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Utah Cancer Expert Named Chair of Duke's Department of Medicine

Dr. Kathleen Cooney is renowned for her work in prostate cancer


Duke Health News Duke Health News

DURHAM, N.C. -- Kathleen Cooney, M.D., a medical oncologist and internationally known physician scientist, has been named chair of the Department of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine.

Cooney joins Duke from the University of Utah School of Medicine, where she is the H.A. and Edna Benning Presidential Endowed Professor, chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, and member of the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

A specialist in prostate cancer, Cooney has conducted research on the genetic epidemiology of prostate cancer. She is currently an investigator on three grants from the Department of Defense and one grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is an author on 140 peer-reviewed journal articles. 

“Dr. Cooney is a preeminent academic leader recognized as an excellent clinician, scientist and educator,” said Mary E. Klotman, M.D., dean of the Duke University School of Medicine. “She will bring the experience, knowledge and skills acquired over her distinguished 30-year career to steer our largest department into an exciting future.” 

Cooney’s research led to the finding that a recurrent mutation in the HOXB13 gene increases the chances of being diagnosed with prostate cancer and is estimated to account for 5 percent of hereditary prostate cancer cases worldwide. She continues investigations focused on identifying germline mutations associated with lethal and aggressive prostate cancer as well as prostate cancer in African-American men. 

At Utah since 2016, Cooney was committed to growing the clinical mission of the department while simultaneously investing in research. She is an avid teacher and mentor with a strong devotion to guiding and supporting clinical and laboratory trainees as well as faculty.

Prior to her appointment at Utah, Cooney was a professor of internal medicine and urology and previously served as the division chief of Hematology/Oncology and deputy director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Michigan. 

Cooney received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia. She was also chief resident in Internal Medicine and completed her fellowship training in Hematology/Oncology at the University of Michigan. 

Cooney succeeds Klotman, who was named the medical school’s dean in January, 2017. She will begin in her new role on Aug. 1. 

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