Max S. Wicha, M.D.
As founding director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Max S. Wicha, M.D., is responsible for coordinating all cancer activities related to research and patient care.
Dr. Wicha, distinguished professor of oncology and professor of internal medicine, is nationally known for his research in the field of breast oncology, particularly the study of how breast cancer cells grow and metastasize, or spread. His lab was part of the team that first discovered stem cells in breast cancer, the first described in any human solid tumor.
Since then, Dr. Wicha has become one of the leading experts on cancer stem cells. In addition to his continued work on breast cancer stem cells, he has also led efforts within the Cancer Center to expand these findings into other tumor types. Our researchers were first to discover stem cells in pancreatic, head and neck, and ovarian tumors and are focusing on cancer stem cells in virtually every cancer type, including colon, lung and thyroid tumors.
Dr. Wicha is an active clinician, specializing in the treatment of breast cancer patients. He is past chairman of both the Association of American Cancer Institutes and the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Center Support Review Committee.
Dr. Wicha joined the University of Michigan Medical School in 1980. From 1984 to 1993, he served as chief in the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Wicha received his medical degree from Stanford University and trained in internal medicine at the University of Chicago before moving to the National Cancer Institute, where he trained in clinical oncology and cancer biology.
Eric R. Fearon, M.D., Ph.D.
Deputy Director and Associate Director for Basic Science Research
Dr. Eric Fearon is the Emanuel N. Maisel professor of oncology and chief of the Division of Molecular Medicine and Genetics in the Department of Internal Medicine. As the Cancer Center’s deputy director for basic science research, he is responsible for coordinating studies of the mechanisms underlying cancer development and for the translation of laboratory observations to clinical applications in the diagnosis and management of cancer.
A nationally recognized expert in the field of cancer genetics, Dr. Fearon serves as co-director of the Cancer Center’s Genetics Research Program, which focuses on identifying the genetic alterations and gene expression changes that underlie the development of cancer, and on applying that knowledge to improve risk assessment, prevention, pre-symptomatic diagnosis, early detection, and therapy.
Dr. Fearon's research focuses on the nature and role of genetic alterations and gene expression changes in colorectal and other cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. He holds primary appointments in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Division of Medical Genetics, and joint appointments in the departments of Human Genetics and Pathology at the University of Michigan. He is an editorial board member or editor for a number of scientific journals.
Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Michigan in 1995, Dr. Fearon was an assistant professor at Yale University School of Medicine. He received his medical and research degrees and was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Kathleen Cooney, M.D.
Deputy Director for Clinical Services
Dr. Kathleen Cooney is the Frances and Victor Ginsberg Professor of Hematology/Oncology and a professor of internal medicine and urology at the University of Michigan Medical School. She is chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the U-M Medical School and has served as interim medical director of the Cancer Center since 2011.
In her role as deputy director for clinical services, Dr. Cooney oversees and coordinates clinical activities across the spectrum of cancer care at U-M, including outpatient facilities, inpatient units and clinical programs at satellite locations. In addition, as well asacross a network of community partners.
Dr. Cooney is an internationally recognized physician scientist whose work on the identification and characterization of genetic factors impacting the development of prostate cancer has resulted in numerous significant contributions to the field. She serves as principal investigator or co-investigator on numerous NIH awards, including serving as co-director of the Cancer Center’s NCI SPORE grant in prostate cancer.
A committed teacher and mentor, Dr. Cooney trains students at all levels in both laboratory and clinical settings. Her clinical practice focuses on patients with bladder and/or prostate cancers as part of the Multidisciplinary Urologic Oncology Clinic at the Cancer Center. She also serves as a staff physician at the Ann Arbor Veteran's Affairs Medical Center (VAMC).
Dr. Cooney received her medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and completed residency training and a fellowship at the University of Michigan Medical School. She joined the U-M faculty in 1991.
