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Bob S. Carter, MD, PhD

  • Chief, Neurosurgery Service


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Bob S. Carter, MD, PhD, is a board-certified neurosurgeon specializing in complex intracranial surgery including brain, pituitary, and skull base tumors, and brain aneurysms.



Centers & Specialties

Cancer Center

  • Neuro-Oncology (Brain)

Vascular Center

Clinical Interests
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Brain tumors
  • Cranial base surgery / Endoscopic skull base surgery
  • Meningiomas
  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Brain aneurysms
Medical Education
  • MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
Board Certifications
  • Neurological Surgery
Foreign Languages
  • French
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • AllWays Health (NHP) - ACD
  • AllWays Health (NHP) - PBO
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • BMC HealthNet Mass Health MCO/ACO
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Commonwealth Care Alliance
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - ACD
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • MassHealth
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • OSW - Rhode Island
  • OSW - Vermont
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
  • Well Sense Pediatrics

Note: This provider may accept more insurance plans than shown; please call the practice to find out if your plan is accepted.

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Bob S. Carter, MD, PhD, is a board-certified neurosurgeon specializing in complex intracranial surgery including brain, pituitary, and skull base tumors, and brain aneurysms.

Dr. Carter is the Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Mass General and Visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School. One of the nation’s leading clinical neurosurgeons, Dr. Carter co-leads Massachusetts General Hospital’s brain tumor program, which brings together over 100 faculty and staff focused on brain tumor clinical care, research and education.

As a prolific researcher, Dr. Carter's scientific work has included the development of the first reported EGFRvIII directed CAR T-cell therapy, and the first characterizations of exosomes in glioblastoma.  He is a principal investigator participating in the NIH-funded Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium. Dr. Carter leads a team of clinician scientists who have developed the role of “big data” in characterizing outcomes in oncologic and vascular neurosurgery.

 Dr. Carter is extensively published, and he lectures internationally on neurosurgery topics. He is an editorial board member for the Journal of Neurosurgery and editorial advisory board member for Neurosurgery.

Prior to joining Mass General, Dr. Carter served as Professor and Chair of Neurosurgery at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Consistently elected to America's Top Doctors®, Dr. Carter is a fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and a member of numerous medical organizations, including the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the American Academy of Neurological Surgery. He serves on the program committee for the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference and has served on the executive boards of the Joint Cerebrovascular Section and the New England Neurosurgical Society.

Research & Publications

Research Summary

View my most recent research

In 2008,  in collaboration with Xandra Breakefield and Johan Skog,  our group at MassGeneral showed for the first time that exosomes and extracellular vesicles could serve as a blood test for brain tumors,  a 'liquid biopsy' for diagnosing and measuring treatment response to brain tumors.  The original publication in Nature Cell Biology showed 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 and extracellular vesicles in cerebrospinal fluid and blood samples.  This domain of research is viewed as increasingly important across a number of diseases as investigators seek to understand the potential role of extracellular vesicles 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 Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s and brain trauma.  

Our research efforts have also focused on developing novel cell and gene based therapeutics for brain tumors, and other neurologic conditions.  Our laboratory constructed the first anti-VEGFR and anti-EGFRvIII CAR T-cell receptors.  Dr. Carter has served as PI on a national trial of flourescence guided resection of gliomas and other clinical trials designed to deliver novel biologic agents at the time of brain tumor surgery. 



View my most recent publications at PubMed

News & Events


  • Vision of Hope: A Meningioma Survivor Story

    Scott, a father of five, discovered he had a rare and life-threatening brain tumor just over a year ago. Mass General’s revolutionary care, led by Dr. Bob Carter, Chief of Neurosurgery, helped Scott and his family get back to the life they love.


Neurosurgery, MGH
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696
Phone: 617-726-8581

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