Program Leader in Molecular Therapeutics

Wayne State University School of Medicine
Michigan (US)
Salary and Faculty Rank To Be Determined
December 17 2020
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Program Leader in Molecular Therapeutics at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute


The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute (KCI), an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, is recruiting a Program Leader of the Molecular Therapeutics (MT) Program, one of the four Cancer Center programs. KCI is a unique, urban-based integrated center of research, patient care and education, located in Detroit, Michigan, dedicated to the prevention, early detection, treatment and eventual eradication of cancer. KCI is affiliated with Wayne State University (WSU), which has the largest single-campus medical school in the country.

KCI has positioned itself to invest in the rapid expansion of new translational research initiatives through its MT Program. Investigators in the MT Program discover and validate new drug targets and therapeutics, and cellular/molecular determinants and biomarkers of tumor response. Research in the MT Program is diverse and includes cancer metabolism, gene regulation, DNA damage response, epigenetics and signaling pathways. Studies extend to the interplay among cancer therapies including effects on tumor-associated stromal and immune cells.  Biomarker research includes pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic biomarkers, identification of cellular and molecular markers (including immune markers) and molecular/genetic profiles predictive of responses to therapy or that lead to actionable therapies. 

An important strength of the MT Program is our nationally/internationally recognized clinical trials program that conducts clinical trials to evaluate novel agents and drug combinations.  Our clinical trials program employs tumor profiling (including genomic profiling) to facilitate enrollment on phase I and early phase II trials, and to identify patients most likely to respond to particular treatments.  The latter draw from basic laboratory findings, culminating in investigator-initiated clinical trials.  MT members lead a number of phase III clinical trials, often working with multi-center teams and cooperative groups. From 2015 to 2019, members of the MT program successfully accrued 2,367 patients to interventional clinical trials.

With 49 scientific members, representing 11 departments and 4 schools within WSU, the MT Program is supported by more than $26 million in total annual direct grant funding.  The MT Program is highly interactive and includes a cross section of laboratory-based and clinical investigators, who meet regularly through programmatic activities and collaborate on multi-PI research grants and investigator-initiated clinical trials.  Investigators in the Molecular Imaging (MI) and the Tumor Biology and Microenvironment (TBM) Programs at KCI are working with MT Program members to test new therapies for cancer.  MT Program members collaborate with the Population Studies and Disparities Research (PSDR) Program at KCI to identify genomic biomarkers in the context of clinical trials, to determine genetic and molecular underpinnings of racial disparities in response to cancer therapy, to explore the psychosocial consequences of chemotherapy for patients and families, and to improve clinical trial enrollment among diverse populations. The overriding goal of the MT Program is to successfully conduct and deliver patient-centered cancer research and treatments with potential benefit to patients in southeast Michigan and through the KCI Network by working with community affiliates.

The MT Program Leader provides overall direction for the MT Program in partnership with the Program Co-Leader(s), the MT Program Advisory Committee, and the Cancer Center Scientific Leadership Council (SLC), all with the goal of fostering programmatic interactions and investigator-initiated clinical trials. As a member of the SLC, the MT Program Leader has responsibilities including faculty recruitment and development, space assignments, cancer center membership, and funding priorities, based on the Institute’s strategic priorities.  The Program Leader organizes regular program meetings, mini-retreats, and an annual program symposium, and leverages Cancer Institute resources to stimulate multi-disciplinary research opportunities. Within the Cancer Institute, the Program Leader is expected to empower faculty to focus on cancer problems applicable to the catchment area served by the Institute. The new MT Program Leader is expected to execute these responsibilities, while providing creative and inspirational leadership, leading to high impact and state-of-the-art research.       

Qualifications include:

1)   PhD, MD or MD/PhD degree

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

3)   Substantial publications in high impact professional journals

4)   Demonstrated track record of leadership or relevant experience in program development

5)   Experience in faculty mentorship

6)   Academic accomplishments commensurate with appointment to the rank of Associate or Full Professor

KCI/WSU offers an outstanding research environment, significant startup funding and recurring support that will ensure success along with a competitive salary and fringe benefit package.

Applicants should submit their curriculum vitae along with the names of three referees to posting #045311  Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is found.

The KCI is one of 51 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States. The Institute is located near major hospital networks and the WSU School of Medicine, and several major art, cultural and sports venues in vibrant mid-town Detroit. Through the commitment of over 1,200 staff, including over 300 physicians and researchers and supported by thousands of volunteers and financial donors, Karmanos strives to prevent, detect and eradicate cancer. Key to achieving its mission is KCI’s research effort, which is conducted through four interdisciplinary programs, organized to integrate basic, translational, clinical, and population research activities. Karmanos is the only hospital in Michigan dedicated exclusively to fighting cancer. Caring for approximately 12,000 new patients annually and conducting more than 800 cancer-specific clinical trials, the KCI is among the nation’s top cancer centers. The long-term partnership of KCI and the WSU of Medicine enhances the collaboration between critical research and academics related to cancer care. Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., is the Institute’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  For more information go to

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