Dr. David E. Cohen, an internationally renowned physician-scientist who combines clinical care as a hepatologist with research focused on obesity-related liver disease, has been named chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, effective July 1.
Dr. Cohen will oversee a division that has more than doubled in size over the past five years. This growth has resulted in a marked increase in clinical volume and expansion in many areas of expertise, with investigators conducting leading-edge clinical and basic research on a variety of gastrointestinal and liver conditions, including hepatitis C, gastrointestinal cancer treatment and prevention, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.
In his new role, Dr. Cohen will build upon that momentum by further strengthening the division's mission to provide excellence in clinical care, education and research; growing its research programs; and fostering the mentoring and training of junior faculty and fellows.
Dr. Cohen was recruited from Brigham and Women's Hospital, where he is currently director of hepatology. He is also the Robert H. Ebert Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical Schooland director of the Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Division of Health Sciences. Dr. Cohen is an expert in obesity-related gastrointestinal disorders, particularly nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which affects as much as 20 percent of the population. In people with the disease, which is related to over-nutrition, the liver accumulates excessive fat due to insulin resistance. Patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are at high risk for plaque to accumulate in cardiac arteries, a condition referred to as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. They may also face cirrhosis, a condition characterized by advanced scarring of the liver, as well as liver cancer. Dr. Cohen's aim is to better understand the metabolic basis of the condition to improve its management.
"David is an esteemed physician, scientist and leader whose contributions to understanding and treating obesity-related fatty liver disease exemplifies his commitment to providing the very best in patient care," said Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi, the Weill Chairman of the Weill Department of Medicine (and interim dean as of June 1) at Weill Cornell Medicine and physician-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. "He is the best choice to lead the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and I look forward to working with him as we continue to grow the division and provide innovative care to our patients."
"As a world-renowned clinician and researcher, David will offer our patients access to state-of-the-art care for the full spectrum of gastrointestinal conditions," said Dr. Laura L. Forese, executive vice president and chief operating officer of NewYork-Presbyterian. "We're pleased to welcome him to our team, and we are excited to see the many ways he will advance gastroenterological care at NewYork-Presbyterian."
"Weill Cornell Medicine's and NewYork-Presbyterian's intense focus on investing in both infrastructure and in people to strengthen the clinical and research enterprises was a major reason why I decided to move back to New York," said Dr. Cohen, who was recruited as the Vincent Astor Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. "My goal is to further establish the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology as a model for how investments in basic and clinical research can translate into better care for patients."
Dr. Cohen will oversee a number of clinical programs within the division, including the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health, the Jill Roberts Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Center for Metabolic Health, as well as general gastroenterology, invasive endoscopy, hepatology and transplant hepatology. He will also enhance the division's collaborative relationships with the aligned Jill Roberts Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and the Center for Advanced Digestive Care.
Physicians and scientists in the division have a rich history of collaboration, ensuring that research advances are seamlessly translated into next-generation treatments in the clinic. One such partnership couples scientists in the Jill Roberts Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Weill Cornell Medicine and physicians at the Jill Roberts Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian. Together, they are seeking to better understand the root causes of the disease and leverage those findings into new strategies for prevention and treatment. Dr. Cohen intends to build on these translational collaborations and replicate them in other disciplines within the division.
About Dr. David Cohen
Dr. Cohen received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and his doctorate from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University in 1987. He completed internal medicine residency training, as well as clinical and research fellowships in gastroenterology and hepatology, at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He has been a faculty member of Harvard's graduate program in biological and biomedical sciences since 2005. Previously, he served as an associate professor of medicine and of biochemistry in Marion Bessin Liver Research Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Dr. Cohen has received numerous awards, including the American Liver Foundation Research Prize , an American Liver Foundation Liver Scholar Award, an International HDL Research Award, and a Hirschl Career Scientist Award. He was also an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the American Gastroenterological Association, as well as a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Interurban Clinical Club. Beginning in July 2016, Dr. Cohen will become the next editor-in-chief of Hepatology, the premier journal in the field of hepatology, published by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.
Dr. Cohen has received several grants from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for his research on liver diseases. In 2012, he received a MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) award from the National Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Advisory Council to study regulation of lipid and glucose metabolism in the liver by the StarD2 protein. MERIT awards provide outstanding investigators with the opportunity for long-term, stable support, which enhances their continued scientific creativity with a reduced administrative burden associated with preparing and submitting grant applications.
Dr. Cohen's research has been published in Science Signaling, Nature Structural Biology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, American Journal of Physiology, Journal of Lipid Research, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Hepatology, Gene, FASEB Journal, FEBS Letters, Biochemical Journal, and Biochemistry. He is also the author of numerous book chapters.
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