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Robert W. O'Rourke, M.D.
Robert W. O
Robert W. O'Rourke, M.D.
Professor of Surgery
Director, Obesity-Adipose Tissue Research Laboratory

University of Michigan Health Systems
1500 E. Medical Center Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5932

Robert W. O'Rourke, MD is a Professor of Surgery in the Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery, Section of General Surgery. Dr O'Rourke graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA in 1986 with undergraduate degrees in Chemical Engineering and Molecular Biology. He obtained his MD in 1993 from the UCLA Medical School in Los Angeles, CA, and completed his general surgery training in 2001 at the UCSF Surgery Residency Program in San Francisco, CA, including a three- year post-doctoral research fellowship in Transplantation Immunology. He completed an Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship in 2003 at Legacy Health Systems in Portland, OR. He then spent ten years as a faculty member in the Department of Surgery at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR, where he acted as Co-Director of the Bariatric Surgery Program. He obtained a Masters of Clinical Research degree with a focus in immunology and molecular and cellular biology from OHSU in 2010. He joined the faculty at the University of Michigan Health System in 2013.

Dr. O'Rourke's primary clinical focus is bariatric surgery for morbid obesity. He has significant experience in laparoscopic and open gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric banding, and revisional bariatric surgery. Dr. O'Rourke also has expertise in esophageal and gastric surgery, including the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease, paraesophageal hernia, and achalasia.

Dr O'Rourke manages an NIH-funded research effort that studies the role of immunity and inflammation in regulating metabolic dysfunction in the context of obesity. His laboratory studies adipose tissue biology and inflammation, and its role in regulating adipocyte metabolism and the pathogenesis of systemic metabolic diseases including diabetes, dyslipidemia, and cancer.

Dr. O'Rourke is active in resident and medical student education and in advanced minimally invasive surgery training. He is an active member of multiple national surgical societies, serves on the editorial board for the journal Obesity Surgery, and acts as a reviewer for multiple academic journals.