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John W. Cole, MD

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:


Additional Title:

Associate Professor, Maryland Stroke Center, Department of Neurology, Baltimore VA Medical Center and University of Maryland School of Medicine


UMMC, Bressler Research Building, 12th Floor, Room 12-006. 655 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1559

Phone (Primary):

(410) 328-6483 (office)

Phone (Secondary):

(410) 328-5660 (clinic)


(410) 328-5899

Education and Training

University of Maryland, College Park, MD B.S. 1983-1985 Electrical Engineering
University of Maryland, College Park, MD M.S. 1985-1987 Electrical Engineering
Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA M.D. 1993-1997 Medicine
Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC Internship 1997-1998 Internal Medicine
University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD Residency 1998-2001 Neurology
University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD Fellowship 2001-2003 Stroke
University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD M.S. 2002-2008 Epidemiology
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Certificate 2005, 2015 Neurology
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Certificate 2008, 2015 Vascular Neurology


Dr. Cole is an Associate Professor of Neurology with the Neurology Departments at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Cole is an ABPN certified vascular neurologist whose research focuses on understanding stroke etiology through epidemiologic and genetic approaches, leading to  the development of new preventive strategies. Such strategies may include the development of new drugs for stroke prevention, as well as using genetic testing to identify high-risk individuals for personalized stroke risk factor modification. His current research focuses upon stroke risk as mediated through genetic predisposition and environmental factors, including cigarette smoking and infectious etiologies, among others. His trainees are directly involved in patient- and database-oriented research under his guidance and learn to conduct clinical and epidemiological research regarding stroke risk factors and prevention. Trainees also learn about genetic and molecular methodologies to study mechanisms of stroke as associated with the inflammatory and coagulation pathways. He regularly speaks at both international and national conferences regarding these topics, with a primary emphasis on stroke prevention.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Stroke Prevention, Stroke Genetics, Genetic Epidemiology of Complex Disease, Vascular Biology

Highlighted Publications

Traylor M, Malik R, Nalls MA, Cotlarciuc I, Radmanesh F, Thorleifsson G, Hanscombe KB, Langefeld C, Saleheen D, Rost NS, Yet I, Spector TD, Bell JT, Hannon E, Mill J, Chauhan G, Debette S, Bis JC, Longstreth WT Jr, Ikram MA, Launer LJ, Seshadri S; METASTROKE, UK Young Lacunar DNA Study, NINDS Stroke Genetics Network, Neurology Working Group of the CHARGE Consortium., Hamilton-Bruce MA, Jimenez-Conde J, Cole JW, Schmidt R, SÅ‚owik A, Lemmens R, Lindgren A, Melander O, Grewal RP, Sacco RL, Rundek T, Rexrode K, Arnett DK, Johnson JA, Benavente OR, Wasssertheil-Smoller S, Lee JM, Pulit SL, Wong Q, Rich SS, de Bakker PI, McArdle PF, Woo D, Anderson CD, Xu H, Heitsch L, Fornage M, Jern C, Stefansson K, Thorsteinsdottir U, Gretarsdottir S, Lewis CM, Sharma P, Sudlow CL, Rothwell PM, Boncoraglio GB, Thijs V, Levi C, Meschia JF, Rosand J, Kittner SJ, Mitchell BD, Dichgans M, Worrall BB, Markus HS; International Stroke Genetics Consortium. Genetic variation at 16q24.2 is associated with small vessel stroke. Ann Neurol. 2017 Mar;81(3):383-394. doi: 10.1002/ana.24840.

Loci associated with ischaemic stroke and its subtypes (SiGN): a genome-wide association study. NINDS Stroke Genetics Network (SiGN); International Stroke Genetics Consortium (ISGC). Lancet Neurology. 2015 December. PMID: 26708676.

Cole JW, Stine OC, Liu X, Pratap A, Cheng Y, Tallon LJ, Sadzewicz LK, Dueker N, Wozniak MA, Stern BJ, Meschia JF, Mitchell BD, Kittner SJ, O'Connell JR. Rare variants in ischemic stroke: an exome pilot study. PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e35591. PMID: 22536414.

