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Clara Lee, MD, MPP, FACS, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member and surgeon specializing in breast reconstruction, microsurgery, and gender affirming chest reconstruction.

Professor, Surgery
UNC-Chapel Hill
Cancer Prevention and Control

Area of Interest

The goal of my research is to improve how patients and surgeons make decisions about cancer surgery. Cancer operations are some of the most consequential treatments in healthcare, with major, irreversible effects on physical functioning, emotional well-being, and financial stability. Patients frequently make decisions about cancer surgery with limited knowledge and choose treatments that are inconsistent with their personal preferences. I have expertise in medical decision making, decision psychology, patient reported outcomes, and implementation of decision support. The methods I use include survey research, qualitative research, observation of clinical encounters, community partner engagement, and randomized controlled trials.

Find publications on PubMed

Awards and Honors

  • Director of the Board, American Board of Plastic Surgery, 2022
  • Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine, Drexel University, 2021
  • Emerging Leadership Award for an Organization, Group on Women in Medicine and Science, Association of American Medical Colleges, 2022
  • Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award, The Ohio State University, 2019
  • Inaugural recipient of the Mid-career Award, Society of University Surgeons, 2019
  • Visiting Professorship, Plastic Surgery Foundation, 2016
  • Advanced Training Institute in Health Behavior Scholars, National Cancer Institute, 2012
  • Health Policy Scholar, American College of Surgeons / American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2011
Headshot of Clara Lee.