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Claudius Conrad, MD, PhD

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Assistant Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology, Division of Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Bio Statement


Dr. Conrad is a hepato-pancreato-biliary surgeon who performs open and advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgery for patients with complex diseases of the liver and pancreas. Dr. Conrad received two post-doctoral degrees, one in stem cell biology and another in music philosophy from the University of Munich, Germany where he was the principal investigator of the research group on stem cell therapy in the Department of Surgery. Dr. Conrad subsequently completed his training in general surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital and became an Instructor in the Department of Surgery at Harvard Medical School in 2011 and an affiliated faculty at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.  Dr. Conrad served as the Director of Music in Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and is recognized internationally as an expert on the role of music in medicine. He then received subspecialty training in surgical oncology at Dana-Farber/Partners Cancer Surgical Oncology Program. In 2013, Dr. Conrad completed a Minimal Access Fellowship of the International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association at the Institut Mutualist Montsouris in Paris, France and the University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Medicine in Japan. Dr. Conrad’s research focuses on the role of stem cells and genetic aberrations in the carcinogenesis of primary and secondary liver and pancreatic cancers. He is also investigating novel techniques and technologies to treat complex liver and pancreas diseases utilizing minimal access techniques, including laparoscopic and robotic surgery.


Research Interests

Stem cells and genetic aberrations in primary and secondary liver and pancreatic cancer; laparoscopic and robotic techniques and technologies to treat hepato-pancreato-biliary diseases; the role of music in medicine (caregivers, patients and relatives of patients).

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

2011 University of Munich, Munich, Germany, PHD, Faculty of Medicine, Doctor Medicinae Habil in Surgery
2006 University of Munich, Munich, Germany, PHD, Faculty of Philosophy, Doctor Philosophiae in Music Science
2003 University of Munich, Munich, Germany, MD, Medicine

Postgraduate Training

5/2012-1/2013 International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (IHPBA) Fellowship, Minimal Access Hepato-Pancreato Biliary Surgery, Institute Mutualiste Moutsouris, Paris, France and Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
6/2011-6/2013 Fellowship, Surgical Oncology, Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare, Boston, MA
6/2008-6/2009 Research Fellowship, Harvard Stem Cell Institute and MGH Cancer Center, Boston, MA
6/2006-6/2011 Clinical Residency, Residency General Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
9/2003-6/2006 Residency, General Surgery, University of Munich-Grosshadern, Munich, Germany

Board Certifications

2011 American Board of Surgery, General Surgery


Military or Other Governmental Service

Special Force Commando High Alpine Warfare, 1 Mountain Trooper Division / 231. Brigade, 9/1996-9/1997

Honors and Awards

2013 Review Award Journal Nutrition
2012 Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery, European School of Surgery
2012 Nomination, Harvard Medical School Mentorship Award
2012 Robotic Abdominal Surgery, European School of Surgery, Paris
2011 Teaching Award, Tufts University, School of Medicine
2009 Excellence in Research Award, American College of Surgeons
2009 Leadership Award, American College of Surgeons
2009 Physiology and Clinical Music, New York Academy of Science
2009 Steinway Artist
2007 Fritz Linde Investigators Award, German Surgical Society (collaborative)
2006 Young Investigators Award, International Society of Anti-Angiogenesis

Professional Memberships

American College of Surgeons
Committee on Emergent Surgical Technologies and Education, 2009-2012
American College of Surgeons
Member, 2006-present
Georgian Surgical Society, Tbilisi, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, Georgia
Honorary Member, 2006-present
Harvard Musical Association,
Member, 2010-present
International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association
Member, 2013-present
Society of Surgical Oncology
Member, 2011-present

