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Prostate Specialized Programs of Research Excellence

Since inception in 1995, the University of Michigan (U-M) Prostate SPORE has endeavored to tap the vast intellectual and physical resources of the U-M community to decrease the morbidity and mortality of prostate cancer (PCa).

In the 2018 renewal proposal, U-M joined forces with Karmanos Cancer Institute (KCI) to propose a “Michigan Prostate SPORE” leveraging our institutions’ respective areas of strength. KCI has a non-overlapping patient population as U-M that includes an underserved population. The Michigan Prostate SPORE supports an interactive group of basic and clinical investigators in a translational research program that has led to major discoveries in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of PCa.

The current Michigan SPORE consists of three projects:

These projects are complemented by strong, ongoing institutional commitments of money and space, successful Career Development and Developmental Research Programs, and three cores: Administration, Biostatistics/Bioinformatics, and Biospecimen/Pathology. The Michigan Prostate SPORE continues to place premiums on rigorous scientific review of its translational research programs, pairing of basic and clinical investigators, drawing on expertise of scientists from within and from outside the PCa field, and utilizing flexibility to fund promising new research approaches. The interaction of our multidisciplinary group of investigators clearly makes the Michigan Prostate SPORE greater than the sum of its individual parts.

The Prostate SPORE also provides the following:

Arul M. Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D.
Arul M. Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D.

Prostate SPORE Principal Investigators

Arul M. Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
S.P. Hicks Endowed Professor of Pathology
Director, Michigan Center for Translational Pathology
Professor, Department of Pathology and Urology
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
1500 E. Medical Center Drive
Room 5316 CC
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
734-615-4062  |  [email protected]


Ganesh Palapattu, M.D., FACS
Ganesh Palapattu, M.D., FACS


Ganesh Palapattu, M.D., FACS
University of Michigan
George F and Sandy G Valassis Professor of Urology
Professor and Chair, Department of Urology
1500 E. Medical Center Drive
3875 TC
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
734-936-9269  |  [email protected]



Elisabeth Heath, M.D., FACP
Elisabeth Heath, M.D., FACP


Elisabeth Heath, M.D., FACP
Karmanos Cancer Institute
Associate Center Director, Translational Sciences
Chair, Genitourinary Oncology Multidisciplinary Team
Professor of Oncology and Medicine
Hartmann Endowed Chair for Prostate Cancer Research
Director, Prostate Cancer Research
4100 John R. St.
Detroit, MI 48201
313-576-8717  |  [email protected]

Administrative Core

Arul M. Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D. (Core Director): [email protected]
Elisabeth Heath, M.D., F.A.C.P. (Core Co-Director): [email protected]
Ganesh Palapattu, M.D., F.A.C.S. (Core Co-Director): [email protected]

The Michigan Prostate SPORE Administration Core is responsible for the leadership, guidance and management of this proposal. The Administration Core oversees all aspects and performs numerous duties across the wide scope of the SPORE to support the translational goals of the investigators. The SPORE Administration Core is guided by the following Specific Aims:

  • Aim 1: Provide scientific, programmatic and administrative leadership to all aspects of the SPORE.
  • Aim 2: Develop, facilitate and monitor progress of translational aims with project Co-Leaders.
  • Aim 3: Identify, support, and facilitate scientific collaborations. The Administration Core is charged with creating a culture of collaboration through fostering and helping to establish and maintain successful collaborations.
  • Aim 4: Facilitate communication between investigators and groups within the Michigan Prostate SPORE as well as with other institutional SPOREs, the SPORE network outside the University of Michigan (U-M), Karmanos Cancer Institute (KCI), NCI and investigators across the spectrum of translational cancer research.
  • Aim 5: Perform fiscal and data management functions.
  • Aim 6: Coordinate patient advocacy and provide functional and ethical oversight to projects and cores.

The Core provides support and oversight to ensure that all investigators have IRB and animal approvals in place to conduct research. The Core will develop and maintain an advocacy portal for our prostate cancer patient community. Arul M. Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D. (U-M) serves as Core Director. Ganesh Palapattu, M.D. (U-M) and Elisabeth Heath, M.D. (KCI) will serve as Core Co-Directors of the Administrative Core and provide overall scientific oversight. Dr. Chinnaiyan will be responsible for overall program organization and fiscal oversight as well as the Biostatistics/Bioinformatics and Biospecimen/Pathology Cores. Dr. Palapattu will be responsible for mentorship and development of collaborators and trainees, oversight of the Career Enhancement Program and synergies between U-M and KCI programs. Dr. Heath will oversee clinical trials and therapeutics, patient advocacy, minority community engagement, and the Developmental Research Program. This Core provides the framework to support the success and mission of the Michigan Prostate SPORE as a cohesive group of investigators committed to supporting translational research in prostate cancer.

Career Enhancement Program

Diane Robins, Ph.D.: [email protected]
Goutham Narla, M.D., Ph.D.: [email protected]
Jennifer Beebe-Dimmer, Ph.D., M.P.H.: [email protected]

Prostate cancer research has been greatly hindered by the paucity of new investigators entering the field. In recognition of the need to help establish independently funded investigators in the field of translational prostate cancer research, the Michigan Prostate SPORE has supported two to three junior faculty per year. The focus of the Career Enhancement Program (CEP) is to provide investigators the resources to generate preliminary data for subsequent NIH R01 grant applications or future SPORE projects.

Developmental Research Program

Elisabeth Heath, M.D., F.A.C.P.: [email protected]
Evan Keller, D.V.M., Ph.D.: [email protected]

Recognizing that developmental research funds are an integral part of the SPORE, we commit approximately $150,000 per year to these endeavors. This represents a significant portion of the Prostate SPORE budget and reflects the continued commitment to the development of innovative translational research in prostate cancer. The focus of the Developmental Research Program (DRP) is to provide investigators the resources to generate preliminary data for the submission of an R01 grant application or an equivalent proposal.