DETROIT, MI – After a 10-month nationwide search, Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., has been named the new president and chief executive officer of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. A thoracic oncologist, Dr. Bepler will begin his new position Feb. 1, 2010.
In addition to his chief administrative duties, Dr. Bepler will also serve as principal investigator of Karmanos’ National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center Support Grant; associate dean, Cancer Programs, Wayne State University School of Medicine (WSU SOM); director, Cancer Institute, WSU School of Medicine; and chair of the soon to be created Department of Oncology of the WSU School of Medicine.
Dr. Bepler most recently was director of the Comprehensive Lung Cancer Research Center; department chair of Thoracic Oncology; and program leader of the Lung Cancer Program at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL. He also served as professor of Medicine and Oncology at the University of South Florida.
“Dr. Bepler comes to us with exceptional experience in oncology, both in the clinical and research settings,” said Alan S. Schwartz, chair of the Board of Directors, Karmanos Cancer Institute. “His expertise, leadership and knowledge will help us achieve our mission as one of the top cancer centers in the nation. We are excited to enter this new chapter under his leadership.”
Schwartz added, “We’re also very grateful for the exceptional leadership of Ann G. Schwartz, Ph.D., MPH, who has served as interim CEO through this transition period and has helped lead the search for Dr. Bepler.”
Dr. Schwartz will serve in a transitional capacity as Interim Executive Vice President, assisting Dr. Bepler in the management of administrative affairs to ensure a smooth leadership transition.
“We are extremely pleased that Dr. Bepler will be leading the Karmanos Cancer Institute,” said Jay Noren, M.D., president of Wayne State University. “His experience and credentials as a scientist, researcher and clinician are a perfect match for both Karmanos and Wayne State University. I have no doubt that KCI will grow and prosper under his leadership.”
Valerie Parisi, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., interim dean of the School of Medicine added, “Dr. Bepler is a rare triple-threat oncologist. He is a well-funded investigator and an internationally recognized thoracic oncology clinician. His demonstrated leadership skills at Moffit Cancer Center make him an ideal match for both the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Karmanos Cancer Institute. I am very excited for the opportunity to work closely with him.”
Prior to Dr. Bepler’s tenure at the Moffitt Cancer Center, he was director of the Lung Cancer Program at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY. Prior to that, he held positions at Duke University Hospital and Durham VA Medical Center.
As a thoracic oncologist, Dr. Bepler’s research has focused on the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, the most common form of lung cancer. He’s received more than $23.8 million in research funding from the National Cancer Institute over the past 13 years. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, including articles in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Clinical Oncology and Cancer Research. Dr. Bepler has received several awards and recognitions, including the Moffitt Cancer Center’s Scientist of the Year (2008), American College of Physicians Information and Education Resource Editorial Consultant (2007 – 2008), and served on the Journal of Clinical Oncology Editorial Board (2006 – 2008). He holds seven patents.
“I’m looking forward to working with the talented and dedicated staff at the Karmanos Cancer Institute whose work I’ve respected for years,” said Dr. Bepler. “I also look forward to serving in this leadership role, working with partners such as the WSU School of Medicine and the Detroit Medical Center. I feel very privileged to be part of the Karmanos team with its outstanding reputation, locally, nationally and internationally. Together, we will chart a strong future for the Institute.”
Dr. Bepler received his medical and doctorate degrees from the Philipps University School of Medicine and Dentistry in Marburg, Germany. His postdoctoral fellowships were completed at the National Cancer Institute, Philipps University and at Duke University Medical Center.
Dr. Bepler is married and has four children.
About the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Located in mid-town Detroit, Michigan, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is one of 40 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Caring for nearly 6,000 new patients annually on a budget of $216 million, conducting more than 700 cancer-specific scientific investigation programs and clinical trials, Karmanos is among the nation’s best cancer centers. Through the commitment of 1,000 staff, including nearly 300 physicians and researchers on faculty at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and supported by thousands of volunteer and financial donors, Karmanos strives to prevent, detect and eradicate all forms of cancer. Its long-term partnership with the WSU School of Medicine enhances the collaboration of critical research and academics related to cancer care. Karmanos is southeastern Michigan’s most preferred hospital for cancer care according to annual surveys conducted by the National Research Corporation. For more information call 1-800-KARMANOS or go to www.karmanos.org.