Professor Cohen grew up in South Africa. He obtained an honors B.Sc. Degree in microbiology form Edinburgh University in 1966 and graduated as a doctor from Edinburgh University in 1968. He subsequently completed training as a pediatrician and as a member of the Royal College of Physicians in Scotland. He completed training in radiology at Leeds in England and became a fellow at the Royal College of Radiologists in 1978. In the same year, he received a doctor of medicine degree (equivalent to USA Ph.D. Degree) from the School of Public Health at Edinburgh University.
He has been at Indiana University since 1979 and has held positions as fellow in pediatric radiology and director of pediatric radiology at Riley Children's Hospital. He became Chairman of the Department of Radiology in 1995. His major research interest has been in the field of imaging of children with cancer. He has published over 160 scientific articles and four books. His main interest now is in the application of informatics and new technology to improving delivery of radiology service.