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Robert M. Cohen, MD, PhD
Director, Memory Disorders Center
Director, Research, Department of Psychiatry
Chief, Research for Dementia and Neurodegenerative Diseases, S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center
Steven C. Gordon Family Foundation Chair in Memory Disorders
Robert M. Cohen, PhD, MD, is Director of Psychiatry Research and Director of the Memory Disorders Center in the Department of Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai. Dr. Cohen also serves as Chief of Research for Dementia and Neurodegenerative Diseases at Cedars-Sinai's S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center and is the inaugural holder of the Stephen C. Gordon Family Foundation Chair in Memory Disorders.
Dr. Cohen was recently designated by the ISI as one of the most highly cited scientists in the psychology/psychiatry category. His current clinical and research interests are in the treatment of mood disorders and age-related memory disorders, including Alzheimer's disease. Prior to joining Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Cohen served in a variety of positions in the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Mental Health, including Chief of the Unit on Clinical Psychopharmacology and Chief of the Clinical Brain Imaging Section.
Some of Dr. Cohen's most important research accomplishments in the field of depression include the findings that selective monoamine-oxidase-A inhibitors have antidepressant activity and that cognitive changes in depression are distinguished from those in dementia by primarily affecting effortful processing. He and his colleagues were also responsible for many of the first PET studies showing abnormal brain metabolic patterns in the most common psychiatric disorders and the effects of drug treatment. In addition, they developed in vivo methods for the evaluation of brain dopaminergic, cholinergic and opiate pathways in humans that helped to establish changes in these neurotransmitter pathways with age and in Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Most recently, Dr. Cohen's work has focused on identifying biological markers of risk for Alzheimer's disease. By using fMRI and MEG, Dr. Cohen and his colleagues were able to find evidence of differences in the way the brain activates in response to a memory task in young healthy individuals at risk for Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. Cohen earned his bachelor's in chemistry at Brooklyn College, his doctorate at the Program in Biochemical Sciences at Princeton University and his medical degree at Washington University in St. Louis. He served as resident and chief resident in psychiatry at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics.