Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Green Appointed Associate Director for Basic Sciences Research

Kathleen Green, PhD, a leader in the field of epithelial cell biology, has been appointed Associate Director for Basic Sciences Research at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. Green is the Joseph L. Mayberry, Sr., Professor of Pathology and Toxicology, and Professor of Dermatology at the Feinberg School of Medicine.

In this role, Green will report to Lurie Cancer Center Director, Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD, and will be responsible for the development and coordination of the Lurie Cancer Center's basic science research programs, as well as fostering interdisciplinary and inter-programmatic collaborations. In addition, she will serve on the Executive Committee and Leadership Group, playing a critical part in establishing the strategic direction, policy and priorities of the Lurie Cancer Center, and oversee the development and operation of the basic research laboratory facilities on the Chicago and Evanston campuses. 

Green replaces Thomas O’Halloran, PhD, the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Molecular Biosciences at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and Director of the Chemistry of Life Processes (CLP) Institute, who will assume a new leadership role at the Lurie Cancer Center as Senior Advisor to the Director. 

“Kathy is a superb addition to the senior leadership of the Lurie Cancer Center. She is an outstanding investigator and a strong leader,” Platanias said. “She will drive the expansion of our basic research programs, which are key to our clinical-translational capabilities and our success as a cancer center.”     

Green’s research program is focused on understanding the molecular basis for how cells stick together, not only to provide mechanical strength to tissues, but also to regulate chemical signals important for development and differentiation. She has a particular interest in tissues such as skin and heart that are major targets for adhesion-related diseases, including inherited, autoimmune and bacterial-toxin mediated disorders and cancer.

“I am extremely excited about this opportunity to join the Lurie Cancer Center’s leadership team, said Green. “Tom O’Halloran has developed an exciting and progressive vision for the Basic Sciences, establishing top notch programs. We are now well-positioned to capitalize on these advances as we look toward significant growth in basic science research over the next several years. I look forward to working with the Basic Science Program leaders to stimulate collaboration and innovation.” she added. “As a cancer cell biologist, I know that cells are the fundamental unit of life; however cells do not function alone—but in the context of a complex environment of neighboring cells and stroma that are inextricably linked. Likewise, as individuals addressing the complexities of cancer and cancer treatment, we can only function efficiently if we work together, across clinical and basic programs, across departments, institutes and campuses.”  

Green has served as Co-Leader of the Lurie Cancer Center's Tumor Invasion, Metastasis and Angiogenesis Program focused on multidisciplinary basic and translational research.  She also serves as Director for Northwestern’s PhD training Cluster in Cancer Biology and the National Cancer Institute-funded Carcinogenesis Training Program, the latter which provides interdisciplinary research training for eight pre-doctoral students in cancer biology.  A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and recipient of Northwestern University’s Martin and Gertrude Walder Award for Research Excellence, she currently serves as Secretary of the American Society for Cell Biology, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cell Science, and Principal Investigator on three grants from the National Institutes of Health, including a MERIT Award.

 “I would like to thank Tom for his leadership and far-reaching contributions to the Lurie Cancer Center,” said Platanias. “His efforts brought Evanston and Chicago closer together, bridging our basic science research across both campuses. I look forward to working closely with him in his new role as Senior Advisor to the Lurie Cancer Center Director and in many future collaborations with the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute.”

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