WVU Cancer Center recruits 2 top researchers

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center at West Virginia University has recruited two top cancer scientists. 

J. Michael Ruppert, M.D., Ph.D., will be the first Jo and Ben Statler Eminent Scholar and Chair in Breast Cancer Research, made possible as part of a $5 million gift to the Cancer Center from the Statlers in 2007.  Dr. Ruppert’s research focuses on breast cancer tumor suppressor genes and transcription factors.

A former WVU graduate with a degree in chemistry, Ruppert earned his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Johns Hopkins University. He was professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and co-director of the Program in Cancer Cell Biology of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Ruppert, left, and Schaller

Michael D. Schaller, Ph.D., has been named chair of the Department of Biochemistry at WVU. He was professor of cell and developmental biology at the University of North Carolina.

A postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia, Schaller received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from McMaster University. He came to WVU in August. His research focuses on cell signaling networks, especially protein tyrosine kinases that drive cell migration, proliferation and survival.

“Both are outstanding scientists. We are excited to have researchers of this caliber join us,” Scot Remick, M.D., director of the Cancer Center, said. “Their energy and expertise will help us give the best possible care to patients today while pushing toward research breakthroughs that will help the patients of tomorrow.”

The Jo and Ben Statler Eminent Scholar and Chair in Breast Cancer Research was funded as part of an overall $25 million gift from the Statlers to WVU that included underwriting for Bonnie’s Bus, a mobile digital mammography unit.

For information about WVU’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center see www.hsc.wvu.edu/mbrcc/.


For more information:
Andrea Brunais, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
ab: 09-15-08

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