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Mise Y, Satou S, Shindoh J, Conrad C,Aoki T, Hasegawa K, Sugawara Y, Kokudo N. Three-dimensional volumetry in 107 normal livers reveals clinically relevant inter-segment variation in size. HPB (Oxford) 16(5):439-47, 5/2014. e-Pub 8/2013. PMCID: PMC4008162.
2. Niess H,Conrad C, Kleespies A, Haas F, Bao Q, Jauch KW, Graeb C, Bruns CJ. Surgery for metastasis to the pancreas: is it safe and effective? J Surg Oncol 107(8):859-64, 6/2013. e-Pub 5/2013. PMID: 23637007.
3. Tilt AC, Werner PD, Brown DF, Alam HB, Warshaw AL, Parry BA, Jazbar B, Booker A, Stangenberg L, Fricchione GL, Benson H, Lillemoe KD, Conrad C. Low degree of formal education and musical experience predict degree of music-induced stress reduction in relatives and friends of patients: a single-center, randomized controlled trial. Ann Surg 257(5):834-8, 5/2013. PMID: 23574990.
4. Conrad C, Shivathirthan N, Camerlo A, Strauss C, Gayet B. Laparoscopic portal vein ligation with in situ liver split for failed portal vein embolization. Ann Surg 256(3):e14-5; author reply e16-7, 9/2012. PMID: 22895353.
5. Conrad C, Konuk Y, Werner PD, Cao CG, Warshaw AL, Rattner DW, Stangenberg L, Ott HC, Jones DB, Miller DL, Gee DW. A quality improvement study on avoidable stressors and countermeasures affecting surgical motor performance and learning. Ann Surg 255(6):1190-4, 6/2012. PMCID: PMC3354736.
6. Conrad C, Hüsemann Y, Niess H, von Luettichau I, Huss R, Bauer C, Jauch KW, Klein CA, Bruns C, Nelson PJ. Linking transgene expression of engineered mesenchymal stem cells and angiopoietin-1-induced differentiation to target cancer angiogenesis. Ann Surg 253(3):566-71, 3/2011. PMID: 21169810.
7. Conrad C. Music for healing: from magic to medicine. Lancet 376(9757):1980-1, 12/2010. PMID: 21171230.
8. Ott HC, Clippinger B, Conrad C, Schuetz C, Pomerantseva I, Ikonomou L, Kotton D, Vacanti JP. Regeneration and orthotopic transplantation of a bioartificial lung. Nat Med 16(8):927-33, 8/2010. e-Pub 7/2010. PMID: 20628374.
9. Zhou D, Conrad C, Xia F, Park JS, Payer B, Yin Y, Lauwers GY, Thasler W, Lee JT, Avruch J, Bardeesy N. Mst1 and Mst2 maintain hepatocyte quiescence and suppress hepatocellular carcinoma development through inactivation of the Yap1 oncogene. Cancer Cell 16(5):425-38, 11/2009. PMCID: PMC3023165.
10. Conrad C, Niess H, Huss R, Huber S, von Luettichau I, Nelson PJ, Ott HC, Jauch KW, Bruns CJ. Multipotent mesenchymal stem cells acquire a lymphendothelial phenotype and enhance lymphatic regeneration in vivo. Circulation 119(2):281-9, 1/2009. e-Pub 12/2008. PMID: 19118255.
11. Conrad C, Niess H, Jauch KW, Bruns CJ, Hartl W, Welker L. Overture for growth hormone: requiem for interleukin-6? Crit Care Med 35(12):2709-13, 12/2007. PMID: 18074473.


1. Keung EZ, Nelson PJ, Conrad C. Concise review: genetically engineered stem cell therapy targeting angiogenesis and tumor stroma in gastrointestinal malignancy. Stem Cells 31(2):227-35, 2/2013. PMID: 23132810.
2. Conrad C, Fernández-Del Castillo C. Preoperative evaluation and management of the pancreatic head mass. J Surg Oncol 107(1):23-32, 1/2013. e-Pub 6/2012. PMID: 22674403.
3. Conrad C, Lillemoe KD. Surgical palliation of pancreatic cancer. Cancer J 18(6):577-83, Nov-Dec, 11/2012. PMID: 23187845.
4. Yamasaki A, Booker A, Kapur V, Tilt A, Niess H, Lillemoe KD, Warshaw AL, Conrad C. The impact of music on metabolism. Nutrition 28(11-12):1075-80, Nov-Dec, 11/2012. e-Pub 8/2012. PMID: 22858194.
5. Nelson AL, Millington TM, Sahani D, Chung RT, Bauer C, Hertl M, Warshaw AL,Conrad C. Hepatic portal venous gas: the ABCs of management. Arch Surg 144(6):575-81; discussion 581, 6/2009. PMID: 19528392.
6. Conrad C, Gupta R, Mohan H, Niess H, Bruns CJ, Kopp R, von Luettichau I, Guba M, Heeschen C, Jauch KW, Huss R, Nelson PJ. Genetically engineered stem cells for therapeutic gene delivery. Curr Gene Ther 7(4):249-60, 8/2007. PMID: 17969558.

Book Chapters

1. Conrad C, Lillemoe K. Palliative therapy for pancreatic cancer. In: Current Surgical Therapy, 11th Edition. Ed(s) Cameron JL, Cameron AM. Elsevier Saunders: Philadelphia, 481-487, 2014.

Letters to the Editor

1. Conrad C, Shivathirthan N, Camerlo A, Strauss C, Gayet B. Laparoscopic rescue using portal vein ligation with in situ liver split for failed portal vein embolization. Ann Surg Sep;256(3):e14-e15, 2012.

Last updated: 6/30/2015