Jayanthi Lea, M.D.

  • Patricia Duniven Fletcher Distinguished Professorship in Gynecological Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology - Gyn Oncology
  • Surgical Treatment for Gynecologic Cancer
  • Tumor debulking for ovarian and fallopian tube cancer


Jayanthi Lea, M.D., is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She specializes in the treatment of ovarian, endometrial, cervical, and other gynecologic malignancies.

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 as a scholar of the NIH Reproductive Scientist Development Program (RSDP).

Dr. Lea is board certified in both gynecologic oncology and obstetrics and gynecology and is skilled in radical pelvic surgeries, including radical hysterectomy, ovarian cancer cytoreductive surgery, and endometrial cancer surgery. She is also skilled in minimally invasive surgeries such as robotic surgery and advanced laparoscopic surgery.

While she was an RSDP scholar, 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.

As the Division Chief of Gynecologic Oncology and the Director of the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Program at UT Southwestern, Dr. Lea oversees the mission of the gynecologic oncology division and the training for physicians who will be the cancer leaders of tomorrow.

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.

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.

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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)
  • Other Post Graduate Training - UT Southwestern (2000-2004)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • Society of Gynecologic Oncology
  • NRG Oncology Group
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • American College of Surgeons
Honors & Awards
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society 2023
  • 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
  • Fellow 2016, American College of Surgeons
Books & Publications
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Developmental Therapeutics
  • Cervical Cancer

Clinical Focus

  • Surgical Treatment for Gynecologic Cancer
  • Tumor debulking for ovarian and fallopian tube cancer
  • Radical Hysterectomy
  • Gynecologic Robotic & Minimally Invasive Surgery

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Jayanthi Lea, M.D.

Dr. Lea talks about her approach to patient care.