Pathology News

Message from the Chair

By Charles Parkos | 1 February

Welcome to the website of the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The Department of Pathology as well as the rest of the University of Michigan continues to enjoy a rich legacy of outstanding leaders and alums that have given this institution the outstanding reputation that it has earned. Pathology is the third largest clinical department at U-M, having over 150 faculty and 850 trainees/staff. The department is known for its extremely collegial and accomplished faculty, trainees and staff who work together to provide the best patient care possible while also performing cutting edge research investigating disease pathogenesis.

In addition to our outstanding faculty, the Department receives a rich and diverse source of clinical material which requires expert diagnosis and analysis. Per year, the Department of Pathology receives over 95,000 surgical specimens and 11,000 consultation cases and is responsible for more than 3,200 autopsies with the recent addition of Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office. The busy clinical laboratory medicine service is responsible for more than 5.1 million billed laboratory tests annually. The rich and diverse palate of clinical material provides an outstanding array of both clinical and research training opportunities for residents and fellows in a diverse area of subspecialties and disciplines.

In the past few years, our residency training program has ranked at or near the top for public universities on a national level. We prepare our residents and fellows to seamlessly transition into careers in academic, private or industrial settings. Our success is, in part, related to offering numerous fellowship training opportunities, many of which are ACGME accredited such as Blood Banking & Transfusion Medicine, Chemical Pathology, Cytopathology, Dermatopathology, Forensic Pathology, Hematopathology, Molecular Genetic Pathology, Neuropathology, and Pediatric Pathology. The incorporation of the Wayne County Examiner’s Offices into the Department of Pathology has created a unique training opportunity for fellows interested in Forensic Pathology. The department further broadens training opportunities by offering additional clinical fellowships in Bone & Soft Tissue, Breast Pathology, Gastrointestinal Pathology, Genitourinary Pathology, Gynecologic Pathology, HLA Tissue Typing, Pulmonary Pathology, and Surgical Pathology, where trainees are able to function as junior attending physicians with sign-out privileges as part of the year long experience. In terms of non-sign-out opportunities, the department offers a comprehensive two-year program in Pathology Informatics, one of only seven such programs in the nation, where fellows can actively participate in both operational and research projects.

With 87 research faculty there is a rich opportunity for residents to become involved in research. Residents with strong research interests who are interested in pursuing careers as physician scientists are strongly supported. Translational research is a high priority with ample funding and opportunities for residents to become involved in research projects, publication of results and presentation of findings at local and national meetings.

In addition to residency and fellowship training, the Department of Pathology has a long and distinguished history of faculty success. Many faculty members have gone on to be leaders in their respective specialties or fields of research, a testament to the strong support, mentoring and many development opportunities at the University of Michigan.

The Department of Pathology also offers an outstanding array of cutting edge research in the basic and translational sciences. Our faculty and trainees have taken advantage of the rich research opportunities in Pathology and been incredibly productive, publishing over 500 manuscripts this past year. Consistently ranked in the top 10 nationally for NIH funding over the last five years, our investigators are driving cutting edge research in areas such as Aging, Cancer Biology, Development & DNA repair, Inflammation and Immunology, Mucosal Inflammation and Epithelial Pathobiology, Neurobiology/Pathology and Bioinformatics. In addition to our research faculty, the department strongly supports and is proud of the success of its clinician investigators who not only contribute to clinical service, but maintain successful NIH funded research programs. Within the department, there are programs at the forefront of genomic medicine in the area of cancer biology and therapeutics as well as drug discovery. To complement the outstanding research base within Pathology, the department is home to a PhD training program in molecular and cellular pathology that has recently been expanded to include graduate training opportunities in translational research.

We have an opportunity to build the department of the future, with 140,000 square feet of renovated space being designed at the North Campus Research Complex (NCRC) using lean principles and a team of over 100 faculty, residents and staff. This $160M renovation project will include space to house non-stat clinical activities for both Anatomic and Clinical pathology as well as informatics, MLabs and administration. Space will also be renovated at the University Hospital to house a new Core Laboratory as well as specific hospital-based functions. The move will co-locate a large portion of the University of Michigan Health System’s clinical pathology teams and educational programs. This venture will greatly facilitate the achievement of Pathology’s clinical goals, providing a high level of support to UMHS patients and providers.

In addition to the outstanding tertiary medical center and extraordinary academic community at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor offers a high quality of life that includes a rich cultural experience without the associated traffic and congestion seen elsewhere. Please feel free to navigate our website and learn more about the Department of Pathology.

Charles A. Parkos, M.D., Ph.D.
Carl V. Weller Professor and Chair

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