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Dr. Christine Eischen is Named to New Professorship



The generosity of a Jefferson alumnus has established a new professorship for cancer research at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, according to Mark L. Tykocinski, MD, Provost, Thomas Jefferson University, and Anthony F. and Gertrude M. DePalma Dean, Sidney Kimmel Medical College.

An estate gift from Herbert Rosenthal, MD ’56, has established the Herbert A. Rosenthal, MD ’56 Professorship in Cancer Research, and will fund the work of Christine Eischen, PhD, one of Jefferson’s leading cancer researchers. The investiture is scheduled for June 12, 2018.

Dr. Eischen is a professor and vice chair in the Department of Cancer Biology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and co-leader of the Molecular Biology and Genetics Program at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center of Thomas Jefferson University. She also serves as Special Advisor for Basic Science to Jefferson president and CEO, Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA. She has spent her career studying the molecular mechanisms of tumor initiation, with the goal of identifying vulnerabilities in cancer cells that could lead to therapeutic targets.

In 2017, Dr. Eischen was awarded an AACR-Bayer Innovation and Discovery Grant, which she will use to research new treatment options for cancers with high unmet medical need, encourage innovation and translation of ideas from basic research into novel drugs, and foster collaborations between academic groups and the pharmaceutical industry.

“Dr. Eischen’s work is vital to understanding cancer at its most fundamental levels in order to work toward treatments and cures,” says Karen Knudsen, PhD, Director, SKCC, and Hilary Koprowski Professor and Chair of the Department of Cancer Biology. “I eagerly anticipate the contributions her lab will make with the support of this professorship.”

After receiving her PhD in immunology from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, Dr. Eischen completed postdoctoral work in cancer biology and mouse genetics at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. She came to Thomas Jefferson University in 2016, and currently serves as advisor to Jefferson College of Biomedical Sciences graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Dr. Rosenthal was a well-loved neighborhood physician who was known to his patients as “Doc.” He practiced internal medicine for more than 50 years in his home office in the East Mount Airy section of Philadelphia, and was revered for his kindness, compassion, and excellence as a diagnostician.

Dr. Rosenthal greatly appreciated his Jefferson medical education, and felt such a strong connection to the school that he bequeathed it his entire estate. A separate portion of the bequest is being used to establish the Herbert A. Rosenthal, MD ’56 Scholarship.