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The University of Sussex

 31 October 2001 

World-renowned doctor heads new medical school

Professor CohenA founding dean for the new Brighton and Sussex Medical School, due to open in 2003, has been appointed.

Professor Jon Cohen, who has been head of the department of infectious diseases and microbiology at Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine for nine years, will take up the post in February 2002.

"I am enormously excited by this opportunity," Says Professor Cohen. "I don't underestimate the challenge, but I have been hugely impressed by the enthusiasm of everyone I have met who is involved with the project, and I am sure that the new school will succeed in producing great doctors."

The school, which will have an annual intake of 128 trainee doctors, is a joint venture by the Universities of Sussex and Brighton. Clinical training will be based at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, Mill View in Hove and in General Practices throughout the local area. In their final year students will be placed in other major centres throughout Sussex including Eastbourne, Hastings, Chichester and Worthing.

Through his rigorous approach to teaching, clinical work and research, Professor Cohen is highly respected in the medical world. He has an international reputation in infectious diseases, particularly in his work on sepsis and septic shock. He is editor-in-chief of International Journal of Infectious Diseases and is regularly invited to give keynote and named lectures at major international institutions and conferences.

He is also an advisor to the Department of Health and other national organisations, such as the Meningitis Trust. He serves on the Chief Medical Officer's review group on communicable diseases strategy and is a member of the Department of Health's joint committee on vaccination and immunisation.

University of Sussex Vice-Chancellor Professor, Alasdair Smith, says: "Professor Cohen will bring to the new Brighton and Sussex Medical School his world-class reputation as a clinical academic as well as a deep understanding of health care and health education. He is an ideal person to lead a medical school that aims to be excellent in teaching, in research and in service to the health community locally and nationally."

Director of the University of Brighton, Sir David Watson, adds: "We are delighted to welcome Professor Cohen to Brighton and to the Universities. His talent and experience will play a major part in our goal of meeting the important challenges of modern health care."

 Notes for editors 

  • The Brighton and Sussex Medical School has been created through a joint bid by the Universities of Sussex and Brighton.
  • The school will have places to train 128 trainee doctors and is expected to be up and running by 2003.
  • The Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton will be the main teaching hospital, with additional teaching facilities at the universities' Falmer sites.
  • The 28.5million venture, which will be funded by the Department of Health and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), will create around 20 new consultant appointments as well as the equivalent of 20 full time jobs in teaching.
  • The bid was made last December in response to a Government report, which recommended an increase in the number of medical students in the UK by more than 1,000. Out of more than 20 bids from higher education institutions around the country to either set up new medical schools or increase student numbers in existing ones, 16 were successful.

For further information, please contact Jacqui Bealing, or Peter Simmons, University of Sussex Press Office, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, or

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