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Pinchas Cohen, a prominent researcher and leader in the field of gerontology, begins his tenure as dean of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, effective July 16. He will also become the holder of the William and Sylvia Kugel Dean’s Chair in Gerontology as well as executive director of the Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center.

Formerly vice chair for research at the UCLA School of Medicine, Cohen has overseen numerous teaching, training and research activities at UCLA and has been involved in programs related to diseases of aging, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and metabolic disorders.

Previously, he served as chief and professor of endocrinology at Mattel Children’s Hospital and associate director of the UCSD-UCLA Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center.

Focusing his research on the emerging field of mitochondrial biology, Cohen and his team have worked to demonstrate the importance of mitochondrial peptides in aging and longevity. He is co-founder of CohBar, a biotechnology company developing mitochondrial peptides for the treatment of diabetes.

Cohen has received several awards for his work in the field of aging, including a National Institute of Aging EUREKA Award, the National Institutes of Health Director’s Transformative Research Award and the Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging.

He serves on the boards of several professional journals and societies, including the American Federation for Aging Research and the Growth Hormone Research Society.

A prolific author, Cohen has published more than 250 papers in top scientific journals and his work has been cited in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.

Cohen earned his MD degree with top honors from the Technion School of Medicine in Israel, and was a resident and fellow at Stanford University, after which he spent seven years at the University of Pennsylvania.

“I’m honored to be given this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead the world’s oldest and largest school of gerontology,” Cohen said. “I look forward to joining forces with our amazing faculty, staff and students to continue and expand the USC Leonard Davis School’s mission: to improve the quality of life for older adults through research, service and education.”