Rufus Ivory Cole (1872 – 1966) was an American physician and clinical researcher.
He was a pioneer in the development of clinical medicine research. His renowned works focussed on pneumococcus in lobar pneumonia. Cole’s early work included the aetiology study of typhoid fever.
Cole was the first director of the Rockefellar Institute for Medical Research (1908-37) and the Rockefellar University Hospital. His name is eponymous with the Cole-Cecil murmur (1908) of aortic insufficiency.
- Born 30 April 1872, Ohio, USA
- 1896 – Completed an undergraduate B.S. degree at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor
- 1899 – Graduated with a M.D. degree from Johns Hopkins University
- 1899-1909 – Continued to work at Johns Hopkins Hospital, progressing to an associate in medicine
- He then worked as the assistant physician head of the Biological Division of the Clinical Research Laboratory (1906-09), where he studied typhoid fever, demonstrating that the typhoid bacilli was present early in the disease
- 1903-04 – Travelled to Berlin to work as a visiting assistant at the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases
- 1908-37 – Appointed as the first director of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, with a research focus on five diseases: pneumonia, syphilis, poliomyelitis, heart disease, and intestinal infantilism (coeliac disease). Cole also oversaw the development of the associated Rockefeller University Hospital, which opened in 1910.
- 1912-20 – Consulting physician at Willard Parker Hospital, New York
- 1920-21 – Seventh president of the American Association of Immunologists
- 1927 – Honourary D.Sc. degree from the University of Chicago
- 1933 – Honourary D.Sc degree from the National University of Ireland
- 1937-66 – Emeritus member of the Rockefeller Institute
- 1959 – Published his historical review of the seventeenth and late sixteenth century, titled Human History: The 17th Century and the Stuart Family
- Died 20 April 1966, Washington D.C.
- Cole-Cecil murmur (1908) – Early diastolic murmur of aortic insufficiency with radiation to the axilla.
Key Medical Attributions
- Under Cole’s guidance as director of the Rockefellar Institute for Medical Research and the associated hospital, considerable contributions to clinical research were produced in areas of bacteriology, immunology, biochemistry, and physiology. He was also an inspiring teacher and mentor in the training of future medical professionals.
- His research on pneumococcus included the first effective treatment for type 1 pneumococci pneumonia through the production of a serum from horses immunised with the pathogen; and the epidemiology of lobar pneumonia with type 1 and 2 pneumococcus observed to cause 60% of cases.
- Cole’s early work on typhoid fever showed that typhoid bacilli were present in the initial stages of the disease through blood cultures.
- Frequency of typhoid bacilli in the blood. Johns Hopkins Hosp. Bull., 1901;12:203.
- Cole R, Cecil AB. The Axillary Diastolic Murmur in Aortic Insufficiency. Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin. 1908; 19: 353-361
- Cole R. Treatment of pneumonia by means of specific serums. JAMA, 1913; 61: 663.
- Avery OT, Chickering HT, Cole R, Dochez AR. Acute Lobar Pneumonia. Prevention and Serum Treatment. Monographs of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, no. 7. 1917
- Cole R. Human History: The 17th Century and the Stuart Family. 1959
- Tillett WS. Rufus Cole. 1872-1966. Transactions of the Association of American Physicians. 1967; 80: 9-10.
- Miller CP. Biographical Memoir; Rufus Cole. 1872-1966. National Academy of Sciences. Washinton D.C.1979.
- Rufus I. Cole, M.D. The American Association of Immunologists. n.d.
- Zhang G. Eponyms in Aortic Regurgitation. LITFL 2019
the person behind the name