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Medicine Grand Rounds: Dr. Myron Cohen presents “Monoclonal Antibodies in Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19: How did we get here and where are we going?”
April 28, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Myron Scott Cohen was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1950. Dr. Cohen received his BS degree, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1971. He received an MD degree from Rush Medical College, Chicago, Illinois. He completed training in internal medicine at the University of Michigan, and training in infectious diseases at Yale University. After working in 1979 in the Peoples Republic of China on Hemorrhagic Fever with Nephrosonephritis, Dr. Cohen joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina in 1980. He rose to the rank of Professor over 10 years and served as the Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases from 1991 until 2019. He founded the UNC Institute for Global health and Infectious Diseases in 2007. Dr. Cohen has served as Co-PI of the NIH HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) since 2012 and as one of the founders and leaders of the NIH COVID Prevention Network (CoVPN) in 2020. Dr. Cohen is the Yeargan-Bate Eminent Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, and Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
For three decades, Dr. Cohen’s research has focused on the transmission and prevention of transmission of viral pathogens. Importantly, Dr. Cohen led the development of laboratory methods to measure HIV in genital secretions, as well as methods to determine the best antiviral agents to reduce replication of HIV in these compartments in men and women. Dr. Cohen served as Principal Investigator of the multinational HPTN 052 trial, which demonstrated that antiretroviral treatment of people with HIV infection prevents the sexual transmission of the virus. This work was recognized by Science Magazine as the “Breakthrough of the Year” in 2011. The results led immediately to worldwide changes in HIV treatment guidelines and HIV “treatment as prevention” (TASP) as the central strategy for reduction of transmission of HIV. Subsequently, Dr. Cohen has led efforts to develop additional tools to prevent HIV acquisition including long-acting injectable antiviral agents and broad neutralizing antibodies.
Since onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Cohen has worked on vaccines and monoclonal antibodies for prevention of COVID-19 as a leader of the NIH CoVPN. Dr. Cohen spearheaded a “proof of concept” study that demonstrated the Eli Lilly drug, bamlanivimab, could prevent COVID-19 in long term care facilities, protecting a profusion of people at highest risk of serious symptoms and death. He worked with Regeneron to show that the combination of antibodies called REGEN-COV prevented COVID-19 for five months after administration.
Dr. Cohen is the author of more than six hundred publications and one book. Dr. Cohen is a Fellow of the American Society for Microbiology, the American College of Physicians, and the Infectious Disease Society of America. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the American Association of Physicians. Dr. Cohen received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Rush Medical College in 2000. He received the Distinguished Career Award for lifetime achievement from the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association in 2005. In 2008, Dr. Cohen received the O. Max Gardner Award, the highest honor in the University of North Carolina System. In 2013 Dr. Cohen received the Smadel Award from the Infectious Disease Society in recognition of his work in public health. Also in 2013, Dr. Cohen received the Award for Science from the State of North Carolina, its highest civilian honor.