Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center

Dr. Knudsen Named Director of SKCC


Karen E. Knudsen, PhD, has been named the Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center 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, and is exceptionally qualified to lead the vitally important research and clinical work being done at Jefferson to conquer cancer.

Dr. Knudsen is both committed and passionate about ushering in a new era of progress and excellence at the SKCC. With her team of equally devoted researchers and clinicians, Dr. Knudsen will execute on her vision to reimagine cancer care, research and education -- both nationally and globally. Under her leadership, precision medicine will drive patient treatments, and greater collaboration in the lab will yield more powerful discoveries.

In addition to leading the SKCC and expanding the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Network, Dr. Knudsen and her team will provide Jefferson's oncology expertise to patients in South Jersey through our partnership with the Inspira Health Network. The relationship will offer patients greater access to our clinical trials and sub-specialty services such as genetic counseling and oncological surgery. The SKCC will also continue its collaboration with the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health to integrate complementary therapies into the care of patients with cancer.

Dr. Knudsen received her BS from George Washington University and PhD from the University of California at San Diego. Her postdoctoral studies with National Academy of the Sciences member Dr. Webster K. Cavenee 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 a successful career as a tenured associate professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

A leading expert in the molecular basis of hormone-dependent cancer development and progression, Dr. Knudsen focuses her work 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. Notably, she served as the first Vice Provost for Thomas Jefferson University, overseeing and integrating basic and clinical research across the colleges.