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Mark S. Cohen, M.D.
Mark S. Cohen, M.D., F.A.C.S
Mark S. Cohen, M.D., F.A.C.S
Associate Chair for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Associate Professor of Surgery and Pharmacology
Director, Medical School Path of Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Director, Endocrine Surgery Research

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

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, Director of Endocrine Surgery Research, and a Principal Investigator in the Translational Oncology Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

He received his bachelors in Chemical Engineering and his Medical Doctorate degrees from Washington University 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.

In his roles as Associate Chair in Surgery and Path Director at the Medical School for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, he has put together along with the Fast Forward Medical Innovation group several educational programs in Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (the only one of their kind in the world) for medical students (Innovation & Entrepreneurship Path of Excellence), residents, and faculty (Department of Surgery Research and Innovations) as well as co-founding 3 start-up companies in the therapeutics drug and device industry designed to improve treatments and outcomes in cancer patients.

He has written and published over 70 original articles, 9 book chapters, and his research has been externally funded by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the National Institute of Health as well as gifts from grateful patient donors. He has served on Grant Study Sections for the National Science Foundation and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, as well as on the Executive Council of the Association for Academic Surgery and the American Association for Endocrine Surgeons as the National Program Chair in 2013.

Clinical Specialization

His clinical interests and national expertise are in the areas of Endocrine Surgery: specifically thyroid surgery for benign and malignant disease, minimally invasive parathyroid surgery, and adrenal surgery, 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:

  • 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 slow-release treatment strategies with nanoparticles to complete FDA preclinical studies to move these treatments into upcoming clinical trials in several types of cancers.

  • 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.

  • Evaluating the clinical potential of new targeted cancer drugs that inhibit a special chaperone protein, HSP90, which is a key activator of several proteins that drive cancer cell growth and metastatic spread. 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.

His research has been funded by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the National Institute of Health, and he serves on grant review study sections for the National Science Foundation and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

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