Dr. V. Suzanne Klimberg is a Professor and the Division Chief of Surgical Oncology and Colorectal Surgery in the Department of Surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). She is a board-certified and fellowship-trained surgeon with three decades of experience in breast surgical oncology. Dr. Klimberg holds the Courtney M. Townsend, Jr., M.D., Distinguished Chair in General Surgery and is Clinical Director of the UTMB Cancer Center and Medical Director of the Breast Cancer Service Line.
After her PhD candidacy in Biochemistry at the University of Miami Howard Hughes Medical Institute (1977-1980), Dr. Klimberg earned her medical degree with honors in 1984 at the University of Florida (UF) in Orlando, Florida. She remained at UF to complete her general surgery internship (1984-1985) and residency (1985-1988) as well as a clinical oncology fellowship (1988-1989). Dr. Klimberg went on to complete a breast diseases fellowship at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock, Arkansas, from 1990-1991.
During her fellowship at UAMS, Dr. Klimberg became a faculty member in the Department of Surgery. She remained at UAMS for 27 years where she became a respected leader in breast surgical oncology. During her time at UAMS, Dr. Klimberg held several leadership positions, including Director of the Breast Cancer Program and Division Director of Surgical Oncology. She was also honored with the Muriel Balsam Kohn Chair in Breast Surgical Oncology and with her own named lectureship at the Rockefeller Cancer Institute by her colleagues and friends.
Dr. Klimberg joined UTMB in 2017. That same year she earned her PhD in Clinical and Translational Sciences from the University of Arkansas.
In her career, Dr. Klimberg has pioneered innovative breast cancer treatment methods and holds several patents in surgical treatment methods. She has authored over 260 publications in peer-reviewed journals and 49 book chapters in surgical textbooks as well as served as editor of 13 surgical textbooks. Additionally, Dr. Klimberg is Chair of the Oncoplastic Breast Skills Course at the American College of Cancer, has held over 30 editorial board positions for surgical journals and publications, has won over 75 awards in teaching, research, and clinical care, and is the past president of three major American surgical organizations. She has also been funded by the NIH, American Cancer Society, Merit Review, and the Fashion Footwear Association of New York.
Dr. Klimberg's clinical interests include prevention of lymphedema using Axillary Reverse Mapping (ARM) technique; needleless breast surgery; minimally invasive breast surgery; treatment of breast cancer with radiofrequency ablation; diagnosis of breast cancer with tears; high-risk management; breast pain; and chest wall pain after surgery.
Her numerous list of honors include Top Doctors in Texas, Texas Monthly, 2018, 2019; Super Doctors®, 2019; Best Doctors in America, Best Doctors List; America's Top Doctors, Castle Connolly, 2017; One of America's Top 1% Most Honored Professionals, American Registry, 2017; Compassionate Doctor 5-Year Award, Vitals, 2017; America's Top Doctors for Cancer 2017, Castle Connolly; and Exceptional Women in Medicine 2017, Castle Connolly.
Dr. Klimberg is also actively involved in many professional medical organizations and journals. Her responsibilities include Deputy Editor of the Annals of Surgical Oncology; Associate Editor of the Journal of Surgical Oncology; Editorial Board Member for the Annals of Surgery, Surgery, and The Breast Journal; Treasurer of the Southern Surgical Association; Fellow of the American College of Nutrition; and Member of the American Surgical Association, the Society of University Surgeons, and the Association for Academic Surgery.
Clinical and Translational Sciences, University of Arkansas Little Rock, AR, PhD, 2017
Medicine with Honors, University of Florida College of Medicine Gainesville, FL, MD, 1984
University of Central Florida Orlando, FL, Bachelor of Science, 1977
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, General Surgery
University of Florida, Department of Surgery, Gainesville, FL, Clinical Oncology
American Cancer Society, Gainesville, FL
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, Breast Diseases