Debette S, Kamatani Y, Metso TM, Kloss M, Chauhan G, Engelter ST, Pezzini A, Thijs V, Markus HS, Dichgans M, Wolf C, Dittrich R, Touzé E, Southerland AM, Samson Y, Abboud S, Béjot Y, Caso V, Bersano A, Gschwendtner A, Sessa M, Cole J, et al.; International Stroke Genetics Consortium; CADISP group. Common variation in PHACTR1 is associated with susceptibility to cervical artery dissection. Nat Genet. 2015 Jan;47(1):78-83. PMID: 25420145.

Cheng YC, Stanne TM, Giese AK, Ho WK, Traylor M, Amouyel P, Holliday EG, Malik R, Xu H, Kittner SJ, Cole JW, et al. Genome-Wide Association Analysis of Young-Onset Stroke Identifies a Locus on Chromosome 10q25 Near HABP2. Stroke. 2016 Feb;47(2):307-16. PMID: 26732560.

Additional Publication Citations

Cole JW, Xu H. Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Repressor Methylation: A Link Between Smoking and Atherosclerosis. Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2015 Oct;8(5):640-2. PMID: 26487726.

Cole JW. The relationship between smoking and stroke riskin women: breaking the habit. Womens Health. 2011 65. PMID: 21612345.

Shah RS, Cole JW. Smoking and stroke: the more you smoke the more you stroke. Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2010 Jul;8(7):917-32. PMID: 20602553.

Bhat VM, Cole JW, Sorkin JD, Wozniak MA, Malarcher AM, Giles WH, Stern BJ, Kittner SJ.  Dose-response relationship between cigarette smoking and risk of ischemic stroke in young women. Stroke. 2008 Sep;39(9):2439-43. PMID: 18703815.

Awards and Affiliations

Consortium Membership

2007-Present        International Stroke Genetics Consortium (ISGC) – Steering Committee Member (2015-17)

2008-Present        Gene-Environment Association Studies Consortium (GENEVA) – member/collaborator

2010-Present        NINDS Stroke Genetics Network (SiGN) Study – member/collaborator/site PI

Professional Affiliations 

American Stroke Association, American Academy of Neurology, American Society of Human Genetics, American Headache Society, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers - Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, International Stroke Genetics Consortium, Society of Interventional Radiology.


Golden Hammer Award – For Excellence in Neurological Teaching - University of Maryland, 2013

Phi Kappa Phi, Graduate School Honor Society, 2008-Present

American Academy of Neurology, Clinical Research Training Fellowship, 2001-2003

National Research Service Award, Epidemiology of Aging, 2001-2003

University of Maryland Medical System, Chief Neurology Resident, 2000-2001

Medical College of Virginia, Class Treasurer, 1993-1997

Raytheon Company Research Fellowship, 1986-1987

Eta Kappa Nu, Electrical Engineering Honor Society, Treasurer, 1983-1987

Tau Beta PI, Engineering Honor Society, 1983-1987

Book Chapters Authorship and Editor Responsibilities

  1. Cole JW, Stack C, chapter entitled “Large Artery Atherosclerosis and Stroke” for "Ischemic Stroke – Updates”. Editor M. Balestrino. InTech Open Publishing, Rijeka, Croatia - European Union. 2016.
  2. Cole JW, Miller J, chapter entitled “Other Monogenetic Disorders” for “Neurogenetics of Stroke”. Editors Meschia JF and Sharma P.  Springer Press, Warrington, PA, 2012.
  3. Cole JW, chapter entitled “Headache and Stroke” for “Stroke Essentials for Primary Care”.Editors: Alway D and Cole JW.  Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, 2008.
  4. Hinson H, Cole JW, chapter entitled “Ischemic Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack – Long-term management and secondary prevention” for  “Stroke Essentials for Primary Care”.Editors: Alway D and Cole JW.  Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, 2008.
  5. Cole JW, Kittner SJ, chapter entitled “Genetics and Stroke” for “The Prevention of Stroke”. Editors: Gorelick PB and Alter M, Parthenon Publishing, New York, New York, 2002.

Patents (co-inventor)

1. PDE4D Polymorphism Associated with Stroke Risk as Modified by Smoking – 2005

2. Transcutaneous Dihematoporphyrin Ether Measurement System- 1992

3. Uniform Laser Light Scattering Device -1991

Grants and Contracts

In the News

Links of Interest