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Meet the President

MUSC President Dr. David Cole and wife, Kathy Cole.
MUSC President Dr. David Cole and wife, Kathy Cole.

President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS

Dr. Cole came to the Medical University in 1994 as an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery, division of general surgery. He quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to professor in 2002. At the same time, Dr. Cole assumed the positions of vice chairman for the Department of Surgery and chief of the division of general surgery. In 2003 Dr. Cole was named the A. McKoy Rose, Jr., M.D. Endowed Chair in Surgical Oncology and was selected as chairman for the Department of Surgery in September of 2007. From 2011 to 2013 Dr. Cole served as secretary for MUSC Physicians (known at the time as University Medical Associates) and was elected president of MUSC Physicians in 2013. He held these esteemed titles until becoming president of MUSC on July 1, 2014.

Dr. Cole is board certified through the American Board of Surgery with primary clinical fields of interest in breast cancer, melanoma, and sarcoma and has been nationally recognized as a top surgeon in his field.

In addition to his clinical expertise, Dr. Cole brings a strong research background having had more than 17 years of continuous funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He served seven years as the medical director for the Center for Cellular Therapy where his research focused on novel cancer vaccine development and molecular diagnostics. As a thought leader and innovator, Dr. Cole served as principal investigator for numerous clinical trials through the years and has secured multiple patents. He served on numerous National Cancer Institute (NCI) review panels and study sections, and authored more than 110 peer-reviewed publications and chapters.

He is a member of numerous professional societies including the American Society of Breast Surgeons, American Surgical Association, Society of University Surgeons, Southern Surgical Association, and Halsted Society. Dr. Cole held many leadership positions including his most recent role as president for the Southeastern Surgical Congress in 2015, the largest regional organization for general surgeons in the United States.

A New Mexico native, Dr. Cole received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces where he graduated with highest honors and was a Rhodes Scholarship finalist. He received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in New York and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He interned and completed his residency at Emory University Affiliated Hospitals in Atlanta and his fellowship in surgical oncology at the NIH/NCI Surgery Branch in Bethesda.