New dean for Carle Illinois to assume responsibilities in May


Photo courtesy of Photos by Austin Thomason

Dr. Mark Cohen exams a COVID-19 patient using a Microsoft HoloLens2 headset during his time at the University of Michigan. Cohen will be taking on his position as the new dean of Carle Illinois College of Medicine in May.

By Royal Shrestha, Assistant News Editor

Dr. Mark Cohen, the newly appointed dean for the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, will begin assuming his responsibilities this upcoming May, and will also serve as senior vice president and chief academic officer at Carle Health. 

During its March 17 meeting, the University Board of Trustees approved Cohen’s appointment following a national search for a replacement for Dr. King Li, the former dean who is retiring. 

It was just four years ago in 2018 when Carle Illinois was created and the first class of medical students were admitted to the college. Now, that class is about to graduate, and the college announced that all of its graduating students matched to their residency program of choice.

Since its creation, when it was led by just Li and two other assistants, Carle Illinois has grown to include more than 600 faculty members and has received provisional accreditation while awaiting full accreditation. 

As Li announced his retirement, he described his excitement for the future of Carle Illinois and its growth under the leadership of Cohen.

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Cohen was a professor of surgery, pharmacology and biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan. Cohen described most of his current work as leading the innovation and entrepreneurial efforts across the Michigan medical campus.

“Dr. Mark Cohen has a lot of experience running innovation programs in the medical school of the University of Michigan. He is definitely very well positioned to lead this new medical school from an establishment phase to now a growth phase,” Li said. 

Before Cohen even found out about the opening for the dean position at the University, he said that he was heavily interested in Carle Illinois due to it being the first school to integrate engineering into the core curriculum.

“I think it’s the commitment to intertwine innovation, engineering design and this whole ability to build and solve problems in medicine throughout the entire curriculum is what greatly interested me in Carle Illinois,” Cohen said. “It gives a real great opportunity to grow that into meaningful and impactful solutions for our patients and the community.” 

Current medical students in Carle Illinois can access opportunities provided by both the campus and Carle Health. During their time at Carle Illinois, medical students work with Carle Health to practice and design engineering solutions for medical projects. 

“I think there are many opportunities to partner with Carle Health and the community to really create impact and take things to another level. It’s a very exciting opportunity for many reasons for me but getting to work with innovative students everyday is something I look forward to,” Cohen said. 


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