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Dr. Eric Fearon named director of University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Eric Fearon, M.D., Ph.D., has been named director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Fearon, the Emanuel N. Maisel Professor of Oncology at the University of Michigan, is a nationally recognized investigator in cancer genetics. His research has led to a greater understanding of gene defects that cause colon and rectal cancer to develop and spread.

“Our Cancer Center has a history of success, with many exciting recent and ongoing initiatives. I am honored to have the opportunity to continue moving us forward,” says Fearon, professor of internal medicine, human genetics and pathology at the University of Michigan.

“We are in the enviable position of having a tremendous culture of collaboration, innovation and teamwork. Our faculty, staff and trainees are committed to the highest quality, patient-centered care, with an emphasis on integrity, safety, service, compassion and respect,” he adds.

Fearon joined the University of Michigan in 1995, and was appointed associate director for basic science research at the Cancer Center. His role within the center expanded in 2005 to deputy director. He also served as division chief for Molecular Medicine and Genetics within the Department of Internal Medicine. He received his medical and doctorate degrees from Johns Hopkins University.

Fearon has authored more than 135 peer-reviewed research manuscripts and more than 60 review articles and book chapters. He has served on the editorial boards of various journals in the cancer biology and human genetics fields.

In addition, Fearon was a member or chair of many National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute advisory groups and grant review committees, including the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors and the NIH Pathology B and Cancer Genetics study sections. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars, and the National Academy of Medicine.

“Dr. Fearon has been intimately involved in many of the Cancer Center’s strategic initiatives over the past two decades. Based on this experience and his many collaborative efforts and partnership with the outstanding faculty, staff and trainees in the Cancer Center, I’m confident Dr. Fearon will build on our cancer program’s excellent reputation. We will continue to advance the understanding of cancer’s origins and behavior, and translate that knowledge to improve treatment, survival and quality of life for patients and families facing cancer,” says Marschall Runge, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president of medical affairs at the University of Michigan and dean of its Medical School. 

Fearon succeeds Ted Lawrence, M.D., Ph.D., who stepped down as Cancer Center director to continue his role as chair of the university’s Department of Radiation Oncology, which he has held for 18 years. Fearon’s appointment was approved Sept. 15 by the University of Michigan Board of Regents.

The Cancer Center’s “comprehensive” status is designated by the National Cancer Institute and reflects participation in cancer basic, clinical and population sciences research, with strong interactions among those areas. A center must also provide public information, education and outreach programs. U-M is one of two comprehensive cancer centers in Michigan and one of 47 across the country. 

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