Dr. Cohen has an active basic science and translational research laboratory on the NCRC campus focused on the safer development of more effective cancer therapies and drug treatments. His lab is highly translational focusing on a “bench to bedside” approach to bring new cancer treatments to his patients and others at the University of Michigan. This research spans many cancers including thyroid cancer, adrenal cancer, melanoma, breast cancer, head and neck cancer, glioblastomas, prostate cancer, colon cancer, bladder cancer and lung cancer. New cancer drugs have been identified and developed in his lab through collaborations with other experts across the country. One project has lead to a new method to target cancer stem cells using hyaluronic acid nanoparticles. This new drug delivery method is significantly more effective in transporting drug-treatments to target cancer cells regionally and their draining lymph nodes. Using this drug-delivery technique, cancer cells are destroyed more effectively and tumors become less aggressive and are not able to spread as easily. Another project in his lab helped discover and develop a whole new class of naturally-derived compounds called withanolides. These amazing drugs come from a plant native to the midwest and are highly potent against many cancers but do not harm normal tissues. These novel withanolides can also be delivered more effectively to several types of cancers through combining them with a HDL nanoparticle technology to improve drug delivery. This project is currently being advanced toward a clinical application in adrenal cancers, but has great potential in breast cancer, melanoma, head and neck cancer, and colon cancer as well. A third and important project involves the translational development of novel drug compounds that target the molecular chaperone HSP-90 that is involved in regulating several key proteins that control cell growth and invasiveness of cancer cells. His research has been funded by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the National Institute of Health.
Dr. View more of Dr. Cohen’s research and publications on the Michigan Experts website
Translational Oncology Program link
Feature Article on Dr. Cohen’s Research by The Susan G. Komen Foundation