The University of Western Australia is saddened by the recent death of former Chancellor and Clinical Professor of Medicine, Alexander Cohen.
Unable to study medicine in Perth because UWA did not have a medical school until 1957, Professor Cohen obtained his medicine degree at The University of Adelaide. He went on to train as an endocrinologist with a focus on diabetes mellitus.
Professor Cohen was awarded the Australian Medical Association (WA) Award in 2013 for his outstanding contribution to diabetes research in Western Australia.
In 1995, he was also appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia for his efforts in improving diabetes research and care in the State.
Professor Cohen was instrumental in setting up the Centre for Diabetes Research at UWA and due to his efforts the Alex Cohen Scholarship was set up by the Diabetes Research Foundation WA to honour his contributions in the field.
The Alex Cohen Scholarship was created for the purpose of providing top-up scholarships to students awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award to conduct research based at UWA around clinical, cause, complications or psychological aspects of any form of diabetes.
Professor Cohen served as chair of the finance and investment and resources committees at UWA, director of clinical training at Hollywood Private Hospital and director of postgraduate medical education at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
He also held many positions within the community as Convenor and Chair of the Specialist Medical Review Committee for the Commonwealth of Australia’s Department of Veteran’s Affairs, Director of the Risk Management Program for the Medical Defence Association of WA, President of the Diabetes Research Foundation of WA and Director of the National Board for Diabetes.
He was President of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and of the Australian Medical Association (WA), Emeritus Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Royal Perth Hospital, a Fellow of the Australian Medical Association and Wolfson College Oxford, and a past Research Fellow of Harvard University Medical School.
UWA awarded Professor Cohen an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in 2002.
On behalf of the UWA Senate and the wider University community, UWA Chancellor Dr Robert French and Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater offer sincere condolences to his family and to all those whose lives were touched by this remarkable man.
Simone Hewett (UWA Media and PR Adviser) (08) 6488 7975