John M. Carethers, MD

Past Chairperson
John M. Carethers, MD
John G. Searle Professor and Chair, Department of Internal Medicine
​University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

​John M. Carethers, MD, is the John G. Searle professor and chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan since November 2009. As chair, he oversees over 700 paid faculty in their academic, clinical, and teaching roles as they relate to the overall integration with the health system’s missions of clinical excellence, education, and discovery. Dr. Carethers is a trained gastroenterologist and physician-scientist who focuses his research in the area of hereditary colon cancer genetics.

Dr. Carethers received his bachelor's degree in biological sciences with a minor in chemistry from Wayne State University, and his medical degree with high distinction from the same institution. Dr. Carethers did his internship and residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by a fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of Michigan. He was then recruited to the University of California San Diego where he grew his laboratory-based research in the area of DNA mismatch repair and colorectal cancer pathogenesis, and saw medicine and gastroenterology patients, including serving as the main physician for hereditary colon cancer referrals in Southern California. He served in leadership roles including the gastroenterology fellowship director, the gastroenterology section chief for the San Diego VA Hospital, and then division chief for UC San Diego before being recruited to Michigan. He was the founding director of the NIH-funded UCSD Gastroenterology Center grant, and was the director of the gastroenterology T32 training grant. His laboratory research continues to be funded by the NIH. Dr. Carethers also has interests in colorectal cancer disparities as they relate to genetics and outcomes. He is the former PI of the SDSU/UCSD Cancer Center Comprehensive Partnership U54 grant, which addresses cancer disparities. He has published over 150 manuscripts and book chapters. He is a senior associate editor for Gastroenterology, the highest impact gastroenterology journal. He completed a two-year appointment on the National Commission for Digestive Diseases, a U.S. Congressional Commission after his appointment by Elias Zerhouni, MD, then director of the NIH. He was elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and elected member of the American Association of Physicians (AAP), and serves on the AAP Council. He was elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2012.

As chair of internal medicine at the University of Michigan, Dr. Carethers has been involved in, and directed initiatives related to, quality, palliative care, basic and clinical research, faculty and leadership recruitment, clinical program development, research program development, philanthropy, strategic planning, and education expansion including CME and MOC, among others.