Jerome D. Cohen, MD
Jerome D. Cohen, MD ’64, HS ’71 is an Emeritus Professor of Internal Medicine/Cardiology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine where he served on the faculty for 36 years. A pioneer in preventive cardiology, Cohen is one of the first educators to stress control of cardiovascular risk factors. He has served as President of the St. Louis Heart Association and the Missouri Heart Association, and was a recipient of the Preventive Cardiology Academic Award from the NIH. With the help of a National Institutes of Health Heart, Lung and Blood Institute grant, Cohen led the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial for the Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease beginning in 1972, which led to the screening of more than 18,000 people in the St. Louis area for high-risk cardiovascular diseases. This was one of the largest screening efforts at the time.
In 1980, Cohen was one of the earliest advocates for promoting changes in the American diet to prevent heart disease and appeared before the U.S. Senate subcommittee for developing nutrition guidelines to stress the importance of limiting dietary saturated fats and cholesterol. The guidelines, while intensely debated then, are now widely promoted and accepted today. Cohen continues to stress the importance of diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle to children in underprivileged areas of St. Louis who are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease. He has been active in the state of Missouri and the region in efforts to reduce cigarette smoking, especially among the most vulnerable youngsters.
Cohen has published more than 170 papers and is the recipient of numerous awards. He has served on many NIH and American Heart Association committees including guideline-writing committees for the treatment of hypertension.
As a member of the board of directors for the National Lipid Association, he has developed many invaluable patient, clinical and educational support tools that have brought national prominence to cardiovascular disease risk factors and patient care. He is also a prolific lecturer, both nationally and internationally, conveying the newest findings in heart disease treatment and prevention to physicians as well as public health audiences. On a local note, Cohen serves as co-director of the Kilo Diabetes and Vascular Research Foundation Symposium, the foremost continuing medical education course in its field, which attracts 400-500 attendees to St. Louis.
Cohen earned his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1960 and his medical degree from Washington University in 1964. Following the end of his military service in 1968, Cohen completed his residency and cardiology fellowship at Washington University. He joined the faculty of Saint Louis University in 1971 and served as chief of medicine and head of cardiology at St. Louis County Hospital for five years, then in 1977 took sabbatical leave to train in epidemiology and biostatistics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
The Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association is pleased to present its Alumni Achievement Award to Dr. Cohen.