Rochester, Minnesota


Cliby.William@mayo.edu Clinical Profile


The research of William A. Cliby, M.D., falls into two categories: clinical outcomes research and translational research. Dr. Cliby's research in clinical outcomes focuses on treatment of ovarian cancer with a specific interest in surgical management. Dr. Cliby leads multiple projects to identify key factors in determining the value of surgical resection. He finds the patients who will benefit from surgery and identifies areas for surgical improvement and innovation.

This clinical outcomes and translational research enhances recovery pathways and discovers which areas reduce the most serious postoperative complications. Dr. Cliby and colleagues in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology continue to be leaders in surgical education.

Dr. Cliby's translational research involves the identification and understanding of new ways to deal with various ovarian cancers. He works with other investigators at the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center to improve outcomes for patients with cancer. Dr. Cliby's team has investigated how to deal with weakness before the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Focus areas

  • Improvement in surgical resection for ovarian cancer. Dr. Cliby leads efforts to refine the definition of surgical resection for ovarian cancer and defines the value such efforts have. In addition, Dr. Cliby collaborates with educators at Mayo Clinic and other centers to teach these skills to gynecologic oncologists around the world.
  • Reduction in surgical complications and mortality. Dr. Cliby and the gynecologic oncologists at Mayo Clinic have defined the risk factors for surgical complications. His research developed a validated algorithm for identifying patients better treated with alternative approaches. These tactics include neoadjuvant chemotherapy and prehabilitation prior to surgical resection. The novel protocols of his research reduce complications, enhance recovery and decrease anastomotic leaks.
  • Connecting cancer subtype with clinical behavior. Dr. Cliby's team, along with experts in radiology and molecular genetics, study key clinical characteristics of specific molecular subtypes of ovarian cancer. This work leads to improvements in targeting patients with the most aggressive form of disease.
  • Frailty and sarcopenia in ovarian cancer. Dr. Cliby's team has identified the phenomenon of frailty and malnutrition associated with poor outcomes in ovarian cancer. A mentee of Dr. Cliby's, Amanika Kumar, M.D., continues to pioneer this research. A pilot trial is currently ongoing to investigate ways to improve surgical outcomes and the quality of life during and after the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Significance to patient care

Dr. Cliby's research has a direct and lasting impact on patient care. The work that his research team has conducted over the last decade has resulted in showing the value of cytoreductive or debulking surgery for ovarian cancer.

Dr. Cliby's research influences other centers internationally. Additionally, his team's research has dramatically lowered the rates of serious complications in ovarian cancer. He has discovered a tailored, validated approach to the initial therapy for ovarian cancer.

Professional highlights

  • Member, Obstetrics and Gynecology Review Committee, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, 2019-present.
  • Member, Gynecologic Oncology Division Committee, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2017-present.
  • Distinguished Clinician Award, Mayo Clinic, 2022.
  • President, Society of Pelvic Surgeons, 2019.
  • Program Director Recognition Award, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic, 2017.
  • Teacher of the Year Award, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2014, 2017.
  • Chair, Division of Gynecologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, 2008-2014.
  • Virgil S. Counseller, M.D., Professor of Surgery, Mayo Clinic, 2013.
  • Teacher of the Year Hall of Fame, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medicine Education, Mayo Clinic, 2008.


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
  2. Faculty Development Leader, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Joint Appointment

  1. Consultant, Department of Surgery

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology


  1. Research Fellowship - Laboratory of Dr. Stephen Friend
    DNA damage response pathways in cancer
    Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  2. Fellow - Gynecologic Oncology Mayo Clinic in Rochester
  3. Resident Gynecologic Oncology, Programs in Rochester, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  4. Resident - Obstetrics and Gynecology Duke University Medical Center, Duke University
  5. DM University of Vermont College of Medicine
  6. MD University of Vermont College of Medicine
  7. BS - Biology and Economics St. Lawrence University

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