Neal J. Cohen received his Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience from University of California San Diego, then became a Research Scientist at MIT, and then a member of the faculty in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins University, before arriving at Illinois in 1990.
At Illinois, Dr. Cohen is Professor in the Department of Psychology, the Neuroscience Program, the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.
Dr. Cohen currently serves as the Founding Director of the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute (IHSI), supporting efforts to catalyze, facilitate, enhance, and coordinate health-related research and innovation activities across all colleges and research units at Illinois, and with our clinical partners, including overseeing the Mayo Clinic & Illinois Alliance for Technology-Based Healthcare. He also serves as Founding Director of the Center for Nutrition, Learning, and Memory (CNLM), a public-private partnership between the University of Illinois and Abbott Laboratories that is the nation’s first nutritional neuroscience research center. In addition, he played an instrumental role in the creation, and continues in a critical role in the governance, of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, the nation’s first engineering-driven College of Medicine.
Dr. Cohen’s research has been instrumental in illuminating the nature and organization in the brain of memory, and in advancing our understanding of memory disorders in various instances of brain injury or brain disease. His work has been central in the discovery and characterization of different memory systems, in understanding how they are implemented in the human brain, and in showing that memory can be improved through interventions involving nutrition, fitness, and cognitive training.
Dr. Cohen’s scientific contributions have been recognized through his election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science.