2023 Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumni (ASDA) Award Recipient
This is the highest alumni honor bestowed to a medical school graduate by the university's John Sealy School of Medicine Alumni Association. This award, recognizing outstanding service to the medical profession and to humanity, honors the memory of Dr. Ashbel Smith. A prominent figure in Texas medicine, politics and education, Dr. Smith was considered the driving force behind establishing the University of Texas at Austin in 1881, and a medical department that would later be known as the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1891.
About Dr. Cohen
Dr. Michael Cohen attended the University of Texas in Austin,majoring in zoology and graduating with honors in 1970.
He then attended the University of Texas Medical Branch where he received his MD degree, graduating first in his class in 1974. Following medical school, he completed an internship and a year of residency in pediatrics at Harvard’s Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston. While there, Dr. Cohen recognized the immense contributions to patient diagnosis and management rendered by the stellar group of academic pediatric radiologists and determined that radiology was his true calling. He crossed the street to begin his radiology residency at Beth Israel Hospital, becoming Chief Resident in his final year. He then joined the faculty at MD Anderson (MDA) Hospital and Tumor Institute as an Assistant Professor where he practiced both pediatric and interventional radiology. During his two-year tenure at MDA, he co-authored 12 peer-reviewed publications including the first authorship of a new method of successfully treating eosinophilic granulomas of bone with image-guided injections of steroids that remains the treatment of choice to this day.
Following a twelve-year stint in private practice
establishing an interventional radiology program at a large district
hospital in San Diego, Dr. Cohen returned to academic medicine as
Medical Director of the newly established Guttman
Diagnostic Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where he ascended to the rank of Professor of Radiology
at Cornell University School of Medicine. This was followed by professorships at the University of Virginia and Emory
Toward the latter years of his private practice career, Dr. Cohen shifted his focus from interventional radiology to breast imaging which was evolving into an interventional image-guided subspecialty. He devoted the remainder of his career to studying, teaching, and advancing this new and exciting subspecialty. During his years devoted to breast imaging, Dr. Cohen published an additional 32 peer-reviewed articles and became Division Director of Breast Imaging at Emory University, overseeing breast practices, research, and education at five academic hospitals.
In addition to his onsite academic endeavors, Dr. Cohen was active on committees in multiple professional societies
including the American Board of Radiology (board examiner), the Radiology Society of North America (scientific committee), the Society of Breast Imaging (scientific committee and fellowship committee), and the American College of
Radiology. He was awarded Fellowship in the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging. He
was also a member of the editorial board of RadioGraphics Journal and a manuscript reviewer for several other journals.
Cohen served as co-Chairman of the Board of the New York Susan G. Komen
Organization and was a board member of the Atlanta Komen Organization,
the LifeLine Animal Rescue Organization, and the Westchester branch of
American Leukemia Society.
Dr. Cohen recently completed his professional career-long one lap of America, returning to UTMB to join the breast imaging division on a part-time basis while enjoying his family, playing the guitar, grilling, and fly fishing.