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Dr. Onkar V. Khullar

Dr. Onkar V. Khullar, MD, MSc

Dr. Onkar V. Khullar received his MD degree from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, in 2006. He completed his general surgery residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 2013, did a two-year thoracic surgery research fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital from 2008-2010, and completed his Emory cardiothoracic surgery fellowship in 2016, after which he joined our faculty. Dr. Khullar’s clinical specialties include minimally invasive thoracic surgery, thoracic oncology, including lung, esophageal, and mediastinal tumors, and benign thoracic and esophageal disease including achalasia and paraesophageal hernias. His research interests are in thoracic quality and outcome improvements, clinical trials for thoracic malignancies, and patient-reported outcomes. Dr. Onkar V. Khullar has published in some of the most prominent journals in the field of cardiothoracic surgery. He completed a Master of Science degree in Clinical Research from the Emory University Laney Graduate School. Additionally, he is the Co-Chair of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Thoracic Surgery Subcommittee and the surgical chair for several national clinical trials.


  • Surgery
  • Thoracic Surgery

Board Certifications

  • ABMS Thoracic Surgery


  • Emory University School of Medicine


  • Emory

Education & Training

  • Medical School: Jefferson Medical College
  • Residency: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Honors & Awards

Finalist, American Association of Thoracic Surgery C. Walton Lillehei Resident Research Competition, 2010

Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education Fellowship/Grant, 2009-2010

American College of Surgeons Excellence in Research Award, 2009

Finalist, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Department of Surgery Resident Research Competition, 2009

Society of Thoracic Surgery Looking to the Future Scholarship, 2009


Zubris KAV, Khullar OV, Griset AP, Gibbs-Strauss SL, Frangioni JV, Colson YL, Grinstaff MW. 2010. Ease of synthesis, controllable sizes, and in vivo large animal lymph migration of polymeric nanoparticles. ChemMedChem. 5(9):1435-1438. PMID: 20593440.

Gibbs-Strauss SL, Nasr K, Fish KM, Khullar OV, Ashitate Y, Siclovan TM, Johnson BF, Barnhardt NE, Tan Hehir CA, Frangioni JV. 2011. Nerve-highlighting fluorescent contrast agents for image-guided surgery. Mol Imaging. 10(2):91-101. PMID: 21439254.

Liu R, Khullar OV, Griset AP, Wade JE, Zubris KAV, Grinstaff MW, Colson YL. 2011. Paclitaxel-loaded expansile nanoparticles delay local recurrence in a heterotopic murine non-small cell lung cancer model. Ann Thorac Surg. 91(4):1077-1083. PMID: 21440127.

Khullar OV, Griset AP, Gibbs-Strauss SL, Chirieac LC, Zubris KA, Frangioni JV, Grinstaff MW, Colson YL. 2012. Nanoparticle-based delivery of chemotherapy to regional lymph nodes in a large animal model. J Am Coll Surg. 214(3):328-337. PMID: 22225645.

Khullar OV, Gilmore DM, Matsui A, Ashitate Y, Colson YL. 2013. Preclinical study of near-infrared guided sentinel lymph node mapping of the porcine lung. Ann Thorac Surg. 95(1):312-318. PMID: 23440551.

Gilmore DM, Khullar OV, Frangioni JV, Colson YL, Russell SE. 2013. Effective low dose escalation of indocyanine green for near-infrared fluorescent sentinel lymph node mapping in melanoma. Ann Surg Oncol. 20(7):2357-2363. PMID: 23440551.

Gilmore DM, Khullar OV, Jaklitsch MT, Chirieac LR, Frangioni JV, Colson YL. 2013. Identification of metastatic nodal disease in a phase 1 dose-escalation trial of intraoperative sentinel lymph node mapping in non-small cell lung cancer using near-infrared imaging. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 146(3):562-570. PMID: 23790404.

Fernandez FG, Khullar OV, Force SD, Pickens A, Howard D, Ward K, Gillespie T. 2015. Hospital readmission is associated with poor survival following esophagectomy for esophageal cancer. Ann Thorac Surg. 99(1):292-297. PMID: 25442987.

Khullar OV, Gillespie T, Nickleach D, Liu Y, Higgins K, Ramalingam S, Lipscomb J, Fernandez FG. 2015. Socioeconomic Risk Factors for Long-Term Mortality after Pulmonary Resection for Lung Cancer: An Analysis of over 90,000 Patients from the National Cancer Data Base. J Am Coll Surg. 220(2):156-168. PMID: 25488349.

Brescia AA, Khullar OV, Gal AA, Neujahr D, Force SD. 2015. Epstein-Barr Virus-Associated Pulmonary Smooth Muscle Tumor After Lung Transplantation. Ann Thorac Surg. 99(6):e145-e146. PMID: 26046906.

Khullar OV, Liu Y, Gillespie T, Higgins K, Ramalingam S, Lipscomb J, Fernandez FG. Survival After Sublobar Resection vs. Lobectomy for Clinical Stage IA Lung Cancer: An Analysis from the National Cancer Data Base. J Thorac Oncol. 2015; 10(110:1625-1633. PMID: 26352534

Khullar OV, Jiang R, Force SD, Pickens A, Sancheti MS, Ward K, Gillespie T, Fernandez FG. Transthoracic Versus Transhiatal Resection for Esophageal Adenocarcinoma of the Lower Esophagus: A Value Based Comparison. J Surg Oncol. 2015; 112(5):517-523. PMID: 26374192

Khullar OV, Fernandez FG, Perez S, Knechtle W, Pickens A, Sancheti M, Force SD. Time is Money: Hospital Costs Associated with VATS Lobectomies. Ann Thorac Surg. 2016; 102(3):940-947. PMID: 27209617

