Fiemu Nwariaku, M.D.

Fiemu Nwariaku, M.D.

Associate Dean, Global Health

  • Malcolm O. Perry, M.D. Professorship in Surgery
  • Surgery - GI/Endocrine Surgery
  • Endocrine Surgery Treatments
  • Neuroendocrine Pancreatic Disease

Biography

Ohwofiemu Nwariaku, M.D., FACS, is a Professor of Surgery in the Division of General Surgery at UT Southwestern. He holds the Malcolm O. Perry, M.D., Professorship in Surgery.

As an endocrine surgeon, Dr. Nwariaku treats diseases and disorders of the pancreas and thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands with minimally invasive and robotic-assisted procedures.

Dr. Nwariaku earned his medical degree and early training in Nigeria before coming to UT Southwestern for his surgical residency and a research fellowship. He has been on the faculty at UT Southwestern since 1998.

His research focuses on neuroendocrine tumors and on developing new drugs for medullary thyroid cancer based on his team’s discovery of a particular protein that causes medullary thyroid cancer cells to grow.

Dr. Nwariaku is also Associate Dean of UT Southwestern’s Office for Global Health, which was established in 2010 to direct and develop training and research initiatives with partners around the world.

“I’ve always been interested in building capacity in developing countries,” he says. “We want to teach their health professionals what we know about diseases, injury prevention, and health systems, for example, to bring them up to modern standards and help reduce death and disability.”

Among his many leadership positions at UT Southwestern and in the medical and research fields, Dr. Nwariaku is a member of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and a subcommittee reviewer for the National Cancer Institute. He also serves on the advisory board of the African Journal of Medicine & Medical Sciences and as an external review panelist for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

See More

Meet Dr. Nwariaku

Minimally Invasive and Robotic Endocrine Surgeon

As a highly skilled surgeon and accomplished researcher, Ohwofiemu Nwariaku, M.D., is at the forefront of breakthroughs in treating disorders of the endocrine system – diseases affecting the pancreas and adrenal, parathyroid, and thyroid glands. This includes evaluating and treating patients with health concerns ranging from Cushing’s syndrome to complex thyroid cancers.

Dr. Nwariaku is among the most experienced endocrine surgeons in North Texas, with specialized expertise in robotic and minimally invasive surgery. He is recognized worldwide for his work in advancing innovative surgical approaches to successfully remove benign and malignant adrenal tumors.

“With laparoscopic adrenalectomies, we typically need to make only three or four very small incisions to remove adrenal tumors. It’s safe for patients to go home from the hospital a day or two after the surgery,” Dr. Nwariaku says.

“Also, this type of minimally invasive endocrine surgery offers the benefit of shorter recovery times – days versus weeks. And within a few months of procedures, scars are small and barely noticeable, compared to the large abdominal scars patients had in the past,” he adds.

Dr. Nwariaku says another innovation that’s optimizing care is adrenal vein sampling for primary aldasteroma. This procedure increases the ability to determine when a tumor must be excised or when leaving it will not be harmful to a patient, thereby reducing the need for unnecessary surgery. 

One of the hallmarks of Dr. Nwariaku’s work with patients is communication, which he says is key to defining effective surgical treatment strategies, as well as helping ease fears and anxiety.

“I actively provide information to my patients and their loved ones and answer any questions they have. I want them to understand what to expect from their surgery and postoperative care,” he says.

Dr. Nwariaku leads a multidisciplinary team of researchers at UT Southwestern who recently discovered a specific protein that plays a role in medullary thyroid cancer, a rare and often fatal disease. The team is now working to identify therapies to target the protein and inhibit the growth of medullary thyroid cancer cells.

When he’s not in the operating room, meeting with patients, or in the lab, Dr. Nwariaku oversees UT Southwestern’s Office for Global Health as Associate Dean. The office was established in 2010 to direct and develop training and research initiatives with partners around the world.

Dr. Nwariaku has published approximately 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, 15 book chapters, and three books. He has lectured on endocrine surgery and global health topics around the world.

See More

Education & Training
  • Residency - Baptist Medical Center-Nigeria (1988-1991), Surgery
  • Internship - Baptist Medical Center-Nigeria (1987-1988), Transitional Year
  • Medical School - University of Ibadan (1981-1987)
  • Residency - UT Southwestern Medical School (1991-1993), General Surgery
  • Fellowship - UT Southwestern Medical School (1993-1995), Research
  • Residency - UT Southwestern Medical School (1995-1998), General Surgery
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • Society of University Surgeons
  • Association for Academic Surgery
  • American College of Surgeons, Fellow
  • American Association of Endocrine Surgeons
  • American Association for Cancer Research
Honors & Awards
  • Educational Scholarship Award 1995, Society of Critical Care Medicine
  • Academic Excellence Award 1996, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Resident Teaching Award 1998, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Malcolm O. Perry, MD 2007, Professorship in Surgery
  • Australia and New Zealand Chapter of the American College of Surgeons Traveling Fellowship Award 2008, American College of Surgeons
Books & Publications
Research
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Parathyroid Hormone Effects on Bone
  • Endothelial Signaling
  • Angiogenesis
  • Adrenal Tumors and Cancer

Clinical Focus

  • Endocrine Surgery Treatments
  • Neuroendocrine Pancreatic Disease
  • Parathyroid & Thyroid Conditions
  • Adrenal Conditions

See More

Q&A by Dr. Nwariaku

Showing 1 locations

Multidisciplinary Surgery Clinic

at Outpatient Building 1801 Inwood Road, 7th Floor, Suite 100
Dallas, Texas 75390
214-645-2900 Directions Parking Info