Max S Wicha

Max Wicha, M.D.

Madeline and Sidney Forbes Professor of Oncology
Director, Forbes Institute for Cancer Discovery
Founding Director Emeritus, Rogel Cancer Center

Biography

Dr. Wicha received his M.D. degree from Stanford University School of Medicine in 1974, trained in Internal medicine at the University of Chicago and in Medical Oncology at the NIH. His scientific career has focused on the biology and treatment of breast cancer. He has been a major leader in the science of cancer stem cells. His group was part of the team that first identified breast cancer stem cells, the first such cells identified in solid tumors. His laboratory has identified a number of cancer stem cell markers and developed in vitro and mouse models to isolate and characterize these cells, models which have been widely utilized in the field. His group has subsequently elucidated a number of intrinsic and extrinsic pathways which regulate stem cell self-renewal and cell fate decisions. This work has directly led to development of several clinical trials aimed at targeting breast cancer stem cells. Dr. Wicha is also the founding director of the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, a position he held for 27 years. Under his leadership, the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center established itself as one of the nation’s premier cancer centers. In 2015, Dr. Wicha stepped down as the Cancer Center Director enabling him to devote his full efforts to cancer stem cell research. He now holds the Madeline and Sidney Forbes Professor of Oncology Chair, and serves as Director of the Forbes Institute for Cancer Discovery. He was also recently appointed by President Obama to the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB). This board advises the NCI Director and Secretary of Health on matters related to cancer research and health policy.

Research Interests

Cancer Stem Cells,Circulating Tumor Cells, and Cancer Vaccines