October 2, 2015

Beth Lawlor M.D. Ph.D. named Director of Cancer Biology Training Program

Beth Lawlor, M.D., Ph.D. will be the next Director of the Cancer BiologyTraining Program, effective Jan. 1, 2016.   Beth will be taking over the program from Mike Imperiale, Ph.D., who was a founder of the program and has led its development with great dedication since 1998.

Beth brings to Cancer Biology a deep appreciation of both the clinical and scientific aspects of cancer.   She earned her undergraduate and medical degree at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, followed by pediatrics and hematology-oncology training. Beth then became interested in cancer research, earning her Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia, studying molecular and cellular aspects of Ewing’s sarcoma.  After postdoctoral training at UCSF with Dr. Gerard Evan investigating the role of c-myc in tumorigenesis, she started her independent research program as an Assistant Professor at USC in 2004.  We were fortunate to be able to recruit her to the University of Michigan in 2010, where she joined the Departments of Pediatrics & Communicable Diseases and Pathology.  Beth was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2011 as the Russell G. Adderley Professor of Pediatric Oncology, and has continued to study the biology of Ewing’s sarcoma, as well as the contribution of developmental pathways to tumor initiation, maintenance and progression. 

Beth is an active member of the Cancer Biology Steering Committee, and also serves as co-leader of the Pediatric Oncology Research Program in the UM Comprehensive Cancer Center.  Recognition of her important research contributions in the field of Cancer Biology is evident in awards and research funding from NIH, the American Cancer Society, and many different research foundations, including the Stop Cancer Foundation Career Development Award and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Innovation Award.   Beth also received the USC Mellon Mentoring Award for Faculty Mentoring Graduate Students, reflecting her strong commitment to mentoring and education.  At USC and Michigan, she has successfully mentored trainees at all levels, and currently mentors two Cancer Biology Ph.D. students, an MSTP student, a postdoctoral fellow and a clinical fellow.   Beth's diverse training and mentoring experiences and her leadership role in the Cancer Center will provide an invaluable perspective to shape the future of the Cancer Biology Ph.D. program.