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Wendie S. Cohick

Wendie S. Cohick headshot.

Dean of Research and Graduate Education, SEBS
Director of Research, NJAES
Professor of Animal Science
Foran Hall, Room 108

Curriculum Vitae (303k PDF)



Research in the Cohick laboratory centers on the role of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system in normal mammary gland physiology as well as breast cancer. The IGFs are peptide growth factors that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, survival and migration, processes critical to both normal mammary gland development and lactation as well as breast cancer tumorigenesis. They associate with a family of high affinity binding proteins (IGFBPs) that function to transport the IGFs in the circulation and prolong their half-life. In addition, IGFBPs act at the cellular level to either enhance or inhibit the biological actions of IGFs as well as other agents that affect cell growth and survival. Many of these effects are independent of IGF binding, although the precise mechanisms are not well understood. Currently we are exploring how IGFBP-3 is involved in stress-induced apoptosis, or programmed cell death. We have also expanded our work in the area of apoptosis to determine how the biological toxin ricin mediates cell death in mammalian cells. Using an in vivo rat model, we are studying how environmental insults to the fetus during pregnancy affect lifelong susceptibility to mammary tumorigenesis in the offspring. Specific projects include:

  • Cellular and molecular mechanisms by which IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 regulate growth, differentiation and apoptosis of mammary epithelial cells
  • Understanding how IGF-I and IGFBPs affect stromal-epithelial interactions in the mammary gland.
  • Understanding how fetal alcohol exposure increases breast cancer risk in adult animals.


Title Location Year
Dean of Research and Graduate Education School of Environmental & Biological Sciences, Rutgers University 2020 - present
Director of Research NJ Agricultural Experiment Station, Rutgers University 2020 - present
Chair Dept. of Animal Sciences, Rutgers University 2014 - 2020
Professor Dept. of Animal Sciences, Rutgers University 2011
Associate Professor Dept. of Animal Sciences, Rutgers University 2002
Assistant Professor Dept. of Animal Sciences, Rutgers University 1996
Research Assistant
Department of Medicine
Division of Endocrinology
UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill


Degree Location Year
Postdoc University of North Carolina School of Medicine 1989
Ph.D. Animal Science, Cornell University 1989
M.S. Dairy Nutrition, University of Illinois 1984
B.S. Animal Science, Cornell University 1981

Members of the Cohick Lab

  • Dr. Amanda Jetzt, Research Associate. (Ph.D. UMDNJ, Post-doc Schering Plough, Oncology)
  • Kristyn Lambert, Ph.D. student in Nutritional Sciences