Taylor S. Cohen Ph.D.

Scientist, MedImmune

Dr. Cohen received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, under the supervision of Dr. Susan Margulies, following his work on the roles of sepsis and mechanical injury on epithelial tight junction structure and function. Due to his interest on the contribution of the airway epithelium in the host response to lung injury Dr. Cohen joined the laboratory of Dr. Alice Prince in January 2010 at Columbia University. Dr. Cohen’s main focus in Dr. Prince’s lab has been to characterize the host response to the major human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Specifically, Dr. Cohen established a role of type I interferon signaling in clearance of this pathogen from the lung, and demonstrated that mutations in epithelial CFTR gene, the underlying mutation in Cystic Fibrosis, impedes the epithelial cells from producing interferons in response to P. aeruginosa. This work can lead to better approaches for the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis and preventing secondary viral infections in CF patients.Dr. Cohen has more recently focused on the contribution of immune cells to pathology during acute bacterial pneumonia, specifically the role of type III interferon. Recognized primarily by epithelial cells, this member of the interferon family is known to be relevant in viral immunity and tumor development, and Dr. Cohen’s work could help characterize its function during infection with bacterial pathogens.