National leader in childhood cancer research joins University of Chicago Medical Center team

December 21, 2006

Susan L. Cohn, MD, a leader in neuroblastoma research, has been named professor of Pediatrics, section chief of Clinical Sciences at the Institute for Molecular Pediatric Sciences and director of clinical research in pediatric hematology/oncology at the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital, effective Jan. 1.

Currently, Cohn is co-leader of the Pediatric Program of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and attending physician of Hematology/Oncology at Children's Memorial Hospital. Her primary research interest has been in neuroblastoma and other solid tumors in children.

"Dr. Cohn is a skilled and compassionate physician, an exceptional teacher, an international leader in clinical investigation of pediatric cancers and an experienced administrator," said Steve A.N. Goldstein, MD, PhD, physician in chief of Comer Children's Hospital, chairman of Pediatrics, and director of the Institute for Molecular Pediatric Sciences.

"Her extensive experience in clinical research makes her the ideal person to lead the Clinical Studies Program in the Institute for Molecular Pediatric Sciences," he said. "She will be instrumental in enhancing our ability to develop novel therapies for pediatric diseases by building a framework that translates clinical studies and research findings into daily practices."

Cohn received her bachelor's degree from Northwestern University and her medical degree from the University of Illinois. Following residency training in pediatrics at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, she became a fellow in Hematology/Oncology at Children's Memorial Hospital. In 1987, she joined the Children's Memorial faculty.

Since 1990, Cohn has been a leader in national pediatric cooperative clinical research groups, including serving as chair of the Pediatric Oncology Group Neuroblastoma Biology Committee, chair of the Children's Oncology Group (COG) Neuroblastoma Disease Committee, and director of the COG Neuroblastoma Tracking Center.

Presently, she is vice chair of the COG Neuroblastoma Disease Committee, as well as a member of the organization's Hematology/Oncology Discipline Steering Committee, Scientific Council and Executive Committee. In addition, the Advances in Neuroblastoma Research Association named her president-elect.

She is institutional principal investigator of the Phase I Consortium Study in New Agents in Neuroblastoma Treatment and directs NIH-funded work on effects of SPARC (secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine, an amino acid) on neuroblastoma tumor growth and blood vessel formation.

Cohn has co-edited two books and has written 11 book chapters and more than 80 articles for peer-reviewed journals. She also is a reviewer for numerous journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Cancer Research and the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

"We are thrilled that Susan will soon be a part of our team," Goldstein said. "Her intelligence, enthusiasm, and leadership abilities will be an asset as we expand our role as one of the world's leading institutions for translational pediatric medicine and science."

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