Syed Nabeel Zafar, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor

  • Division of Surgical Oncology
(608) 262-2025


  • Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Aga Khan University Medical College, 2008
  • Master of Public Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 2010
  • General Surgery Residency, Howard University Hospital, 2017
  • Advanced GI and Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship, University of Maryland Medical Center, 2018
  • Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2020

Clinical Specialties

Dr Zafar is fellowship trained in both Minimally Invasive Surgery and in Cancer Surgery. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Medical Quality. Dr Zafar is an active member of several professional societies including the Association of Academic Surgeons, the Society of Surgical Oncology, the American College of Surgeons, and the Association of Global Academic Surgeons.

His clinical focus is in gastrointestinal malignancies and especially laparoscopic and Robotic approached to cancer surgery. Dr Zafar specializes in malignant disease of the pancreas, liver, gallbladder, biliary tree, stomach, small intestine, neuroendocrine tumors, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, retroperitoneal sarcoma and in peritoneal surface malignancies including cytoreductive and HIPEC procedures.

Research Interests

Dr. Zafar conducts health services research and research on global oncology/global surgery. He analyzes large datasets to study outcomes after cancer surgery, as well as disparities in outcomes after surgical care. His research also focuses on improving cancer care delivery and cancer surgery in low-and middle-income countries.

Recent Publications

  • Peritoneal recurrence after resection for Stage I-III colorectal cancer: A population analysis.
    Aiken T, Hu CY, Uppal A, Francescatti AB, Fournier KF, Chang GJ, Zafar SN
    J Surg Oncol 2023 Mar; 127(4): 678-687
    [PubMed ID: 36519668]

  • Venous thromboembolism prophylaxis following colorectal surgery: a survey of American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery (ASCRS) member surgeons.
    Aiken TJ, King R, Russell MM, Regenbogen SE, Lawson E, Zafar SN
    J Thromb Thrombolysis 2023 Feb; 55(2): 376-381
    [PubMed ID: 36454476]

  • Metastatic brain tumours in Pakistan: An epidemiological overview.
    Khalid MU, Shah MM, Bajwa MH, Zafar SN, Laghari AA, Anis SB, Raghib MF, Akhunzada NZ, Pakistan Brain Tumour Consortium , Siddiqi S, Enam SA, Pakistan Brain Tumour Consortium Group Names
    J Pak Med Assoc 2022 Nov; 72(Suppl 4)(11): S68-S73
    [PubMed ID: 36591631]

  • Factors associated with lost to follow up in patients with brain tumours: A multi-centre study in Pakistan.
    Khalid MU, Bajwa MH, Shah MM, Zafar SN, Laghari AA, Akhunzada NZ, Anis SB, Raghib MF, Pakistan Brain Tumour Consortium , Siddiqi S, Enam SA, Pakistan Brain Tumour Consortium Group Names
    J Pak Med Assoc 2022 Nov; 72(Suppl 4)(11): S16-S24
    [PubMed ID: 36591623]

  • Surgery as a Global Health Need.
    Diehl TM, Soto E, Laryea JA, Zafar SN
    Clin Colon Rectal Surg 2022 Sep; 35(5): 362-370
    [PubMed ID: 36111078]

All Publications on PubMed