Chief, Section of Thoracic Surgery
JH Estes Endowed Chair for Lung Cancer Research

Clinical Interests
robotic thoracic surgery (lobectomy, thymectomy and esophagectomy), OR efficiency and finding better ways to teach surgery


Robert J. Cerfolio, M.D., M.B.A., FACS, FCCP, is currently a professor of surgery and chief of the Section of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he also holds the James H. Estes Family Lung Cancer Research Endowed Chair. He completed a residency in general surgery and a cardiothoracic fellowship, both at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Dr. Cerfolio is an internationally recognized expert in thoracic surgery and has performed over 18,000 operations. He has received hundreds of national and international awards along with numerous teaching awards and honors. He has written over 180 original peer-reviewed articles and 75 book chapters. Dr. Cerfolio is the past president of the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association. He has performed more robotic thoracic operations (lobectomy, thymectomy and esophagectomy) than any other surgeon in the world. His technique has been adopted worldwide. More than 1,200 national and international visiting surgeons, anesthesiologists, and their teams have come to the UAB to learn Dr. Cerfolio’s technique. He has given over 300 visiting professor lectures in more than 26 different countries. He has recently written a book on the art of learning, teaching and balancing a life-work balance called “Super Performing at Work and Home – The Athleticism of Surgery and Life”, and he was an All-American baseball player in college.


Medical School
University of Rochester

St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center
General Surgery

Cornell University Medical College

Mayo Clinic
General Surgery

Mayo Clinic
Cardiothoracic Surgery

Contact Information



Campus Address
Zeigler Research Building 739