Karmanos Welcomes Wasif Saif, M.D., to Lead Phase 1 Clinical Trials

DETROIT, May 20, 2024 ~ The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute has recently welcomed a new leader to their team. Dr. Wasif Saif, a world-renowned hematologist and oncologist, has joined the institute as the leader of the Phase 1 Clinical Trials Multidisciplinary Team and co-leader of the Gastrointestinal (GI) and Neuroendocrine Oncology Multidisciplinary Team (MDT). This appointment took effect on March 1, 2024.

In an interview, Dr. Saif expressed his excitement about joining Karmanos Cancer Institute, stating that it is a trailblazer in cancer research and has made significant contributions to new drug and therapy development. He also mentioned his eagerness to continue translational research at this NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, with access to a diverse cancer population.

As the Phase 1 Clinical Trials MDT leader, Dr. Saif will be responsible for overseeing Phase 1 solid tumor investigations. This includes leading a team of physician co-investigators, non-physician providers, clinical personnel, and Clinical Trials Office staff. Karmanos' Phase 1 team currently oversees over 70 clinical trials at various stages of the protocol lifecycle.

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Dr. Saif's expertise in translational research and managing clinical trials makes him well-suited for this role. He will also work alongside Dr. Najeeb Al Hallak in leading the GI and Neuroendocrine Oncology MDT, which is made up of various specialists dedicated to researching and treating GI and neuroendocrine cancers.

Dr. Saif specializes in treating a wide range of cancers including anal, biliary, colon, carcinoid, esophagus, GIST, liver, pancreas, rectum, and stomach cancers. His research interests include anticancer drug development with a focus on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics analysis, biomarker discovery, pharmacogenetics, epidemiology and disparity studies in GI cancers, and developing complementary and alternative medicines for cancer treatment.

Karmanos' president and CEO, Dr. Boris Pasche, expressed his confidence in Dr. Saif's leadership and vision for the Phase 1 Clinical Trials Program at Karmanos. He also believes that Dr. Saif's research interests in GI cancers will complement the institute's existing team.

Aside from his leadership roles, Dr. Saif also sees patients at Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit and is a professor in the Department of Oncology at Wayne State University School of Medicine.

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Prior to joining Karmanos, Dr. Saif has held faculty positions at various prestigious institutions such as the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Yale University School of Medicine, Columbia University, and Tufts University School of Medicine. He has also served in executive roles at Northwell Health and Orlando Health.

Dr. Saif is a member of several professional organizations including the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), Carcinoid Foundation, and American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET). He has also been the principal investigator on over 75 clinical trials and has published over 650 scientific papers.

Dr. Saif received his medical degree from King Edward Medical College in Lahore, Pakistan, and completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He then went on to complete fellowships in medical oncology and hematology at various institutions including the National Cancer Institute.

To learn more about Dr. Wasif Saif or to request an appointment for Phase 1 Clinical Trials, interested individuals can visit karmanos.org or call 1-800-KARMANOS.
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