Wake Forest Baptist Names New Cancer Center Director

January 21, 2014

The newly expanded Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has a new director. Boris Pasche, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, will assume the post March 1.

As director, Pasche will be responsible for providing leadership, direction and guidance to the Cancer Center, working collaboratively with medical center leadership to advance academic and clinical missions. He will be the principal investigator of the Cancer Center’s National Cancer Institute core grant, continuing its strong tradition of research excellence, while expanding basic, clinical, and translational research in collaboration with departmental and center leadership.

Pasche will also serve as chair of the department of Cancer Biology at Wake Forest Baptist. He is currently director of the division of hematology/oncology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He identified the first mutation of a gene that controls cell growth and found that some individuals carry an altered form of the gene, which increases their risk of developing several forms of cancer. He has also identified one of the first genetic links between obesity and breast and colon cancer. He has pioneered the use of low and safe levels of electromagnetic fields for the treatment of cancer.

“Following an extensive national search, we have recruited an internationally known and truly outstanding physician scientist to lead the Comprehensive Cancer Center,” said John D. McConnell, M.D., chief executive officer of Wake Forest Baptist.

A native of Switzerland, Pasche received medical degrees from the University of Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and a Ph.D. from the Karolinska Institute. Pasche also did a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center, and a fellowship in hematology/oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the New York Hospital, Cornell University Medical College.

After completing his fellowship, Pasche moved to Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where his appointments included director of the Cancer Genetics program and leader of the Cancer Genes and Molecular Targeting program at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 2008, Pasche joined UAB where he has been professor of medicine and holder of the Martha Ann and David L. May Endowed Chair in Cancer Research. He also served as associate director for Translational Research, then deputy director at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Pasche join Wake Forest Baptist,” said Edward Abraham, M.D., dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine. “We know he will bring a new focus to our cancer research programs and under his leadership we expect the newly expanded cancer center to reach new heights of achievement.”

Pasche is currently an associate editor for the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and editor of both The Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research and Cancer Hallmarks. He has served on numerous study sections and is a permanent member of the National Cancer Institute Cancer Genetics study section. In addition, he has published more than 100 articles and book chapters and holds six patents. He is certified as a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Board of Medical Oncology, and the American Board of Hematology and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Media Relations

Mac Ingraham: mingraha@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-3487

Paula Faria: pfaria@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-1279