Khullar OV, Shroff SR, Sakaria SS, Force SD. Midesophageal Pulsion Diverticulum Resulting from Hypercontractile (Jackhammer) Esophagus. Ann Thorac Surg. 2017;103(2):e127-129. PMID: 28109370

Hachey KJ, Digesu CS, Armstrong KW, Gilmore DM, Khullar OV, Whang B, Tsukada H, Colson YL. A novel technique for tumor localization and targeted lymphatic mapping in early-stage lung cancer. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2017;154(3):1110-1118. PMID: 28274559

Khullar OV, Rajaei MH, Force SD, Binongo JN, Lasanajak Y, Robertson S, Pickens A, Sancheti MS, Lipscomb J, Gillespie T, Fernandez FG. Pilot Study to Integrate Patient Reported Outcomes After Lung Cancer Surgery into the STS Database. Ann Thorac Surg. 2017; 104(1); 245-253. PMID: 28483154

Sancheti MS, Chihara RK, Perez SD, Khullar OV, Fernandez FG, Pickens A, Force SD. Hospitalization costs after surgery in high-risk patients with early stage lung cancer. Ann Thorac Surg. 2018; 105 (1): 263-70. PMID: 29174780

Digesu CS, Hachey KJ, Gilmore DM, Khullar OV, Tsukada H, Whang B, Chirieac LR, Padera RF, Jaklitsch MT, Colson YL. Long-term outcomes following near-infrared sentinel lymph node mapping in non-small cell lung cancer. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2018; 155(3):1280-91. PMID: 29248292

Jiang R, Liu Y, Ward KC, Force SD, Pickens A, Sancheti MS, Javidfar J, Fernandez FG, Khullar OV. Excess cost and predictive factors of esophagectomy complications in the SEER-Medicare database. Ann Thorac Surg. 2018; 106(5):1484-1491. PMID: 29944881

Niroula A, Van Nostrand KM, Khullar OV, Force S, Jaber WS, Sardi AH, Berkowitz DM. Percutaneous Tracheostomy With Apnea During Coronavirus Disease 2019 Era: A Protocol and Brief Report of Cases. Crit Care Explor. 2020; 2(5):e0134. PMID: 32671354

Melvan JN, Khullar OV, Vemulapalli S, Kosinski AS, Pickens A, Force SD, Zhang S, Sancheti MS. The Impact of Socioeconomic Variables and Community Size on Outcomes after Lung Cancer Resection, a Review of the STS General Thoracic Surgery Database. Ann Thorac Surg. 2020 Nov 12:S0003-4975(20)31901-9. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.08.076.

Valsangkar N, Wei JW, Binongo JN, Pickens A, Sancheti MS, Force SD, Gillespie TW, Fernandez FG, Khullar OV. Association between patient physical function and length of stay after thoracoscopic lung cancer surgery. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2020 Nov 10:S1043-0679(20)30348-8. doi: 10.1053/j.semtcvs.2020.10.003.

Khullar OV, Wei JW, Wagh K, Binongo JN, Pickens A, Sancheti MS, Force SD, Gillespie TW, Fernandez FG. Preoperative lung function predicts changes in patient reported outcomes after lung cancer surgery. Ann Thorac Surg. 2020 Oct 29:S0003-4975(20)31814-2. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.09.016.

Lou X, Sanders A, Wagh K, Binongo JN, Sancheti M, Javidfar J, Pickens A, Fernandez FG, Force SD, Khullar OV. Safety and feasibility of thoracoscopic lung resection for non-small cell lung cancer in octogenarians. Innovations (Phila). 2020 Nov 27:1556984520971620. doi: 10.1177/1556984520971620.

Khullar OV, Colson YL. The underfunding of lung cancer research. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2009; 138:275. PMID: 19619764.

Khullar OV, Frangioni JV, Grinstaff M, Colson YL. Image-guided sentinel lymph node mapping and nanotechnology-based nodal treatment in lung cancer using invisible near-infrared fluorescent light. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2009; 21:309-15. PMID: 20226343.

Schulz MD, Khullar OV, Frangioni JV, Grinstaff M, Colson YL. 2010. Nanotechnology in Thoracic Surgery. Ann Thorac Surg. Ann Thorac Surg. 89(6):S2188-90. PMID: 20494008.

Khullar OV, Gangadharan SP. 2012. Video-assisted thoracoscopic mediastinal lymph node dissection. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 144(3):S32-4. PMID: 22676976.

Gimore DM, Khullar OV, Colson YL. 2012. Developing intrathoracic sentinel lymph node mapping with near-infrared fluorescent imaging in non-small cell lung cancer. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 144(3):S80-4. PMID: 22726707.

Khullar OV, Fernandez FG. Prosthetic reconstruction of the chest wall. Thorac Surg Clin. 2017; 27(2):201-208. PMID: 28363375.

Khullar OV, Fernandez FG. Patient reported outcomes in thoracic surgery. Thorac Surg Clin. 2017; 27(3):279-290. PMID: 28647074.

Subramanian M, Kozower BD, Brown LM, Khullar OV, Fernandez FG. Patient reported outcomes in cardiothoracic surgery. Ann Thorac Surg 2019; 107(1):294:301. PMID: 30009806.

Medbery RL, Fernandez FG, Khullar OV. ERAS and patient reported outcomes in thoracic surgery: a review of current data. J Thorac Dis 2019; 11 (Supp 7):S976-S986. PMID: 31183180

Medbery RL, Fernandez FG, Khullar OV. Patient reported outcomes: time to integrate into outcomes reporting? Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2019; 31(4):856-860. PMID: 31176797

Valsangkar N, Fernandez FG, Khullar OV. Patient reported outcomes: integration into clinical practice. J Thorac Dis 2020