November 19, 2020

A Message From Our Chair

Despite these uncertain times, the Michigan Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology continues to make critical progress in cancer research, education, and care.

Our unique Cancer Genetics and Breast Health (CGBH) Fellowship is advancing testing, screening, and care for women with higher genetic risks for breast, ovarian, endometrial, or other cancers. This fellowship is the only program in the country offering training across breast surgery, oncology, genetics, and obstetrics, and gynecology.

The program is guided by the expert leadership of co-directors Jacqueline Jeruss, M.D., Ph.D., and Sofia Merajver, M.D., Ph.D. 

Dr. Jeruss is a professor of surgery, pathology, and biomedical engineering. She serves as the associate dean for regulatory affairs, director of the Breast Care Center and Polly Cheung Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship, and co-director of the NIH Surgical Oncology T32 Training Program.

Dr. Merajver is the GreaterGood Breast Cancer Research Professor, Director of the internationally renowned Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk Evaluation Program, and professor of internal medicine and epidemiology. She specializes in breast cancer treatment and genetic risk assessment and counseling, as well as ovarian cancer risk and evaluation, and translational research in inflammatory and advanced breast cancers and metastasis.

We are excited to introduce to you our new CGBH Fellow, Versha Pleasant, M.D. She is already making valuable contributions to our team as we grow knowledge in breast cancer care, women’s health, genetics, surgery, and other areas affecting families around the world. She is becoming a specialist in the multidisciplinary management of patients and families at increased risk for cancer.

Dr. Pleasant earned her medical degree at Georgetown University and completed her OB-GYN residency at U-M, where she was recognized as the top female resident. We are excited about the impact she is already making and will have on our patients, as well as our ability to improve health for all women.

As a teaching hospital, we prepare the next generation of physicians and researchers to build on the breakthroughs, knowledge, and innovative ideas that are moving us closer to curing and preventing cancer, with genetics playing a major role. As our CGBH fellows advance their careers at Michigan Medicine or other institutions around the country and world, they will share the comprehensive, life-saving approaches to care they learned in this role.

This program would not be as impactful without the patients who have inspired us and the generous donors who have helped us grow, pursue research, and better understand the needs of the women and families we serve. We are grateful to all of you — for your insight, guidance, and ongoing support.

Now, more than ever, we depend on your partnership to grow this program and impact all members of society, especially those who have not been historically well-served by the advancements of science.

I wish you and your loved ones continued health and wellness during these challenging times.

With Gratitude,

Bates Professor of the Diseases of Women and Children
Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

To learn more about supporting this program, or to discuss ways to continue partnering with us, please contact Alex Kamer in the Michigan Medicine Office of Development at alexmllr@umich.edu.