Dr. Myron Cohen, M.D.

Dr. Myron Cohen, Qura Board of Directors member, is the Yeargan-Bate Eminent Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology and Epidemiology at UNC and the Director of the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases. In 2007 he was appointed Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and has served as the Director of the UNC Division of Infectious Diseases since 1988.

Dr. Cohen received his BS degree, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He received an MD degree from Rush Medical College, Chicago Illinois. He completed training in internal medicine at the University of Michigan, and training in infectious diseases at Yale University.

Dr. Cohen’s research focuses on the transmission and prevention of HIV, with emphasis on the role played by STD co-infections. The majority of Dr Cohen’s research has been conducted in resource-constrained countries, especially in the African country of Malawi and in the People’s Republic of China. Dr. Cohen is the architect and principal investigator of the multinational HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 052 study, which demonstrated that antiretroviral treatment of people with HIV infection prevents the sexual transmission of the virus. The HPTN 052 study has led to worldwide changes in the treatment and prevention of HIV infection and was recognized by Science Magazine as the “Breakthrough of the Year” in 2011.

Dr. Cohen has received the Distinguished Career Award for lifetime achievement in STD/HIV research from the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association and the Smadel Award from the Infectious Disease Society of America. Dr. Cohen received the O. Max Gardner from the University of North Carolina System, and the Award for Science from the State of North Carolina, the highest honor in the state. Dr. Cohen is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Association of Physicians and the Institute of Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Microbiology and the Infectious Disease Society of America.


Dr. Brian Johns, Ph.D. 

Dr. Brian Johns, interim Qura Board of Directors member, received a Ph.D. from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1997 under the direction of Professor Carl R. Johnson working on chemoenzymatic methodology to make bioactive aza-C-disaccharides. He continued his training as an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville under the direction of Professor James A. Marshall where he completed a total synthesis of the polyketide natural product discodermolide using allenyl metal methodology to establish key stereotriad motifs. Dr. Johns joined GlaxoWellcome (now GSK) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina in 1999 as part of the virology chemistry group where he continues today. Dr. Johns has authored or co-authored over 45 peer reviewed journal articles and is an inventor on over 50 patents and patent applications. He is a co-inventor of the antiretroviral drug Tivicay® (dolutegravir) and currently holds the title Vice President and Head of the HIV Discovery Performance Unit (HIV DPU) at GlaxoSmithKline.