Zane Cohen, M.D., F.R.C.S.(C)


Director - Zane Cohen Centre for Digestive Diseases (ZCC)
Colorectal Surgeon

Dr. Zane CohenZane Cohen obtained his MD degree in 1969 at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and following this he did his general surgical residency in the Gallie Program at the University of Toronto. During this time he spent two years doing transplantation immunological research with Dr. Rudy Falk, and following his general surgical training he spent two years in the United Kingdom. One clinical year was at St. Mark’s Hospital for Diseases of the Colon and Rectum, and another research year was done at the London Hospital in London, England in transplantation immunology.

Zane returned to join the staff of Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto and the Division of General Surgery at the Toronto General Hospital in 1977 as a Lecturer. Over the next 12 years he rose through the ranks to become a Professor of Surgery in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto.

In 1990 Zane Cohen moved to Mount Sinai Hospital to take up the position of Surgeon-in-Chief. He remained as Surgeon-In-Chief until June 30, 2006. In 1999, he was appointed as Chairman of the Division of General Surgery at the University of Toronto, an appointment which he now held until June 30, 2009. He has served as the Chairman of the Promotions Committee for the Department of Surgery from 1996 to 2001. He is an active member of the Senior Advisory Committee and the Finance Committee of the Department of Surgery.

Zane Cohen’s clinical interests have been almost entirely in the area of colon and rectal surgery. Zane had the opportunity to train with Professor Nils Kock on three separate occasions, and developed and brought to the university innovative surgical techniques which have helped thousands of patients afflicted with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and colorectal cancer. He has a specific interest in sphincter saving operations, and introduced the procedures of the Kock Pouch and the Pelvic Pouch techniques at the University of Toronto to patients with ulcerative colitis.

He also popularized the use of the double-staple technique for low anterior resections within the Division of General Surgery. Zane Cohen was the Co-Founder, along with Philip Gordon, of the Canadian Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and served as its second president. He was instrumental in developing a Colon and Rectal Training Program at the University of Toronto, amongst several of the teaching hospitals. His initial research interests were in the field of intestinal transplantation, and he, along with Dr. Bernard Langer, carried out the first human intestinal transplantation in the cyclosporine era.

Zane Cohen has authored over 230 manuscripts and book chapters, mainly in the area of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and colorectal cancer and intestinal transplantation. He has held peer reviewed research grants from all of the major granting agencies for his initial work in intestinal transplantation and his subsequent research work related to outcomes in inflammatory bowel disease. Zane has been an invited speaker world wide, he has an international reputation, and he is held in esteem by many of the general surgical residents, as well as the colorectal residents/fellows that he has trained.

He has been recognized for his achievements on many occasions, most recently by the Finkelstein Award for Continued Excellence in Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the Mentors Award from the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons in 2004, and the Colin R. Woolf Award for Excellence and Innovation in Course Coordination in 2005 for the General Surgery Update Course. He has been honored by Ben Gurion University of the Negev with a gala affair in Toronto attended by over 800 people.

Most recently, he has been again honoured with the naming of the Zane Cohen Centre for Digestive Diseases. Within this centre are 24 clinical researchers from medical students to surgical and medical trainees, as well as faculty, who are all involved in IBD and colon cancer research. The Dr. Zane Cohen lectureship has recently been initiated by a group of his colleagues.


Inflammatory Bowel Disease Group (IBD Group)
Familial Gastrointestinal Cancer Registry (FGICR)


Clinical Secretary
Rina Berardi
Phone: 416-586-4800 ext: 8346
Fax: 416-586-8644

Office Location
Mount Sinai Hospital
Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Health Complex
451-600 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5G 1X5


  • Cosentino JS, Davies RJ, McLeod RS, Cohen Z. Lymphoma following ileal pouch anal anastomosis. Can J Surg. 2009 Aug;52(4):E123-E126.
  • Scarpa M, Victor CJ, O'Connor BI, Cohen Z, McLeod RS. Validation of an English version of the Padova quality of life instrument to assess quality of life following ileal pouch anal anastomosis. J Gastrointest Surg. 2009 Mar;13(3):416-22.
  • Mastracci TM, Cohen Z, Senagore A; Members of the Evidence Based Reviews in Surgery Group. Canadian Association of General Surgeons and American College of Surgeons Evidence-Based Reviews in Surgery. 24. Fast-track programs in colonic surgery. Systematic review of enhanced recovery programmes in colonic surgery. Can J Surg. 2008 Feb;51(1):70-2.
  • Davies RJ, O'Connor BI, Victor C, MacRae HM, Cohen Z, McLeod RS. A prospective evaluation of sexual function and quality of life after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. Dis Colon Rectum. 2008 Jul;51(7):1032-5.
  • Raval MJ, Schnitzler M, O'Connor BI, Cohen Z, McLeod RS. Improved outcome due to increased experience and individualized management of leaks after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. Ann Surg. 2007 Nov;246(5):763-70.
  • Fenech DS, Takahashi T, Liu M, Spencer L, Swallow CJ, Cohen Z, Macrae HM, McLeod RS. Function and quality of life after transanal excision of rectal polyps and cancers. Dis Colon Rectum. 2007 May;50(5):598-603.
  • Hendren SK, Swallow CJ, Smith A, Lipa JE, Cohen Z, MacRae HM, Gryfe R, O'Connor BI, McLeod RS. Complications and sexual function after vaginectomy for anorectal tumors. Dis Colon Rectum. 2007 Jun;50(6):810-6.
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Zane Cohen Centre for Digestive Diseases, Mount Sinai Hospital, Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Health Complex. Copyright © 1997 - 2017.
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