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.
His clinical interests include endocrine surgery specifically thyroid surgery for benign and malignant disease, minimally invasive parathyroid surgery and adrenalectomy, as well as surgery for advanced melanomas 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.
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 new ways to more effectively treat locally advanced cancers through nanoparticle drug-delivery strategies. Through two patented nanoparticle drug-delivery systems, he is developing new sustained release treatment strategies with these nanoparticles to complete pre-clinical proof-of-concept studies to move these treatments into upcoming clinical trials. (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 function of the HSP90 molecular chaperone selectively in cancer cells. These new drug compounds are being translated into improved anti-cancer drugs 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.
Zhang H, Motiwala H, Samadi A, Day V, Aubé J, Cohen M, Kindscher K, Gollapudi R, Timmermann B:
Minor withanolides of Physalis longifolia: Structure and cytotoxicity Chem. Pharm. Bull. 60(10): 1234-1239,
Zhang H, Samadi AK, Gallagher RJ, Araya JJ, Tong X, Day VW, Cohen MS, Kindscher K, Gollapudi R,
Timmermann BN.: Correction to Cytotoxic Withanolide Constituents of Physalis longifolia J Nat Prod 75(2):
306, 2012. 22316096
Zhang X, Timmermann B, Samadi AK, Cohen MS: Withaferin a induces proteasome-dependent
degradation of breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 and heat shock factor 1 proteins in breast cancer cells.
ISRN biochemistry 2012: 707586, 2012. PM25969759
Zhang H, Samadi AK, Cohen MS, Timmermann BN: Anti-proliferative withanolides from the Solanaceae: a
structure-activity study. Pure and applied chemistry. Chimie pure et appliquee 84(6): 1353-1367, 2012.
Zhang X, Samadi AK, Roby KF, Timmermann B, Cohen MS: Inhibition of cell growth and induction of
apoptosis in ovarian carcinoma cell lines CaOV3 and SKOV3 by natural withanolide Withaferin A Gynecol.
Oncol. 124(3): 606-612, 2012. PM22188785
Cohen SM, Mukerji R, Samadi AK, Zhang X, Zhao H, Blagg BS, Cohen MS: Novel C-terminal Hsp90
inhibitor for head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) with in vivo efficacy and improved toxicity
profiles compared with standard agents Ann. Surg. Oncol. 19(SUPPL. 3): S483-S490, 2012. PM21837531
Samadi AK, Cohen SM, Mukerji R, Chaguturu V, Zhang X, Timmermann BN, Cohen MS, Person EA:
Natural withanolide withaferin A induces apoptosis in uveal melanoma cells by suppression of Akt and
c-MET activation. Tumour Biol. 33(4): 1179-1189, 2012. PM22477711
Venable RO, Worley DR, Gustafson DL, Hansen RJ, Ehrhart EJ, Cai S, Cohen MS, Forrest ML: Effects of
intratumoral administration of a hyaluronan-cisplatin nanoconjugate to five dogs with soft tissue sarcomas
Am. J. Vet. Res. 73(12): 1969-1973, 2012. PM23176425
Cohen SM, Mukerji R, Timmermann BN, Samadi AK, Cohen MS: A novel combination of withaferin A and
sorafenib shows synergistic efficacy against both papillary and anaplastic thyroid cancers Am. J. Surg.
204(6): 895-901, 2012. PM23231932
Cohen SM, Fishinghawk BG, Urban DM, Schropp KP, Person E, Mammen JM, Aires D, Cohen MS: Are
university-based residency training programs lacking in resident education of proper diagnosis and
treatment for common skin and breast lesions? Am. J. Surg. 204(6): 981-987, 2012. PM23231937