William Reece Burns III, M.D.

Headshot of William Reece Burns III
  • Assistant Professor of Surgery


Benign Liver Lesions, Biliary Diseases, Biliary Tract Surgery, Distal Pancreatectomy, Gastrointestinal Surgery, Gastrointestinal Tumors, Hepatobiliary Disease, Hepatobiliary Malignancies, Hepatobiliary Surgery, Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery, Laparoscopic and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Liver Cancer, Liver Mass, Liver Tumors, Melanoma, Pancreatic and Biliary Disease, Pancreatic Cancer, Pancreatic Surgery, Pancreatic Tumors, Pancreaticoduodenectomy, Pancreatobiliary Diseases, Sarcoma ...read more

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Appointment Phone: 443-997-1508
600 N. Wolfe Street
Blalock Building
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-614-3368


William Burns, M.D., is an assistant professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgeon within the Division of Surgical Oncology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Prior to joining the faculty at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Burns served as an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Michigan, as well as an attending physician at the University of Michigan Health Systems and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.

Dr. Burns received his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine and was awarded a research training fellowship by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He completed an internship and residency in general surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital followed by clinical fellowship training in complex general surgical oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Additionally, he completed postgraduate research fellowships in the field of cancer immunotherapy and tumor immunology at the National Cancer Institute and the MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Burns specializes in treating patients with tumors of the pancreas and gastrointestinal tract, sarcoma and melanoma. He is trained in traditional and minimally invasive surgical techniques. Furthermore, he works closely with colleagues in medical and radiation oncology to provide comprehensive cancer care. His research focuses on immune cell-tumor cell interactions to improve outcomes in patients with pancreatic cancer, cancer immunotherapy for solid tumors, the role of lymph node surgery in the treatment of cancer, and human biospecimen analysis to guide therapy in patients with cancer.

He is a member of several professional societies, including the American College of Surgeons, Society of Surgical Oncology, Association of Academic Surgery, and Society of Immunotherapy for Cancer.

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  • Assistant Professor of Surgery

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Yale School of Medicine (2004)


  • General Surgery; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (2012)


  • Surgical Oncology; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (2015)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Surgery (General Surgery) (2013)
  • American Board of Surgery (Surgical Oncology) (2016)

Activities & Honors


  • American College of Surgeons, 2004

    Candidate member (2004-2016)

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    Fellow (2017-present)

  • Society of Surgical Oncology, 2012


  • Society of Immunotherapy for Cancer, 2015


  • Association of Academic Surgery, 2016


Videos & Media

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Aggressive surgical approaches to advanced pancreatic cancer

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