Zara Cooper, MD, MSc, FACS, Appointed Kessler Director of the Center for Surgery and Public Health

Zara Cooper, MD, MSc, FACS, will be the next Kessler Director of the Center for Surgery and Public Health in the Department of Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The Center for Surgery and Public Health (CSPH), is a joint initiative of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The CSPH is one of the world’s leading centers of its kind with more than twenty million dollars in extramural research funding. The mission of the CSPH is to advance the science of surgery through research and research training that informs policy and program development for safe, high quality and equitable patient-centered care.

In her role as Kessler Director, Dr. Cooper will be responsible for overseeing the strategic and operational functions of the CSPH. Dr. Cooper is a well-established Harvard faculty member and a strong leader who will foster a collaborative, high energy environment where innovative researchers advance surgical science that positively informs policy and improves clinical care inside and outside the United States.

Zara Cooper, MD, MSc, FACS

Zara Cooper, MD, MSc, FACS
Kessler Director, Center for Surgery and Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Zara Cooper, MD, MSc, FACS, is an acute care surgeon, trauma surgeon and surgical intensivist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) where she serves as Kessler Director of the Center for Surgery and Public Health (CSPH). Dr. Cooper is an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, associate faculty at Ariadne Labs, and adjunct faculty at the Marcus Institute for Aging research, all in Boston, MA. A graduate of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Dr. Cooper completed her General Surgery Residency and Critical Care Fellowship at BWH; a Trauma Fellowship at Harborview Medical Center and the University of Washington in Seattle; and training in hospice and palliative medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and BWH.

Her research aims to improve palliative and geriatric care for older seriously ill surgical patients. A national leader in surgical palliative care and geriatric trauma, she has authored over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts, chapters, and abstracts and lectures nationally about surgical care in complex older patients.

Dr. Cooper is currently funded through the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), the Cambia Health Foundation, the National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC) and is a co-investigator on multiple federally funded grants. She also serves on numerous editorial boards, and committees for professional societies, Partners HealthCare System and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Incoming General Surgery Interns for AY 19-20

Categorical General Surgery

  • Alexis Antunez – University of Michigan
  • James Fitzgibbon – Temple University
  • Kerri McKie – University of Massachusetts
  • Brittany Powell – Stanford University
  • Cullen Roberts – Brown University
  • Matthew Schoen – Stanford University
  • Sarabeth Spitzer – Stanford University
  • Megan Sulciner – University of Minnesota
  • Biqi Zhang – Harvard Medical School

Cardiothoracic Integrated I – 6

  • Patrick Gedeon – Duke University – CT I-6 Thoracic Track
  • Rohan Shah – Baylor College – CT I-6 Cardiac Track


  • Brittany Berk – University of Massachusetts
  • Catherine Gu – University of Pennsylvania
  • Marie Valovska – Dartmouth

Harvard Plastic Surgery

  • Brittany Caruso – Temple University
  • Seth Fruge – Louisiana State University
  • Kimberly Khouri – New York University

Preliminary Interns

  • Leah Ahn – Tufts University – Radiology
  • Sophie Chung – Yale University
  • Ronak Jani – University of Pittsburgh
  • Jared Nowell – Columbia University
  • Sara Park – Brown University – Anesthesia
  • Ke Zhang – Yale University – Interventional Radiology
  • Olumide Olulade – Howard University – Interventional Radiology