Mr. William E. Cohn
VP, Medical Devices, Johnson&Johnson
William E. Cohn, MD, is a Vice President of Medical Devices at Johnson&Johnson and the Director for the Johnson&Johnson Center for Device Innovation at the Texas Medical Center. He is also a professor of surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and an adjunct professor of Bioengineering at both Rice University and the University of Houston.
Prior to joining J&J, Dr. Cohn was the director of the Cullen Cardiovascular Research Lab at the famed Texas Heart Institute and the Director of Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery at THI. A native of Houston, Dr. Cohn received his medical school education, general surgical training, and cardiothoracic surgical training at Baylor College of Medicine where he served as the last chief resident of the legendary heart surgeon Michael E. DeBakey. After graduation, Dr. Cohn spent eleven years on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and as an Attending Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
His major research interests include the development of new technology for decreasing the invasiveness of surgical procedures and development of the continuous-flow totally implantable artificial heart. In 2011, Dr. Cohn and Dr. O. H. Frazier successfully implanted the first pulseless total heart replacement device in a human patient.
Dr. Cohn has a passion for medical device development and has more than 90 US patents granted or pending and another 60 international patents for his medical innovations. His numerous awards include an honorary doctorate in science from Oberlin College, the Distinguished Scientist Award, given by the MacDonald Fund, and the Edison Award for excellence in human-centered design and innovation for inventing the SentreHEART® Lariat® Suture Delivery Device. In 2000, Dr. Cohn was named the distinguished Inventor of the Year by the U.S. Intellectual Property Owners Association and in 2014, he was named Outstanding Inventor of the Year by the Houston IPO. In addition, in 2014 he received an award for the most Innovative Medical Device Startup of the year at the Innovations in Cardiovascular Interventions Conference in Tel Aviv for inventing the TVA everlinQ system for percutaneous creation of AV fistulas and for founding TVA Medical. In 2015, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for healthcare innovation by the Houston Technology Center. He is the Chief Medical Officer of BiVACOR Inc. and currently serves on the board of directors of CSI Inc., BiVACOR, and TVA Medical. Previously, he served on the boards of ArterX, PluroMed, Onyx Medical, and SentreHeart.