Karen E. Knudsen, PhD, has been named the Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC) at Thomas Jefferson University and the Hilary Koprowski Chair of the Department of Cancer Biology of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Knudsen has been serving in these interim roles since January 2015.
Dr. Knudsen is committed to ushering in a new era of progress and excellence at SKCC. Under her leadership, wider implementation of precision medicine and greater collaboration in the laboratory are the main goals.
In addition to leading SKCC and expanding the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Network, Dr. Knudsen and her team will provide Jefferson’s oncology expertise to patients in Southern New Jersey through our partnership with the Inspira Health Network. The relationship will offer patients greater access to our clinical trials and subspecialty service, such as genetic counseling and oncological surgery. SKCC will also continue its collaboration with the Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine at Jefferson and in fall 2015 Marcus Integrative Health at the Myrna Brind Center at Villanova, to integrate complementary therapies into the care of patients with cancer.
Dr. Knudsen received her bachelor’s degree from George Washington University, and her doctorate from the University of California at San Diego. Her postdoctoral studies with National Academy of the Sciences member Webster K. Cavenee, PhD, at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, cultivated a program centered on the molecular basis of prostate cancer growth and progression. Dr. Knudsen joined Jefferson in 2007, after being a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
An expert in the molecular basis of hormone-dependent cancer development and progression, Dr. Knudsen is focused on developing new means to prevent or treat lethal prostate cancers. Her studies that identify tumor suppressor and hormone receptor alterations have uncovered new targets for treating advanced disease and have led to innovative, biomarker-driven clinical trials.
Dr. Knudsen also has joint appointments in the Departments of Urology, Radiation Oncology, and Medical Oncology. She served as the first Vice Provost for Thomas Jefferson University, overseeing and integrating basic and clinical research across the college and schools. ■