Ted A. James, MD, MHCM, FACS

Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School


Chief, Breast Surgical Oncology, BIDMC
Co-Director, BIDMC BreastCare Center
Surgery Vice Chair, Academic Affairs

Research Group

Amulya Alapati, MD Sayuri P Jinadasa, MD
Leo Magrini
Luis Riba, MD
Teresa Russell
Promise Ukandu

Research Focus

  • Our breast cancer surgery outcomes research program is focused on assessing the effectiveness, quality, and value of specific care practices and interventions in the surgical management of breast cancer. The goal is to derive best practices, determine optimal processes, and improve quality of care in the management of patients with breast cancer. The program integrates health services research, including the use of large internal and national cancer databases, to critically appraise clinical results and patient reported outcomes.
  • Outcomes include traditional clinical metrics in breast cancer (e.g. survival, complications, local recurrence), as well as patient well-being, satisfaction, functional status, and impact on the healthcare system. The results then “translate” into practice and policy by working with clinicians, professional societies, patients, payers, and purchasers of healthcare.
  • Outcomes research seeks to understand the end results of particular health care practices and interventions. By linking the care people get to the outcomes they experience, outcomes research has become the key to developing better ways to monitor and improve the quality of care.

Accomplishments 2016-2017

  • National Cancer Database research awards
  • Invited podium presentations at multiple national surgical research meetings
  • Peer-reviewed publications in surgical journals

Teaching, Training, and Education

  • Our research fellow completed a Master of Science in Epidemiology Degree Program, a 42.5 credit program with the goal of training clinicians with the quantitative skills needed for a clinical research career. Research training is provided through a series of required and elective courses. In addition, students in this program are required to complete a research thesis under the joint supervision of a local research advisor and a member of the faculty of the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.
  • Our research team receives formal mentoring in the areas of clinical outcomes research, quantitative and qualitative methods, designing high-level observational studies, assessing validity, working with clinical registries, managing and analyzing large datasets, mixed methods research, implementation science, manuscript preparation, grant writing skills, and academic career development.
  • Our Clinical Scholarship Program pairs all first-year categorical general surgery residents with a faculty research mentor who guides the residents throughout the year as they acquire the skills to develop and implement a clinical research project. The objectives of the Clinical Scholarship Program are to provide residents with a robust foundation for scholarship early in their training, increase their academic productivity, and enhance their opportunities to compete for national grants.

Selected Research Support

Translating research into practice: A regional collaborative to reduce disparities in breast cancer care. NIH; 2017-2022. Collaborating PI: Ted James

Selected Publications

Riba LA, Gruner RA, Fleishman A, James TA. Surgical risk factors for the delayed initiation of adjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer. Ann Surg Oncol 2018;25(7):1904-1911.
Kantor O, Sipsy LM, Yao K, James TA. A predictive model for axillary node pathologic complete response after neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. Ann Surg Oncol 2018;25(5):1304-1311.

Trentham-Dietz A, Ergun MA, Alagoz O, Stout NK, Gangnon RE, Hampton JM, Dittus K, James TA, Vacek PM, Herschorn SD, Burnside ES, Tosteson ANA, Weaver DL, Sprague BL. Comparative effectiveness of incorporating a hypothetical DCIS prognostic marker into breast cancer screening. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2018 Feb;168(1):229-239.

Kapoor T, Wrenn S, Callas P, James TA. Analysis of patient-detected breast cancer recurrence. Breast Dis 2017;37(2):77-82.

Ajmani GS, James TA, Kantor O, Wang CH, Yao KA. The impact of facility volume on rates of pathologic complete response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy used in breast cancer. Ann Surg Oncol 2017;24(11):3157-3166.

James TA. The impact of financial barriers on access to quality care in breast cancer.  Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons 2017;102(10):72.