Dr. Bepler leads the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, an NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Detroit, Michigan. He has spent his career researching risk, biology, treatment, and outcomes related to lung cancer, with a focus on non-small cell lung cancer.
Dr. Bepler’s research experience spans the full spectrum from bench to clinical and population research, and he has conducted and published work in cell biology, molecular genetics, clinical and translational sciences, early detection, and risk intervention. More than 20 years ago, his research findings drove his passion for and involvement in the development of personalized medicine. His leadership and knowledge of the field is apparent, along with his ability to excite other researchers to look for new possibilities. As such, Karmanos Cancer Institute has one of the largest clinical trials programs in the nation where many of the recently FDA-approved treatments were tested.
Among his accomplishments is the ability to secure grant funding for his research, totaling more than $80 million since the mid-1980s. He is the recipient of RO1, R21, U01, P50, and P30 awards from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). While at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, he became the first cancer researcher in the state of Florida to receive a SPORE grant (P50 CA119997). Since joining Karmanos in 2010, institutional funding from research grants and contracts has increased from $65 to $80 million annually.
Dr. Bepler is credited with creating the Karmanos Cancer Network in 2014. It is Michigan’s largest cancer care and research network, with 14 locations throughout the state covering 48 of Michigan’s 83 counties. More than 14,000 new patients are treated annually and now have access to clinical trials and advanced treatment options close to home.
He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, including articles in the New England Journal of Medicine
, the Journal of Clinical Oncology
and Cancer Research
. He has chaired and sits on NCI Study Sections and as a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), participated on its program committee. His awards and recognitions include membership on the Women’s Choice Healthcare Advisory Board with WomenCertified Inc. (2014-present); an appointment to the Fleischner Society for Thoracic Imaging and Diagnosis (2012); the Moffitt Cancer Center’s Scientist of the Year (2008); the American College of Physicians Information and Education Resource Editorial Consultant (2007–2008), and an editorial board appointment with the Journal of Clinical Oncology