Meet UNMC Distinguished Scientist Samuel Cohen, M.D., Ph.D.

UNMC researcher Samuel Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., answers questions about his work, life and interests.

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Samuel Cohen, M.D., Ph.D.
NOTE: This profile is part of a series highlighting the 24 researchers who will be honored at a May 2 ceremony for UNMC's 2010 Scientist Laureate, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator award recipients.

  • Name: Samuel Cohen, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Title: professor in the department of pathology and microbiology and Havlik-Wall Professor of Oncology
  • Joined UNMC: April 1981
  • Hometown: Edgerton, Wis.

Describe your research in laymen's terms.

We investigate the mechanisms by which chemicals cause cancer and evaluate possible risks to humans.

How does your research contribute to science and/or health care?

Our research contributes to the prevention of cancer as well as putting into perspective environmental exposures.

Name someone at UNMC who provides vital contributions to your success and briefly describe how they help you.

Lora Arnold has been instrumental to my success as a major co-investigator in my laboratory for the past 20 years.

List three things few people know about you.

  • I played a major role in the Food and Drug Administration's original approval of statins for treating hypercholesterolemia, addressing concerns about cancer risk.
  • I was instrumental in developing processes for the National Toxicology Program (NTP) to remove chemicals from a congressionally mandated list of carcinogens if research indicates a mechanism in animal models not relevant to humans, using the precedent of saccharin. These developments were based predominantly on research from my laboratory.
  • I have an interest in American History, especially the period between 1750 and 1870.


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