Cole is an expert on bioterrorism and on terror medicine. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (emergency medicine) and at Rutgers University-Newark (political science). He has written numerous articles for professional journals and general publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Scientific American. He is the author or editor of 10 books, including The Anthrax Letters (2009) and Local Planning for Terror and Disaster: From Bioterrorism to Earthquakes (2012). Trained in the health sciences and public policy, he holds doctorates from Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.