Stanley Cohen

Tennessean of the Year
Year Honored:
Vanderbilt University, Brooklyn College, Oberlin, Michigan


Born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 17, 1922, Stanley Cohen acquired a B.A. in chemistry and zoology at Brooklyn College in 1943, an M.A. in zoology at Oberlin College in 1945, and his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Michigan in 1948. Now he was ready to begin his life’s work to destroy the dire diseases of desperate growth. First stop was a teaching fellowship in the Department of Biochemistry at Michigan, followed by an instructor position in the Departments of Biochemistry and Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine at Denver, then on to the Department of Radiology as a postdoctoral fellow for the American Cancer Society. From 1953 to 1959 he was an associate professor in the Department of Zoology at Washington University, St. Louis. In 1959 Dr. Cohen joined the Vanderbilt School of Medicine and received the Research Career Development Award, National Institutes of Health. His career progressed at Vanderbilt from assistant professor of biochemistry, to associate professor, to professor and culminated in 1986 when he was named Distinguished Professor, Vanderbilt School of Medicine. On October 13, 1986 two investigators of cell growth, Dr. Rita Montaicni of Italy and Dr. Stanley Cohen of Tennessee, received the Nobel physiology award as persons “who have made important contributions for the good of humanity.” Dr. Stanley Cohen has dedicated his life to the search to make life more comfortable for all people.

Credit 1:
Department of Biochemistry - Vanderbilt University

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