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Cohen Appointed to Advance Cancer Education
Ezra Cohen, MD, associate professor of medicine, has a new role with The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC). Effective December 1, 2011, Dr. Cohen will be the associate director for education.

In this new position, Dr. Cohen will expand, integrate, and coordinate cancer-related educational efforts for trainees as well as healthcare professionals at The University of Chicago.

“How we understand cancer is changing rapidly and the pace is only accelerating,” said Dr. Cohen. “Significant discoveries are being made on a regular basis within multiple areas of the University, so it only makes sense to coordinate cancer education and spearhead educational initiatives within the University and the community. UCCCC leadership has demonstrated tremendous foresight in creating this position.”

One of Dr. Cohen’s short-term goals is to catalog current cancer educational activities at all levels—undergraduate, graduate, medical school, and post-graduate medical education—to find ways to leverage areas of mutual benefit and close the gaps. A long-term goal is to expose more high school students to the fields of cancer research and cancer therapeutics.

“The UCCCC places a high priority on training and career development to produce the next generation of skilled clinicians and basic, translational, clinical, and population researchers,” said UCCCC Director Michelle M. Le Beau, PhD, Arthur and Marian Edelstein Professor of Medicine. “We are delighted that Dr. Cohen, an accomplished physician scientist and educator, will assume this newly created role in advancing cancer education programs at the University.”

Dr. Cohen’s expertise is in cancers of the head and neck, thyroid, and salivary glands. His research has focused on combining radiotherapy with novel agents and on discovering how cancers become resistant to existing treatments so that ways to overcome these mechanisms can be developed.

Dr. Cohen received his MD degree in 1990 from the University of Toronto Medical School. He completed residencies in family medicine and obstetrics at the University of Toronto before traveling to New York for a residency in internal medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. In 1999, he came to The University of Chicago where he completed a fellowship in hematology/oncology before joining the faculty in 2002 as an instructor.

“I have been exposed to many wonderful educators and mentors throughout my own education and career,” said Dr. Cohen. “At some level, everyone in science and medicine is a teacher whether to actual students, peers, community, or patients. At The University of Chicago, I’ve had the privilege of having two extraordinary mentors—Everett Vokes, MD, and Marsha Rosner, PhD—who truly embody the highest standards of the term. Both showed what critical mentorship is, and what a difference it can make in a career and the philosophy of an entire institution.”

Dr. Cohen is currently an associate professor of medicine, co-director of the Head and Neck Cancer Program, and directs the clinical fellowship program in the Section of Hematology/Oncology. His professional honors include the Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Clinical Oncology and the Clinical Research Award from The University of Chicago Department of Medicine.

He is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Head and Neck Cancer Steering Committee. He has published more than 100 scientific papers and has lectured at scientific meetings around the world. Dr. Cohen is the editor-in-chief of Oral Oncology and serves on the editorial boards of the World Journal of Radiology, World Journal of Clinical Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research, and Update on Cancer Therapeutics.