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Darren R. Carpizo, M.D., Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Appointment: (585) 275-1611

URMFGA member of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group

groupAn Accountable Health Partner

assignmentAccepting New Patients

Research Labs

Faculty Appointments

Patient Care Setting



“My goal is to educate my patients about their cancer and help them make the best choice for themselves and their family on how it should be treated. I provide the same level of care that I would give to any member of my family.”

Areas of Expertise

• Liver cancer
• Pancreatic cancer
• Gallbladder and Bile duct cancer
• Metastatic colon cancer to the liver
• Gastric cancer
• Gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors

I chose this field to treat hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancer because they are aggressive cancers that require a high degree of complex multidisciplinary oncologic management. This is challenging, but can also be very rewarding. I wanted to apply myself to this field not only to try to help patients afflicted with these cancers, but to also move the field forward through research.

In addition, I chose the field of liver surgery for several reasons. For one, I am fascinated by the liver. It is one of the most complex organs in the body both structurally and functionally and is essential for life. It is one of the most common places that cancers spread to as they progress and, it is the only organ capable of regeneration. As a surgeon, I can use this to my advantage when performing liver surgery as we have techniques to grow more liver when it is necessary to remove a very large part to treat a cancer.

Patients and providers alike can be confident knowing I have devoted the greater part of my career to the study of cancer and the treatment of it. This is due to the strong empathy I have for cancer patients and my intense passion for cancer research. I also have a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology and have been performing cancer research for over 20 years. I am intensely curious, which drives my desire to understand what we do not know. My curiosity is also fueled by experiences in patient care, resulting in new clinical trials that I lead as well as research conducted by my laboratory.


Gastrointestinal cancers such as pancreatic, bile duct and liver cancers are plagued by ineffective systemic therapies underscoring the tremendous unmet need for novel therapies. The Carpizo Laboratory studies cancer biology with an emphasis on developmental therapeutics. Our studies range from early drug discovery projects to translational studies of novel therapies that are about to enter or just have entered into clinical trials. These translational studies employ a variety of experimental systems including mouse cancer models, patient derived tissues as well as therapeutic clinical protocols.

Another major avenue of research in the Carpizo lab is the study of cancer metastasis and dormancy. Most solid organ cancers (i.e. breast, lung, pancreas) are treated with surgery when it appears that the disease has not spread to distant organs. This is highly effective (curative) for a number of tumor types such as breast, prostate, and thyroid cancer. However, for a number of gastrointestinal cancers such as pancreas, liver and bile duct cancer, surgery is relatively ineffective as the majority of these patients go on to suffer metastatic recurrence. This means that at the time of the surgery, they harbor disseminated tumor cells in their bodies that for a period of time after surgery remain dormant. We want to understand what the molecular mechanisms that control cancer dormancy are, what awakens these cells and how can we devise therapies that either maintain the dormant state, or drive the cells into senescence.



  • Surgery (General Surgery) - American Board of Surgery


MD | University of Illinois College of Medicine (USA)

PHD | University of California Los Angeles Medical Center
Pathology, Medical Microbiology

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

07/01/2006 - 06/30/2008
Fellowship in Surgical Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

07/01/1997 - 06/30/1998
Internship in Surgery (General Surgery) at Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA Medical Center


Elected Membership
Sponsor: Surgical Biology Club II

Elected Membership
Sponsor: Society of University Surgeons

Harrington Scholar Innovator Award
Sponsor: Harrington Discovery Institute

Most Outstanding Faculty Basic Science Research Paper
Sponsor: Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson University Medical School Deans Awar

Sidney Kimmel Scholar Award
Sponsor: Sidney Kimmel Cancer Research Foundation

Scientific Day Research Award
Sponsor: UCLA Longmire

Scientific Day Research Award
Sponsor: UCLA Longmire

Scholar in Training Award
Sponsor: American Association for Cancer Research

Resident Teaching Award
Sponsor: UCLA Department of Surgery

Scholar in Training Award
Sponsor: American Association for Cancer Research

Postdoctoral Investigators
Sponsor: Giannini Family Foundation Medical Research Fellowship Award

Scholar in Training Award
Sponsor: American Association for Cancer Research

Medical Honor Society
Sponsor: Alpha Omega Alpha

Student Abstract Prize
Sponsor: AGA Foundation

Student Research Award
Sponsor: American Gastroenterological Association (AGA)

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Journal Articles

Ghaddar B, Biswas A, Harris C, Omary MB, Carpizo DR, Blaser MJ, De S. "Tumor microbiome links cellular programs and immunity in pancreatic cancer." Cancer cell.. 2022 Oct 10; 40(10):1240-1253.e5.

Melucci AD, Chacon AC, Burchard PR, Tsagkalidis V, Casabianca AS, Goyal S, Switchenko JM, Kooby DA, Staley CA, Carpizo DR, Shah MM. "The Impact of Carbohydrate Antigen 19-9 on Survival in Patients with Clinical Stage I and II Pancreatic Cancer." Annals of surgical oncology.. 2022 Sep 19; Epub 2022 Sep 19.

Melucci AD, Carpizo DR, Shah MM. "ASO Author Reflections: Pretreatment CA 19-9 Threshold of 98 U/mL is a Reasonable Cutoff for Prognostication of Clinical Stage I and II Pancreatic Cancer." Annals of surgical oncology.. 2022 Sep 10; Epub 2022 Sep 10.

Books & Chapters

Book Title: Precision Molecular Pathology of Liver Cancer
Author List: Greco SH, Spencer K, Carpizo DR
Edited By: Chen Liu
Published By: Springer Publishing 2018

Book Title: : Metastatic Liver Cancer in Gastrointestinal Oncology: A Critical Multidisciplinary Team Approach.
Author List: Fong Y, Carpizo D, Kemeny NE, Covey AM, Willet CG, Czito BG
Edited By: Janusz Jankowski, Richard Sampliner, David Kerr, Yuman Fong
Published By: Blackwell Publishing 2008

Chapter Title: Brooks: Re-operative Breast Surgery
Book Title: Handbook of Re-operative General Surgery
Author List: Chang H, Carpizo, DR
Published By: Blackwell Publishing, Inc. 2004 in Malden, MA