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.

picture disc.
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.


Fill out the following and your comment will post once it has been approved.

Thank you, your comment will appear below once it has been approved.

Ellen Sitton
June 26, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Marlene, this is very impressive. Congratulations. You are distinguished in so many ways and have been for many years. Ellen Sitton, MSN

Kate Weidemann
May 24, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Dr. Cohen, I saw the ad in the newspaper mentioning that you are a distinguished scientist. After reading what your research is about, I was amazed. It is the research that you are doing and helping nurses and potential nurses, like myself, to become better caregivers. My husband was wounded in Iraq and it was the nurses that helped me through the process and making sure my husband was able to deal with his coming medical-related retirement. Your research, although primarily focused on cancer patients, can be applied to wounded service members and is extremely important. I, as a former military wife, thank you for your valuable research that can be applied to cancer patients and even service members. And congratulations on this amazing achievement. Sincerely, Kate Weidemann

Barbara Swore Fletcher
May 15, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Hi Marlene, When I think of what I wnat to say, its mostly THANK YOU for your research mentoring and support! Congratulations, Barb Fletcher, Assistant Professor

Kathy Wolfe
May 08, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Marlene, it is a great honor to have you on our UNMC CON team!! You are not only brilliant, but also a beautiful human being. Congratulations!!! Kathy Wolfe, Director of Development