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 at Brooklyn, 1965


Johnson, J. L., K. V. Rajagopalan, and H. J. Cohen. “Molecular basis of the biological function of molybdenum. Effect of tungsten on xanthine oxidase and sulfite oxidase in the rat.” J Biol Chem 249, no. 3 (February 10, 1974): 859–66.


Kessler, D. L., J. L. Johnson, H. J. Cohen, and K. V. Rajagopalan. “Visualization of hepatic sulfite oxidase in crude tissue preparations by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy.” Bba  Enzymology 334, no. 1 (January 17, 1974): 86–96. https://doi.org/10.1016/0005-2744(74)90152-1.

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Cohen, H. J., R. T. Drew, J. L. Johnson, and K. V. Rajagopalan. “Molecular basis of the biological function of molybdenum: the relationship between sulfite oxidase and the acute toxicity of bisulfite and SO2.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 70, no. 12 (December 1973): 3655–59. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.70.12.3655.

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Cohen, H. J. “Peroxide detoxification affecting the production of immunoglobulin by mouse myeloma tumor cells in vitro.” Experientia 29, no. 10 (October 15, 1973): 1285–87. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf01935120.

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Cohen, H. J. “The use of diaminobenzidine for spectrophotometric and acrylamide gel detection of sulfite oxidase and its applicability to hydrogen peroxide-generating enzymes.” Anal Biochem 53, no. 1 (May 1973): 208–22. https://doi.org/10.1016/0003-2697(73)90423-5.

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Cohen, H. J., S. B. Frank, W. Minkin, and R. C. Gibbs. “Subungual exostoses.” Arch Dermatol 107, no. 3 (March 1973): 431–32.


Cohen, HJ, Drew, RT, Johnson, JL, and Rajagopalan, KV. "Molecular basis of the biological function of molybdenum. The relationship between sulfite oxidase and the acute toxicity of bisulfite and SO2." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 70, no. 12 (1973): I-.