Robert Merritt, MD

The James Cancer Center
Robert Merritt

A physician, or doctor, is extensively trained to diagnose and treat complex medical problems. Often, physicians focus their practice on certain disease categories, treatment methods or patient types. Physicians can diagnose and treat illness, prescribe medication, offer medical consultation and advice, perform surgery and more.


  • Thoracic Surgery

Clinical Expertise

  • Thoracic Diseases
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures
  • Robotics
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted
  • Thoracotomy
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Esophageal Cancers
  • Esophageal Diseases
  • Mediastinal Diseases
  • Pleural Effusion
  • Emphysema
  • Pneumothorax
  • Lung Cancers
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung
  • Mesothelioma
  • Tracheal Diseases
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Barrett Esophagus
  • Carcinoid Tumor
  • Esophageal Achalasia
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux
  • Hernia, Hiatal
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Thymoma
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I'm a general thoracic surgeon with expertise in minimally invasive surgery in the treatment of lung and esophageal cancers. My clinical interests include primary lung carcinoma, esophageal carcinoma, thymic malignancies, primary tumors of the chest wall, tracheal tumors and secondary lung carcinoma.

I perform Robotic–assisted thoracic surgery procedures for the removal of lung tumors and tumors in the mediastinum. Robotic surgery provides a significant advantage over traditional thoracotomy incisions as it's minimally invasive and promotes rapid healing with fewer infections. Robotic Assisted lobectomy is becoming the operation of choice for early stage lung cancer.

My research interest involves tumor immunology. I have investigated the role of Ciplatin mediated upregulation of CD40 ligand in lung cancer cell lines. CD8 T cells contain the CD40 ligand receptor that promotes cancer cell apoptosis, or programmed death, after binding CD40 ligand. I also perform outcomes research to improve the results of surgical procedures for thoracic malignancies.

I was named to the Castle Connolly list of “Regional Top Doctors” from 2017-2018 and rated in the top 10 percent of physicians in the nation for patient satisfaction in 2015. I've published many studies in Nature Medicine, The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Thoracic Surgery Clinics, The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer and Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry.

Here at OSUCCC – James, we work together as a multidisciplinary team to improve patient care and outcomes while striving to find the cure for cancer. It's challenging and rewarding work, and we never stop trying.

Education and Background


  • Cornell University Medical College

    New York, NY


  • New York Presbyterian Hospital

    New York, NY


  • Cardio Thoracic Surgery

    Massachusetts General Hospital

    Boston, MA

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Surgery
  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery

Academic Department

  • Department of Surgery
  • Division of Thoracic Surgery

I see patients at

The James at Brain and Spine Hospital

300 West 10th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210


Consulting and Related Relationships

At The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, we support a faculty member’s research and consulting in collaboration with medical device, research and/or drug companies because a faculty member’s expertise can guide important advancements in the practice of medicine and improve patient care. In order to provide effective management of these relationships, the university requires annual disclosures from all faculty members with external interests related to their university responsibilities. As of 12/20/2018, Dr. Merritt has reported relationships with the companies or entities listed below. If you have questions about the relationships listed below, please ask the faculty member. If you have questions about how these relationships are monitored by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, please contact our Compliance Office.

  • Intuitive Surgical Inc.
  • C-SATS, Inc.
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