Karmanos Cancer Institute gets new CEO

DETROIT –The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, part of Grand Blanc-based McLaren Health Care, in conjunction with Wayne State University, have named Boris C. Pasche, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, president and CEO, as well as chair of the Department of Oncology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine.

With these leadership roles and pending formal National Cancer Institute approval, Pasche will serve as the Principal Investigator of the Comprehensive Cancer Center Core Grant.

Pasche took over Aug. 28 from interim director Joseph Uberti, M.D., Ph.D.

“To lead an organization recognized throughout the health care industry for its exceptional clinical care and significant contributions to advancing cancer research and treatment is an amazing opportunity and a tremendous responsibility,” Pasche said. “I thank the leadership of Karmanos, McLaren, and Wayne State for their confidence that together we can continue to provide an exceptional level of clinical care to our patients and support the level of research necessary to bring novel therapies from our laboratories to the patient’s bedside in the fight against this terrible disease.”

Pasche arrives at Karmanos from Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, N.C., where, in addition to his duties as an attending physician specializing in gastrointestinal malignancies, held additional leadership and academic positions, including the Charles L. Spurr Endowed Chair of Cancer Research, Chairman of the Department of Cancer Biology, and Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, during which he oversaw an expansion that resulted in an increase of the program’s NCI funding, a hallmark of the strength of an organization’s research programs, by 97 percent. Additionally, he directed the re-organization of its scientific programs and recruited 72 new faculty members. These efforts led to the successful renewal of the NCI core grant in 2016 and again in 2021.

Earlier, he was chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he expanded the clinical and research programs, recruited 19 new faculty members, and tripled its funding. He also served as Deputy Director of the University of Alabama Comprehensive Cancer Center. Prior to that, he was the founder of the Cancer Genetics Program at Northwestern University in Chicago.

The Karmanos Cancer Institute is one of only 54 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States, a recognition it originally earned in 1978 and has since maintained. With 16 treatment centers, Karmanos cares for approximately 12,000 new patients every year through its statewide network.

Through its partnership with Wayne State University, Karmanos also manages an advanced research and clinical trial programs, with more than 800 cancer-specific scientific investigations and 250 clinical trials that include the nation’s most diverse patient population. In his capacity as President and CEO of Karmanos, Pasche will also chair the Department of Oncology for Wayne State University’s School of Medicine, where he will report to the Dean of the medical school and work in collaboration with Wayne State’s Office of Research.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Pasche will be joining us in this critical leadership position,” said Wayne State University President Kimberly Andrews Espy. “With his background as a cancer physician, scientist, and researcher, as well as his progressive success as a leader in the field, we are confident he is well positioned to drive KCI to the next level of performance.”

A native of Switzerland, Dr. Pasche earned his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and another M.D. degree from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Pasche completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the New York Hospital at Cornell University Medical Center, and he continued his clinical training with a Hematology/Oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center with a second postdoctoral fellowship at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research.

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