surgery. During her training, she also completed a surgical oncology research fellowship and she continues to do research in the field of breast cancer. Among many other honors, Dr. Akay has been awarded the Corynne S. Uhl Award for Compassion and Excellent Care. She is committed to providing the highest quality multidisciplinary care in the treatment of her breast cancer patients. She is experienced in the use of minimally invasive techniques such as sentinel lymph node biopsy and accelerated partial-breast irradiation.


Dr. Jessica SuarezJessica Suarez, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Surgical Oncology

Dr. Suarez received her medical degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. She specializes in diseases of the breast, both benign and malignant. Dr. Suarez completed her general surgery residency at Baylor College of Medicine, followed by a breast surgical oncology fellowship at MD Anderson. She earned a Masters in Public Health degree from The University of Texas School of Public Health. She Suarez holds an academic appointment as assistant professor in the Department of Surgical Oncology at MD Anderson. 
Languages spoken: Spanish


Head and Neck Surgical Oncologist

Kristen Pytynia, MDKristen Pytynia, M.D., MPH
Associate Professor, Head and Neck Surgical Oncology

Dr. Pytynia received her medical degree from Rush University in Chicago, and completed her Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Pytynia earned a Master of Public Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health and completed her fellowship in Head and neck Surgery at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She is board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and has conducted extensive research in head and neck cancer, publishing more than 15 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Her career has been heavily influenced by family members and close friends who have suffered from, and been a caretaker for, chronic illnesses, who have helped shape her approach to a patient-physician relationship. Dr. Pytynia has moved back to Texas after eight years of academic practice in Chicago, Illinois, where she strengthened her skills and educated both her patients and her medical students. Her clinical interests include head and neck cancer, salivary gland tumors, skin cancer, thyroid and parathyroid tumors.


Thoracic Surgical Oncologist

Boris Sepesi, M.D.Boris Sepesi, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Thoracic and Cardiovascular Oncology

Dr. Sepesi was born in former Czechoslovakia and earned his medical degree from Jagiellonian University Medical College in Krakow, Poland. He completed internship and residency in general surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York, where he also spent a year as a research fellow in thoracic surgery. He then completed a clinical fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he mainly focused on the treatment and multidisciplinary management of patients with complex thoracic oncological diagnoses. At MD Anderson, he has also served as chief administrative resident. Dr. Sepesi is certified by the American Board of Surgery.


Uro-oncologist

John Papadopoulos, M.D.John Papadopoulos, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Urologic Oncology

Dr. Papadopoulos is a fellowship trained urologic oncologist and certified urologist by the American Board of Urology. He completed his medical degree at the Texas Tech University School of Medicine and then went on to complete an internship in general surgery and residency training in urology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. In 2007, he came to MD Anderson where he completed two years of fellowship training in urologic oncology and robotic surgery. Dr. Papadopoulos is a collaborator in multiple clinical trials involving high risk prostate cancer as well as active surveillance for low risk prostate cancer. He is currently the director of urologic oncology at the MD Anderson Regional Care Centers in Katy and Sugar Land where he treats patients with bladder, prostate and kidney cancer.


Neurosurgical Oncologist

Sherise Ferguson, MDSherise Ferguson, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Neurosurgery

Dr. Ferguson earned her medical degree from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. She completed a residency in neurosurgery at the University of Chicago. During her residency, she completed an NIH sponsored postdoctoral research fellowship in neuro-oncology and an enfolded fellowship in neurosurgical oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Ferguson is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the American Academy of Neurology and the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. She has received numerous awards and honors, including Outstanding Consultant to the Emergency Department at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Her clinical interests include primary and metastatic brain tumors, pituitary tumors, primary and metastatic spinal tumors.


Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Victor Hassid, M.D.Victor Hassid, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Plastic Surgery 

Dr. Hassid earned his medical degree at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. He completed his residency in general surgery at the University of Florida, College of Medicine in Jacksonville, Florida, where he served as chief surgical resident. Dr. Hassid completed a second residency in plastic surgery at the University of Illinois in Chicago, where he also served as chief plastic surgery resident. Following his residencies, Dr. Hassid completed a fellowship in reconstructive microsurgery at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He then joined the faculty at MD Anderson in the Department of Plastic Surgery. He is board certified by the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Hassid's training consisted of learning highly advanced techniques and he has a special interest in oncological reconstruction and functional and aesthetically pleasing restoration of body and face. Additional Languages Spoken: French, Spanish and Greek.


Gynecologic Surgery Oncologists

Michael Bevers, MDMichael Bevers, M.D.
Professor, Gynecologic Oncology

Dr. Bevers is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic cancers. He has been with MD Anderson since his fellowship in 1994. He has been a Professor in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology since 1996, and director of the Gynecologic Oncology Outreach Program since 2008.

Dr. Bevers was appointed Director of the Gynecologic Oncology Outreach Program in 2001 for St. Luke’s Gynecologic Oncology Outreach Pilot. This program, which established outreach relationships between MD Anderson and six other hospitals in the community, greatly expanded diagnostic and treatment options for patients with gynecologic cancers. He is recognized locally for his expertise in mentoring and educating young physicians and treatment of gynecologic cancers at several institutions in the Houston area.

Dr. Bevers was honored for his educational work with the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics Excellence in Teaching Award, and in 2003 with the MD Anderson Outstanding Educator Award and the Baylor College of Medicine Gynecologic Exceptional Teaching Award. Furthermore, he has been on the Best Doctors in America list every year since 2003, was named to the America's Top Obstetricians and Gynecologists list in 2004, and was named a Texas Super-Doc from 2004 to present. He has published numerous articles in respected journals, abstracts, and book chapters on an array of topics pertaining to gynecologic cancer.


Jennifer Burzawa, M.D.Jennifer Burzawa, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Gynecologic Oncology

Dr. Burzawa received her medical degree from the University of Miami, and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Burzawa completed a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She has received numerous awards and honors in her career, and has published peer-reviewed articles on a variety of gynecologic-related topics. Dr. Burzawa believes that she has the unique opportunity to guide patients through all aspects of their care, from diagnosis, to surgery and treatment. She values the special bond that forms between a patient and their physician in this field of medicine.


Nicole Fleming, M.D.Nicole Fleming, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Gynecologic Oncology

Dr. Fleming has returned to the Houston area after completing her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Duke University Medical Center and fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center. Dr. Fleming has a special interest in minimally invasive surgery, including robotic-assisted laparoscopy, for appropriate patients with cervical, endometrial, and early-stage ovarian cancers. In addition to providing excellent patient care, Dr. Fleming continues to pursue her research interests, including surgical innovation and outcomes in gynecologic malignancies, and personalized treatment options for patients with ovarian and endometrial cancer. She is principal investigator and collaborator on multiple clinical trials involving surgery and chemotherapy to treat gynecologic malignancies. She has authored and co-authored numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals on these and other subjects. In addition, she has been invited to write book chapters on a variety of topics in gynecologic oncology.

Dr. Fleming is a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, and American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists. In addition, she serves as reviewer for several journals including Gynecologic Oncology and Annals of Surgical Oncology.

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How to Find Us

MD Anderson in Memorial City is located at 925 N Gessner Rd., Houston, TX 77024, on the campus of Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center. Free parking is available.


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center