David S. Klimstra, MD


Chair, Department of Pathology; James Ewing Alumni Chair of Pathology

Conditions Treated

Memorial Sloan Kettering pathologist David Klimstra
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About Me

I am a pathologist with more than 20 years of experience in making diagnoses based on examining tissue samples removed by biopsy or during surgery. My special expertise is diagnosing tumors that arise in the stomach, colon, and hepatobiliary region (liver, pancreas, and bile ducts).

My colleagues and I work very closely with a broader team of medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, and other healthcare professionals to offer our patients the most effective treatment plan for the tumor type that they are fighting. 

I came to Memorial Sloan Kettering in 1991 for my fellowship and was invited to join the faculty immediately thereafter. I have served in a number of capacities in the Department of Pathology, and currently serve as Chair.

Over the course of my career I have published more than 250 peer-reviewed publications, and have been honored to serve on editorial boards for several publications, including Annals of Diagnostic Pathology, Virchows Archiv, Modern Pathology, and the American Journal of Surgical Pathology.

I have coauthored several books, including Tumors of the Pancreas and Tumors of the Gallbladder, Bile Ducts, and Ampulla Vater. These texts constitute some of the most widely read references on the pathology of these organs. I have also served on several World Health Organization committees that have published the standard texts on the classification of tumors in the gastrointestinal tract and in the endocrine organs.

In addition to my work at Memorial Sloan Kettering, I am very active in a number of national and international groups, and serve on two National Cancer Institute committees: the Neuroendocrine Tumor Task Force (since 2011) and the Pancreas Cancer Tissue Acquisition Working Group (since 2010). I have also been a member of the International Cancer Genome Consortium since 2010, working on a project about rare tumors of the pancreas.

I have participated in dozens of presentations and symposia and have been invited around the world to lecture on my areas of expertise. I have received several awards for teaching excellence.

I am also a longtime member of the Gastrointestinal Pathology Society and the United States & Canadian Academy of Pathology.

  • Clinical Expertise: Gastrointestinal Tumors; Hepatobiliary Tumors; Pulmonary Pathology; Anatomic Pathology
  • Awards and Honors: Castle Connolly: New York Magazine Top Doctors (2012; 2014-2015; 2017-2018)
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Education: MD, Yale University School of Medicine
  • Residencies: Yale University School of Medicine
  • Fellowships: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Board Certifications: Anatomic Pathology


Visit PubMed for a full listing of David S. Klimstra’s journal articles

Pubmed is an online index of biomedical articles maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Clinical Trials

As home to one of the world’s top cancer research centers, Memorial Sloan Kettering is typically involved in more than 900 clinical trials at a given time. Currently, clinical trials focused on the conditions I treat are enrolling new patients. If you’re interested in joining a clinical trial, click to learn about the trial’s purpose, eligibility criteria, and how to get more information.

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Most major health insurers offer plans that include MSK as one of their in-network providers. If MSK is in-network, it means all our doctors are too. Medicare and New York State Medicaid also provide benefits for care at MSK.

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