Dr. Harvy Pass

When it comes to the research and development of novel treatments for mesothelioma, Dr. Harvey Pass is one of the world’s leading experts. Without his efforts, treatment of mesothelioma would not be where it is today.


Not only does Dr. Pass spend his professional time working to develop the research he hopes will unlock the key to treating mesothelioma, but he also tirelessly works to raise awareness about how dangerous even short-term exposure to asbestos is. His medical research has been groundbreaking and even instrumental in the early diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma.

About Dr. Pass

Dr. Pass’s specialty is cardiothoracic surgery. He is a cardiothoracic surgeon who has spent the bulk of his career working on pleural mesothelioma research and treatment. His efforts have extended the lives of countless patients who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Medical Degree and Residency

Dr. Pass graduated with his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine in 1973

His residency ran from 1973-1980 and was completed at Duke University Hospital Surgery

Professional Title

In 2005, Dr. Pass was named the First Director of Thoracic Surgery at the New York University Langone Medical Center

The head of Early Detection Research Network Biomarker Discovery Laboratory for Mesothelioma at the New York University Medical Center. He’s involved with the Mesothelioma Pathogenesis Program Project.


Dr. Pass’s Accomplishments

During the course of his illustrious career, Dr. Pass has always been a tireless advocate for patients who have been diagnosed with either mesothelioma or lung cancer. His devotion to his patients has led him to become:

  • A founding member of the Meso Foundation
  • A board member of the Lung Cancer Alliance
  • The chairman of the Meso Foundation Scientific Advisory Board

During the time that Dr. Pass was at Wayne State University’s Karmanos Cancer Center, he and his colleagues recognized that patients with pleural mesothelioma also had high levels of the protein osteopontin. The levels of osteopontin could be easily detected with a simple blood test. This discovery was a key component in being able to detect and accurately diagnose mesothelioma, and the earlier detection led to a significant improvement in each patient’s diagnosis.

Additional career accomplishments include:

  • The discovery of genetic factors that increase the risk of mesothelioma
  • Actively engaged in clinical trials researching immunotherapy
  • In 1991, he won the National Institutes of Health Director’s Award

Studies Conducted by Dr. Pass

Without Dr. Pass’s devotion to his patients and his desire to find a cure for mesothelioma, treatment practices for the rare cancer would not be as advanced as they currently are. In 2005, Dr. Pass was responsible for the study that made earlier diagnosis possible. His findings were published in the report titled Asbestos Exposure, Pleural Mesothelioma, and Serum Osteopontin Levels which the New England Journal of Medicine Published.

Much of Dr. Pass’s research has been focused on osteopontin levels. When he ended his research, Dr. Pass had reached the conclusion that doctors all over the world could conduct a blood test that measured patient’s current osteopontin levels to determine if mesothelioma was present. The study has been a key factor in catching cancer when it’s still in its early stages and curative treatments can be used.