Bob Carter, M.D., Ph.D.

Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital
Harvard Medical School
William and Elizabeth Sweet Professor of Neurosurgery
Harvard Medical School
M.D.; Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 1992
brain tumors; exosomes; mortality outcomes in neurosurgery; neurologic cancer; neurosurgery; neurosurgical procedures

Our research has three major areas of focus: 

  • Exosomes/Extracellular Vesicles/Liquid Biopsy:  Our group has  helped to develop a new field of research, that of the study of exosomes and extracellular vesicles. Our research has show that brain tumors release nano sized vesicles into the blood stream, which can be used to track tumors and the response to therapy.  Our collaborative research group is now a leading group for the clinical study of exosomes in neurologic cancer, with important characterizations of exosomes/microvesicles in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma. This domain of research is viewed as increasingly important across a number of diseases as investigators seek to understand the potential role of microvesicles in cell-cell communication, as well as the potential for biomarker applications and therapeutics. We have active collaborations with neurology and neuroscience colleagues to further explore the potential role of exosomes in other disease states including neurodegenerative disorders. 
  • Cell and Gene Therapy:  Our laboratory has long been involved with efforts to genetically alter tissues to promote disease recovery.  Some important areas of focus include CAR-T cell therapy, gene delivery into the nervous system, and iPSC derived progenitor cell therapy for Parkinsons.
  • "Big Data" research:  As an outgrowth of my doctorate in Genetic Epidemiology, I have maintained a longstanding interest in neurosurgery outcomes research and ‘big data’ studies.We have initiated a big data working group that has developed the necessary programming expertise and cloud computing infrastructure to perform big data exploration of neurosurgery outcomes using large national and statewide databases.  Recently published or active studies from our group have explored factors that influence readmission after glioma and acoustic neuroma surgery, the utility of brain tumor resection in the elderly, longitudinal outcomes after clipping and coiling of aneurysms, the impact of surgeon specialization versus volume, and the impact of transfer to high volume centers on mortality outcomes in neurosurgery.
Publications Clinical Profile

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