Department of Pathology News

Congratulations, Dr. Daneille Hutchings!

Dr. Danielle Hutchings
Congratulations to our resident Danielle Hutchings, M.D.! Danielle was awarded the Frank Coulson Jr. Award for Clinical Excellence from the Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence here at Hopkins. The Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence recognizes and promotes excellence in patient care at Johns Hopkins for the benefit of the individuals and communities that we serve. The academy recognizes clinically excellent academic physicians who have achieved a level of mastery in communication & interpersonal skills, professionalism & humanism, and negotiation of the healthcare system. Congratulations Danielle!

~May 2019

Congratulations, Dr. Syed Ali!

Dr. Syed Ali
Dr. Syed Ali was conferred upon the "2019 Maurice Goldblatt award" at the recently held 20th International Congress of Cytology (ICC) in Sydney, Australia (May 5-9, 2019). Goldblatt is the highest and most prestigious international award given at the ICC, which is the 3-yearly scientific meeting of the International Academy of Cytology (IAC), the largest global professional organization in the field of Cytology.
Awarded once a year, the Maurice Goldblatt Cytology Award was inaugurated in 1960 by the late Maurice Goldblatt, the founder and honorary chairman of the Cancer Research Foundation, Chicago. It consists of a gold medal, wall plaque and a cash award.
Dr. Ali gave a short 20-minute acceptance speech following the award ceremony, which was attended by a large international audience.
Below is the caption read at the award ceremony for the audience:

The 2019 Maurice Goldblatt Cytology Award - To Syed Z. Ali, MD, FIAC, for his stewardship of the continuing educational activities of the International Academy with vigor and innovative ideas; for his successful efforts to develop, test and introduce novel techniques in the practice of clinical cytology; for his dedication in the education of young cytopathologists from around the world at home and abroad.
Sydney, Australia, May 2019

Dr. Syed Ali

~May 2019

Graduation Dinner 2019

The Pathology Awards and Graduation Dinner was held on Friday, May 3, 2019 at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Hotel. The evening started with a beautiful cocktail party on the roof, and ended with a wonderful dinner in which our chief graduate student Monika Looney, and our chief residents Tricia Cottrell, Daniel Miller, and Kevan Salimian, celebrated the year in review. (click images to enlarge)

~May 2019

May 2019 Diversity Calendar

The Pathology Diversity Calendar for the month of May is now available for download (PDF format). Visit the Pathology Diversity web site or get your copy here and learn more about Pathology Diversity Fast Facts and local events for May.

~May 2019

Bible of Clinical Microbiology

Manual of Clinical Microbiology

Earlier this year, the 12th edition of the Manual of Clinical Microbiology, considered the most comprehensive textbook on clinical microbiology (dubbed the "bible of clinical microbiology" by many), was published. Remarkably, every faculty member in the Division of Microbiology contributed to this publication, a testimony to their scholarship and broad-based medical knowledge. Karen Carroll, MD, was not only the editor-in-chief of Volume 1, but she co-authored three chapters. Patricia Simner, PhD, Sean Zhang, MD, PhD, Nicole Parrish, PhD, and Alexandra Valsamakis, MD, PhD, each contributed chapters within their areas of expertise, namely, Gram-negative resistance and susceptibility testing, hyaline fungi including Fusarium, detection and staining of Mycobacterium, and Hepatitis C, respectively. Other JHU contributors include Isabella Martin, MD, former fellow in Medical Microbiology and currently a faculty member at Dartmouth, and Michael S. Forman, MS, who coauthored the Hepatitis chapter with Dr. Valsamakis. Congratulations to the faculty in the Division of Medical Microbiology for this wonderful accomplishment.

~April 2019

Dr. Anne Le and her team's research find neurotransmitter helps aggressive tumors spread

chemical messenger

New research, led by Dr. Anne Le, has looked at human cancer cells implanted into mice, human tumor samples, and other assays in an attempt to better understand what drives the spread of certain aggressive cancers. Results indicate that many aggressive, or higher-grade, cancers contain higher levels of one specific neurotransmitter. Dr. Le also added that NAAG serves as an important reservoir to provide glutamate to cancer cells through GCPII... read full article here.

Related links:
Watch a video of Dr. Anne Le and her team explaining their research finding chemical 'messengers' responsible for cancer progression.

Hopkins researchers ID neurotransmitter that helps cancers progress.

