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Dr. Elisabeth Heath appointed associate center director for Translational Sciences for Karmanos

February 01, 2017

Wayne State University School of Medicine Professor of Oncology Elisabeth Heath, M.D., F.A.C.P., has been appointed associate center director for Translational Sciences for the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute.

In this new position, Dr. Heath will enhance the ongoing work conducted in translational research, create opportunities by facilitating interactions and communications between scientists and clinicians, advocate for resources to expedite multi-principal investigator projects, and develop teams of scientists and clinicians for major research grants.

She will report to Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D. president and chief executive officer of the Karmanos Cancer Institute and chair of the Wayne State University School of Medicine Department of Oncology.
In addition to her new responsibilities, Dr. Heath continues to lead the Genitourinary Oncology Multidisciplinary Team at Karmanos, serve as medical director of the Infusion Center and remains director of Prostate Cancer Research at Karmanos. She is also the Patricia C. and E. Jan Hartmann Endowed Chair for Prostate Cancer Research.

“Dr. Heath, with her expertise, strategic abilities, proactive communication style and proven results, continues to advocate for and advance cancer research while engaging other scientists, physicians and constituents,” Dr. Bepler said. “She is driven and committed to develop solutions for this complicated disease. It’s at the heart of everything she does so that more people survive cancer and thrive. This, and her ability to excite, engage and retain talent, makes her an excellent choice for this leadership position.”

Dr. Heath’s research focus is conducting clinical and translational research trials in genitourinary malignancies by investigating new therapies for preventing and treating cancer. She has been an active clinical and scientific member of Karmanos since 2003, and became a full professor of Oncology for WSU in 2013.

“It’s critical that we as scientific leaders work together to move promising cancer research from the lab to the clinic, and with the resources and evidence-based findings, share innovative treatments with the community,” Dr. Heath said. “Enhancing the patient’s understanding of clinical trials and improving access to innovative treatments through trial enrollment is the driving force to develop new cancer treatments. I’m excited to accept this new role and work with our incredibly talented team of committed scientists to achieve best practices that lead to increased patient survival.”

Dr. Heath is active with several organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Michigan Cancer Consortium and Southwest Oncology Group. She has published hundreds of research papers and continues to be recognized for her accomplishments. She recently received the Michigan Cancer Consortium Inaugural Champion Award for her leadership excellence, success and impact in the fight against cancer.

In addition, she is the principal investigator for a U.S. Department of Defense grant supporting the nationally-recognized Prostate Clinical Trials Cancer Consortium, and is co-investigator on multiple scientific grants with her peers at WSU and Karmanos. Dr. Heath spearheaded Karmanos’ annual Prostate Cancer Symposium and created the Prostate Cancer Advocacy Program at Karmanos, which serves as a model to educate and engage survivors, and raise awareness of prostate cancer screening. The program also offers an opportunity for patients to communicate directly with scientists. This invaluable experience increases the understanding between both parties and helps scientists enhance their application to secure research funding.

Dr. Heath received a fellowship in Medical Oncology from John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md.; completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.; received her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. She recently completed the Rudi Ansbacher Women in Academic Medicine Leadership Scholars Program at the University of Michigan, and earlier completed The Academy Fellowship at The Advisory Board, in Washington, D.C.

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