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U-M CCC - Progress Newsletter Spring 2004 Online

Cancer Center People

Stephen B. Gruber, M.D.,Ph.D., assistant professor of internal medicine and epidemiology, director of Human Genetics for the Cancer Genetics Program and director of the Cancer Genetics Clinic has been selected to co-direct the Biomedical Prevention Program at the Cancer Center, along with Dean Brenner, M.D., professor of internal medicine. The program spans population epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, quantitative sciences, preclinical and clinical cancer prevention, nutrition sciences, screening and early detection.

Gruber, a genetic epidemiologist, earned a Ph.D. from Yale University and an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. After a fellowship in medical oncology at Johns Hopkins University, he joined the U-M Cancer Center in 1999. His clinical interests focus on cancer genetics, genetic testing, screening and prevention, specializing in colorectal cancer and melanoma. His research interests include the genetic epidemiology of solid tumors, the genetic predisposition to cancer among Ashkenazi Jews, and the relationships between environmental risk factors and genetic predisposition to cancer.

Theodore S. Lawrence, M.D., Ph.D., Isadore Lampe Professor and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology, has been appointed to the Clinical Trials Working Group of the National Cancer Advisory Board. The group’s mission is to improve the National Cancer Institute's (NCI)’s national clinical trial effort. In addition, Lawrence has also been asked to serve on the NCI’s Board of Scientific Counselors. Reporting directly to NCI director Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D., this group is responsible for overseeing intramural program activities at the NCI.

Lawrence received his doctoral degree from Rockefeller University and his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College, joining the faculty of the U-M Medical School in 1987. In addition to heading the Department of Radiation Oncology, Lawrence is President of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, the largest radiation oncology society in the world. His research focuses on gene therapy and the development of chemotherapeutic and molecularly targeted agents used as radiosensitizers.

Sofia Merajver, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of internal medicine has been named research director of the U-M Cancer Center’s Breast Oncology Program in partnership with co-director Daniel F. Hayes, M.D., clinical director of the program and professor of internal medicine. The U-M Breast Oncology Program encompasses laboratory studies, clinical trials and clinical services directed toward evaluation of breast cancer risk, studies of screening and prevention, trials of new ideas and therapies in patients with established cancer, and research into quality-of-life factors.

Merajver received a doctoral degree in physics from the University of Maryland prior to earning her medical degree from the University of Michigan. She completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in oncology at Michigan before joining the faculty in 1994. An expert in breast cancer genetics, Merajver is the medical director of the Cancer Center’s Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk Evaluation Program. Her research interests include the molecular genetics of breast cancer, gene function and cancer risk assessment.

Shaomeng Wang, Ph.D., associate professor of internal medicine with a joint appointment in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, as well as in the Bioinformatics Program and Biophysics Research Division, will co-lead the Experimental Therapeutics Program at the U-M Cancer Center with William Ensminger, M.D., professor of internal medicine. This basic science program develops laboratory concepts that can be translated into clinical trials, and includes new drug discovery and development, cancer pharmacogenetics, cancer prevention, radiation physics and conformal radiotherapy, drug-radiation interactions, gene therapy and molecular imaging.

Wang earned his doctoral degree in chemistry from Case Western Reserve University in 1993, completed his postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute in 1996 and joined the Cancer Center in 2001. His research interests include the structure-based discovery, design, synthesis, evaluation and the development of novel small-molecule anticancer agents and development of new computational and bioinformatics databases and methods for drug discovery and design.

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