Dr. Steven P. Cohen obtained his medical degree at Mount Sinai, completed an anesthesiology residency at Columbia University, and a pain fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is Professor of Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine, Neurology, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He is also Director of the Blaustein Pain Treatment Center at Johns Hopkins and Director of Pain Research at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Dr. Cohen has been active in teaching and pain research, having published over 400 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in the past 20 years. Among his major contributions are the development of an FDA-approved denervation technique for treating sacroiliac joint pain (radiofrequency ablation), helping set up the first pain clinic in a war zone, inventing the IV ketamine test, performing the first studies evaluating the epidural administration of biological agents for pain, serving as the Senior Investigator on the Congressionally-mandated study evaluating compounded topical creams for chronic pain, serving as Committee Chair for the national ketamine guidelines for pain management, serving as Committee Chair for 2 international consortiums establishing guidelines for lumbar and cervical facet blocks and radiofrequency ablation, and serving as Committee Chair for multispecialty guidelines on pain management during COVID-19. He has conducted research on facet arthropathy and epidural steroid injections that has changed the way the conditions are viewed and treated. His articles have been published in some of the top general medical journals including “Lancet”, “Mayo Clinic Proceedings”, “CMAJ”, “BMJ”, “Annals of Internal Medicine”, “JAMA” and the “New England Journal of Medicine”. His research has been featured in the New York Times 4 times and he has been the first author on the “Pain” chapter in the last 5 editions of “Cecil Textbook of Medicine”. He has previously coordinated pain series for ‘BMJ’, ‘Mayo Clinic Proceedings’ and ‘Lancet’ In 2021, ExpertScape ranked him as the #1 pain expert in the world based on a complex formula involving publications and citations. Dr. Cohen also serves on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Pain Medicine and the Executive Board for ASRA.
In addition to his academic work, Dr. Cohen is a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army, and was deployed 4 times in support of operations in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. His research was instrumental in the passage of the 2008 Military Pain Care Act, and he served as an inaugural member of the U.S. Army Medical Advisory Board. His previous awards include the ASRA John J. Bonica Award, the American Academy of Pain Medicine Founder’s Award, the American Academy of Pain Medicine Presidential Citation x 2, the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians Public Service Award, the Donlin M. Long Pain Award, the Eastern Pain Association John J. Bonica Award, multiple Teacher and Mentor of the Year Awards from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the Military Health System Distinguished Service Award, the Order of Military Medical Merit, and the Legion of Merit.