Memorial Sloan Kettering pathologist David Klimstra

David S. Klimstra, MD



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

Clinical Expertise

Gastrointestinal Tumors; Hepatobiliary Tumors; Pulmonary Pathology; Anatomic Pathology

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About Me


MD, Yale University School of Medicine


Yale University School of Medicine


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Board Certifications

Anatomic Pathology

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.

Awards and Honors

  • Castle Connolly: New York Magazine Top Doctors (2012, 2014-2015, 2017-2018)


Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering work as teams, with specialists from all different areas. This allows us to consider all your needs together, and to give you the best possible care.

Clinical Trials

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Memorial Sloan Kettering's doctors and scientists are constantly developing new treatments for cancer. MSK is typically running hundreds of clinical trials at a given time.

You may be able to participate in a clinical trial even if you are new to MSK. Search our online directory to find trial information and see more about who can participate.

Research and Publications

Publications on PubMed

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Klimstra’s journal articles. Pubmed is an online index of research papers and other articles from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.