Dr. Coussens is the associate director for Basic Research at the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, where she is a professor and the chair of the Cell, Developmental, and Cancer Biology Department as well as the Hildegard Lamfrom Endowed Chair in Basic Science. An internationally renowned cancer biologist, Dr. Coussens has made seminal contributions to the fundamental understanding of the functions of innate immune cells in fostering neoplastic progression while also suppressing T-cell functionality. Her research has also defined the importance of chronic inflammation in cancer, thus identifying therapeutic targets for intervention and providing the basis for several clinical trials evaluating myeloid cell modulation in combination with chemotherapy.
An AACR member since 2001, Dr. Coussens previously served as a member of the AACR’s Board of Directors from 2008-2011. She has also served on numerous committees in the AACR, including as co-organizer for the AACR Special Conference: Carcinoma In Situ (2022); chair of the AACR NextGen Grants for Transformative Cancer Research Scientific Review Committee (2020-2021), and as a member of the committee (2016-2018); course codirector for the AACR Translational Cancer Research for Basic Scientists Workshop (2020); cochair of the Annual Meeting Program Committee (2008, 2010, 2012, 2018-2019), and as a member of the committee (2003, 2006); Satellite Educational Symposia Committee member (2018-2019); member of the AACR Special Conferences Committee (2007-2010, 2016-2019); Nominating Committee member (2016-2018); search committee member for editor-in-chief of the AACR journal Cancer Research (2017); steering committee member for the AACR Cancer Progress Report (2016); Stand Up To Cancer Innovative Research Grants Committee member (2015-2016); member of the Annual Meeting Education Committee (2009, 2015-2016); selection committee member for the Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research (2009-2010, 2014-2015); member of the AACR Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship Award Committee (2014); member of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Innovative Grants Scientific Review Committee (2014); council member for the Women in Cancer Research Council (2010-2012); and selection committee member for the AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research (2010).
Dr. Coussens has served as a scientific editor for the AACR journal Cancer Discovery since 2017, and as a senior editor of the AACR journal Cancer Immunology Research since 2012. She has also served in several positions on the editorial board of the AACR journal Cancer Research from 2003-2012, including associate, senior, and deputy editor.
Dr. Coussens was elected to the 2019 class of Fellows of the AACR Academy. She has been recognized by the AACR with the AACR Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship (2018); the AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship (2012); and the AACR Gertrude B. Elion Cancer Research Award (2002).
She has received a host of other honors and awards throughout her career, including serving as a Komen Scholar (2020-2023); TEFAF Oncology Chair (2019-2020); the Frank W. and Shirley D. Fitch Lectureship in Tumor Immunology (2019); the Edward J. Sarcione Excellence in Immunology Lecture (2019); the Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Basic Science (2018); the European Academy of Tumor Immunology Career Award (2018); the Distinguished Women In Science Lecture (2017); the Rosalind E. Franklin Award for Women in Science and Medicine (2015); the American Cancer Society/SSO Basic Science Lectureship (2013); the inaugural Mildred Scheel Lectureship (2012); the Komen Promise Award (2011-2016); the Era of Hope Scholar Award (2006-2016); the Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation Award for Medical Research (2000-2003); the Hellman Family Award for Early Career Faculty (2000-2002); and the V Scholar Award (2000-2001). She currently serves as a member of the Frederick National Laboratory Advisory Committee for the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute’s Division of Extramural Activities; as a scientific review board member for the V Foundation for Cancer Research; and as a scientific review board advisory committee member for the Cancer Research Institute. Dr. Coussens received a Doctor in Medicine (honoris causa) from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2017 and was elected as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow in 2018.
Dr. Coussens received her doctoral degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1993. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco from 1993 to 1997.