Vernon K. Sondak, M.D.

Cutaneous Oncology, Surgical Oncology  |  Moffitt Cancer Center

Dr. Sondak is Chief of the Division of Cutaneous Oncology and Director of Surgical Education at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida. In addition, he is the Professor in the Departments of Interdisciplinary Oncology and Surgery at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa.

He is renowned for his research studies of surgical treatment of melanoma and other cutaneous malignancies, particularly in the application of sentinel lymph node biopsy to the staging of melanomas, sarcomas and non-melanoma skin cancers. Dr. Sondak has also been involved with clinical studies to improve the treatment of soft tissue sarcomas and desmoid tumors, as well as laboratory studies to better understand the genetic makeup of sarcomas and develop gene-based treatment approaches for these difficult-to-treat tumors.

In 1980, he graduated summa cum laude from Boston University’s Six-Year Medical Program and obtained his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine. He continued his post-graduate training as an intern and resident in General Surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, and served as a fellow in the Division of Surgical Oncology at UCLA School of Medicine.
Dr. Sondak was recognized and honored in his field from the start of his career. In 1987, he won the Golden Scalpel Award for Outstanding Chief Resident at the UCLA Division of General Surgery. Two years later, he was a recipient of a Clinical Oncology Career Development Award from the American Cancer Society. In 1994, for his academic endeavors he was presented the William W. Coon Award (Outstanding Faculty Teaching), University of Michigan Section of General Surgery.

Dr. Sondak is part of many professional societies and organizations including; Society of Surgical Oncology, Society of University Surgeons, Connective Tissue Oncology Society, Frederick A. Coller Surgical Society, Longmire Surgical Society, American Surgical Association, American Association for Cancer Research and the Southwest Oncology Group. He was a Founding Member of the International Sentinel Node Society and the Society for Melanoma Research. Dr. Sondak also is on the scientific advisory board of the Southwest Oncology Group.

He also is the author or coauthor of more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed publications, nearly 75 abstracts, and more than 40 book chapters. Dr Sondak is on the editorial board of Cancer Investigation, is Section Editor for the Melanoma/Skin Cancer section of Cancer and reviews submissions for many journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology and the Annals of Surgical Oncology.


H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida:

  • Division Chief, Cutaneous Oncology
  • Surgical Oncologist
  • Director of Surgical Education

M.D., Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, 1980


General Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, 1987


Surgical Oncology, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, 1984


American Board of General Surgery

Hospital Affiliations & Admitting Privileges

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center