Alan Cohen, Ph. D.

Health: Populations, Organization, Practices Axis
Centre de recherche du CHUS

Assistant Professor
Department of Family Medicine
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Université de Sherbrooke

Contact Information
Phone | 819 346-1110 ext. 72590
Fax | 819 564-5386
E-Mail |


Research Relevance

The investigator Alan Cohen is broadly interested in the application of advanced analytical and statistical methods to problems related to population health and to fundamental biological questions, particularly related to the aging process. We know that the aging process is highly complex, but we do not yet understand the fundamental biological mechanisms of aging, or how or why these vary across species.  

Doctor Cohen is using longitudinal epidemiological and biomarker data on aging to identify underlying patterns and processes in aging and their relationship to physiological causal pathways. He is applying similar methods to models of physiology across species in order to understand how physiological regulatory networks function at different timescales, how to measure them, and the consequences of this for how physiology evolves over time in relation to a changing environment and selective pressures.  In the long-term, he hopes to generate ways to measure biological age that could be applied clinically and will allow us to study social and economic factors that accelerate aging and chronic disease in disadvantaged populations. He also collaborates broadly on studies using statistical methods to understand population health using biomarkers.


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Representative Achievements

  • Developedment of a new evolutionary theory of aging, the "Systemic Constraints" theory
  • Organized a symposium at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on the potential consequences of anti-aging therapies for population growth
  • Developed a novel method for measuring physiological dysregulation using blood biomarker profiles readily available in clinic
  • Disproved the longstanding theory for the evolution of menopause and proposed an alternative


Know-How & Opportunities for Collaboration

  • Statistics: Variable condensation methods (Principal components analysis, factor analysis, etc), Regression models (linear, logistic, Poisson, multi-level), Bayesian models, Simulations of natural processes, Graphical representation of complex data, and Complex systems and solutions to collinearity in regression models
  • Aging: Demography, Physiological mechanisms, Early-life effects and relation to development, and Evolutionary theories
  • Demography: Formal (mathematical) demography, Age-period-cohort models, Lexis diagrams
  • Physiology: Regulatory networks at long timescales, Metabolism, Antioxidants and oxidative stress systems
  • Epidemiology and Population health: Disease indices, Geographical analysis, Modeling socioeconomic factors in disease, Malaria epidemiology
  • Ecology and evolution: Life history theory, Avian Biology, Evolutionary Ecology, Animal Physiological Ecology


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