Administration

David D. McPhersonDavid D. McPherson, MD (Corresponding PI; Executive Director of the CCTS), is the James T. and Nancy B. Willerson Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, Director of the Division of Cardiology, and Professor of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. He is also Medical Director of the Memorial Hermann Heart and Vascular Institute–Texas Medical Center.  Before he joined The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, he was Professor of the Graduate School at Northwestern University 1999-2006, Professor of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University 1996-2006, and Director of Research of Division of Cardiology at Northwestern University 1989-2006.  Dr. McPherson has extensive research experience in cardiovascular imaging, vascular biology, and therapeutic delivery to stabilize and modify atherosclerosis. He has received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Canadian Heart Foundation, and other private organizations for nearly 25 years.  He has authored more than 133 manuscripts, 281 abstracts, 21 book chapters, 14 review articles, and 8 editorials.  He is the editor of 2 books and is board certified in cardiovascular disease, internal medicine, and echocardiography. He is the immediate past President of the Houston Affiliate of the American Heart Association and also serves as Chairman of the Ethics and Bylaws Committee of the American Society of Echocardiography.

Daniel D. Karp

Daniel D. Karp, MD (Multiple PI), is Professor in the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, at UT MDACC.  Prior to coming to UT MDACC in 2002, he was Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard University and was Medical Director of the Cancer Clinical Trials Office at both Tufts New England Medical Center and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Dr. Karp has leadership experience in organizing and managing large cancer clinical research networks in both the Veterans Administration and the NIH Cooperative Group setting. He was the first Chair of the Veterans Administration Region 1 Cancer Network, which involved approximately 25 Veterans Administration Medical Centers in New England and New York. In the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, he was a member of the Executive Committee, Chairman of the Audit Committee, and Principal Investigator of the Tufts/New England–based cancer cooperative Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group network, which included approximately 20 hospitals in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Dr. Karp’s research has involved a number of aspects of aerodigestive (head and neck, and lung) cancer clinical research and currently centers on lung cancer and other malignancies of the chest.  His research includes new drug development, combined modality therapy for regionally advanced lung cancer, cancer chemoprevention, and medical graphics and informatics, including medical database methodology. As Director of the UT MDACC Clinical Research Center, Dr. Karp works with more than 100 faculty researchers and principal investigators who are developing new agents for cancer treatment and prevention.  He had a role in the earliest clinical trials of epirubicin, the taxanes, and Tarceva, the new targeted oral inhibitor of the epidermal growth factor receptor and one of the first oral vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibitors. In 2009 he co-authored the publication on the first Phase II study of a humanized monoclonal antibody insulin growth factor receptor inhibitor, figitumumab, which showed very promising results, especially in squamous cancer of the lung. Dr. Karp is the chair of the large National Cancer Institute—sponsored research protocol E5597, which is evaluating selenium chemoprevention in more than 1700 patients who underwent surgery for stage I lung cancer. The abstract of that research was accepted for presentation at the 2010 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, where it was chosen as “Best of ASCO” and rated in the top 1% of submitted abstracts. Dr. Karp has published 57 peer-reviewed publications.  

Robert C. BastRobert C. Bast, Jr., MD (Co-PI), is Vice President for Translational Research at UT MDACC and holds the Harry Carothers Wiess Distinguished University Chair for Cancer Research.  His office facilitates translation of new strategies, drugs, and devices from the laboratory to the clinic as well as the movement of human material and data from the clinic to the laboratory. Dr. Bast previously served as the Director of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, where he was named the Wellcome Clinical Professor of Medicine in Honor of R. Wayne Rundles. Prior to being appointed to Vice President, he served as the Head of the Division of Medicine at UT MDACC.

