Jayanthi Lea, M.D.

  • Patricia Duniven Fletcher Distinguished Professorship in Gynecological Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology - Gyn Oncology
  • Vulvar Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer


Jayanthi Lea, M.D., is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She specializes in the treatment of ovarian, endometrial, cervical and other gynecologic malignancies, as well as the treatment of pre-invasive cervical, vaginal, and vulvar disease. She is skilled in minimally invasive, robotic, and advanced laparoscopic surgery.

Dr. Lea graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She earned her medical degree at East Carolina University School of Medicine and completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Following a four-year gynecologic oncology fellowship at UT Southwestern Medical Center, she joined the UT Southwestern faculty. After a hiatus as Assistant Director for the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Carolinas Medical Center in North Carolina, Dr. Lea returned to UT Southwestern in 2010.

She is board certified in both gynecologic oncology and obstetrics and gynecology. She was included in D Magazine's Best Doctors list for 2018, 2020, 2021, and 2022, and was also named a Texas Monthly  Super Doctor in 2018.

While she was a scholar of the National Institutes of Health Reproductive Scientist Development Program, Dr. Lea investigated the molecular pathogenesis of cervical cancer. Her translational research interest is in the development of clinical trials for ovarian cancer using novel therapeutic agents. She has published several papers on cervical and ovarian cancer.

Dr. Lea is also Director of the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Program at UT Southwestern, where she oversees training for physicians who will be the cancer leaders of tomorrow. 

Meet Dr. Lea

Gynecologic Oncologist

Throughout her career, Jayanthi Lea, M.D., has been at the forefront of evaluating and treating gynecologic cancers. Her patients range from young women to senior citizens diagnosed with cervical, uterine, endometrial, ovarian, and other types of cancers of the reproductive system. She brings together all aspects of care – from evaluation and staging of the disease to treatment.

"All women with symptoms or findings suspicious for a gynecologic malignancy should be evaluated by a physician trained in gynecologic oncology. Prognosis and outcome are dependent on timely diagnosis and employment of accurate surgical and other primary forms of treatment."

Based on understanding the complete needs of the patient and the complexities of the cancer, Dr. Lea guides patients through a comprehensive range of treatment alternatives and support services to manage the disease. This includes state-of-the-art surgical care, the latest therapeutic treatments, and support services.

Her expertise includes ovarian cancer debulking surgery, laparoscopic and robotic/minimally invasive surgery, sentinel node biopsies, and fertility-sparing surgery. She also specializes in advancements such as targeted therapies, which are improving survival rates for gynecologic cancers. This includes the development of biologic agents, which offer a customized approach to targeting cancer at the molecular level.

Additionally, her specialties include treating advanced stages of gynecologic cancers. She emphasizes that UT Southwestern Medical Center provides the best option in North Texas for patients with cancers that are typically considered untreatable to gain access to new therapeutic alternatives and clinical trials.

As the Director of the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Program at UT Southwestern, Dr. Lea oversees training for physicians who will be the cancer leaders of tomorrow. She is board certified in gynecologic oncology and obstetrics/gynecology.

Dr. Lea is the Co-Primary Investigator for the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) at UT Southwestern and serves on the committees to evaluate cervical cancer treatment protocols and gynecologic cancer prevention. She has been recognized locally and nationally for her work, including being named to the Best Doctors in America list.

Dr. Lea speaks both English and Tamil.

See More

Education & Training
  • Fellowship - UT Southwestern Medical Center (2000-2004), Gynecologic Oncology
  • Residency - Riverside Methodist Hospital (1997-2000), Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Internship - Riverside Methodist Hospital (1996-1997), Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Medical School - East Carolina University (1993-1996)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • Society of Gynecologic Oncology
  • Gynecologic Oncology Group
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Honors & Awards
  • D Magazine Best Doctor, 2018, 2020-2022
  • Best Doctors in North Carolina 2009
  • Best Doctors in America 2009
  • Best in Category Research Award 2007, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinical Meeting
  • Reproductive Scientist Development Program Scholar 2006, NIH K12 Award
  • Fellow 2006, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Books & Publications
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Developmental Therapeutics
  • Cervical Cancer

Clinical Focus

  • Vulvar Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Gynecologic Cancers
  • Endometrial Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Vaginal Cancer
  • Medical Treatment of Gynecologic Cancer
  • Surgical Treatment for Gynecologic Cancer
  • Gestational Trophoblastic Disease
  • Peritoneal Cancer
  • Uterine Cancer

See More