Lisa Coussens

Dr. Coussens is the Chair of the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology, and Associate Director for Basic Research in the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU) and holds the Hildegard Lamfrom Chair in Basic Science. Dr. Coussens joined OHSU in Fall 2011 from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) where she was a Professor in the Department of Pathology, and Co-Leader of the Program in Cancer, Immunity and Microenvironment in the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Coussens has an international reputation for exceptional high-impact research; her pioneering studies have fueled a paradigm shift in understanding the role of the tumor microenvironment in regulating solid tumor development. Dr. Coussens research focus is on the role of immune cells and their mediators as critical regulators of solid tumor development, and in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate leukocyte recruitment into neoplastic tissue, and the subsequent regulation those leukocytes exert on evolving cancer cells. She received her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from UCLA in 1993, and completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Cancer Biology at UCSF in Douglas Hanahans' laboratory. Since establishing her own laboratory in 1999, Dr. Coussens has received the prestigious Gertrude B. Elion Award from the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), the Mallinckrodt Award for Medical Science and a V Foundation Scholar Award for her novel discoveries regarding the role of matrix metalloproteinases and mast cells as critical regulators of epithelial cancer development. More recently, Dr. Coussens was awarded two sequential Era of Hope Scholar Awards from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program to support her novel investigations of chronic inflammation as a regulator of breast carcinogenesis. In 2011, she and her clinical collaborators received a Susan G. Komen Promise Grant to conduct a multi-center trial to evaluate novel therapeutic approaches emerging from her research on the tumor microenvironment. Dr. Coussens demonstrates a deep commitment to educating and mentoring the next generation of scientists, and as such was awarded the 2012 AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship.

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