Clinical & Research Programs

U-M Hematology Oncology Division, Dr. Pavan Reddy   U-M Hematology & Oncology Division Research   U-M Hematology Oncology Division, Dr. Moshe Talpaz

Our faculty are exploring exciting opportunities in a wide range of areas including disease prevention, genomic biomarker discovery and validation, blood and marrow transplantation, developing novel therapeutic treatments, improving outcomes, new drug development, quality of care, and patient-physician communication and decision making. Our division has received numerous awards and grants to support our research interests including NIH-K awards, NIH R01-awards, NCI- and NIH-sponsored Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grants, NCI Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) grant. Furthermore, we have also received awards and grants from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Young Investigator Awards, American Cancer Society Awards, the V Foundation for Cancer Research, American Association for Cancer Research, Damon Runyon Cancer Research, American Society for Blood & Marrow Transplantation, Department of Defense, and the American Society of Hematology.

For more information about our clinical and research programs outlined below, please visit the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Blood & Marrow Transplant (BMT)

The Adult Blood & Marrow Transplantation (BMT) Program is headed by Pavan Reddy, MD, the Moshe D. Talpaz Professor of Translational Oncology. He is also serving as the clinical director of Adult BMT. The BMT Program performs world class research, over 200 transplants per year, and nearly half a dozen bench-to-bedside clinical trials. Our researchers continue to maintain a prominent presence at national meetings, including the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Center for International BMT Research, the American Society of Hematology, and the BMT Clinical Trials Network. The Program has piloted an Ambulatory Treatment Center (ATC) which concentrated care of early post-transplant for autologous patients through day 30 and through day 100 for allogeneic patients. This has impacted outcomes with a reduction in readmission rate.

 Blood & Marrow Transplant Faculty

  • John Magenau, MD, specializes in stem cell transplantation and conducts clinical research in the treatment of complications and prevention of relapse after BMT.
  • Brian Parkin, MD, specializes in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and bone marrow transplantation. He conducts laboratory research focusing on genomic biomarker discovery and validation as well as determining the mechanisms of therapy resistance and relapse of AML before and after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
  • Attaphol Pawarode, MD, specializes in stem cell transplantation and conducts clinical research in BMT for lymphoid diseases.
  • Pavan Reddy, MD, Frances and Victor Ginsberg Professor of Hematology/Oncology, specializes in stem cell transplantation and conducts translational and laboratory research focused on blood and marrow transplantation, specifically in GVHD and graft-versus-leukemia (GVL).
  • Mary Mansour Riwes, DO, specializes in stem cell transplantation and conducts clinical research in leukemia and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Breast and Gynecologic Oncology

We have thirteen faculty dedicated to women’s cancers in the Division of Hematology and Oncology focusing on breast cancer and gynecologic oncology. Academic interests span the spectrum of disease, including risk and prevention, adjuvant systemic therapy, new drug development, tumor biomarker generation and evaluation, quality of life studies, and health sciences research.

Breast and Gynecologic Oncology Faculty

  • Monika Burness, MD, is investigating novel therapies to improve treatment options for breast cancer. She treats patients in the Breast Cancer Clinic.
  • Erin Cobain, MD, is interested in the clinical application of nextgeneration sequencing in oncology, and the development and clinical validation of novel tumor biomarkers in breast cancer. She sees patients in the Breast Cancer Clinic.
  • Jennifer Griggs, MD, MPH, FASCO, FACP, treats patients in the Breast Cancer Clinic. Her health services research program addresses quality of care and patient-physician communication and decision making.
  • Daniel Hayes, MD, FASCO, FACP, Stuart B. Padnos Professor of Breast Cancer Research, is codirector of the UMCCC Breast Oncology Program. He conducts clinical and translational research to discover tumor markers and develop therapeutic treatments for patients with breast cancer. He is currently serving a three-year term as ASCO president (2015-2018). 
  • Sofia Merajver, MD, PhD, researches the molecular genetics of breast cancer, experimental therapeutics against aggressive forms of cancer, metabolism, and cancer risk assessment. She is also the codirector of the UMCCC Breast Oncology Program and director of the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk and Evaluation Program. She is involved in global cancer health programs in Ghana, Ethiopia, and other regions.
  • Aki Morikawa, MD, PhD, has a research interest in metastatic breast cancer, focusing on brain and leptomeningeal metastases. She is treating breast cancer patients.
  • James Rae, PhD, Thomas H. Simpson Collegiate Professor of Cancer Research, is a scientist whose lab focuses on drug metabolism, pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics, and biomarker identification and characterization, particularly as they apply to the prediction of breast cancer treatment response.
  • Anne Schott, MD, treats patients with all stages of breast cancer, with a focus on metastatic breast cancer. She is also the Deputy Chair of SWOG, a federally funded international cancer clinical trials organization. Her research aims to identify more effective therapies for patients with breast cancer.
  • Jeffrey Smerage, MD, PhD, is Chief Medical Information Officer in the UMCCC. He specializes in the care of breast cancer patients and conducts clinical research in the areas of tumor markers and developmental therapeutics.
  • Catherine Van Poznak, MD, treats patients in the Breast Cancer Clinic. Her research focuses on breast cancer and its relationship to bone including osteoporosis, biomarker identification, and bone metastases.
  • Max Wicha, MD, Madeline and Sidney Forbes Professor of Oncology, is the founding director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Wicha’s group was part of the team that first identified cancer stem cells in human breast cancers, the first in any solid tumor. His laboratory has developed many of the techniques and assays used to study these cells and to elucidate the pathways which regulate their behavior.

