Harvey Jay Cohen, MD

Professor of Medicine
Walter Kempner Distinguished Professor of Medicine, in the School of Medicine
Emeritus Director, Center for the Study of Aging & Human Development
Faculty Research Scholar of DuPRI's Center for Population Health & Aging
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Campus mail 2509 Blue Zone Duke Clinic, Center for Aging, Trent Drive, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 660-7503
Email address harvey.cohen@duke.edu

Dr. Cohen's research program includes clinical research relating to aspects of the pathways to functional decline and reilience with aging, geriatric assessment, and cancer and anemia in the elderly.

Pathways to functional decline are being explored through the NIA funded Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, and includes studies of the contributions of age related physiologic change, in particular changes in inflammatory parameters, comorbid diseases and conditions, environment, genetics, and the interactionas among them. Data are derived from several current studies as well as previously collected data sets from the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (EPESE), National Long Term Care Survey, and the Chinese Longevity Study (with Dr. Zeng Yi). Previous work has demonstrated the important contributions of age related inflammation and coagulation activation to functional status. He is Co-PI of the Pepper Center Physical Performance Across the LifeSpan (PALS) study, which is a longitudinal cohort study of community dwelling adults from age 30-90+and includes functional measures and biomarkers on inflammation and metabolism.
Geriatric assessment approaches have been studied in a number of randomized and controlled studies and work is now concentrating on the application of Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment tools to the evaluation and treatment of elderly patients with cancer. This is an extension and continuation of a long standing interest in geriatric oncology. Previous studies have elucidated age-related patterns of disease presentation, treatment approaches, clinical trials, survivorship, quality of life, impact of comrobidities and functional outcomes. Dr. Cohen was co-chair, and now member of the Cancer in the Older Adult Committee of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology (ALLIANCE). A number of active studies and ongoing data bases aree being utilized to address these questions.

Anemia in the older adult is being addressed through an NIA funded U01 consortium (Dr. Cohen Co-PI). the current main study is an observational study followed by a pragmatic treatment trial for anemia in older adults with CHF, in collaboration with the Cardiovascular Research Network (CVRN) of the Health services research network (HSRN) 

Education and Training

  • M.D., State University of New York, Brooklyn, 1965


Swenson, R. M., H. J. Cohen, R. P. D’Amico, and M. Kern. “The synthesis and secretion of gamma-globulin by lymph node cells. V. The dissociation of the microsome-antibody complex with enzymatically and chemically altered gamma-globulins.” J Biol Chem 244, no. 2 (January 25, 1969): 440–48.


Cohen, H. J., and M. Kern. “Synthesis and secretion of gamma-globulin by lymph node cells. VI. Characteristics of the structure of immunoglobulin A and its pattern of secretion by appendix cell suspensions.” Biochim Biophys Acta 188, no. 2 (1969): 255–64. https://doi.org/10.1016/0005-2795(69)90073-7.

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Cohen, H. J., A. Elizalde, and S. P. Miller. “Cytologic studies of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in malignancy.” Cancer 21, no. 6 (June 1968): 1055–60. https://doi.org/10.1002/1097-0142(196806)21:6<1055::aid-cncr2820210605>3.0.co;2-1.

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