2009 Norman E. Shumway, MD,
Visiting Professorship Lecture

Lawrence H. Cohn, MD, world-renowned expert in the field of valve repair and replacement surgery and minimally invasive heart valve surgery, spoke at the second annual 2009 Norman E. Shumway, MD, Visiting Professorship Lecture on June 19, 2009. Cohn is the second person to receive this honor (the first was legendary heart transplant surgeon Denton Cooley, MD, in 2008).

The day's events included meeting with alumni and current residents as well as Cohn's presentation at the Clark Auditorium, entitiled “Surgery of the Mitral Valve: Conceptual and Technical Development 1902-2009.”

View the video of Dr. Cohn's speech

About Dr. Cohn

Dr. Lawrence H. Cohn was born in San Francisco, CA.  He received his baccalaureate from the University of California, Berkeley, and his M.D. from Stanford School of Medicine.  He received his graduate training at Boston City Hospital, National Heart Institute; University of California, San Francisco; and Stanford University. At Stanford, Dr. Cohn completed his cardiac surgery training in 1971 under Dr. Norman Shumway and has been on the staff of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital ever since.  Dr. Cohn has been a Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School since 1980 and in 2000 was awarded the first endowed Chair in Cardiac Surgery at Harvard Medical School, the Virginia and James Hubbard Chair in Cardiac Surgery.  He is the past Chair of the Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization. Currently, he serves as Physician Director of Medical Device Technology for Partners HealthCare System, INC and is the Chair of the Physician and Scientist Fundraising Group at the Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. Cohn was awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Paris in 1992 and an honorary Masters of Medicine from Harvard in 1989. In 2005, he was the recipient of the Paul Dudley White Award, the highest award given by the American Heart Association.

Dr. Cohn has performed over 10,000 cardiac surgical operations and is a world-renowned expert in the field of valve repair and replacement surgery and minimally invasive heart valve surgery.  He has published over 440 original scientific articles, 105 book chapters and 12 books, including Cardiac Surgery in the Adult, 2nd Edition the most referenced text book in adult cardiac surgery today.  He has given more than 750 lectures worldwide.  Dr. Cohn has held or holds office in The American Board of Thoracic Surgery, the American College of Cardiology, and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery of which he was President.  He has also been the President of the American College of Chest Physicians and Chairman of the Board of the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, MD.  He is immediate Past-President of the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education. He is a member of 20 other professional organizations, including honorary membership in four international organizations.  He serves on the Editorial Board of 14 prestigious journals. He is currently the editor of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, the most referenced Journal in the field of Thoracic Surgery.

Dr. Cohn has trained more than 150 residents and fellows at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Children’s Hospital Medical Center Cardiothoracic Residency Program.  Graduates of this program occupy responsible positions at major medical centers worldwide, including approximately 30 surgeons who are division chiefs or department chairs. 

Dr. Cohn’s clinical and research interest span the entirety of adult cardiac surgery including reconstructive valve surgery, minimally invasive technology, adult congenital heart surgery and thoracic aortic pathology.  He has also directed the Cardiac Surgery Laboratory, which has a long interest in myocardial protection, cardiac transplantation and angiogenesis. 

Dr. Cohn resides in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.  He is married to Roberta, has 2 daughters, Leslie Bernstein and Jennifer Cohn, two granddaughters, Carly and Rachel and son-in-law Stephen Bernstein.  Dr. Cohn enjoys history, tennis, golf, skiing, fishing and sailing. 

Lawrence H. Cohn, M.D.
Virginia and James Hubbard Professor of Cardiac Surgery Harvard Medical School Division of Cardiac Surgery Brigham and Women's Hospital