Dr. Riker is the Chief of Surgical Oncology at Louisiana State University’s Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC), Department of Surgery. He completed his general surgery residency at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois and also a 3-year fellowship in surgical oncology at the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Riker developed an immediate interest in the theory and clinical applications of human immunology and immunotherapy of cancer, which involves stimulating the body’s immune system to fight and eradicate a cancer. At the time, such concepts were not considered mainstream by many in the cancer research community, however, it has remained an active area of research for Dr. Riker in his clinical practice today.
During his time at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa he established a very large clinical practice focused on treating patients with breast cancer and melanoma, further publishing several seminal articles on the immunology and immunotherapy of cancer. He developed a gene signature for the identification of metastatic melanoma, resulting in both a U.S. and international patent. He then transitioned to the Mitchell Cancer Institute in Mobile, Alabama, where he served as Chief of Surgical Oncology until, after Katrina devastated New Orleans, he received a call from Ochsner Medical Center, where he was recruited to become the Medical Director of Cancer Services for the Ochsner Health System.
Most recently, he returned to New Orleans after leading a large Cancer Center in Chicago, the Advocate Cancer Institute, to serve as the new Chief of Surgical Oncology. He is a senior member of the LSUHSC Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center’s Clinical Trials and Cancer Research Program and is also assisting LCMC Health to develop a regional cancer program at the new University Medical Center (UMC).