Drug & Technology Development

Our program faculty are working on drug discovery, and innovations in disease detection and monitoring.

Drug & Technology Development Faculty

  • Muneesh Tewari, MD, PhD, Ray and Ruth Anderson-Laurence M. Sprague Memorial Research Professor, holds a secondary appointment with the Department of Biomedical Engineering and is also a member of the Biointerfaces Institute and Center for Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics (CCMB). Dr. Tewari’s laboratory is best known for its discoveries in the biology of extracellular m-croRNAs. His groundbreaking research bridges disciplines including molecular biology, clinical oncology, bioengineering and computer science. His team is focused on reducing cancer mortality by developing a next generation of biomarker approaches to enable earlier detection of cancer, more effective use of new therapies such as immunotherapy, and improved non-invasive methods for long-term follow-up and care of cancer survivors. They are accomplishing this by bringing together concepts and approaches from molecular oncology, engineering, and information technology, to enable cancer detection and monitoring to be done non-invasively at home, in an internet-connected way over extended periods of time. Dr. Tewari received a $3.3 million U01 grant from the NIH Extracellular RNA Communication Program to characterize extracellular RNA in body fluids from healthy individuals using next generation sequencing methods. The purpose of this five-year project is to discover the universe of extracellular RNAs present in healthy people, as well as to study the absorption of RNA ingested in food into the circulation of healthy individuals. Co-Investigators on the study include Drs. Hui Jiang, Saravana Dhanasekaran, and Arul Chinnaiyan at U-M, as well as Drs. Florian Hladik, Johanna Lampe, and Julie McElrath at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA.
  • Shaomeng Wang, PhD, Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Medicine, runs a substantial laboratory on the NCRC campus conducting drug design, synthesis, and development of small-molecule therapeutics for the treatment of human cancers. The lab has developed a number of computational methods and tools for drug design, which include the PDBbind database, X-Score and M-Score scoring methods, and the Comprehensive Herbal Medicine Information System for Cancer, among others.

Endocrine Oncology

The Multidisciplinary Endocrine Oncology Clinic is one of only a few medical centers in the United States recognized as an international center of excellence for the treatment of adrenal cancer. It is also designated as a Michigan Medicine Destination Center.

Endocrine Oncology Faculty

  • Francis Worden, MD, collaborates with colleagues across the UMCCC to treat patients with endocrine cancers. He conducts clinic research directed at the development of novel therapeutic treatment options for patients with adrenal and head and neck cancers.

Experimental Therapeutics

This past year brought many changes to the Phase I program. There has been a significant increase in patients being referred to open slots in accruing Phase I clinical trials.

Experimental Therapeutics Faculty

  • Rashmi Chugh, MD, is actively engaged in clinical trials in connective tissue oncology and experimental therapeutics.
  • Tycel Phillips, MD, is conducting experimental therapeutics with a focus on hematologic malignancies.
  • Bryan Schneider, MD, has a strong background in clinical and translational studies with interests in the area of diagnosis and novel treatment for lung cancer.
  • David Smith, MD, is a physician investigator conducting experimental therapeutics in addition to his other clinical and leadership responsibilities.
  • Moshe Talpaz, MD, is a clinical investigator conducting experimental therapeutics in addition to his other clinical and leadership responsibilities.

Gastrointestinal (GI) Oncology

Seven division faculty clinicians and researchers, working with colleagues across other disciplines, are part of the Gastrointestinal (GI) Oncology Program. The program is focused on the care and treatment of patients with colorectal, pancreatic, gastric, and liver malignancies.

The research program is just as collaborative as the clinical program. It includes more than 40 researchers from 18 departments who have made significant strides in researching GI cancers.

