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About Us


A Comprehensive Research and Clinical Cancer Center


Since its inception in Santa Monica, California in 2008, the California Oncology Research Institute (CORI) has been committed to providing early diagnosis and treatment of cancer and innovative clinical and basic science research focusing on surgical technologies and the molecular biology of the tumors. Through scientific collaborations and alliances, CORI has established itself not only as a regional cancer institute in Southern California, but also as a global leader in cancer research with a strong presence across four continents.  

With our internationally recognized team of researchers and surgical oncologists, CORI is at the forefront of cancer research and treatment. CORI scientific researchers are recipients of several, highly distinguished grant awards from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  These ongoing grants will enable us to create novel cancer therapies, which ultimately should lead to improve techniques for our surgical oncologists.  Together, we can work collectively to research the early diagnosis, treatment, and cure of the cancers in our core program: melanoma, breast, colon, stomach, rectal, pancreatic, and liver cancers.



Board of Directors


Dan Engel, Chairman of the Board
Dan Engel is the Chairman of the Board at the California Oncology Research Institute (CORI), a post he has held since February, 2008.

Mr. Engel has held several leadership positions, including the founding of DRE Consulting in 2007 and as Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning and Corporate Development at Applied Underwriters.  Prior to his position with Applied Underwriters, Dan worked as an investment banker with Gateway Partners, Inc., Onyx Partners, Inc, Goodtab Corporation, and Salomon Brothers.

In addition to his distinguished professional career, he has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. He is also Director of the San Diego Heart Failure Foundation and Co-founder of the Miracle League of San Diego.
Mr. Engel earned a B.A. degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and graduated Magna Cum Laude.  He received an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.

He and his family currently reside in San Diego, California.

Paul Balson, Director
Paul J. Balson serves as a Director at the California Oncology Research Institute (CORI).

Mr. Balson is the founder of Balson Capital Management, a registered investment adviser. He also serves as a director of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, California and as an advisor to FOR

Mr. Balson is a graduate of Harvard University where he was Magna Cum Laude. Mr. Balson and his family reside in Los Angeles.


Brent Cohen, Director
Brent Cohen serves as a Director at the California Oncology Research Institute (CORI).

Mr. Cohen has held numerous executive positions, including most recently as Chief Executive Officer and Director of DoveBid, Inc. He has also served as President, Chief Operating Office, and as a board member of First Advantage Corporation, and as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of US Search. Mr. Cohen also held several executive leadership positions with Packard Bell-NEC, including President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining Packard Bell-NEC, he served in various management positions at Arthur Young and Company (now Ernst & Young).

Mr. Cohen holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, a Graduate Diploma in Accounting, and an M.B.A. from the University of Cape Town, in South Africa.


Andrew Palmer, Director
Andrew Palmer serves as a Director at the California Oncology Research Institute (CORI).

Mr. Palmer is a Managing Director at Bel Air Investment Advisors, LLC. Prior to joining Bel Air Investment Advisors, he was a Senior Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.

Mr. Palmer is an active member and participant in several charitable and non-profit organizations, including the Board of Directors of Jewish Vocational Services, and with the Jewish Federation and Israel Children’s Centers. He is also a benefactor to the Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF), and previously with the John Wayne Cancer Institute (JWCI) at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.

Mr. Palmer received his B.A. from the University of Denver.


Gary Schoenfeld, Director
Gary Schoenfeld serves as a Director at the California Oncology Research Institute (CORI).

Mr. Schoenfeld serves as Co-Chief Executive Officer and President of the Global Brands Group. Previously, he was the Director and Chief Executive Officer of Vans, Inc. Mr. Schoenfeld held a partnership position at McCown, De Leeuw & Co., and was a Director of Camelback Products, LLC and Aritzia Holdings.

He received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.


Gordon Cohen, M.D., Director
Gordon Cohen serves at a Director at the California Oncology Research Institute (CORI).

Dr. Cohen is Professor and Chairman of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. He is an accomplished surgeon and researcher, previously working in the laboratory of Dr. Lou Ignaro, who received the Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking research in nitric oxide. Dr. Cohen is also the author of numerous peer-review journals and book chapters.

He received his M.D. from Tulane University and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.


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