Faculty and Staff

Kathleen R. Cho, MD

Professor, Department of Pathology
Peter A. Ward Professor of Pathology
Professor of Internal Medicine
Director, Gynecologic Pathology Fellowship

Subspecialty: Gynecologic Pathology
Email Address: kathcho@umich.edu
Office Phone: 734-764-1549
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Brief Biography:

Dr. Cho earned her B.A. degree from Yale University and her M.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1980 and 1984, respectively. She performed her Anatomic Pathology residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland from 1984 to 1988, and served as Chief Resident in her final year. From 1988 to 1990, she simultaneously served as Clinical Fellow in the Johns Hopkins Department of Pathology and Research Fellow in the Molecular Genetics Laboratory of the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center (under the direction of Dr. Bert Vogelstein).

In 1990, Dr. Cho became an Instructor in the Department of Pathology at Johns Hopkins (Division of Gynecological Pathology, under the direction of Dr. Robert Kurman). She was appointed an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pathology, Oncology, and Gynecology and Obstetrics in 1991, and was promoted to Associate Professor in those Departments in 1995. In the Fall of 1998, Dr. Cho joined the faculty of the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan as Associate Professor and was promoted to the rank of full Professor in the Departments of Pathology and Internal Medicine-Molecular Medicine and Genetics in 2002.

Dr. Cho was elected a member of the Association of American Physicians (AAP) in April 2008.

Dr. Cho's clinical interests are in gynecological pathology and she is a practicing surgical pathologist with diagnostic expertise in this area. Her research is aimed at elucidating the genetic alterations that underlie development and progression of the common gynecological tumors (carcinomas of the ovary, endometrium and uterine cervix).

A major focus of her research group has been on cervical cancer, with an emphasis on the molecular mechanisms by which human papillomaviruses contribute to the development and/or progression of these tumors. Her group has previously demonstrated that HPV-infected cells have altered cell cycle regulation, including abrogation of the growth arrest that normally follows DNA damage. These findings suggest a model of cervical tumorigenesis in which HPV-infected cells are predisposed to the accumulation of somatic mutations in tumor suppressor genes and/or oncogenes that are required for malignant transformation. Additional ongoing studies are aimed at identifying and characterizing novel genes involved in cervical tumorigenesis. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the development of better strategies with which to diagnose, treat, and/or prevent gynecological malignancies.

More recently, the Cho laboratory has developed an ovarian cancer research program. Current projects are aimed at 1) generating molecular (transcriptome and proteome) profiles of large numbers of ovarian carcinomas in order to develop more clinically informative tumor classification schemes; 2) identifying novel genes amplified in ovarian carcinomas; and 3) characterization of the Wnt/APC/-catenin/Tcf signaling pathway in a particular subtype of ovarian carcinomas, namely, endometrioid adenocarcinomas.


Clinical Interests:

Gynecological Pathology, Pathology, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Research Interests:

Molecular genetics of gynecological and other adult solid tumors