Endocrine Surgery 1.734.936.5738 Text Size
Mark S. Cohen, M.D.
Associate Professor of Surgery and Pharmacology
Director of Endocrine Surgery Research

Practicing at:
University of Michigan Health Systems
1500 East Medical Center Drive
2920K Taubman Center SPC 5331
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5331

Dr. Cohen is currently Associate Professor of Surgery and Pharmacology, Associate Chair in the Department of Surgery for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Director of the Medical School Pathway of Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and a Principal Investigator in the Translational Oncology Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. He received his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and completed his general surgery residency as well as a NIH-sponsored fellowship in endocrine and oncologic surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Before coming to the University of Michigan in 2012, he was Associate Professor of Surgery and Pharmacology and Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Surgery at the University of Kansas.

Clinical Interests

His clinical interests include endocrine surgery, specifically thyroid surgery for benign and malignant disease, minimally invasive parathyroid surgery, and adrenalectomy, as well as advanced melanoma surgery including hyperthermic isolated limb perfusion, a program he began here at Michigan in 2013 and is now one of the largest in the nation. He is Boarded by the American Board of Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Research Interests

In addition to his clinical interests, Dr. Cohen has an active basic science and translational research laboratory on the NCRC campus focused on development of new drug treatments for cancer patients. These novel drugs are being evaluated for improving the responses of melanoma, thyroid cancer, head and neck squamous cell cancer, colon cancer, and breast cancer. His research is focused in three main areas of translation:

  • (1) Developing methods to more effectively treat locally advanced cancers through nanoparticle drug-delivery strategies. Using two patented nanoparticle drug-delivery systems, he is developing novel sustained-release treatment strategies with nanoparticles to complete pre-clinical proof-of-concept studies to move these treatments into upcoming clinical trials in several types of cancers.

  • (2) Developing novel highly selective, highly potent cancer therapies from natural products including withanolide drugs isolated from the Physalis longifolia plant, which have been shown to be highly effective treatments against melanomas, breast cancer, thyroid cancer, colon cancer, glioblastomas, neuroblastomas, leukemias, lung cancers, and head and neck cancers. These drugs also target cancer stem cell function and decrease tumor invasion and aggressiveness in preclinical models.

  • (3) Evaluating the clinical potential of new targeted drugs developed to inhibit the cancer cell regulatory function of the HSP90 molecular chaperone selectively. These new drug compounds are being translated into improved anti-cancer agents for future clinical trials in thyroid cancer, head and neck squamous cell cancer, breast cancer, melanoma and adrenal cancer. His research has been funded by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the National Institute of Health.

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