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 Professional medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and a school member in the Harvard-MIT Plan in Health Sciences and Technological know-how (HST), has viewed a lot during his years at MIT. He is a exceptional “MIT lifer,” rising from college student to senior college member and expending fifty percent a century at the Institute.

Cohen joined HST as a first-calendar year healthcare scholar in 1971 and then inaugurated the MD/PhD monitor by enrolling in the MIT physics PhD method ­ — acquiring both levels in 1976. He joined IMES, the recent house for HST, when it was launched in 2012.

All through his occupation, Cohen has exemplified the purpose of medical professional-scientist, dedicating his initiatives to exploration, educating, and support at the interface of science and medication. On getting his graduate degrees, he continued equally his academic and health care teaching, becoming a member of the health-related investigate residency application at the Peter Bent Brigham Medical center (which later on grew to become part of the Brigham and Women’s Clinic) whilst also conducting postdoctoral investigate at MIT. Following his residency, he turned an HST school member at MIT and ongoing his medical cardiology instruction at the Brigham and Women’s Healthcare facility, going on to provide as an affiliate health practitioner for 25 years.

Cohen’s research has revolved close to the application of physics and engineering to resolving issues in biology and medication, particularly in the cardiovascular spot. His get the job done ranges from computer simulations to animal research to scientific investigations, and he has posted extra than 270 scientific papers and has been issued 39 U.S. patents.

Now, Cohen has introduced his retirement and will officially changeover to emeritus standing in IMES on March 1.

One technology made in the Cohen Lab was the measurement of microvolt T-wave alternans to detect individuals at possibility of sudden cardiac dying. This engineering was commercialized, cleared by the U.S. Food stuff and Drug Administration, and received reimbursement beneath Medicare.

Cohen directed the HST Biomedical Engineering Centre from 1985 to 1995. From 1994 to 2000 he directed the NASA Heart for Quantitative Cardiovascular Physiology, Modeling, and Information Investigation at MIT. He served as the group leader of the Cardiovascular Alterations Team of the Nationwide Room Biomedical Investigation Institute from 1997 to 2006.

All through his time at IMES and HST, Cohen has been an innovator in professional medical education and learning, directing a range of the core classes in the HST curriculum which include HST.090/HST.091 (Cardiovascular Pathophysiology) and HST.151 (Principles of Pharmacology). He has also served as HST direct for joint educational courses with the MIT Sloan University of Administration. He served, for example, as the co-director of the Biomedical Organization Software from 2004 to 2012. Pupils in this application acquired an MBA diploma and an SM diploma in wellbeing sciences and technological know-how, as planning for management positions in the biomedical market. Considering the fact that 2013, Cohen has been one particular of the a few associates of the committee that directs the constantly increasing Sloan Healthcare Certificate application, and he has taught two classes as component of this plan: 15.132 (Medicine for Professionals and Entrepreneurs Proseminar), and 15.124J (Assessing a Biomedical Business Concept).

Cohen suggests that IMES and HST have been a “wonderful experienced loved ones, within MIT, of which to be a member” and that they have “provided me the very best surroundings I could at any time have hoped for in which to build a job. I constantly felt cost-free to pursue my exploration pursuits the school ended up universally supportive of me and of each and every other and the college students, postdocs, and staff were being all fantastic.”

Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of the MIT College of Engineering and Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer system Science, lauds Cohen’s contributions, indicating: “Richard has experienced a incredible effects on the IMES group and several spots 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 own hero for a long time. He led the way for generations of learners and school. He welcomed quite a few of us to the plan, me involved. He taught us in class and by case in point at each phase of our occupations. His leadership and innovation supplied route and steadiness that took a fledgling initiative and created it the leading program of its sort.”

On his retirement, the endowed school chair, funded with the sale of MIT’s inventory in Cambridge Coronary heart, a corporation that he founded, will become the Richard J. Cohen (1976) Professorship in Medicine and Biomedical Physics.

Of this endowed chair, Cohen claims, “It offers me the best gratification to know that, as a consequence of my pursuits, IMES will completely have an added college chair supporting training and research central to its mission.”