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New Surgical Oncology Chief Brings Expertise as Surgeon-Scientist

Friday, April 17, 2020

Darren Carpizo, M.D., Ph.D., joined UR Medicine on March 1 as the new Chief of Surgical Oncology and Professor of Surgery and Oncology. He will also serve as Vice-Chair of Basic/Translational Research in the Department of Surgery and as the co-leader of the Hallmarks of Cancer research program at Wilmot Cancer Institute. The University Trustees are expected to approve his appointment shortly.

An expert in hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery, Carpizo served on the faculty at Rutgers-Cancer Institute of New Jersey since 2008 where he served as the section chief of gastrointestinal surgical oncology and leader of the hepatobiliary oncology program. He treats cancers of the liver, bile duct and pancreas, as well as gastric and colorectal cancers, metastatic colon cancer to the liver, and gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors.

"These are aggressive cancers that require a high degree of complex, multidisciplinary oncologic management," Carpizo says. "This is challenging, but also can be very rewarding. I wanted to apply myself to this field not only to try to help the patients afflicted with these cancers, but also to move the field forward through research."

Carpizo's research includes a focus on p53, the most commonly mutated gene in cancer. He is working to develop targeted drugs called zinc metallochaperones that can restore p53's function as a tumor suppressor gene. Carpizo is also studying cancer cell dormancy and its role in enabling metastasis in pancreatic cancer.

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