Their goal has been focused upon what biologic, genetic, and/or molecular processes have to take place to give rise to the development of GI cancer.

In 2010, the program received a Gastrointestinal Oncology Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant from NIH. The overall goal of this SPORE is to reduce mortality associated with GI cancers, specifically colorectal and pancreatic cancers. This goal will be achieved through identifying and developing interventions to modify molecular based common cancer-associated carcinogenesis and cancer progression processes and linking them to human investigations.

GI Oncology Faculty

  • Dean Brenner, MD, Kutsche Memorial Chair of Internal Medicine, specializes in GI oncology and cancer prevention. He is the principal investigator of a NCI-sponsored GI SPORE, as well as a NCI Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) grant.
  • Grace Chen, MD, PhD, conducts laboratory research investigating the role of the immune system and gut bacteria in colon cancer development, and also specializes in the treatment of patients with GI malignancies.
  • John Krauss, MD, is the Medical Director of the Multidisciplinary Colorectal Cancer Clinic and Medical Director of Canton and Northville Infusion Services. He is leading a clinical trial that is working towards non-operative management of rectal cancers. He is the University of Michigan lead investigator on several experimental drug trials targeting colorectal cancer. He is working to improve communication through improving the use of electronic heath records.
  • Oxana Crysler, MD, MHS, is interested in cancer immunotherapy with a focus on early drug development. She focuses her practice on patients with GI malignancies.
  • Vaibhav Sahai, MD, MS, focuses on patients with GI cancers. His research focus lies in experimental therapeutics in pancreatic and biliary tract cancer via a molecularbiology based approach in the laboratory with the aim to perform clinical and translational research.
  • Christine Veenstra, MD, specializes in patients with GI malignancies. Her research is focused on identifying factors that impact the quality of colorectal cancer care, and on developing interventions to improve the receipt of high quality care.
  • Mark Zalupski, MD, is interested and active in clinical research across gastrointestinal malignancies, including investigational and multidisciplinary approaches. He serves a PI of the U-M LAPS grant supporting NCTN clinical research within the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is a senior clinical leader in the GI Clinic.

Genitourinary (GU) Oncology

The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMCCC) has a NIH SPORE for Prostate Cancer which provides research support for a substantial amount of translational research conducted by faculty from multiple disciplines: Urology, Surgery, Radiation Oncology, and Pathology.

GU Oncology Faculty

  • Ajjai Alva, MD, treats patients and conducts clinical research focused on genitourinary (GU) oncology, including prostate, bladder, and kidney cancers. His ongoing clinical research centers on cancer immunotherapy including exploring combinations with chemotherapy and on precision medicine using genome sequencing. He serves on the NCCN Investigator Steering Committee.
  • Megan Caram, MD, conducts research investigating minimizing the harm done to patients with cancer-directed therapies and understanding the factors that guide treatment decisions. She is currently studying the variation in care of castration-resistant prostate cancer, including non-evidence-based use of therapies, and investigating the clinical and non-clinical factors that guide treatment decisions, including patients' access to care and provider effects on various treatment decisions.
  • Phillip Palmbos, MD, PhD, conducts research focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms driving bladder cancer formation using transgenic and PDX models as well as in vitro work. His clinical focus is GU malignancy. He primarily sees patients with bladder and prostate cancers. He is the recipient of funding from the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network.
  • Bruce Redman, DO, treats patients and conducts clinical research related to GU cancers and melanoma. His research is directed at the development of novel therapeutic treatment options for both GU cancers and melanoma.
  • David Smith, MD, treats patients with testicular, prostate and bladder cancer, and advanced solid tumors. His research interest is in novel therapeutics and clinical trial design. He is the PI of multiple clinical trials aimed at the development of new therapeutic options for patient with advanced solid tumors.

Head & Neck (H&N) and Thoracic Oncology

The UMCCC has a NIH SPORE for Head and Neck (H&N) cancer which strengthens the program by providing support for exciting new research projects.

Head and neck cancer researchers work closely with colleagues across other disciplines: otolaryngology, radiation oncology, and speech pathology.

Our thoracic oncology faculty focus on conducting research in close collaboration with colleagues in thoracic surgery, pulmonary, gastroenterology, radiology, and pathology.

Dr. Ramnath conducts a clinical research program at the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VAAAHS).

