Dean Mark Cohen Becomes Founder Professor in Engineering

January 5, 2023
Bethan Owen

Written by Bethan Owen

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Mark Cohen, dean of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine and professor of bioengineering, has been recognized as a Founder Professor in Engineering. This distinction, which will officially be awarded on February 24th, is an acknowledgment of Cohen’s outstanding contributions to the field of engineering, particularly the partnership of engineering and health care. 

“This professorship will allow me the opportunity to further advance my research in tissue engineering and cancer drug development that will translate into new therapies for patients in the future,” said Cohen. “It is also an important conduit to exemplify the deep connection between The Grainger College of Engineering and the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, the world’s first Engineering-Based Medical School.” 

<em>Carle Illinois College of Medicine Dean Mark Cohen</em>
Carle Illinois College of Medicine Dean Mark Cohen

This professorship, which was first made possible by The Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative, is designed to support multi and interdisciplinary study and promote innovative projects. Cohen’s impressive career made him a standout candidate for this professorship; he has been a leading surgeon, a clinical and translational scientist, an entrepreneur, and an educator. His work has included the development of novel therapeutics, withanolides for anticancer applications, nanoparticle drug delivery systems and more, all while contributing extensively to medical research.

Some of his many other professional interests include improving clinical operations, telehealth, and ambulatory care–in short, giving patients the best possible care regardless of where they are when they need it. Cohen is also passionate about using mixed reality and virtual reality to improve the student training experience and many different facets of endocrine surgery, including thyroid surgery and the surgical care of patients with melanoma. He is also a member of the Cancer Center at Illinois and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

“I have been very fortunate to be able to participate in multidisciplinary research in bioengineering and medicine over the last twenty years, as well as opportunities to mentor and train incredibly talented engineering and medical students in their research and career development,” said Cohen. 

Cohen went on to state that he is particularly looking forward to using this professorship to continue to support student trainees as they develop their research and create meaningful impacts in healthcare, and that receiving the professorship was an incredible honor. 

“I would like to personally thank Dean Rashid Bashir, Professor Mark Anastasio, members of the promotions committee, our donors to the Grainger College of Engineering who have made this professorship possible, as well as my family, colleagues, collaborators, mentors, trainees, and mentees who have supported me and whom I have had the privilege of working with over the years,” said Cohen. “I look forward to the great work we will do together in the future to advance both medicine and engineering.” 

Dean Cohen’s investiture ceremony will take place on February 24th at 3:00 pm in the Beckman Institute Auditorium, followed by a public reception at 4:00 pm.

Editor's note: The original version of this article can be found here

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This story was published January 5, 2023.