An Entrepreneurship Success Story: 20/20 Gene Systems' Jonathan Cohen

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In the late 90’s, Jonathan Cohen was a patent attorney with a mechanical engineering background. But he knew he wanted to transition into life sciences. He just needed to figure out the best path to doing so. For Cohen, that path included enrolling in the JHU Center for Biotechnology Education’s M.S. in Biotechnology program. The program was unique at that time in that it allowed him to continue to work full-time and pay his mortgage while taking classes at night. Back then, that model was not available elsewhere.

“If not for the JHU program, I’m not sure I would have been able to transition into the biotech industry,” Cohen says.

Today, Cohen is the CEO of 20/20 Gene Systems, Inc., a company he founded in 2000 shortly after he graduated from the JHU program. The company has had a number of successes, and his most recent item to brag about is the development of a blood test for the early detection of lung cancer. Five months ago, Genesys BioLabs, a division of 20/20, began test marketing the detection system in the Washington, D.C., area. And in August, 20/20 received a grant from the University of Maryland’s Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program to work with a University of Maryland Baltimore associate professor Feng Jiang to see if Jiang’s new microRNA biomarker approach could help further improve the accuracy of the test.

Read more about the lung cancer detection test and Jonathan’s career on the Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus website.

Interested in learning more about JHU’s Center for Biotechnology Education? The Center is holding a series of online open houses for its programs in October. Find out more.


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