~April 2019

Strockbine Wins School of Nursing Research Award

Val Strockbine RN, MSN Val Strockbine RN, MSN is the Transfusion Safety Officer for The Johns Hopkins Hospital and is also pursuing a Doctorate of Nursing Practice at The George Washington University. As a part of her doctoral work, Val undertook a project at Johns Hopkins to reduce the number of unnecessary type and screen tests that are ordered on patients who already have a valid type and screen on file in the blood bank. Working with Dr. Eric A. Gehrie, medical director of the blood bank, as well as two mentors from George Washington University (Dr. Cathie E. Guzzetta and Dr. Quiping (Pearl) Zhou), Val implemented a clinical decision support system that enhanced the Epic module used to order the type and screen test with a display of the date and time that the current test expires. Providers could still choose to order the type and screen if they felt it was indicated, and the blood bank processed all specimens that it received. Importantly, this intervention led to a 16.7% reduction in the number of unnecessary type and screen specimens sent to the blood bank. This difference was statistically significant (p<0.001), was associated with an absolute reduction of 618 vials (approximately 3 liters cumulatively) of blood sent (unnecessarily) to the lab, and is estimated to result in a $142,612 annualized savings to the hospital. Within Johns Hopkins, the Department of Medicine is working with Val and Dr. Gehrie to identify additional ways to reduce unnecessary type and screen phlebotomy performed on adult inpatients.

On April 10th, Val presented a poster summarizing this project, titled, "Reducing unnecessary phlebotomy testing using a clinical decision support system" at the George Washington University Heath & Medicine Research Day. Her poster won 1st prize within the school of nursing. The poster as well as her Doctoral thesis will be archived permanently within the George Washington repository and she is working with Dr. Gehrie to prepare a manuscript for a peer-reviewed journal. Her work is timely, as her poster concluded "in this era of precision healthcare, the upshot of ordering the right test, at the right time, for the right reason can reduce cost, reduce waste, and improve quality and satisfaction for patients". Within Johns Hopkins, her work has been presented to patient blood management experts participating in the Blood Management Clinical Community. She will graduate from her doctoral program in May, 2019. Congratulations, Val!

~April 2019

Congratulations, Dr. Aaron Tobian!

Aaron Tobian, M.D., Ph.D. Aaron Tobian, M.D., Ph.D. was inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). ASCI is one of the nation's oldest and most respected medical honor societies. It is made up of more than 3,000 physician-scientists from all medical specialties who are elected for outstanding scholarly achievements in biomedical research. Aaron joins Kathleen Burns (elected 2018), Charles Eberhart (elected 2010), and T.C. Wu (elected 2002) from our department.

~April 2019

Congratulations, Dr. Lim!

Yiting Lim, PhD We are proud to announce that Yiting Lim, PhD, a 2014 graduate of the Graduate Program in Pathobiology, has been named a AACR NextGen Star by the American Association for Cancer Research. Currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Dr. Andrew Hsieh Laboratory at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Dr. Lim is working with what is known as the 5-prime untranslated region, or 5'UTR, in messenger RNA. Yiting presented her work at the annual AACR meeting on April 3, 2019 in Atlanta, GA.

Click here for more details.

~April 2019

Congratulations, Areli!

Zoila Areli Lopez Bujanda Pathobiology graduate student, Zoila Areli Lopez Bujanda, under the mentorship of Dr. Charles G. Drake, was presented the 2019 AACR-Prostate Cancer Foundation Scholar-in-Training Award for her abstract entitled "Androgen regulated IL-8 expression in prostate cancer: Insights into tumor cell mediated immunosuppression" in a poster session entitled "Suppressive Myeloid Cells" at the Annual AACR Meeting in Atlanta, GA on Monday, April 1, 2019. Click here for more details.

Areli was also presented with the School of Medicine Young Investigators' Day Mette Strand Award for the above-mentioned outstanding abstract and was celebrated at the annual awards ceremony on April 9, 2019. Click here for more details.

~April 2019

April 2019 Diversity Calendar

The Pathology Diversity Calendar for the month of April is now available for download (PDF format). Visit the Pathology Diversity web site or get your copy here and learn more about Pathology Diversity Fast Facts and local events for April.

~April 2019

USCAP 2019

We had another wonderful reception at the 2019 meetings of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology in National Harbor, Maryland. The alumni of the Department along with current residents and faculty enjoyed meeting with each other and catching up on what is going on in Pathology and in life. Many of our trainees also presented research findings at the many poster platforms throughout the meeting which took place from March 16-22, 2019. Also of note: Congratulations to Dr. Laura Wood on winning The Ramzi S. Cotran Young Investigator Award at this year's meeting. (click the images to enlarge)

~March 2019

A Visit to Meharry Medical College

Meharry Medical Visit
On March 25, 2019, a group from our department, led by Drs. Annika Windon and Marissa White, visited Meharry Medical College in Nashville Tennessee. Dr. Windon gave a wonderful presentation on careers in pathology and on the Department of Pathology at Hopkins, and Dr. White followed with sobering statistics on the percentage of underrepresented individuals in medicine. Drs. Juan Troncoso and Ralph Hruban joined the team from Hopkins. It turned out that one of the Meharry students, Ashanata Brady, attended the same grade school and high school as Dr. Hruban. A small world!

