January 18, 2022


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Richard Cohen: Pioneering biomedical research and education at MIT for half a century | MIT News

Richard J. Cohen, the Whitaker Professor in Biomedical Engineering in the MIT Institute for Health care Engineering and Science (IMES) and a school member in the Harvard-MIT Method in Wellness Sciences and Know-how (HST), has found a large amount for the duration of his many years at MIT. He is a uncommon “MIT lifer,” soaring from scholar to senior faculty member and shelling out 50 % a century at the Institute.

Cohen joined HST as a very first-12 months health care university student in 1971 and then inaugurated the MD/PhD track by enrolling in the MIT physics PhD system ­ — obtaining each levels in 1976. He joined IMES, the present home for HST, when it was launched in 2012.

All over his career, Cohen has exemplified the function of medical doctor-scientist, dedicating his efforts to exploration, training, and company at the interface of science and drugs. Upon obtaining his graduate levels, he ongoing both equally his educational and healthcare instruction, becoming a member of the health care study residency plan at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (which later became part of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital) although also conducting postdoctoral analysis at MIT. Right after his residency, he became an HST faculty member at MIT and ongoing his scientific cardiology education at the Brigham and Women’s Clinic, going on to serve as an affiliate health practitioner for 25 a long time.

Cohen’s investigate has revolved about the software of physics and engineering to resolving challenges in biology and medicine, especially in the cardiovascular location. His work ranges from personal computer simulations to animal scientific tests to medical investigations, and he has published extra than 270 scientific papers and has been issued 39 U.S. patents.

Now, Cohen has declared his retirement and will formally changeover to emeritus standing within just IMES on March 1.

A person know-how produced in the Cohen Lab was the measurement of microvolt T-wave alternans to discover patients at danger of unexpected cardiac loss of life. This engineering was commercialized, cleared by the U.S. Food stuff and Drug Administration, and acquired reimbursement beneath Medicare.

Cohen directed the HST Biomedical Engineering Centre from 1985 to 1995. From 1994 to 2000 he directed the NASA Center for Quantitative Cardiovascular Physiology, Modeling, and Details Examination at MIT. He served as the crew leader of the Cardiovascular Alterations Team of the National Room Biomedical Research Institute from 1997 to 2006.

Through his time at IMES and HST, Cohen has been an innovator in medical instruction, directing a amount of the main programs in the HST curriculum together with HST.090/HST.091 (Cardiovascular Pathophysiology) and HST.151 (Ideas of Pharmacology). He has also served as HST lead for joint educational courses with the MIT Sloan University of Administration. He served, for example, as the co-director of the Biomedical Organization Method from 2004 to 2012. Pupils in this application acquired an MBA diploma and an SM diploma in health sciences and engineering, as preparation for management positions in the biomedical marketplace. Given that 2013, Cohen has been a single of the a few customers of the committee that directs the frequently escalating Sloan Healthcare Certification method, and he has taught two courses as component of this software: 15.132 (Medication for Professionals and Entrepreneurs Proseminar), and 15.124J (Assessing a Biomedical Business Principle).

Cohen says that IMES and HST have been a “wonderful qualified spouse and children, inside of MIT, of which to be a member” and that they have “provided me the ideal atmosphere I could ever have hoped for in which to establish a job. I often felt cost-free to go after my research passions the school have been universally supportive of me and of every single other and the students, postdocs, and personnel ended up all outstanding.”

Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of the MIT School of Engineering and Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Pc Science, lauds Cohen’s contributions, stating: “Richard has experienced a incredible influence on the IMES local community and numerous locations of MIT. I am grateful to Richard for his leadership and mentorship, and for his numerous contributions to MIT.”

Elazer R. Edelman, director of IMES, notes that “Richard has been a individual hero for a long time. He led the way for generations of students and faculty. He welcomed quite a few of us to the program, me provided. He taught us in class and by instance at each phase of our careers. His leadership and innovation provided direction and balance that took a fledgling initiative and produced it the premier plan of its form.”

On his retirement, the endowed faculty chair, funded with the sale of MIT’s inventory in Cambridge Heart, a enterprise that he established, will grow to be the Richard J. Cohen (1976) Professorship in Medication and Biomedical Physics.

Of this endowed chair, Cohen states, “It provides me the best gratification to know that, as a consequence of my functions, IMES will permanently have an supplemental faculty chair supporting training and analysis central to its mission.”