David Sokal, MD

Adjunct Associate Professor
Department of Maternal and Child Health


Dr. Sokal has had a career in public health, beginning as an EIS Officer at the CDC in 1978, and including five years in West Africa. After returning from Africa, Sokal joined FHI 360 in 1987 and worked on family planning and HIV prevention research. Among other activities, he was the PI for clinical trials of (a) vasectomy techniques and (b) the Shang Ring, a device for adult male circumcision for HIV prevention, and (c) he helped get three devices approved by the FDA.  

After retiring from FHI 360 in 2012, Sokal co-founded the Male Contraception Initiative (MCI), with the goal of developing safe, reversible, reliable and affordable male contraceptives, with a focus on drugs that interfere with sperm function and sperm transport. MCI has two main activities:

1) media outreach and policy analysis to publicize and demonstrate the need for new male contraceptives; and 

2) funding researchers who are working on new male contraceptives.

Honors and Awards

Special Recognition for Scientific & Technical Leadership to Shang Ring Research Team (NC, Kenya, Zambia, China)
2012, FHI 360 Impact Award

Best Research Paper, ARHP, Vasectomy with fascial interposition vs. ligation and excision alone: a randomized controlled trial
2001, Ortho Prize

Outstanding Scientific Contribution, research methods of female and male sterilization and vaginal barrier methods
2001, FHI

Research Activities

New male contraceptives

Key Publications

Why we Founded the Male Contraception Initiative and What we are Doing. Sokal DC, Hamlin A (2015). 40th Meeting of the Andrology Society. Salt Lake City UT, Poster #93(April).

Men and Women Need a New Male Contraceptive. Sokal DC (2013). Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, 33(3).
View publication

Vasectomy: AUA Guideline. Sharlip ID, Belker AM, Honig S, Labrecque M, Marmar JL, Ross LS, Sandlow JI, Sokal DC (2012). J Urol, 188(6 Suppl), 2482-9.

Strengthening vasectomy services in Rwanda: introduction of thermal cautery with fascial interposition. Labrecque M, Kagabo L, Shattuck D, Wesson J, Rushanika C, Tshibanbe D, Nsengiyumva T, Sokal DC (2012). Contraception, Sep 11.

A comparison of vas occlusion techniques: cautery is more effective than ligation and excision with fascial interposition. Sokal DC, Irsula B; Chen-Mok M, Labrecque M, Barone MA and the Investigator Study Group (2004). BMC Urol, 4(12(Oct 27)), 12.


  • Residency, Preventive Medicine, CDC, Atlanta, 1981
  • Residency, Pediatrics, Phoenix Hospitals Affiliated Pediatric Program, 1977
  • MD, Medicine, SUNY Buffalo, 1976
  • BA, Chemistry, Pre-med, Columbia College, New York, NY, 1969