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Jacob Handelsman Professorship in Surgery

School of Medicine

Established in 2005 by Mr. Calvin Cafritz, a philanthropist who resides in Washington, DC

JacobHandelsmanJACOB C. HANDELSMAN was born and raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He received his undergraduate degree from The Johns Hopkins University in 1940 and in the same year was admitted to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Handelsman and his wife, Shirley, married shortly before he received his medical degree in 1943. After graduation, he served for 18 months as an intern and assistant resident at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Thereafter, he was chief surgeon in the 391st station hospital with the 88th Infantry Division in Udine, Italy. In 1947, Dr. Handelsman returned to The Johns Hopkins Hospital completing his surgical residency under Dr. Alfred Blalock in 1950.

For over 60 years, Dr. Handelsman dedicated himself to the Johns Hopkins institutions. He served as a student, post-graduate fellow, associate professor, and advisor to the Department of Surgery. During his time as a resident, Dr. Handelsman was awarded a Halsted Fellowship in Surgery and worked with Dr. Richard Bing in his pioneering cardiac catheterization lab. It was in this laboratory that the diagnostic studies of various types of congenital heart diseases were developed. As a member of the medical faculty from 1950 to 1970, Dr. Handelsman taught a generation of third-year medical students and was the surgeon-in-charge of the surgical outpatient clinics. He did this while maintaining a private practice as a general surgeon specializing in the areas of pediatric surgery, thoracic surgery, and inflammatory bowel disease. In 1989, upon his retirement from private practice, Dr. Handelsman took on the position of director of Same Day Surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Dr. Handelsman was an early diplomat to the American Board of Surgery and was a member of American College of Surgeons, the Society of University Surgeons, the Maryland Medical and Chirurgical Society, and the Baltimore City Medical Society. He also served as president of the Baltimore Academy of Surgery. Dr. Handelsman was active in the Baltimore community with the Man Alive Drug Program and the Learning Bank Adult Literacy Program. He died in 2013.

Held by Nita Ahuja

NitaAhujaThe Jacob C. Handelsman, M.D. Professor of Abdominal Surgery, NITA AHUJA received her medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine. Upon completing medical school, Dr. Ahuja then did her general surgical residency followed by a fellowship in surgical oncology at The Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Ahuja has been a member of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine faculty since 2003 and is Associate Professor in the Division of Surgical Oncology. She has served as the Section Chief on Gastrointestinal and Mixed Tumors since 2012. Dr. Ahuja is well known for her expertise in management of gastrointestinal cancers, and her areas of clinical interests include colorectal, gastric, and pancreas cancers and sarcomas. She also leads a highly productive research laboratory focused on the development of biomarkers for early cancer detection and development of novel therapies for treatment of advanced cancers. Her research on the epigenetic changes in cancers has led to multiple national clinical trials.

Dr. Ahuja is Director of the Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Program and the Sarcoma Program and devotes her time to providing innovative care to cancer patients locally, nationally, and internationally. A member of the Johns Hopkins Cancer Committee for multiple years, she now serves at the national level as a member of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. She also serves on the Faculty Senate for Johns Hopkins and on the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Faculties. Dr. Ahuja has more than 80 publications to her credit and has published four books on treatment of cancers.