Mark Cohen's directory photo.

Mark Cohen


Primary Affiliation

Extracellular Vesicle Imaging and Therapy


Status Part-time Faculty

Home Carle Illinois College of Medicine - Administration



Address 4217 Beckman Institute, 405 North Mathews Avenue

  • Biography

    Mark Cohen is Dean of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine and Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer of Carle Health. Prior to that, he was a professor of surgery, pharmacology, and biomedical engineering and Vice Chair in Surgery for Clinical Operations at the University of Michigan, where he directed the Center for Surgical Innovation, the Center Initiative for Medical and Surgical XR, and the Medical School Path-of-Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

    He is boarded by the American Board of Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the Society of Surgical Oncology. He has run an NIH R01-funded translational oncology laboratory for the last 15 years working on developing novel therapeutics and diagnostics for the treatment and staging of advanced cancers, especially endocrine tumors and melanomas. He developed several educational programs in Innovation and Entrepreneurship for medical students, residents, and faculty as well as co-founding five start-up companies to improve the care of surgical patients. He has mentored over 200 faculty members, residents, and students on surgical innovation projects, as well as advised 15 startups which have raised over $100M in capital altogether.

    He has delivered over 100 invited national and international talks, and written and published 116 original scientific articles, 13 book chapters, as well as the textbook “Success in Academic Surgery: Innovation and Entrepreneurship” published in 2019 by Springer-NATURE. He is on the editorial board for SURGERY and has held several national leadership positions in surgical societies and is a founding member and program co-lead of the Holomedicine Association and currently Chairs the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Emerging Surgical Technology and Education. He is a member of the Council of Deans of the Association of American Medical Colleges, a senior member of the Association for Academic Surgery, a member of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, the International Association of Endocrine Surgeons, the Asian Association of Endocrine Surgeons, the American Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons, the Society of Surgical Oncology, the International Society of Surgery, the Society of University Surgeons, the American Surgical Association, the Southwest Surgical Association, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


    • B.S. in chemical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis
    • M.D. and surgical fellowship training at Washington University in St. Louis
  • Honors
    • Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize in for Applications of Mixed Reality to enhance Medical Education, 2021
    • Keynote Speaker at the Society of Thoracic Surgeons meeting, 2020
    • Distinguished Faculty Recognition Award in Innovation by the University of Michigan, 2019
    • Token of Appreciation from Medical Students (TAMS) Award, University of Michigan Medical School, 2018
    • Desphande Award for Outstanding Contributions to Advancing Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 2017
    • Biomedical Innovation Prize, University of Michigan Fast Forward Medical Innovation group at the Michigan Capital Growth Symposium, 2015
    • Keith Amos Award by Washington University Department of Surgery, 2015
  • Research

    Dean Cohen’s translational research program is focused in three key areas: (1) engineering novel cancer therapeutics targeting heat shock protein 90, its isoforms, and its heterochaperone complex as a safer and more efficacious anticancer approach; (2) utilizing nanoparticle drug-delivery systems to improve cancer drug delivery, bone fracture healing, and tissue repair; and (3) tissue engineering to develop functional endocrine organs (thyroid, parathyroid, pancreatic islet cells) from adipose tissue to cure chronic diseases such as hypothyroidism, hypoparathyroidism, and diabetes.