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Dr. Darren Carpizo


About Dr. Darren Carpizo

Based in Rochester, New York, Dr. Darren Carpizo is a curious and engaged healthcare professional seeking to find new cancer therapies and stay on the cutting edge of cancer treatment in America. Professionally, Darren Carpizo is a Professor of Surgery and Oncology, Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology and Vice-Chair of Basic and Translational Research at the University of Rochester Medical Center. 

Prior to Rochester University, Darren held a position as a Professor of Surgery and Oncology & Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. It was while researching at Rutgers Cancer Institute that Dr. Darren Carpizo had a chance to work with a luminary in the field of cancer research, Arnold Levine, a molecular biologist. In 1979, Arnold Levine was responsible for discovering the gene P53, the most commonly mutated gene in cancer in humans. In 2012, he published a paper in a prestigious cancer research journal; the article was called Cancer Cell, and in it, he described the discovery of compounds – sometimes known as small molecules – that could restore the normal function of gene P53.

This discovery sent Darren Carpizo down a path to begin researching new drugs. He began leading a large research team – which he still leads today – to study these drugs and bring them to the clinic. The drugs, named metallochaperones, facilitate the transport of metal ions on an intracellular level to metalloenzymes and metalloproteins in cells through protein-protein interactions. Recently, Dr. Darren Carpizo founded z53 Therapeutics, a virtual startup company where he hopes to commercialize these metallochaperones as cancer drugs. Through z53, Darren has already filed eight patents. 

Dr. Darren Carpizo knew from his youth that he wanted to be a doctor, and as he grew and progressed through his education, he took every pathway he could to increase his knowledge and build his skill set. After graduating high school, Darren decided to attend Cornell University and study a unique major at the time, Biology of Society. Here, he learned the science of biology and how societal elements like politics and culture impact science. 

After graduating from Cornell with his degree in Biology, Darren Carpizo decided to go to medical school and was accepted into the University of Chicago. He got involved in a program exposing him and his fellow medical students to lab research. While working on researching a condition called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Darren found that he enjoyed research and knew what career path he wanted to follow. 

When he completed medical school, Dr. Darren Carpizo decided to pursue a career as a cancer surgeon and chose to complete his surgical residency at UCLA through a program designed to train academic surgeons. While at UCLA, Darren also earned his Ph.D. in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. He completed his surgical oncology fellowship at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and accepted a position with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Now, through his position at the University of Rochester Medical Center, he continues to work with cancer patients and develop novel cancer drugs.

Learn more about Dr. Darren Carpizo and biotechnology on his blog!