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A LEADING BREAST CANCER EXPERT TO HEAD U-M DEPARTMENT OF INTERNAL MEDICINE

ANN ARBOR, MI - The University of Michigan Medical School has appointed noted breast cancer specialist Marc E. Lippman, M.D., to chair its Department of Internal Medicine, pending the approval of the U-M Board of Regents. His appointment will be effective February 1, 2001.

Lippman will head one of the Medical School's biggest departments, made up of 13 divisions and accounting for a sizable portion of the school's faculty, clinical visits, medical curriculum and research grants. As chair, he will also hold the title of John G. Searle Professor of Medicine.

"Dr. Lippman has a distinguished track record as a physician-scientist in the field of oncology. He brings a wealth of experience in leading academic programs and translating research findings into important patient care advances," says Allen Lichter, M.D., dean of the Medical School. "We are fortunate and delighted to have him taking this critical leadership role in our largest department."

Lichter adds, "We are grateful for Larry McMahon's hard work in effectively leading the department during the search process. We wish him the best as he plans the transition with Marc and returns full-time to leading the General Medicine division and co-directing the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program."

Lippman comes to the U-M from Georgetown University Medical Center, where he heads the Vincent T. Lombardi Cancer Research Center and chairs its Department of Oncology. He is also a professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Hematology-Oncology at the Georgetown Medical School.

"We welcome Dr. Lippman to our Health System and to this key position that encompasses all three of our missions: clinical care, research and education," says Gilbert S. Omenn, executive vice president for medical affairs. "His international renown in both breast cancer biology and cancer care will further enhance our institution's reputation for bringing the fruits of research to the bedside."

Before arriving at Georgetown in 1988, Lippman headed the Medical Breast Cancer Section of the Medicine Branch of the National Cancer Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health.

He first came to NCI as a research fellow, following residency training at Johns Hopkins University. He earned his medical degree in 1968 from Yale University, where he was named to Alpha Omega Alpha. He graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University in 1964.

Lippman is widely regarded as a preeminent authority on breast cancer, whose contributions from laboratory research have made the transition to clinical use. His research specialty has been the basic biology of breast tumors. He established the first cell culture models for studying estrogen action; these human breast cancer cell lines were used to better understand the molecular mechanisms by which estrogens alter gene transcription and result in progression of breast cancer.

His work established the critical role of growth factors in the many pathways that regulate tissue and blood vessel growth in breast cancer. Lippman's laboratory was one of the first to characterize the effect of tamoxifen on cultured breast cancer cell lines, and to show some of the autocrine and paracrine factors that stimulate breast cancer cell growth. In an extensive series of studies, he worked to characterize and purify these factors, and designed anti-tumor therapies based on these principles. The results have been important not only for breast cancer, but also for other cancers of hormone-dependent tissues.

"I have known Marc for more than 20 years, as we've worked closely on both breast cancer issues and the development of his cancer center," says Max Wicha, M.D., head of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center and a member of the Lombardi Center's board. "He's clearly one of the top breast cancer specialists in the world. And, he has a great appreciation for fundamental research and its application in the clinic, which will help him guide and build Internal Medicine's research program even further."

The Lombardi center and the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center are two of the nation's 37 NIH-designated comprehensive cancer centers, combining research and education with advanced clinical care, prevention activities and community outreach.

Lippman has received many awards throughout his career, including the Clinical Investigator Prize of the American Federation for Clinical Research, the Rosenthal Award of the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Cancer Society Lectureship awarded by the American Society for Clinical Oncology, the Astwood Prize of the Endocrine Society, and the Brinker International Prize for Basic Research in Breast Cancer.

In addition, he has authored one of the standard texts on breast cancer, as well as nearly 20 other volumes and more than 500 research papers. He has successfully led clinical trials of every size and for every stage of breast cancer patients, and has directed several patient care programs.

A fellow of the American College of Physicians, Lippman holds board certifications in endocrinology and metabolism, and in medical oncology.

 

 

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Please note: The articles listed in the Cancer Center's News Archive are here for historical purposes. The information and links may no longer be up-to-date.