Dr. David Cohen selected as VA Portland associate chief of staff for research and development

Dr. David M. Cohen
Dr. David M. Cohen

VA Portland Health Care System Chief of Staff Sahana Misra announced the selection of David M. Cohen, M.D., as associate chief of staff for research and development effective November 1.

Dr. Cohen received his B.S. and M.D. in the combined five-year program of Penn State and Jefferson Medical College. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Boston University and one-year clinical and three-year research fellowships in nephrology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He completed an additional two-year postdoctoral research fellowship in molecular genetics in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute laboratory of William Chin at the Brigham.

Dr. Cohen joined VA Portland and OHSU in 1995 and is currently professor of medicine and cell, developmental and cancer biology, OHSU School of Medicine. He has been section chief for nephrology at VA Portland from 2004 to 2014 and from 2018 to the present. Between these terms, he served for four years as acting and then interim division head for the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Department of Medicine, OHSU School of Medicine.

Dr. Cohen has substantial experience with basic science, translational and clinical research. Much of his earlier work centered around how cells and organisms adapt to environmental stressors, which led to more recent investigations into the human genetics of water balance. He has published extensively in leading physiology and nephrology journals and in general-interest journals including the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and JAMA.

His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as the American Diabetes Association, the National Kidney Foundation and the American Heart Association.

Dr. Cohen serves as local site investigator for VA’s landmark Million Veteran Program and has overseen the recruitment of over 25,000 veterans at the Portland site and affiliated CBOCs. Dr. Cohen served on the VAPORHCS Research and Development Committee for over a decade, including a two-year term as chair.  He has also served for two decades on the IACUC, tasked with ensuring compassionate use of animals in scientific investigation.

Dr. Cohen is active in peer review, having served for over a decade on the Research Committee at OHSU, the grant review board for the Medical Research Foundation of Oregon. He is a member of the Editorial Board for the American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology and for JASN (Journal of the American Society of Nephrology).

Dr. Cohen and his wife Dr. Lee Anna Jones, a rheumatologist with Northwest Permanente, have two college-age children. In his spare time, Dr. Cohen enjoys hiking, travel, tennis, photography, astronomy, and investing and personal finance.