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


Giri, V. N., A. E. Cassidy, J. Beebe-Dimmer, L. R. Ellis, D. C. Smith, C. H. Bock, and K. A. Cooney. “Erratum: Association between agent orange and prostate cancer: A pilot case-control study (Urology (April 2004) 63 (757-761)).” Urology 63, no. 6 (June 1, 2004). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2004.05.001.

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Joseph, Michael A., Sioban D. Harlow, John T. Wei, Aruna V. Sarma, Rodney L. Dunn, Jeremy M. G. Taylor, Sherman A. James, et al. “Risk factors for lower urinary tract symptoms in a population-based sample of African-American men.” Am J Epidemiol 157, no. 10 (May 15, 2003): 906–14. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwg051.

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Chen, H., A. R. Griffin, Y. -. Q. Wu, L. P. Tomsho, K. A. Zuhlke, E. M. Lange, S. B. Gruber, and K. A. Cooney. “RNASEL mutations in hereditary prostate cancer.” J Med Genet 40, no. 3 (March 2003): e21. https://doi.org/10.1136/jmg.40.3.e21.

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Merajver, S. D., S. B. Gruber, and K. A. Cooney. “Molecular biology in the management of solid tumors: Breast, colon, and prostate cancer.” In Integrated Cancer Management: Surgery, Medical Oncology, and Radiation Oncology, 620–45, 1999.


Cooney, K. A. “Hereditary prostate cancer in African-American families.” Semin Urol Oncol 16, no. 4 (November 1998): 202–6.


Hammersley, J. R., and K. Cooney. “Evaluating the utility of available differential diagnosis systems.” In Proceedings  Annual Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care, 229–31, 1988.