Our Staff

Mount Sinai Beth Israel
Department of Cardiac Surgery
317 E. 17th Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10003
(212) 420-2584


John Puskas, MD - Chairman

Dr. Puskas specializes in adult cardiac surgery and is internationally recognized for his expertise in off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery. He began performing off-pump coronary bypass surgeries in 1996, and in 1997 performed the world's first triple off-pump bypass surgery using minimally invasive coronary artery bypass grafting. In addition to his extensive leadership in less invasive coronary bypass surgery, he is recognized for his work in all arterial revascularization strategies, and robotic coronary revascularization.

At Mount Sinai, Dr. Puskas will continue his pioneering work investigating the benefits of off-pump cardiac surgery, developing new surgical techniques, and testing the latest technologies in advanced clinical trials. He is currently the national principal investigator for three ongoing U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigational device trials that will now move with him to Mount Sinai.

Dr. Puskas is a past president of the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery and a member of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Surgeons, International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

A summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University, Dr. Puskas received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency in general surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and his cardiothoracic surgery residency training at Emory University School of Medicine.

Gabriele Di Luozzo, MD

Gabriele Di Luozzo, MD, is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and American Board of Thoracic Surgery and is specialized in all aspects of Adult Cardiac Surgery and Thoracic Aortic Surgery. Dr. Di Luozzo was Dr. Randall B. Griepp’s associate, a pioneer in the field of cardiac and aortic surgery, for 8 years at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Di Luozzo is Dr. Griepp’s last pupil and has been committed to preserving his mentor’s legacy in the field of aortic surgery. He is one of a handful of cardiac surgeons in the Northeast that is fellowship trained in aortic surgery, management of connective tissue disorders and complex aortic dissections.

In addition to his clinical practice he is one of a handful of cardiac surgeons to have directed a NIH-funded large animal laboratory that performs research on ways to minimize the risk of spinal cord and brain injury after thoracic aortic aneurysm repair. He continues to contribute to the medical literature with original research and has presented at many national and international cardiothoracic surgical meetings. He has authored several book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals on aortic root, arch, and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms, reoperative cardiac surgery, aortic dissections and protective measures to prevent paraplegia after thoracic aortic surgery. The laboratory research he now directs has shed light on the anatomy and blood supply to the spinal cord and methods to minimize the risk of paraplegia. Dr Di Luozzo participates in the peer review process as a reviewer for prestigious medical journals. His laboratory recently received a $600,000 grant to study the molecular mechanism in the arterioles found in the paraspinous muscle in response to a reduction in spinal cord blood flow.

As an experienced cardiac surgeon, Dr. Di Luozzo has performed more than 2,000 procedures in his career which includes valve and aortic aneurysm operations among other types of cardiac procedures. His practice and clinical research has focused on various aortic conditions including aortic dissections (Type A and B), ascending aortic aneurysms, aortic arch aneurysms, chronic aortic dissections, thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms, bicuspid aortic valve and connective tissue disorders such as Marfan syndrome and Loey-Dietz syndrome. He has specialized in aortic valve-sparing root replacements (David Procedure), aortic arch replacement, thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair, endovascular thoracic aneurysm repair, high-risk cardiac surgery and re-operative cardiac surgery. In addition, he has a focus on aortic valve repair or replacement either through traditional surgery or transcatheter approach (TAVI).

He has successfully maintained one of the largest thoracic aortic surveillance programs, which includes over 1,300 patients. The information that has been gained from following such a large number of patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections has made important contributions to the guidelines on how physicians manage aortic aneurysms. As a member of the cardiothoracic team at Mount Sinai Beth Israel he will lead the Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Program and Aortic Surveillance Program, which includes a multi-disciplinary team with a large armamentarium to treat a variety of aortic conditions.

Gianluca Torregrossa, MD

After completing a cardiac surgical residency at the University of Padua, Dr. Torregrossa spent 9 months in Sudan working for the NGO EMERGENCY. He worked to provide heart surgery to a large Sub Saharan population of children and young adults who had no access to medical care. His work at EMERGENCY focused on congenital heart disease and surgery for rheumatic valves. Dr. Torregrossa subsequently joined the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital and completed a 3 year advanced fellowship, training under world leaders in cardiac surgery including Dr. David Adams. His training focused on advance mitral surgery, complex aortic root surgery, Ross procedure, heart failure surgery, complex coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) including robotic CABG, off-pump CABG and total arterial revascularization. Dr. Torregrossa has been appointed Assistant Professor at the Department of Cardiac Surgery at Mount Sinai Beth Israel under the direction of Dr. John Puskas. In additional to his clinical practice, Dr. Torregrossa is the author of 34 publications in peer reviewed journals and is a reviewer for the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation offering his expertise on the total artificial heart. He has published a book on pediatric cardiac surgery as well as several chapters in various cardiac surgical textbooks. His current impact factor is above 95.

Cardiothoracic Nurse Practitioners

Sue Ann Scheer, RN, ANP

Sue Ann graduated from Hunter College in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She began her career as a nurse at New York University Medical Center in General Surgery, Cardiac Surgery, and later on the Kidney and Liver Transplant unit. Sue Ann went on to get her Masters in Nursing and Adult/Acute Nurse Practitioner degree from NYU in 1994. She has been with Mount Sinai Beth Israel since 1994, and is the senior NP on the Cardio- Thoracic team.

Carmina C. Symonowicz, RN, ANP-C

Carmina graduated from Hunter College (CUNY) with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1991. She started her nursing career at New York University Medical Center, working with Cardio-Thoracic/General Surgical/Liver & Renal Transplant patients from 1991-1996; she continued as a Nurse Care Manager in the Department of Medicine from 1996-1998. She pursued her graduate studies at New York University and received her Masters in Nursing with a specialty in Adult/Acute Care in 1997. Carmina has been a nurse practitioner and a proud member of the Beth Israel Cardio- Thoracic Surgery Department since 1998.

Kristyn Elish, RN, ANP

Kristyn began her nursing career as a registered nurse in cardiac telemetry at Brooklyn Hospital, after receiving her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1996 from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1998, she made a move to Manhattan, and she joined the Mount Sinai Health System - St. Luke's Division as a staff nurse in Cardiac Surgery Open Heart/Coronary Care Unit. Kristyn received her Masters in Nursing with a specialty in Adult Care from Columbia University in 2001. She then joined the Beth Israel Cardio-Thoracic Surgery Department as a nurse practitioner and is an integral member of their team.


Mount Sinai Beth Israel
Division of Cardiac Surgery
317 E. 17th St., 11th Fl.
New York, NY 10003

Our Surgeons

John Puskas, MD


Gabriele Di Luozzo, MD

Gianluca Torregrossa, MD