In Memoriam: Gene Cohen

Founder of the National Institute of Mental Health’s Center on Aging was an expert on Alzheimer’s disease.

Gene Cohen
May 08, 2010

Gene Cohen, professor of health care sciences,  psychiatry and behavioral sciences, died on Nov. 7.

A geriatric psychiatrist, Dr. Cohen founded the Center on Aging at the National Institute of Mental Health and served as the acting director of the National Institute on Aging and director of the Washington, D.C., Center on Aging. In 1994, Dr. Cohen joined GW as the first director of GW’s Center on Aging, Health and Humanities. At GW, Dr. Cohen taught the practice of medicine course, helping young medical students as they learned to interact with patients of all ages.

An expert on Alzheimer’s, Dr. Cohen also created board games that fostered intergenerational interactions, won numerous professional awards and wrote more than 150 articles and several widely-read books for general audiences on the aging process, including The Creative Age: Awakening Human Potential in the Second Half of Life and The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain. 

Dr. Cohen is survived by his wife, two children and four grandchildren. 

A funeral service was held Nov. 9 at Temple Emanuel in Kensington, MD., followed by interment at Judean Memorial Gardens in Olney, Md .Donations in Dr. Cohen's  memory may be made to the Gene D. Cohen Annual Research Award in Creative Aging.