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Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center
Until Every Cancer is Cured


Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center Executive Committee

Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD

Executive Vice President of Oncology Services, Jefferson Health Enterprise Director, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center

Karen E. Knudsen, PhD, is the Executive Vice President of Oncology Services, Jefferson Health; and Enterprise Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC) at Jefferson, one of only 71 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated centers of excellence in the nation out of more than 3,400 cancer centers nationwide. Dr. Knudsen oversees cancer care and cancer research at all SKCC-Jefferson Health sites within the Greater Philadelphia region, and reports directly to Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, President of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health. Under Dr. Knudsen’s leadership, SKCC recently was ranked one of the top cancer centers in the nation by US News & World Report

Dr. Knudsen was appointed Enterprise Director in January 2015 after having served as the Deputy Director and the founding member of the SKCC Prostate Cancer program. Prior to taking on the directorship, Dr. Knudsen also served as the Vice Provost of Thomas Jefferson University, overseeing basic and clinical research at then six schools within the University.  

Complementing overall cancer center leadership, Dr. Knudsen serves as Chair of the Department of Cancer Biology for Thomas Jefferson University, and holds the Hilary Koprowski Endowed Professorship. Given her translational research, Dr. Knudsen holds joint appointments in the departments of Medical Oncology, Urology and Radiation Oncology.

Dr. Knudsen received her BS in Biology from the George Washington University and her PhD from the University of California at San Diego, where she focused on cell cycle checkpoint control. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship training with Webster K. Cavenee studying hormone action and the impact of cell cycle dysregulation on prostate cancer progression. Dr. Knudsen served as tenured faculty at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine prior to recruitment to Thomas Jefferson University in 2007.  

Dr. Knudsen has a greater than 20-year history of continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health, and has expertise in elucidating the molecular basis of hormone-dependent cancer development and progression. Dr. Knudsen serves as an editor for several leading oncology journals, including as Editor-in-Chief for the American Association of Research (AACR) journal 

Molecular Cancer Research, and as an Associate Editor for Oncogene. She has received numerous awards for her accomplishments, including the Richard E. Weitzman Laureate Award from the Endocrine Society, the Sophie Yen Award for Distinguished Training in Translational Research, and the SWIU/SBUR Award for Excellence in Urologic Research.  

Dr. Knudsen has longstanding experience in cancer center leadership, and based on her expertise, serves on leading review, advisory and elected panels for the Department of Defense, the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and NIH, and was a member of Parent Committee-A of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Knudsen led the Advanced Prostate Cancer Track for the ASCO-GU Program Steering Committee for the past two years and is currently the Chair ASCO-GU.

Given her expertise, Dr. Knudsen currently serves on the advisory boards of 11 NCI-designated cancer centers. Dr. Knudsen was appointed by the NCI Director to the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors, is President-Elect of AACI, and was elected to the Board of Directors for AACR.


Our Honors

NCI–designated since 1996

- Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center

Ranked among the best hospitals for cancer care by

U.S. News & World Report

- Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals

US News Ranked

Your Philadelphia Resource for Nationally Recognized Oncology Expertise 

ONE of only 70 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Centers in the U.S.

14 owned-sites throughout the Delaware Valley

20 network affiliate sites

More than 8,900 patients seen annually

About 19% of patients enrolled in clinical trials, making us one of the highest performing cancer centers nationally (top 1-2%)

Ranked "Outstanding" by National Cancer Institute (NCI)

First US clinic to offer genetic testing and counseling for men with prostate cancer

Neu Center for Supportive Medicine and Surviviorship - One of the first centers to offers psychosocial support to cancer patients

Routinely ranked among the top cancer centers nationally by US News & World Report

Sidney Kimmel
Cancer Center
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