The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute (KCI) is a unique, urban-based integrated center of research, patient care, and education located in mid-town Detroit dedicated to the prevention, early detection, treatment, and eventual eradication of cancer.  KCI is affiliated with Wayne State University (WSU). KCI has been a National Cancer Institute (NCI) - designated Comprehensive Cancer Center since 1978 and operates the only hospital in Michigan dedicated exclusively to fighting cancer. The main campus of KCI and its cancer hospital are located near major hospital networks and the WSU School of Medicine, and near major art, cultural and sports venues in the vibrant midtown area of Detroit.  Since January 2014, KCI expanded its delivery of cancer care through the partnership with McLaren Health Care.  

The KCI has one of the largest and best clinical trial programs in the United States. Through the commitment of 1,800 staff, including over 300 physicians and researchers and supported by thousands of volunteer and financial donors, KCI cares for approximately 12,000 new patients annually and conducts more than 400 cancer-specific clinical trials. KCI strives to prevent, detect and eradicate cancer.  The long-term partnership of KCI and the WSU of Medicine enhances the collaboration between critical research and academics related to cancer care.

The Opportunity – Program Leader Molecular Therapeutics (MT)

KCI has positioned itself to invest in rapid expansion of new research initiatives leading to, and advancing the discovery and validation of new drug targets and therapeutics, and the evaluation of clinical effectiveness of new agents in interventional treatment trials.  With more than 70 scientific members, representing 14 departments and institutes from WSU, the MT Program is supported by more than $20 million total annual direct grant funding. In 2015, members of the MT program successfully accrued 388 patients to interventional clinical protocols.

The Molecular Therapeutics (MT) Program focuses on developing new approaches for treating cancer, ranging from drug discovery to mechanism-based efforts, emphasizing mechanisms-of-action of novel tumor-targeted and standard agents and critical signaling pathways. Biomarker research includes pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, establishing cellular and molecular biomarkers predictive of therapeutic responses to standard and novel targeted therapies, and identification of genomic biomarkers and driver mutations leading to actionable therapies. Research in the MT Program is aimed at clinical translation, drawing from our nationally/ internationally recognized clinical trials program at KCI. Interventional treatment trials use tumor profiling to identify patients likely to respond to particular treatments and include investigator-initiated clinical trials derived from basic laboratory research at KCI. MT Program members also lead a number of phase III trials, often working with multi-center teams and national cooperative groups. An important emphasis of research in the MT Program is on cancer disparities, particularly in African Americans, including clinical trial enrollment and understanding differences in tumor biology that impact treatment outcomes between patient populations. In our interventional treatment trials at KCI, more than 25% of enrolled patients are African American.

KCI seeks to attract a dynamic leader to build upon the historical successes of the MT program, to partner with leadership of the cancer institute and drive continued outstanding research exploration, discovery, trials and delivery of care.   KCI offers an outstanding research environment, and will commit to significant startup funding and recurring support, along with a competitive salary and fringe benefit package to attract the strongest candidate.

The Program Leader provides overall direction for the MT Program, in partnership with the Program Co-Leader, the Program Advisory Committee, and the Cancer Center Executive Committee, all with the goal of fostering programmatic interactions.  As a member of the Cancer Center Executive Committee, the Program Leader has responsibility for faculty recruitment and retention, space assignments, cancer center membership, funding priorities, and faculty development, and monitors progress related to the Institute’s strategic plan. The Program Leader organizes regular program meetings, mini-retreats, and the annual Program symposium, and leverages Program resources to stimulate multi-disciplinary research opportunities. Within the Cancer Institute, the Program Leader empowers faculty to focus on cancer problems applicable to the catchment area served by the Institute. The new Program Leader is expected to execute these responsibilities, while providing creative and inspirational leadership to ensure conduct of high impact and state-of-the-art basic cancer research. 

Preferred Qualifications

• PhD, MD, or MD/PhD degree or equivalent; academic accomplishments commensurate with appointment at the rank of Associate or Full Professor;

• Strong evidence of research productivity relevant to the major themes of the MT Program reflected in peer-reviewed grant and contract funding;

• Substantial publications in high impact professional journals;

• Demonstrated track record of proven leadership in relation to program development;

• Ability to create and promote program projects, and other collaboration among program members and research KCI programs;

• A strategic national academic and research leader, grounded in personal integrity with the ability to energize, inspire, and encourage faculty innovation as well as interdisciplinary collaboration; 

• Demonstrated ability to manage a complex academic organization and work effectively with colleagues across divisions;

• Demonstrated success as an administrator and fiscal manager;

• Demonstrated ability to motivate key constituencies, lead the development of mutually beneficial relationships with partners, and recruit, retain, mentor, and develop superb academic faculty and co-leaders;

• Ability to foster and promote gender equity and ethnic diversity among faculty and staff to enrich the university, further its research mission, and preserve the uniqueness of KCI.


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