Center for Oncology Care
Head and Neck Surgical Oncology
Dental Oncology &
  Maxillofacial Prosthetics

Breast Surgical Oncology
Medical Oncology
  (The Jonah Center)

Physician Profiles
Contact Information


PHYSICIAN PROFILES: Page 1   Page 2   Page 3   Page 4   Page 5

Thom R. Loree,
MD, FACS

Saurin R. Popat, MD, MBA,
FRCSC, FACS

Mark Burke, MD

Nestor R. Rigual,
MD, FACS





Dr. Loree is currently the Chief of the Department of Head & Neck and Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at ECMC. Before joining ECMC as the Director of the department, Dr. Loree received his doctorate of medicine from George Washington University and general and plastic surgery training from St. Luke’s- Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. Dr. Loree realized his passion for cancer treatment early in his career. He continued to expand his expertise as a head and neck surgery and oncology fellow with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and as an attending physician at Roswell Park Cancer Institute for nearly 20 years. During the last 12 years of his Roswell Park tenure, he was Chairman of the Department of Head & Neck/Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Loree currently holds an appointment as an Associate Professor of Surgery at University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, where he continues to conduct research and publish extensively.

Areas of Expertise

  • Head & Neck Surgery
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Oral (mouth) Cancer
  • Larynx (throat) Cancer
  • Sinus Cancer
  • Skull Base Surgery
  • Thyroid and Parathyroid Gland
  • Breast Reconstruction
  • Microvascular Reconstruction

Education & Training

  • B.A. – Vassar College,
    Poughkeepsie, NY
  • M.D. – George Washington University
    School of Medicine and Health
    Sciences, Washington, D.C.
  • General surgery residency – St. Luke’s
    /Roosevelt Hospital Center,
    New York, NY
  • Plastic surgery residency –
    St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY
  • Head & Neck Fellowship - Memorial
    Sloan-Kettering
    Cancer Center, New York, NY

A distinguished surgeon with an international resume, Dr. Popat is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology at University at Buffalo,The State University of New York. He also serves as Director of the Comprehensive Head and Neck Center and attending surgeon at Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo. Prior to joining ECMC he was Assistant Professor of Surgical Oncology and attending surgeon at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. A skilled and experienced administrator, Dr. Popat was also Director of Head & Neck Surgical Oncology and attending surgeon at the University of Rochester Medical Center, as well as a member of several medical advisory boards in Rochester and Buffalo. He has made countless presentations at meetings, conferences, and grand rounds throughout North America and is the author of many research papers and textbook chapters relative to his medical and surgical specialties.

Areas of Expertise

  • Head & neck surgery/surgical oncology
  • Microvascular reconstruction of the head & neck
  • Skull base surgery / endoscopic skull base surgery
  • Thyroid & parathyroid surgery
  • Endoscopic sinus & laser surgery
  • Health care fi nance and policy
  • Robotic Head & Neck Surgery

Education & Training

  • B.A. with distinction in Life Sciences – Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario
  • M.D. – University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
  • General surgery residency – Harbor - UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • Exchange Registrar Fellowship – Royal United Hospital, Bath, England
  • Otolaryngology residency – University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
  • Fellowship in Head and Neck Surgical Oncology and Microvascular Reconstruction - University of Toronto, Ontario
  • Fellowship in Skull Base and Craniofacial Surgery – University of Bern, Switzerland
  • MBA – Cornell University, Ithaca, NY and Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario

A native son of Buffalo, Dr. Burke has dedicated his medical career to the service and compassionate care of Western New York cancer patients and their families. Upon graduating from The State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Burke advanced his medical training with a fellowship in head and neck cancer treatment at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Following his time at Roswell Park Cancer Institute he went on to complete a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Residency in Akron Ohio. Dr. Burke is proud to now serve as part of a team of experts in the medical and surgical management of Head and Neck Cancer as well as complex Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at ECMC.

Areas of Expertise

  • Breast reconstruction
  • Larynx (throat) cancer
  • Microvascular reconstruction
  • Oral (mouth) cancer
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • Sinus cancer
  • Thyroid and parathyroid gland cancer

Education & Training

  • B.S. – Canisius College, Buffalo, NY
  • M.D. – University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY
  • General Surgery Residency – University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY
  • Head and Neck Cancer Fellowship – Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY
  • Plastic Surgery Residency – Summa Health System, Akron, OH

Dr. Nestor Rigual, an experienced Head and Neck Surgeon and reconstructive surgeon, has joined the Department of Head and Neck Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at ECMC. Dr. Rigual has a particular interest in the care of oral cancer, laryngeal cancer, melanoma, and thyroid cancer patients. He has been a Principal Investigator in several National Cancer Institute-funded clinical trials over the past few years utilizing Photodynamic Therapy to treat Oral and Laryngeal Cancer. Dr. Rigual has published articles on topics ranging from Oral Cancers to Melanoma to Thyroid Cancer. Dr. Rigual is certifi ed by the American Board of Otolaryngology.

Areas of Expertise

  • Head and Neck Melanoma, Oral, Oropharyngeal, Sinus and Larynx Cancer
  • Thyroid and Parathyroid Tumors
  • Head and Neck Reconstructive Surgery – Free Flaps
  • Minimally invasive endoscopic surgery for skull base and pituitary tumors

Education & Training

  • B.S. – University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
  • M.D. – University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Internship in pediatrics – University of Oklahoma/ Oklahoma Children’s Memorial Hospital, Oklahoma City, OK
  • General surgery residency – University of Oklahoma Teaching Hospitals, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Otolaryngology residency – State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
  • Fellowship in Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery– University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Oklahoma City, OK

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