A UNMC memory from Dr. Cohen

April 17, 2012

At the annual faculty meeting on April 25, UNMC will recognize 15 faculty members who have worked at the university for 40 or 30 years.

Among those who will be honored is Samuel Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the department of pathology and microbiology and Havlik-Wall Professor of Oncology, who has been at the university for 30 years.

Below Dr. Cohen shares a memory from his time at UNMC.


Shortly after I arrived, a student named Tom Gross walked into my office wondering what to do with his life. He wanted to do research and to practice medicine. I told him that he didn't have to choose as he could do both, in contrast to the advice he was getting from his undergraduate professors and others.

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Samuel Cohen, M.D., Ph.D.
I described to him the opportunity of a combined M.D., Ph.D. program, which didn't exist at that time at UNMC. Tom decided to do it and with the extensive assistance of Dr. Bob Waldman, dean of the college of medicine at that time, Dr. Bill Berndt, dean of the graduate school, and support from the department of pathology and microbiology, a program was implemented with numerous waivers of rules that were obstacles to such a program at that time.

Fortunately those rules have changed and the M.D., Ph.D. program has flourished since its beginnings with Tom, who himself has succeeded, too. He now leads the pediatric hematology/oncology program at Ohio State.

Our M.D., Ph.D., program was expanded later by Dr. Harold Maurer, who, when he was dean of the College of Medicine, moved the program out of the department of pathology and microbiology and extended it to the entire college.


Read UNMC Today in the coming days to hear from more faculty members who will be recognized at the annual faculty meeting for 40 or 30 years of service.

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