Dr. Taylor Ripley: Pleural Mesothelioma Specialist and Robotic Surgery Expert

Quick Summary

Dr. Taylor Ripley is the Director of Mesothelioma Treatment Center and an Associate Professor of Surgery at the Baylor College of Medicine. While he is there, he will endeavor to expand the Center's robotics program.

“My primary clinical focus is the on treatment of patients in the Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor College of Medicine. Additionally, I treat patients with all thoracic cancers including lung cancer, esophageal cancer, thymic cancers, and metastatic disease.” — Dr. Taylor Ripley

About Dr. Ripley

Dr. Ripley is the Director of Mesothelioma Treatment Center at the Baylor Lung Institute. Here treats and operates on patients with pleural mesothelioma, as well as patients with lung and esophageal cancer.

In addition to being the Center’s Director, Dr. Ripley also joined the Baylor College of Medicine’s Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Division of General Thoracic Surgery as an associate professor of surgery. In this role, he will be able to teach and guide other surgeons who desire to treat individuals suffering from mesothelioma.

Offering the Latest in Mesothelioma Therapy

Dr. Ripley will also focus on turning the research conducted in the Center’s labs into clinical trials. This means that patients who are being treated at the Baylor College of Medicine will be at the forefront of new and innovate methods of cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Ripley was personally recruited by Dr. David Sugarbaker, who founded the Center and who led it until his death in August 2018. While he is leading the Center, Dr. Ripley intends to further its reputation for exceptional care and expand its focus on robotic surgery.

Dr. Ripley is a member of several professional organizations, including:

  • American Board of Surgery
  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery
  • MD State Medical License
  • TX State Medical License
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery Network

Dr. Ripley’s Location

Those interested in being treated by Dr. Ripley can reach him at:

Baylor Lung Institute
6620 Main Street
Suite 1325
Houston, TX 77030
(713) 798-6376

Career Highlights

Some of Dr. Ripley’s career highlights have included:

  • Worked as a thoracic surgeon and principal investigator for the National Cancer Institute
  • Trained under world-renowned surgeons at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Specializes in robotic surgery
  • Received the NCI Director’s Innovation Award for targeting specific p53-mutations for the treatment of esophageal adenocarcinoma
  • Started the Foregut Team at the NIH Clinical Center for the management of patients with esophageal cancer

Awards and Honors

Dr. Ripley is the recipient of the following awards and honors:

  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Dean’s Scholar
  • Dan May Scholarship: Basic science research grant
  • Albert J. McGuinn Award – Bachelor of Science with excellence in humanities and social sciences
  • NCI Director’s Innovation Award

Dr. Ripley’s Background

Dr. Ripley received his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Boston College in 2000 before heading to the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. There he completed his medical degree in 2004. Upon graduation, Dr. Ripley began his residency in general surgery at the University of Colorado.

Dr. Ripley then went to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for a surgical oncology fellowship. When his fellowship was finished he went back to the University of Colorado for a second residency; although this would not be the only time, he would spend at the NCI.

After his second residency, Dr. Ripley joined the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York as a Thoracic Tracked Fellow from 2012 to 2014. During his fellowship here, he studied under world-renowned surgeons about caring for patients with mesothelioma. Once his fellowship was finished, Dr. Ripley returned to the NCI—this time as a thoracic surgeon and principal investigator.

“I’ll never forget the seven years at the NCI. Could not have been more intellectually challenging.” — Dr. Taylor Ripley

Medical Specializations

Dr. Ripley focuses on treating pleural mesothelioma using robotic surgery.

Robotic surgery is a minimally invasive surgery or a type of surgery that uses small cuts to operate. In robotic surgery, the surgeon operates by watching a high-definition screen and using controls to move a robot’s arms. Because the incisions do not have to be as large for robotic surgery, a patient’s recovery time is shorter, and the scars will be smaller and less visible.

“I utilize robotic surgery to minimize the size of surgical incisions whenever feasible.” — Dr. Taylor Ripley

Another one of Dr. Ripley’s specializations is Dynamic BH3 Profiling—a technique that can be used to check whether or not a cell is ready to die through apoptosis. Apoptosis is a normal part of a cell’s life cycle, and it prevents cells from becoming cancerous. BH3 profiling can help doctors and researchers determine whether or not have enough of specific proteins to activate the cell death.

Dr. Ripley’s Career Accomplishments

Dr. Ripley is a highly respected thoracic and cardiac surgeon. He has been using robotic surgery to treat patients with pleural mesothelioma for more than ten years. Before coming to Baylor, Dr. Ripley worked at the NCI where he was awarded the NCI Director’s Innovation Award for his research into specific p53-mutations and how these mutations can be used to treat esophageal adenocarcinoma.

Additionally, while he was working at the NCI, he started the Foregut Team, which focuses on treating patients with cancers in their foregut, which includes the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver and bile ducts.

Dr. Ripley’s Healing Philosophy

Dr. Ripley believes that it is essential to work within a multidisciplinary system, which means that patients who are treated by Dr. Ripley will also see other specialists who work in other fields such as radiation.

“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.” — Dr. Taylor Ripley

If you’ve been diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma and are interested in working with Dr. Ripley, contact our Patient Advocates today at (800) 584-4151. Or, find the right pleural mesothelioma specialist for you using our FREE Doctor Match Program.

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Sources
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  2. U.S. Health News. "Dr. R. Taylor Ripley." Retrieved from: https://health.usnews.com/doctors/r-taylor-ripley-581814. Accessed September 28, 2018.
  3. Doximity. "R. Taylor Ripley, MD" Retrieved from: https://www.doximity.com/cv/robert-ripley-md-slash-3. Accessed September 28, 2018.
  4. CTS Net. "R. Taylor Ripley, M.D." Retrieved from: https://www.ctsnet.org/home/rtripley. Accessed September 28, 2018.
  5. Twitter. "R. Taylor Ripley." Retrieved from: https://twitter.com/RTaylorRipley. Accessed September 28, 2018.
  6. Taylor Ripley, R., Surman, D. R., Diggs, L. P., Trepel, J. B., Lee, M.-J., Ryan, J., … Schrump, D. S. (2018). Metabolomic and BH3 profiling of esophageal cancers: novel assessment methods for precision therapy. BMC Gastroenterology, 18, 94. Retrieved from: http://doi.org/10.1186/s12876-018-0823-x. Accessed September 28, 2018.
  7. Robotic Surgery Center. "What is Robotic Surgery?" Retrieved from: https://med.nyu.edu/robotic-surgery/physicians/what-robotic-surgery. Accessed September 28, 2018.

Last modified: October 9, 2018