Professor Marc Cohen is a medical practitioner with degrees in medicine, physiology and psychological medicine and PhDs in Chinese medicine and biomedical engineering. As one of Australia’s foremost pioneers of complementary medicine he has made significant impact on education, research, clinical practice and policy. He has published numerous journal articles, book chapters and texts on complementary medicine including co-authoring with Dr Leslie Braun the landmark text Herbs and Natural Supplements: An Evidence-Based Guide (now in its third edition), and co-editing ‘Understanding the Global Spa Industry’ with Prof Gerry Bodeker from Oxford University. He is currently Foundation Professor of Complementary Medicine at RMIT University where he leads the world’s first online Master of Wellness Program and is working to establish Wellness as a new academic discipline.
For the past 2 decades Professor Cohen has been one of Australia’s foremost pioneers of complementary medicine (CM) in the academic arena and he has made significant impacts on education, research, clinical practice and policy. He is a registered medical practitioner in the state of Victoria with a medical degree (with honours), and Bachelor of Medical Science Degree (with honours) from Monash University. He also has a PhD in Traditional Chinese Medicine and a second PhD in biomedical engineering and has a Fellowship of the Australian Medical Acupuncture Society and a Fellowship of the International College of Acupuncture and Electrotherapeutics.
Professor Cohen is currently Foundation Professor of Complementary Medicine at RMIT University, a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education at Monash University, an Expert Advisor to the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) Complementary Medicine Evaluation Committee (CMEC) and a member of the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) Consultative Committee and the National Health and Medical Research Council Grant Review Panel. He is also immediate Past-President and current Board Member of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (President from 2000-2007) and has been involved in developing the RACGP curriculum on Integrative Medicine. He is the Past Founding Director of the Centre for Complementary Medicine at the Monash Institute for Health Services Research.
Professor Cohen is a complementary medicine practitioner and researcher who has pioneered the introduction of complementary medicine into mainstream settings. Professor Cohen has extensive experience in running clinical trials and other multidisciplinary projects. Over the past 10 years he has been involved in running more than 10 industry-funded randomised controlled trials and attracting more than $1.2 million in research funding from various sources including NHMRC, ARC, VicHealth, and various philanthropic and industry sources. He is currently the lead investigator on two NHMRC funded studies and a Chief Investigator on two further NHMRC funded studies.
In 2002 he became Australia’s first Professor of Complementary Medicine and Head of the Department of Complementary Medicine at RMIT University which was by far the largest such department in the country. He currently supervises post graduate research students and is the Program leader and developer of RMIT’s new Master of Wellness Program which is the world’s first, fully online, postgraduate program on wellness.
He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles, 15 books and monographs and 20 book chapters. He has co-authored the first and second editions of Herbs and Natural Supplements: An Evidence-Based Guide both of which were short-listed for an Australian Publishing Award in the scholarly reference section and he is co-editor for the text ‘Understanding the Global Spa Industry’ which is the first academic book on the global spa industry. He sits on the Editorial Board of four international journals and is regularly requested to peer-review articles for numerous international scientific journals as well as examine PhD thesis from many different universities.
Professor Cohen is the one of Australia’s most active people when it comes to organising complementary medicine conferences. He has organised 8 International Holistic Health Conferences (from 2000-2007) and in 2003 Chaired the Organising Committee for the First World Congress on Chinese Medicine. He also organised the Complementary Medicine Symposium at the XIIIth World Congress on Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics as well as organising the RMIT School of Health Sciences Research Conferences from 2005-2007. He is also sat on the Scientific Committees for the Third International Conference on Complementary Medicine Research and the National Prescribing Service Scientific Conference and he sits on the Board of the Global Spa Summit. As well as organising conferences he is a sought after presenter and in the past five years has been an invited speaker at more than 100 conferences including more than 40 international and 40 national conferences.
Professor Cohen has been involved in yoga research since 1994 when he introduced the yoga-based, Health Enhancement Lifestyle Program as an elective for Monash Medical students. He subsequently worked to integrate this program for patients at Cedar Court Rehabilitation Hospital and has since made significant contributions to yoga research in supervising Master by research student, Stephen Penman in conducting the Yoga in Australia Survey which is the world’s largest survey of yoga practitioners. Prof Cohen has since attracted 7 PhD students to perform yoga related research including Jonathan Halpern who conducted a clinical trial into yoga for geriatric insomnia in Israel collaboration with Dr. Clement Cahan and Dr Anda Baharav from the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre in Jerusalem and Dr. Gerard Kennedy from Victoria University, School of Psychology. Professor Cohen now leads one of the western world’s largest yoga research collaborations and is currently Chief Investigator on a NHMRC-funded grant to perform the world’s first double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of yoga which aims to examine the use of yoga for geriatric insomnia and involves a collaboration between mainstream researchers across 3 universities and the Austin Hospital.