H&N and Thoracic Oncology Faculty

Hematology

The Hematologic Malignancies group have very active programs in clinical research and translational/basic research. Our group currently has eight non-therapeutic studies and 41 therapeutic studies open for hematologic malignancies, including SWOG and Phase I studies. We are particularly focused on opening more investigator-initiated studies, and currently have three that are active and five that are approved or pending. Several of our investigators (Drs. Phillips, Burke, Ye, Devata, and Wilcox) have submitted Letters of Intent for original clinical trial concepts. We also participate in numerous industry-sponsored clinical studies of cutting-edge combination therapies and molecularly targeted drugs. Our group has initiated multiple collaborative studies with University colleagues, as well as external collaborators. Our scientific efforts have led to five active NIH R01 awards.

Hematology Faculty

  • Asra Ahmed, MD, is a medical hematologist with a clinical focus on lymphoma, myeloma, and coagulation disorders. She also directs the second year medical student hematology sequence.
  • Dale Bixby, MD, PhD, specializes in clinical research to develop therapeutic trials for patients with advanced myeloid neoplasms, as well as bone marrow failure disorders. He also serves as associate program director of the fellowship program for the division and is the director of the inpatient hematology programs. Dr. Bixby currently serves as interim director of the bone marrow transplant and acute leukemia ambulatory care unit.
  • Paula Bockenstedt, MD, specializes in general hematology with emphasis in autoimmune hematologic disorders and disorders of hemostasis such as ITP, anti-phospholipid syndrome, thrombophilia, and hemophilia. Dr. Bockenstedt is the director of the Adult Coagulation Disorders Program and participates in multi-center studies of thrombosis, antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APLS), and congenital hemophilic disorders. Dr. Bockenstedt is actively participating in gene therapy clinical trials for hemophilia B.
  • Patrick Burke, MD, is focused on early phase clinical trials in acute leukemias and treats patients with hematologic malignancies.
  • Erica Campagnaro, MD, leads the Myeloma Disease Group where she focuses on clinical research to improve outcomes in patients with multiple myeloma.
  • Shannon Carty, MD, is the recipient of a K08 Award for her work in T cell biology and ASH Scholar Award for her research on T cell lymphomas. Dr. Carty’s practice focuses on patients with lymphomas.
  • Mark Chiang, MD, PhD, sees patients with hematologic malignancies. His research program is focused on leukemia, notch signaling, hox transcription factors, leukemia stem cells, and mouse modeling.
  • Craig Cole, MD, specializes in multiple myeloma and consultative general hematology. His research is focused on developing clinical trials for multiple myeloma.
  • Alice Cusick, MD, sees patients at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, focusing her practice on benign hematology and lymphoma.
  • Sumana Devata, MD, is interested in the development of therapeutic treatments for lymphoma.
  • Scott Gitlin, MD, treats patients with all types of malignant and non-malignant hematologic disorders. His laboratory research focuses on the role of viruses in oncogenesis and translation of this work to patients. Dr. Gitlin is also a leader in the development and evaluation of educational and career development training programs.
  • Mark Kaminski, MD, treats lymphoma patients and conducts clinical research focused on developing therapeutic trials for the treatment of lymphoma. He is internationally known for his work in radioimmunotherapy (RIT). Dr. Kaminski is the director of the Multidisciplinary Lymphoma Clinic.
  • Rami Khoriaty, MD, is pursuing research focused on understanding the pathophysiology of congenital dyserythropoietic anemias and the process of erythropoiesis. He is also interested in the study of other congenital hematologic disorders. Dr. Khoriaty treats patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms.
  • Qing Li, MD, PhD, conducts research focused on signaling pathways in normal hematopoietic stem cells and leukemic stem cells. She treats patients with hematologic malignancies.
  • Sami Malek, MD, treats patients with leukemia. His laboratory focuses on genetics and biomarkers related tochronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and lymphoma and the identification of targeted therapeutic treatment options.
  • Sang Min, MD
  • Tycel Phillips, MD, treats patients with lymphoma. He conducts clinical research related to lymphomas and Phase I/II studies.
  • Albert Quiery, Jr., MD, is the director of General Hematology in the Cancer Center, and the Leader of Adult Hematology in the Cancer Center. His clinical focus is in the areas of immunohematology, hemoglobinopathies, hemostasis, and thrombosis. His academic interest is in bioethics and the medical humanities.
  • Samuel Silver, MD, PhD, FACP, FAHA, FASCO, specializes in bleeding disorders, platelet dysfunction, porphyria, myeloproliferative and myelodysplastic disorders, as well as quality of care. Dr. Silver also serves as Assistant Dean for Research, U-M Medical School.
  • Suman Sood, MD, treats patients and conducts research related to thrombosis, acquired hemophilia, biomarkers of venous thrombosis, novel anticoagulants, and bleeding disorders in women. She is the PI of a national cohort study of aging in hemophilia and has NIH funding to study novel anticoagulants for DVT.
  • Moshe Talpaz, MD, Alexander J. Trotman Professor of Leukemia Research, treats leukemia patients and conducts clinical research on hematologic malignancies, particularly leukemia, to develop novel therapeutic options for patients.
  • Ryan Wilcox, MD, PhD, treats patients with lymphomas. His research is focused on understanding T-cell lymphomas and the role of host immunity in lymphoproliferative disorders.
  • Christine (Jing) Ye, MD, MSc, is interested in translational research in malignant hematological diseases. She sees both malignant and benign hematology patients in the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center and Ann Arbor VA clinics.

