Ken Pienta, MD, new associate dean, clinical & translational research

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The University of Michigan Board of Regents recently approved the appointment of  Kenneth J. Pienta, M.D.,  as associate dean for clinical and translational research at the U-M Medical School and director of the Michigan Institute of Clinical and Health Research.

"Dr. Pienta is already a valued member of the U-M team," says Steven L. Kunkel, Ph.D., senior associate dean for research, U-M Medical School. "As an accomplished physician scientist whose research career has spanned the entire translational research continuum, from basic science discovery to patient care, Dr. Pienta is ideally suited to lead MICHR and assist me in creating a common vision for clinical and translational research at Michigan."
Pienta is a professor of Internal Medicine and Urology; director, Urologic Oncology Program, U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center; and director, Experimental Therapeutics for the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology. He is also affiliated with the Cellular and Molecular Biology Program and the Center for Computational Medicine and Biology.
Since 1995, Pienta has been the director of the U-M Prostate Specialized Program of Research Excellence. He has a proven, peer-reviewed track record in developing a translational research program that successfully incorporates bench research, agent development, and clinical application.  He has international expertise in the development of novel chemotherapeutic programs for prostate cancer.
His endeavors in translational research led to the first ever American Association for Cancer Research Team Science Award. As chairman of the Translational Medicine Committee of the Southwest Oncology Group, he is responsible for incorporating the paradigm of translational medicine into clinical trials.
Pienta is the author of more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and has been the principal investigator on numerous local and national clinical trials. He has a significant clinical presence as an internationally recognized clinician in prostate cancer, as well as being recognized for his development of a "rapid autopsy" program to collect metastatic prostate cancer tissue. He is currently involved in research to define the tumor microenvironment of prostate cancer metastases, as well as developing new therapies for prostate cancer.
In 2005, Pienta was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation. He is a two-time American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor Award recipient, and he serves on the Boards of the Paget Foundation, Bone and Cancer Foundation, and Southwest Oncology Group.
Pienta came to the University of Michigan in 1994 as an associate professor of medicine and surgery. He is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Chicago and his medical oncology fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. He was an assistant professor of medicine at the Wayne State University School of medicine from 1991-1994.
MICHR was created by the Regents of the University of Michigan in November 2006, and this spearheaded U-M's effort to win a $55 million Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health in September 2007. The CTSA is a five-year grant, the third-largest NIH award in the University's history, and the largest NIH award ever to the U-M Medical School. The goal of this CTSA grant is to accelerate clinical and translational research by making a broad array of institutional resources easy for health researchers to access. Through MICHR, investigators can find diverse research services, support and infrastructure in one place. Key participants include the University's Medical School, its schools of Business, Dentistry, Nursing, and Public Health, its Colleges of Engineering and Pharmacy, the Division of Kinesiology, the Life Sciences Institute and the Institute for Social Research.

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