Welcoming New Faculty – Matthew Brian Couger, PhD

Please join us in welcoming Matthew Brian Couger, PhD, as a new faculty member in the Department of Surgery.

Matthew Brian Couger, PhD
Lead Investigator, Division of Thoracic Surgery

Dr. Couger is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, where he received his PhD in microbiology and molecular genetics. Before coming to the Brigham, he worked as a bioinformatics specialist at the Oklahoma State University High Performance Computing Center.

Highlights of his research include: Co-creating the extremely popular RNA analysis functional annotation software Trinotate, producing the first murine genome using 10x genomics sequencing, writing numerous papers on microbial ecology, designing a 40k marker array for the eagle genotyping and producing the first genomic assembly for the enigmatic anaerobic fungi.

Dr. Couger’s research interests include: Bioinformatics, computational biology, high performance computing, big data, cellular biology, RNA-seq, machine learning, software design, whole genome assembly, variant discovery and population genetics.

Dr. Couger’s research in bioinformatics and genomics includes 46 publications in journals such as the ISME Journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Cell Reports, Nature Methods and G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics.

At the Brigham, Dr. Couger will be working on computational oncology and other big data projects for the Division of Thoracic Surgery as well as helping establish this resource for the DOS.

Incoming General Surgery Interns for AY 20-21

Categorical General Surgery

  • Isaac Alty – Harvard Medical School
  • Jake Awtry – Johns Hopkins
  • Ilaria Caturegli – University of Maryland
  • Eliza Hersh – Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Annabelle Jones – Stony Brook University
  • Yun Jee Kang – Harvard Medical School
  • Sangki Oak – University of Pittsburgh
  • Alexander Ordoobadi – Harvard Medical School
  • Stefanie Soelling – Emory University

Cardiothoracic Integrated I – 6

  • John Finnigan – Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai – CT I-6 Thoracic track
  • Thais Faggion Vinholo – Yale School of Medicine – CT I-6 Cardiac Track


  • Yefri Baez – Harvard Medical School
  • Vincent D’Andrea – Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
  • Kendrick Yim – University of California, San Diego

Harvard Plastic Surgery

  • Charles (Chuck) Hwang – University of Michigan
  • Ian McCulloch – West Virginia Medical SchoolRicardo Ortiz – Harvard Medical School

Preliminary Interns

  • Christian Cerecedo Lopez – Universidad Anáhuac Escuela de Medicina, Mexico
  • Chin Fung (Kelvin) Kan – University of Queensland School of Medicine, Australia – Anesthesia @ U. Utah
  • Martin Kauke – Universität zu Köln Medizinische Fakultät, Germany
  • Joseph Phalen – Boston University – Anesthesia @ NYU
  • Ishan Sinha – The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University – Interventional Radiology @ Mt. Sinai
  • Sameer Singhal – George Washington University – Interventional Radiology @ BWH
  • Darshan Vora – George Washington University – Interventional Radiology @ BWH

Steven L. Chang, MD, MS, Named Section Chief of Urologic Oncology

Dr. Chang will lead the newly formed Section of Urologic Oncology within the Division of Urology in the Department of Surgery at Brigham Health.

Dr. Steven Chang is an associate surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and is an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Chang received his medical degree from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, and completed a urology residency as well as a urologic oncology fellowship at Stanford University Medical Center. During his fellowship training, Dr. Chang earned a Master of Science in Health Services Research from the Department of Health Research and Policy at Stanford University Medical School. He is board certified in urology.

Dr. Chang cares for patients with urologic cancers, using minimally invasive surgical approaches with laparoscopy and robotics. He is particularly interested in the management of kidney cancer and has established collaborations with medical oncologists at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and interventional radiologists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to treat patients with kidney tumors, ranging from incidentally detected small renal masses to metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

Dr. Chang’s research focuses on reducing the overall burden of urologic cancers on the health care system. His clinical specialties include: kidney cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, adrenal cancer, testicular cancer and reconstructive kidney surgery.