Melanoma

The UMCCC Melanoma Multidisciplinary Clinic, designated as the NCI’s Midwest referral center, offers patients efficient and expedited care regardless of their disease stage. The Skin Cancer Program was the first Destination Center at Michigan Medicine. Our faculty work with colleagues across 15 departments to provide outstanding patient care and offer novel therapeutic treatments for patients with melanoma.

Melanoma Faculty

  • Leslie Fecher, MD, has a research and clinical focus on melanoma and other advanced cutaneous tumors.
  • Christopher Lao, MD, MPH, conducts experimental therapeutics related to melanoma chemoprevention and treats patients with melanoma.
  • Bruce Redman, DO, conducts clinical research related to kidney cancer and melanoma to develop novel therapeutic treatment options.

Sarcoma

The Division of Hematology and Oncology has a strong cadre of faculty devoted to sarcoma, who specialize in the care of patients with sarcomas as well as conducting clinical research to develop novel therapeutic treatment options.

The Sarcoma Survivorship Clinic was opened to address the unique medical and psychosocial needs of young adult and adult sarcoma survivors. This sarcoma survivorship program is a unique coordination of care between pediatric and adult sarcoma providers as well as across medical subspecialties. Our aim is to prevent morbidity/lethality of chronic medical conditions and to improve the quality of life in pediatric, adolescent, young adult, and older adult survivors.

Sarcoma Faculty

  • Laurence Baker, DO, Collegiate Professor of Cancer Developmental Therapeutics, is primarily interested in translational and clinical research, and collaborative clinical trials. He established the first sarcoma survivorship program at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center for patients with soft tissue and bone sarcomas.
  • Rashmi Chugh, MD, specializes in the care and treatment of patients with sarcoma. Her research interests include the conduct of early phase clinical trials for patients with sarcoma and other malignancies. She also serves as Associate Medical Director of the Cancer Center Clinical Research Unit.
  • Scott Schuetze, MD, PhD, treats patients with sarcoma. He conducts clinical research focused on the development of therapeutic treatment options for patients with sarcoma. Dr. Schuetze is also Medical Director of the UMCCC Clinical Trials Office.

Veterans Affairs

The Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VAAAHS) Hematology & Oncology Section operates in close partnership with the Division of Hematology & Oncology at the University of Michigan in all realms of their shared missions, with clinical services at the VAAAHS centered around Oncology and Hematology outpatient clinics and inpatient consultative services.

The Section provides the programmatic foundation and leadership for the Multidisciplinary Cancer Program at the VAAAHS, which this year again received full accreditation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, with full commendation in all seven available categories.

The VAAAHS is the largest single supporter of the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, enabling very diverse educational experiences characterized by immersive patient care and research experiences.

The Section is actively developing its clinical research capabilities and options, as it expands in response to enormous growth in patients coming from throughout Michigan and neighboring states.

The faculty are engaged in diverse research pursuits including clinical, translational, outcomes, and laboratory research.

Veterans Affairs Faculty

  • Kemp Cease, MD, MBA, Section Chief, cares for patients across the spectrum of oncology. His research is in the rational design of vaccines as informed by target molecular structure.
  • Jon Oscherwitz, MD, is focused on laboratory research in the development of novel immunotherapeutics and vaccines for priority infectious diseases and malignancies.
  • Brian Parkin, MD, specializes in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and bone marrow transplantation. He conducts laboratory research focusing on genomic biomarker discovery and validation as well as determining the mechanisms of therapy resistance and relapse of AML before and after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
  • Nithya Ramnath, MD, has a joint appointment with VAAAHS. She treats patients with lung cancers. Her laboratory research interests include studying regulation of vitamin D metabolism in smoking-related lung cancers. Additionally, she has a research interest in determining ex-vivo predictors of drug sensitivity (for targeted therapy) using circulating tumor cells derived from patients. Her clinical research interests include studying determinants of response to immunotherapy in lung cancer. At the VAAAHS, she is co-PI of a Lung Cancer Screening Demonstration Project and site PI for Precision Oncology Program for Veterans with cancer.