Dr. Bast is best known for developing the OC125 monoclonal antibody and the adoption of serum CA125 levels as an accepted biomarker for detecting and monitoring treatment of ovarian cancer.  Dr. Bast’s most recent studies have focused on the identification of ARHI, a novel ras-related imprinted tumor suppressor gene that can induce autophagy and tumor dormancy and is the first inducible model for tumor dormancy in ovarian cancer.  Dr. Bast coordinates a number of programs designed to enhance translational and clinical research. He has obtained and twice renewed an NCI K12 training grant for mentoring clinical scientists in cancer-related research.  He facilitates development of multi-investigator grants across UT MDACC.  His investment of $6.5 million in seed funds for P01s and SPOREs has leveraged $104 million in new grants over the last 5 years.  Dr. Bast manages the NCI Cancer Center Support Grant, which coordinates 24 instrumental, veterinary, and clinical shared resources.  Strategic alliances have been established with five major pharmaceutical companies to facilitate access to the most promising drugs, to minimize delays in initiating Phase I trials, and to provide $34 million for focused collaborative projects. One example is that a patient was entered on a Phase I trial within 48 hours of finalizing the paperwork with the FDA, saving 3 months in drug development time and providing a paradigm for future interactions between academe and pharma.  A mechanism has been established at UT MDACC to develop some 30 in-house inventions so that they can be licensed or patented.  Dr. Bast's research has been continuously funded by NCI for more than 30 years. He has trained and mentored more than 20 medical students and more than 40 postdoctoral fellows.  He has published 596 articles and chapters and edited the textbook Cancer Medicine.  Dr. Bast has been recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information as one of the top 0.5% frequently cited scientists in his field. His efforts have also been recognized by election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians, and American Clinical and Climatological Association as well as to fellowship in the Association of American Physicians and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a founding member of the board of the V Foundation and has served on the scientific advisory boards of several cancer centers, biotechnology companies and pharmaceutical corporations in the United States as well as the Helene Harris Memorial Trust (Ovarian Cancer Action) in London, the Cancer Center Karolinska in Stockholm, the Tata Memorial Institute in Mumbai, the Deutsche Krebshilfe in Germany, and the Associazione Italiana Per La Ricerca Sul Cancro in Italy. 

Roberta B. NessRoberta B. Ness, MD, MPH (Co-PI), is Dean of The University of Texas School of Public Health and holds the M. David Low Chair in Public Health.  She was Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health 2003-2008; Director of University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Program 1997-2006; and Director of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Epidemiology of Women’s Health Program 1995-2008. Dr. Ness has had a long and distinguished career that has included teaching, research, and clinical practice in epidemiology, oncology, obstetrics and gynecology, and public health. She has authored more than 240 publications and has received more than 20 federal grants. She has studied women’s reproductive health, including inflammation and ovarian cancer; gynecologic diseases; the effect of environmental toxins on development of infants; hypertension in the mother during and after pregnancy; and risk markers for endometriosis among women on active duty in the US military.  She was one of the first investigators to propose gender-based biology as a research paradigm in her book Health and Disease Among Women: Biological and Environmental Influences, and her research has contributed significantly to advancement of knowledge in the discipline of public health.  She is President of the American College of Epidemiology and has served as a member of its board of directors since 2004. In 2008, the Society for General Internal Medicine recognized her as Distinguished Professor of Women’s Health and the Girl Scouts of America named her as Women and Girls of Distinction Honoree in Technology and Innovation.



Jon TysonJon Tyson, MD, MPH (Associate Director of the CCTS), is a pediatrician, neonatologist, and epidemiologist and the Michelle Bain Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Public Health, Professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Internal Medicine and Director of the Center for Clinical Research and Evidence-Based Medicine at UTHSC-H. He has received 47 total grant years of funding as a PI from NICHD, NHLBI, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  He has the kind of unusually broad background necessary to provide training and methodological mentoring in almost any type of clinical study.  Dr. Tyson has more than 170 clinical publications, including 14 in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and Lancet in the last 10 years. In 2004, he became the second recipient of the Douglas K. Richardson Award for Perinatal and Pediatric Healthcare Research, awarded by the Society for Pediatric Research.

CCTS Organization

See charts of:

  • the participating schools and institutions,
  • the components, and
  • the CCTS organization

all available on the CCTS Organization and Administration page.

Funding/Research Planning Tips

  • How to write the New, Shorter NIH Research Grants (slide presentation
  • How to write the New, Shorter NIH Research Grants (video
  • Finding Funding Opportunities: Choosing the Best Grant for You (slide presentation)
  • NIH Enhancing Peer Review: New review criteria, new scoring, new reorganized forms, and shorter proposals for 2010, by John Ivy, Texas A&M University Office of Proposal Development.
  • Grantsmanship, or How to Swim with the Sharks and Survive!, a talk by Jerrold J. Heindel, PhD, Scientific Program Administrator, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health
  • Getting Started in Clinical Research (video)