View more pictures here »

~March 2019

Howard University College of Medicine Residency Fair

Annual Howard University College of Medicine Residency Fair
On February 23, 2019, Drs. Alisha Ware, Annika Windon, Kevan Salimian, Tricia Murdock, and Lysandra Voltaggio represented our department at the Annual Howard University College of Medicine Residency Fair. The event serves to introduce medical students from Howard University and the mid-Atlantic region to various residency training programs and specialties. Our team from Hopkins answered questions from several interested medical students and provided information on various rotations in Pathology at Hopkins. The event was well-attended with over 50 residency programs represented, and our team had lively discussions with many enthusiastic medical students.

~March 2019

March 2019 Diversity Calendar

The Pathology Diversity Calendar for the month of March is now available for download (PDF format). Visit the Pathology Diversity web site or get your copy here and learn more about Pathology Diversity Fast Facts and local events for March.

~March 2019

Congratulations, Byung-Hak Kang (BK)!

Byung-Hak Kang We are proud to announce that Byung-Hak Kang, Ph.D., a 2016 graduate of the Graduate Program in Pathobiology, along with collaborators, is co-first author on a paper published in Cancer Cell titled: "Aging-like Spontaneous Epigenetic Silencing Facilitates Wnt Activation, Stemness, and BrafV600E-Induced Tumorigenesis".

Byung-Hak Kang was raised in Seoul, South Korea. He received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Seoul National University in February 2007. After graduation, he went to Paraguay and spent three years there on behalf of the Korean Official Development Aid Program. Byung-Hak taught veterinary pathology to students and led a disease surveillance program on bovine brucellosis and tuberculosis at the Universidad Nacional de Asunción. From that teaching and research experience, he wished to pursue an academic research career. Through the Johns Hopkins Pathobiology Graduate Program, he joined the world-renowned epigenetic research group in the laboratory of Stephen Baylin, M.D., studying epigenetic changes in early tumorigenesis of colon cancer. Byung-Hak received his doctoral degree from the Johns Hopkins Pathobiology Graduate Program in December 2016. He is currently training within the Veterinary Comparative Pathology Residency Program in the Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology at Johns Hopkins

Way to go, BK, keep up the great work!

~February 2019

Congratulations, Lionel Chia!

Lionel Chia Congratulations to Lionel Chia for his abstract titled: "HMGA1 induces the HOXB13 developmental gene to drive tumor progression in androgen receptor negative, castrate-resistant prostate cancer", Lionel Chia will receive the AACR-Bristol-Myers Squibb Scholar-in-Training-Travel Award to attend the 2019 AACR Annual Meeting, taking place March 29 - April 3, 2019 in Atlanta, GA. Scholar-in-Training Awards are competitive and are presented to those with high-quality abstracts and applications from a large candidate pool.

Lionel is a 4th year PhD student in the Graduate Program in Pathobiology under the mentorship of Dr. Linda Resar, whose laboratory focuses on studying molecular mechanisms leading to cancer, blood diseases, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia and other coagulopathies. Lionel is studying the role of the chromosomal architectural protein HMGA1 in prostate and pancreatic cancer. He hopes that by understanding more about HMGA1, he would be able to develop additional therapies against HMGA1 and its associated pathways to treat cancer. Outside of the laboratory, Lionel's interests include playing his guitar, running, and spending time with friends.

Nice work, Lionel for being recognized as an outstanding young investigator!

~February 2019

Advance in Kidney research

JASN cover Most of our information about adaptive immune cells is derived from studying T and B cells in secondary lymphoid organs and peripheral blood. Consequently, very little is known about lymphocytes residing in non-lymphoid tissues. Dr. Mohanraj Sadasivam in Hamad's and Rabb's Laboratories has been studying a unique subset of alpha/beta T cells that lack expression of both CD4 and CD8 coreceptors and referred to as double negative (DN) T cells in the kidneys of the mouse model of ischemic reperfusion injury. He often examined the relevance of his mouse findings using kidney biopsy samples from patients. He published his recent findings in the February issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN-the #1 ranked kidney journal). The findings were highlighted ON THE COVER page of the February issue.

