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Cornell Veterinary college taps new associate dean


Paula Cohen, PhD, will take over as the college’s associate dean for research and graduate education beginning on February 1, 2024

The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) announced that Paula Cohen, PhD, will be the next associate dean for research and graduate education effective on February 1, 2024. Cohen took over for Robert Weiss, PhD, the associate dean since 2017, and will now serve as the Graduate School’s new senior associate dean.

“Dr Cohen brings a wealth of experience to this position, both in her academic leadership roles and her success in scientific research and mentoring graduate students and others trained in her laboratory,” expressed Lorin Warnick, DVM, PhD, the Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine, in an organizational release.1 “We are very fortunate to have her join the college leadership team and look forward to the programs and initiatives she will lead.”

Paula Cohen, PhD, the next associate dean for research and graduate education at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (Image courtesy of Carol Jennings / Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine)

Paula Cohen, PhD, the next associate dean for research and graduate education at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (Image courtesy of Carol Jennings / Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine)

According to the release,1 Cohen attended the University of London, England where she received her PhD in reproductive physiology. She then accepted a postdoctoral position at the Albert Einstein College where she studied the maturation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and the regulation of gonadal function in males and females. During her studies, Cohen developed an interest in germ cell biology and genome integrity and eventually transitioned into this area so she could study the roles of DNA repair proteins in mammalian meiosis.1

In 2000, Cohen joined the faculty at Albert Einstein College within the Department of Genetics before being recruited by CVM’s Department of Biomedical Sciences. She was then promoted to associate professor in 2007 before becoming a full professor in 2013 and 5 years later she became the associate vice provost for life sciences. Cohen was the first to establish a Cornell-wide center that encompasses scientists and clinicians from the Weill Cornell Medicine and CVM, establishing the Cornell Reproductive Sciences Center.1

During her time as associate vice provost, Cohen worked on initiatives to improve and upgrade core facilities within the life sciences and give resources for the college’s research centers on its Ithaca and New York City campuses. According to the release, Cohen has also created the first Postdoctoral fellow parental leave program which gives financial resources to help offset the loss of productivity postdoctoral students when students decide to focus on their families.1

Cohen has served as a lead consultant for the design of lab space in Atkinson Hall to pave the way for a new Center for Cancer Immunology and a state-of-the-art Integrated Disease Genomics Technology (IDG-Tech) Core in 2018. Cohen will help the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation’s activities to smooth the transition as a new associate vice provost is recruited. She will also help with projects moving forward as needed.

‘“While we will all miss her positive energy and problem-solving spirit in the OVPRI leadership team, we look forward to seeing Paula thrive in her new role in her home college’s leadership team,” said Krystyn Van Vliet, PhD, vice president for research and innovation at Cornell University.1

Cohen will use her understanding of the collaborative culture across the Cornell campuses in Ithaca and New York City by encouraging and facilitating interdisciplinary research projects involving faculty within CVM with interests in the fundamental biology of animal systems, animal disease, and developing diagnostic and therapeutic tools to progress animal and human health. She also hopes to enhance graduate, veterinary, and postdoctoral education to expose trainees to the latest technical innovations in biomedical research.1


Dr. Paula Cohen named new associate dean for research and graduate education. News release. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. January 9, 2024. Accessed January 10, 2024. https://www.vet.cornell.edu/news/20240109/dr-paula-cohen-named-new-associate-dean-research-and-graduate-education

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