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Meet UNMC Distinguished Scientist Marlene Cohen, Ph.D.

UNMC researcher Marlene Cohen, Ph.D., answers questions about her work, life and interests.

NOTE: This profile is part of a series to highlight the 23 researchers who will be honored May 22 at a ceremony for UNMC's 2011 Scientist Laureate, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator award recipients.

  • Name: Marlene Cohen, Ph.D.
  • Title: Professor and Kenneth E. Morehead Endowed Chair in Nursing, associate dean for research, College of Nursing
  • Joined UNMC: October 2008
  • Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.

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Marlene Cohen, Ph.D., left.
Describe your research in laymen's terms.

My program of research has focused on the meaning of illness, primarily cancer, and its treatment. Health care providers, like most people, see things from their own perspective. However, the perspectives of patients and families are often very different. Understanding what is important to patients makes it more likely that interventions will be effective.

How do you want your research to translate to benefit patients?

This research is aimed at improving care delivered by nurses and other professionals. Needs that are understood are most likely to be met. Communication between patients and caregivers will be improved by finding out what patients really need. Understanding patients' experiences and the meaning of their symptoms is vital to ensuring patients are as comfortable as they deserve to be.

What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you, professional or personal?

Do what you love and have fun with your work.

List three things few people know about you.

  • I was an aspiring Shakespearean actress in high school.
  • I love classic movies. Cary Grant is always there when I need him.
  • Reading Chassidic stories is my favorite pastime.

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