Director's Message

Ted Lawrence, MD, PhD

Spring is almost here!

Over the past winter, there have been some exciting innovations taking place in our basic science labs and our clinics. These include discoveries that could improve fertility preservation in women who have been diagnosed with cancer; a trial for the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome, which is being developed at a start-up established by a top U-M endocrine oncology researcher; and a first-of-its kind mobile app that creates a customized mobile experience for breast cancer patients based on their care plans.

Of course, these innovations would not be possible without the support of our philanthropy partners. Our donors are so critical to the development of new ideas because they support our research in its earliest phases. They also help us recruit and maintain the best researchers. You can read about a wonderful example of this in our newsletter’s main story featuring the Kennedy family, who raised $1M in support of a professorship for lung cancer research.

To ensure our Cancer Center remains successful, we also rely on grants from the National Cancer Institute, including the Cancer Center Support Grant, which we apply for every five years. This $4M-a-year grant supports our research capabilities, including things like the purchase and operation of sophisticated scientific equipment and the efforts of biostatisticians, who are key collaborators in helping us plan our studies and interpret our results.

We are preparing to reapply for the grant in May 2017, and dozens of Cancer Center faculty and staff are already working hard to put our best foot forward. This will involve restructuring the Cancer Center Support Grant by consolidating programs, strengthening them through collaboration and making their strengths clear. In addition to making our great Cancer Center even better, these changes will allow us to submit the strongest possible grant and get the best possible support for our work. We are currently working with program leaders to structure these new, stronger collaborations.

The Cancer Center Support Grant will improve our science, which will lead to the translation of that science and, ultimately, to new treatments for our patients -- and that's really what the cancer center is about.

I thank you for your interest in and support our Cancer Center and wish you and your families a wonderful spring.

Theodore (Ted) Lawrence, M.D., Ph.D.
Max S. Wicha MD Distinguished Professor of Oncology
Director, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center

back to top