David J. Cole, M.D., FACS

Under President David J. Cole’s visionary leadership, MUSC is becoming a preeminent and innovative academic health system. Dr. Cole’s drive to transform health care, research and education elevates innovation to the center of MUSC’s culture and purpose.

As a physician-scientist, and active surgical oncologist, President Cole brings a unique perspective to his role. Since he began as president in 2014, he has led MUSC through a period of unprecedented transformation, both in scope and scale, leveraging its nearly 25,000-employee base to position MUSC as the academic health care leader in South Carolina.

Dr. Cole originally joined MUSC in 1994 and has served in numerous institutional and national leadership positions, leading up to his appointment as president of MUSC. These included serving as chairman of the MUSC Department of Surgery, president of MUSC Physicians, president of the Southeastern Surgical Congress and a member of an NIH study section for more than a decade. In addition to his clinical expertise as a nationally recognized surgical oncologist, Dr. Cole brings a strong tumor immunology research background. With more than 17 years of continuous funding by the NIH, he initiated and helped to build MUSC’s highly regarded immunology research program.

A native of New Mexico, Dr. Cole attended New Mexico State University, was a Rhodes scholarship finalist, and earned his medical degree from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York city, New York. He completed his surgical residency at Emory University affiliated hospitals in Atlanta, Georgia, and his fellowship in surgical oncology at the NIH and National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

Dr. Cole is an Eagle Scout, who loves the outdoors, cycling and woodworking. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Kathy, and their adult children.