Elisabeth (Bis) Cole '02

Elisabeth (Bis) Cole '02


Bis is a resident physician in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. She earned her medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine, an M.S. in clinical and health services research from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and B.S. in biochemistry from Mount Holyoke College.

What were your primary interests and activities while you were at Whitfield?

I was a triple sport athlete, participating in volleyball, basketball and track and field. My research career started in high school; I completed several summers of biomedical research at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, and my Senior Quest project involved using mouse models of Naxos disease to study the role of the disease on cardiac proteins. I played baritone saxophone in the concert band and was a member of the Student Council for several years.

What are some of your favorite Whitfield memories?

I think of my time at Whitfield often. One of my most vivid memories is walking the halls of the school, which were lined with book bags, musical instruments and art projects. I remember most of the Homecoming bonfires and Field Days. I loved seeing my peers acting in the school plays year after year. Who could forget the long nights practicing with the basketball team, and the feeling of donning the crisp white uniforms we wore for home games. I remember running my first electrophoresis gel in Mr. Gienke's biology class. Dr. Mary Burke was head of school during much of my time at Whitfield and she would always remind us to "Be nice and do the right thing". I think of that quote often, and it has proven to be an important reminder to me as I pursue a career as a pediatrician.

Describe how Whitfield prepared you for college.

Not only did Whitfield prepare me for college, but it prepared me for a career in science and medicine. I entered college with the study tools and work ethic that I needed to succeed in my pre-medical classes, and I have carried those characteristics with me through post-graduate work, medical school and in to residency.