F. Sessions Cole, MD





Elected 1987

F. Sessions Cole, M.D., is the Park J. White, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics. After receiving his M.D. from Yale Medical School, Dr. Cole trained at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Harvard Joint Program in Neonatology and served on the Harvard Medical School faculty from 1981 to 1986. He joined the faculty at Washington University School of Medicine in 1986 where he has held a variety of clinical and administrative positions. Dr. Cole’s research interests focus on leveraging DNA sequencing methods to discover genetic causes of respiratory failure in full-term infants and of structural birth defects. His research program has been continuously supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a Principal Investigator for more than 25 years. Most recently, he led the NIH-funded Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) Clinical Site at Washington University from 2018-2021, a program focused on solving medical mysteries through team science. He currently serves as a Co-Principal Investigator for the UDN’s Clinical Research Support in its Data Management Coordinating Center. He also co-chairs the UDN’s Sustainability Working Group and is leading the UDN’s Therapeutic Matching Committee aimed at identifying therapies for ultra-rare disease patients. He has introduced, advocated for, and supported family-centered care in the NICU and for undiagnosed and ultra-rare patients and families, a strategy that includes and empowers families.