Kathleen Ann Cooney, MD

Professor of Medicine
George Barth Geller Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Chair, Department of Medicine
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Campus mail 2301 Erwin Road, Duke Hospital North Suite 1102, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 681-2452
Email address kathleen.cooney@duke.edu

Dr. Cooney is Chair of the Duke Department of Medicine.

She is a medical oncologist focused in caring for men with prostate cancer, and is internationally known for her investigations focused on the genetic epidemiology of prostate cancer.

Her research led to the important discovery of a recurrent mutation in the HOXB13 gene that increases the chances of being diagnosed with prostate cancer and is estimated to account for 5 percent of hereditary prostate cancer cases worldwide. Since men with HOXB13 mutations are at an increased risk of prostate cancer, they may benefit from participation in screening and potentially prevention protocols in the future.

Dr. Cooney’s research continues with federal funding to identify germline mutations associated with lethal and aggressive prostate cancer as well as prostate cancer in African American men.

Education and Training

  • Fellow, Hematology / Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1988 - 1991
  • Chief Medical Resident, Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1987 - 1988
  • Intern/Resident, Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1984 - 1987
  • M.D., University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, 1984


Boyle, Julie, and Kathleen A. Cooney. “DNA repair genes: contributions to prostate cancer predisposition and aggressiveness.” Can J Urol 26, no. 5 Suppl 2 (October 2019): 10–11.


Beebe-Dimmer, Jennifer L., Julie J. Ruterbusch, Kathleen A. Cooney, Adam Bolton, Kendra Schwartz, Ann G. Schwartz, and Elisabeth Heath. “Racial differences in patterns of treatment among men diagnosed with de novo advanced prostate cancer: A SEER-Medicare investigation.” Cancer Med 8, no. 6 (June 2019): 3325–35. https://doi.org/10.1002/cam4.2092.

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Mara, Alexandria, Jason Zhu, Yuan Wu, Tom Callis, Shan Yang, Edward D. Esplin, Robert L. Nussbaum, et al. “Prevalence of pathogenic germline variants in DNA repair by race, age, and ethnicity in men with prostate cancer.” In Journal of Clinical Oncology, 37:5062–5062. American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), 2019. https://doi.org/10.1200/jco.2019.37.15_suppl.5062.

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Beebe-Dimmer, Jennifer L., and Kathleen A. Cooney. “Mitochondrial alterations may underlie race-specific differences in cancer risk and outcome.” J Clin Invest 129, no. 6 (May 6, 2019): 2187–88. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI128707.

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Boyle, J. L., A. W. Hahn, A. L. Kapron, W. Kohlmann, S. E. Greenberg, T. J. Parnell, C. C. Teerlink, et al. “Pathogenic germline DNA repair gene and HOXB13 mutations in men with metastatic prostate cancer.” Jco Precision Oncology 3 (January 1, 2019): 139–51. https://doi.org/10.1200/PO.19.00284.

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Cooney, Kathleen A., and Jennifer L. Beebe-Dimmer. “Finding a Needle in the Haystack: The Search for Germline Variants Associated with Prostate Cancer Clinical Outcomes.” Eur Urol 74, no. 6 (December 2018): 720–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2018.07.001.

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Wu, Yishuo, Hongjie Yu, Siqun Lilly Zheng, Bingjian Feng, Ashley L. Kapron, Rong Na, Julie L. Boyle, et al. “Germline mutations in PPFIBP2 are associated with lethal prostate cancer.” Prostate 78, no. 16 (December 2018): 1222–28. https://doi.org/10.1002/pros.23697.

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Hahn, A. W., A. L. Kapron, J. Boyle, W. Kohlmann, A. Poole, D. M. Gill, S. Greenberg, et al. “Prevalence of clinically actionable germline pathogenic variants (PVs) in advanced prostate cancer (aPC).” Annals of Oncology : Official Journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology 29 (October 1, 2018): viii294. https://doi.org/10.1093/annonc/mdy284.050.

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O’Neil, Brock, Christopher Martin, Ashley Kapron, Michael Flynn, Kensaku Kawamoto, and Kathleen A. Cooney. “Defining low-value PSA testing in a large retrospective cohort: Finding common ground between discordant guidelines.” Cancer Epidemiol 56 (October 2018): 112–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2018.08.003.

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