Maha H. Hussain, M.D.,
Associate Director of Clinical Research
Dr. Maha Hussain is the Cis Maisel professor of oncology and a professor of internal medicine and urology. She is nationally and internationally recognized in the field of genitourinary oncology. She is co-leader of the Cancer Center's Urologic Oncology Program, and treats patients with genitourinary cancers in the Multidisciplinary Urologic Oncology Clinic. Her research focuses on new therapies for prostate cancer and bladder cancer.
Dr. Hussain has held numerous leadership positions in clinical research, including as an advisor and chair of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Oncology Drug Advisory Committee, a leader of the Southwest Oncology Group Genitourinary Committee and chair of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Education Committee. In addition, she chaired the University of Michigan Medical School's Dean's Advisory Council on Clinical Research.
Dr. Hussain is a fellow with the American College of Physicians and is an editorial board member or editor for a number of scientific journals. Prior to joining the U-M faculty in 2002, Dr. Hussain was an assistant professor at Wayne State University and a staff physician at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Detroit. She received her medical degree from Baghdad University School of Medicine and completed a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Wayne State University.
Moshe Talpaz, M.D.
Associate Director of Translational Research
Moshe Talpaz, M.D., is the Alexander J. Trotman professor of leukemia research, and serves as associate chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology. A leading clinical investigator in hematologic malignancies. Dr. Talpaz focuses on the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), bringing special expertise in immunotherapy, cytokines and biologic response modifiers.
Internationally known for his role in the development of targeted cancer therapeutics, Dr. Talpaz pioneered the study of interferon in CML, which was the first line therapy for CML until the introduction of STI571 (Gleevec). As a pivotal member of the team that developed Gleevec, Dr. Talpaz was instrumental in bringing to market one of the most effective targeted treatments used to date in cancer care. As a leader in the development of novel therapeutics, Dr. Talpaz has applied his unique experience in the building of Phase I clinical trial programs to establishing the highly successful Ravitz Foundation Phase 1 / Translational Research Center at the Cancer Center.
Dr. Talpaz joined the U-M faculty in 2006 from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he was professor of medicine and held the David Bruton Chair for Cancer Research. He has authored or co-authored nearly 400 journal articles and textbook chapters, and is a member of the American Society of Hematology and the NCCN Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Guidelines Panel.
Marcy Bohm Waldinger, M.H.S.A.
Chief Administrative Officer
Marcy Bohm Waldinger, MHSA, oversees all aspects of administration for the Cancer Center, including clinical operations, patient support services, cancer registry, business and finance, research administration, marketing communications and development. She was closely involved in planning the Cancer Center’s nine-story building and is responsible for its clinical and research administration and space management. As a member of the Cancer Center Senior Leadership, Ms. Waldinger functions as a chief operation officer with responsibility to ensure that all aspects of Cancer Center administration effectively supports the programmatic, financial, strategic and management needs of the Center.
Ms. Waldinger is a founding board member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and chairs its Best Practices Committee. She is also a member and former board member of the Cancer Center Administrators Forum. She serves as the sole administrator on the Scientific External Advisory Boards of numerous academic cancer centers nationwide, including Duke Cancer Institute, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins, Stanford and Vanderbilt.
Ms. Waldinger joined the Cancer Center in 1992, and has served in an administrative capacity at the University of Michigan Medical Center since 1980.
She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan. Her master's degree in health services administration was obtained from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 1980.
Other Key Leaders:
Dean Brenner, M.D.
Director, Specialized Program of Research Excellence in Gastrointestinal Cancer
Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Specialized Program of Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer
Theodore S. Lawrence, M.D., Ph.D.
Chair, Radiation Oncology
Frank Manion, M.S.
Chief Information Officer
Jacques Nör, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Director, Specialized Program of Research Excellence in Head and Neck Cancer
Michael Sabel, M.D.
Chief of Surgical Oncology
Diane Simeone, M.D.
Director, Translational Oncology Program
Jeremy M.G. Taylor, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Biostatistics Unit
Alon Weizer, M.D., M.S.
Gregory T Wolf
Professor Emeritus of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery