In light of Dr. Sugarbaker’s passing, the Baylor College of Medicine has brought on Dr. Taylor Ripley as the director of the Mesothelioma Treatment Center and as a new associate professor of surgery.
Dr. Ripley will be working out of the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Division of General Thoracic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine as an associate professor of surgery, the Lung Institute’s Mesothelioma Treatment Center and the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center as a mesothelioma expert.
Expertise in Minimally Invasive Surgeries
Dr. Ripley’s specific area of expertise is in robotic surgery. The Baylor College of Medicine is looking forward to being able to expand their robotics program under his leadership. Some of the benefits of minimally invasive procedures, such as robotic surgery, are that patients can recover faster with less visible scars because the method only requires small cuts to be made to let the instruments through.
“His focus on mesothelioma and thoracic oncology extends back over ten years, and combined with his specialty in robotic surgery, Dr. Ripley will be able to focus on multidisciplinary management of patients with lung, esophageal, thymic, and other thoracic malignancies,” said Dr. Todd Rosengart, a professor and chair and DeBakey Bard Chair of Surgery in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor.
In his roles as director and associate professor, Dr. Ripley will see and treat patients with mesothelioma, lung and esophageal cancer, expand the mesothelioma and robotics programs, conduct general thoracic surgeries and perform clinical trials based off of the research that has been conducted in the labs.
“The Lung Institute and Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor are Centers of Excellence for diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. Dr. Ripley’s recruitment will add to and expand our expertise, thereby assuring that our patients receive unparalleled care,” added Dr. Kent Osborne, director of the NCI-designated Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor.
About Dr. Ripley
Dr. Ripley received his medical degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2004. After completing a series of residencies at the University of Colorado and fellowships at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center he returned to the NCI where he worked as a thoracic surgeon and principal investigator.
In this position, he studied Dynamic BH3 Profiling, which examines the proteins in cells to determine whether or not there are enough of specific proteins required for the cell to start to die. He also started the Foregut Team at the NIH Clinical Center, which helps treat and manage patients with cancers of the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver and bile ducts. And he received the NCI Director’s Innovation Award for his research into p53-mutations.
Dr. Ripley’s Role at Baylor
Dr. Ripley, who was hand-chosen by Dr. Sugarbaker, has worked and studied mesothelioma extensively over his career, including training extensively under world-renowned surgeons in patient care practices for individuals with mesothelioma.
While at the Baylor Medical Center, Dr. Ripley will work alongside other experts in robotic treatments, as well as radiologists and oncologists to provide patients with the best form of multidisciplinary care possible.
“I see an exciting opportunity to contribute to the multidisciplinary approach to patients with mesothelioma as well as all thoracic cancers at Baylor and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, and I look forward to working with teams from across the Lung Institute, Dan L Duncan Cancer Comprehensive Center and Department of Surgery to offer more services to our patients,” said Dr. Ripley.