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Prof Jon Cohen graduated from Charing Cross Medical School, London and then went to Hammersmith Hospital & the Royal Postgraduate Medical School to begin training in academic medicine. He soon recognised that his interests lay in infection and particularly in opportunistic infection in immunocompromised patients. At that time a training in academic infectious diseases was not available in the UK so he obtained a Wellcome Trust fellowship to do a master’s degree in microbiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and then worked with Prof David Durack in the ID department of Duke University in North Carolina. Returning to Hammersmith he set up the Department of Infectious Diseases, and eventually became Chairman of the joint Dept of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases. In 2002 he was appointed as the Foundation Dean of the new Brighton & Sussex Medical School, eventually stepping down in 2013 to take on the role of President of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. His main research interests have been in sepsis and septic shock and he has published widely on both basic aspects of pathophysiology as well as leading major international clinical trials of new therapies.