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Professor Jon Cohen, Dean of Brighton and Sussex Medical School, to step down

Published 1 October 2013

The vice-chancellors of the universities of Brighton and Sussex have expressed their thanks to the Dean of Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), who has decided to step down from his post at the end of December 2013.

Professor Jon Cohen was appointed in January 2002 as the first Dean of the Brighton and Sussex Medical School when it was created and launched in 2003 as part of a new generation of medical schools developed in the UK. Brighton and Sussex Medical School is an equal partnership between the universities of Brighton Sussex together with NHS organisations throughout the south-east.

In 2014, Professor Jon Cohen will assume the Presidency of the International Society of Infectious Diseases and he will continue his academic roles with the Lister Institute and Arthritis Research UK and as Chair of the British Medical & Dental Students’ Trust, among other bodies.

Professor Julian Crampton, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton, said: “I would like to thank Jon personally for his 11 years of service and for his help in establishing BSMS as a leading medical school, both in terms of its student achievement and satisfaction and of the quality of its research.

“Since the school opened, it has graduated over 700 new doctors and has built a considerable research base in areas ranging from cancer and medical ethics and global health and infectious diseases, to neurology and psychiatry.

“Over the past decade the whole of the University of Brighton has benefited very significantly from the addition of the teaching and research of BSMS to its portfolio.

“The Medical School has had a tremendous impact locally, nationally and globally and as it celebrates its 10-year anniversary it is very well placed to build on these successes.”

Professor Michael Farthing, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, said: “As the founding Dean of the new Medical School in 2002, Jon has played the leading role in creating one of the most successful, popular and highly rated medical schools in the country.

“As the Medical School celebrates its 10th anniversary, it is a fitting time to pay tribute to his work at BSMS. The School has brought a new generation of doctors to our region and enhanced the approach to teaching and preparation of the medical profession.

“For Sussex in particular, the creation of BSMS has strengthened our work as a university and, for the future, we will continue to build on the strong connections between its research activity and the other science schools at Sussex.”

Professor Cohen said: “By December I will have been in post as Dean of the Medical School for nearly 11 years, our 2014 submission to the Research Excellence Framework which assesses UK research will be done and the BSMS10 celebrations will be well under way. It feels like the right time to move on and do other things.

“It has been a huge privilege to be able to do this job and to have had the opportunity to work with such an incredible group of people.”

The universities of Brighton and Sussex are now putting work in hand to appoint a permanent replacement. Professor Gordon Ferns, currently the Deputy Dean of BSMS, will become Acting Dean from 1 January 2014.

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Professor Jon Cohen

Professor Jon Cohen