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Lawrence Cohn

Lawrence H Cohn MD

Professor of Surgery; Virginia and James Hubbard Chair in Cardiac Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Dr. Lawrence H. Cohn was born in San Francisco, CA.  He received his baccalaureate from the University of California, Berkeley with honors and his M.D. from Stanford School of Medicine (AOA).  He received his graduate training at Boston City Hospital, National Heart Institute, University of California, San Francisco and Stanford University.  He has been on the staff of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital since 1971.  Dr. Cohn has been a Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School since 1980 and in 2000 was awarded the first endowed Chair in Cardiac Surgery at Harvard Medical School, the Virginia and James Hubbard Chair in Cardiac Surgery.  He is the past Chair of the Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization. Currently, he serves as Physician Director of Medical Device Technology for Partners HealthCare Systems and is the Chair of the Physician and Scientist Fundraising Group at the Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. Cohn was awarded an honorary Masters of Medicine from Harvard in 1989 and a Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Paris in 1992. In 2005 he was the recipient of the Paul Dudley White Award, the highest award given by the American Heart Association.

Dr. Cohn has performed over 11,000 cardiac surgical operations and is a world-renowned expert in the field of valve repair and replacement surgery and minimally invasive heart valve surgery.  He has published over 440 original scientific articles, 105 book chapters and 12 books, including Cardiac Surgery in the Adult, 2nd and 3rd Editions, the most referenced text book in adult cardiac surgery today.  He has given more than 750 lectures worldwide.  Dr. Cohn has held or holds office in The American Board of Thoracic Surgery, the American College of Cardiology, and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery of which he was President.  He has also been the President of the American College of Chest Physicians and Chairman of the Board of the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, MD.  He is immediate Past-President of the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education. He is a member of 20 other professional organizations, including honorary membership in four international organizations.  He has served on the Editorial Board of 14 prestigious journals. He is currently the editor of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, the most referenced Journal in the field of Thoracic Surgery.

Dr. Cohn has trained more than 150 residents and fellows at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Children’s Hospital Medical Center Cardiothoracic Residency Program.  Graduates of this program occupy responsible positions at major medical centers worldwide, including approximately 30 surgeons who are division chiefs or department chairs. 

Dr. Cohn’s clinical and research interest span the entirety of adult cardiac surgery including reconstructive valve surgery and minimally invasive technology.  He also directed the Cardiac Surgery Laboratory from 1971-2001, which has a long interest in myocardial protection, cardiac transplantation and angiogenesis. 

Dr. Cohn has had many non-medical consulting activities.  He is a Board member of the Boston Public Library Foundation, an active member of the Museum of Fine Arts and recently retired as a Trustee of Massachusetts Financial Services (1989-2010), a mutual fund company. 

Dr. Cohn resides in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.  He is married to Roberta, has 2 daughters, Leslie Bernstein and Jennifer Cohn, two granddaughters, Carly and Rachel and son-in-law Stephen Bernstein.  Dr. Cohn enjoys history, tennis, golf, skiing, fishing and sailing.  

Recent Contributions to PracticeUpdate:

  1. Stroke After Aortic Valve Surgery