Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University name Boris C. Pasche, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, President and Chief Executive Officer

Press Release

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, part of Grand Blanc-based McLaren Health Care and a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, in conjunction with Wayne State University, have named Boris C. Pasche, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, President & Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Department of Oncology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. With these leadership roles and pending formal NCI approval, Dr. Pasche will serve as the Principal Investigator (PI) of the Comprehensive Cancer Center Core Grant.

Effective August 28, 2023, Dr. Pasche assumes the role Joseph Uberti, M.D., Ph.D., served on an interim basis following the retirement of Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D.

In this role, Dr. Pasche will set the strategic vision for the future growth and development of the Karmanos Cancer Institute, the largest cancer provider and researcher in Michigan and northern Ohio, and implement that vision, which includes planning and evaluation, scientific direction, community outreach and engagement, coordinated delivery of multidisciplinary clinical cancer care, advancement and development activities through the Karmanos Cancer Foundation and organizational administration.

“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,” Dr. 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.”

Dr. Pasche arrives at Karmanos from Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, NC, 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.

Over a career that stretches more than 30 years, Dr. Pasche has served in various esteemed clinical and academic positions. 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.

“Dr. Pasche has demonstrated his proficiency to deliver and advance cancer care on a level that the physicians, researchers, and, most importantly, patients of Karmanos deserve,” said Philip A. Incarnati, McLaren Health Care President and CEO. “We trust that his leadership will continue to progress the Karmanos mission and serve the needs of those who depend on it.”

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, ensuring all patients receive the same level of high-quality, evidence-based care and access to the latest screenings, prevention, and treatments.

Through its partnership with Wayne State University, Karmanos also manages one of the most 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, Dr. 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, Ph.D. “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.”

“Dr. Pasche is uniquely qualified to become the next leader of our Department of Oncology and the necessary visionary to take the Karmanos Cancer Institute into the future of cancer medicine and research in Michigan,” said Wael Sakr, M.D., Dean of the Wayne State University School of Medicine. “We look forward to his transformational leadership.”

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, Dr. 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.

“Securing a leader like Dr. Pasche is a huge win for our medical, clinical, research, and patient communities,” said Tim Monahan, Chairman of the Board of Karmanos Cancer Institute. “I would like to acknowledge and thank all those who were actively involved and contributed to this process at Karmanos, McLaren, and Wayne State. Specifically, I want to thank Wayne State President Roy Wilson and McLaren CEO Phil Incarnati for their vision and leadership in bringing Dr. Pasche to KCI. Lastly, I want to personally thank Dr. Joseph Uberti for his selfless service and leadership during this interim period while we conducted this search.”

About the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Karmanos Cancer Institute is a leader in transformative cancer care, research and education through courage, commitment and compassion. The Karmanos vision is a world free of cancer. As part of McLaren Health Care, Karmanos is the largest provider of cancer care and research in Michigan. For more than 75 years, the administrative and research headquarters, along with the premier specialty cancer hospital, have been located in downtown Detroit. With 16 network sites, Karmanos delivers world-renowned care and access to clinical trials throughout Michigan and northern Ohio. The National Cancer Institute recognizes Karmanos as one of the best cancer centers in the nation with a comprehensive cancer center designation. Its academic partnership with the Wayne State University School of Medicine provides the framework for cancer research and education – defining new standards of care and improving survivorship. For more information, call 1-800-KARMANOS (800-527-6266) or visit Follow Karmanos on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

About Wayne State University
Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 25,000 students. For more information, visit

About McLaren Health Care
McLaren Health Care, headquartered in Grand Blanc, Michigan, is a $6.6 billion, fully integrated health care delivery system committed to quality, evidence-based patient care and cost efficiency. The McLaren system includes 14 hospitals in Michigan, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, a 490-member employed primary and specialty care physician network, commercial and Medicaid HMOs covering more than 732,838 lives in Michigan and Indiana, home health, infusion and hospice providers, pharmacy services, a clinical laboratory network and a wholly owned medical malpractice insurance company. McLaren operates Michigan’s largest network of cancer centers and providers, anchored by the Karmanos Cancer Institute, one of only 54 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S. McLaren has 28,000 full-, part-time and contracted employees and more than 113,000 network providers throughout Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Learn more at

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