I am a U.S. board certified surgeon and formally trained surgical oncologist who has been engaged in the study of the immune response to cancer for the past two decades. My laboratory began in 1995 at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute when I was appointed as an assistant professor of surgical oncology at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Buffalo. The Carson laboratory moved to The Ohio State University in June of 1997.
I am currently a professor of surgery in Ohio State’s Department of Surgery and maintain a clinical practice in breast cancer and melanoma surgery at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC – James). I am the associate director for clinical research at the OSUCCC – James and the interim medical director of its clinical trials office. I am also currently the chair of the Ohio State Cancer Institutional Review Board. I was named to the Castle Connolly list of “Regional Top Doctors” from 2012-2019 and rated in the top 10 percent of physicians in the nation for patient satisfaction in 2017.
Clinically, I evaluate women with breast problems in my clinic at the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center and perform surgery on women with breast cancer at The James Cancer Hospital. I work closely with specialists in radiology, pathology, radiation oncology and medical oncology to provide integrated and innovative care to my patients. In addition to my surgical work, I develop phase one and two clinical trials for patients with advanced breast cancer and melanoma based on my lab findings. I conduct these studies in collaboration with Drs. Jeter, Olencki and Kendra in the Division of Medical Oncology. These studies use immune-based treatments and targeted agents to destroy cancer cells in a more specific manner than standard chemotherapy.
I am the Ohio State institutional PI for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a group of 24 cancer centers that have joined together to develop guidelines for the care of cancer patients. I also serve on the NCCN Melanoma Guidelines Panel for Ohio State and am currently vice-chair of the SWOG Melanoma Committee for Translational Medicine. SWOG, formerly known as the Southwest Oncology Group, is an important cancer clinical trials cooperative group. In this role, I work to develop and implement novel correlative laboratory studies for investigational studies.
In my role as an immunotherapy translational leader in the Translational Therapeutics Program, I encourage and facilitate the development of novel immunotherapeutic clinical studies. I have a basic immunology laboratory and extensive experience in the design, conduct and analysis of clinical trials that employ strategies to harness the immune response to cancer.