Significance of the study: Understanding how each immune cell type functions in the kidney is necessary to develop new immunotherapies for cell-mediated kidney diseases, including transplant rejection, AKI, and GN. CD4- CD8- double-negative (DN) T cells are a significant kidney T-cell subpopulation that is anti-inflammatory and protective during ischemic AKI. However, little is known about the role of various MHC class I and II molecules in regulating their function. The new study demonstrates that mouse kidney DN T cells have IL-2-dependent proliferation, and further identified two subsets of kidney DN T cells: a classical MHC class I-dependent NK1.1+ subset and an MHC-independent programmed cell death protein-1 receptor (PD-1+) subset that is highly responsive to ischemia-reperfusion injury. PD-1 is an immune checkpoint inhibitor on T cells and the presence of this subset in human kidneys suggest a clinical importance of this unique T-cell population in possibly ameliorating inflammation in kidney insults.

Read the full article here.

~February 2019

Dr. Samuel Charache

Samuel Charache M.D. Samuel Charache M.D., former director of the Hematology Laboratory in the Department of Pathology died on January 29, 2019. He was emeritus professor of Medicine and Pathology and was internationally known for his work in hemoglobinopathies. He was a 1955 graduate of New York University and completed training in internal medicine and hematology. For more than 62 years he was married to Dr. Patricia Charache. Since the early 1960's this couple, as prominent faculty members, contributed significantly to our patients and to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

One of Sam's many contributions was improving the medical management of sickle cell disease. In 1995 along with co-investigators he performed the primary trial of using hydoxyurea in preventing sickle cell crisis. At the time the Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) stated that this was the first major improvement in the prevention of sickle cell crisis. Since this discovery thousands of both children and adults with sickle cell disease in the United States and around the world have benefited. Sam was the author of 155 papers and was an emeritus member of the Society of Clinical Investigation.

A longtime resident of Sulgrave Avenue in Mount Washington, and later Towson he enjoyed travel and cherished his daughter and 4 grandchildren. He was a strong supporter of Doctors Without Borders.

~February 2019

Hopkins Pathology #1 in NIH Funding for 2018

The Blue Ridge Institute released its 2018 rankings of NIH funding to US medical schools, and the Department of Pathology here at Hopkins once again is recognized as the #1 funded pathology department! This makes the department #1 in NIH funding for 11 of the last 12 years. In addition, Sharon Nachman, Susan Eshleman, Ie-Ming Shih and TC Wu were among the top 35 funded pathologists in the US.
From fighting HIV in Africa, to cancer in the inner city, our faculty are dedicated to impactful science.


1 Johns Hopkins University$49,831,627
2 University of Pennsylvania$36,243,072
3 Washington University$33,474,950
4 Columbia University Health Sciences$27,804,459
5 University of Washington$27,567,071
6 Emory University$26,650,371
7 University of Michigan at Ann Arbor$25,407,841
8 Stanford University$22,491,142
9 New York University School of Medicine$20,132,370
10 Case Western Reserve University$19,741,057

Click here to view the full list in Pathology.

~February 2019

February 2019 Diversity Calendar

The Pathology Diversity Calendar for the month of February is now available for download (PDF format). Visit the Pathology Diversity web site or get your copy here and learn more about Pathology Diversity Fast Facts and local events for February.

~February 2019

New Ovarian Tumor Pathology app is in the iTunes store!

Ovarian Tumor Pathology app
We are pleased to announce the release of volume 5 in the series of iPad Apps we have created on tumor pathology! Drs. Emanuela F. T. Veras, Ayse Aysan, Tsui-Lien Mao, and Marissa J. White, together with Mr. Norman J. Barker created the Johns Hopkins Atlas of Ovarian Pathology.

This unique app provides an easily accessible atlas with numerous images on each specific entity. Common and rare entities are documented as well as variations on every neoplasm. Succinct, explanatory descriptions are provided that aid the novice and experienced pathologist navigate ovarian pathology. Although the focus of this work is on neoplastic ovarian lesions, we have also included selected examples of non-neoplastic entities and normal ovarian structures that are important to recognize.

This app, available for the iPad only, follows the format presented in previous atlases of this series. It is composed of four modules: an interactive teaching algorithm, a searchable image atlas, an image-based quiz, and a flash card module.

The image atlas contains over 1600 high resolution stunning color images with expertly authored captions. These microscopic, macroscopic and radiographic images can be viewed together or separately, and two entities can be compared, side-by-side. The atlas can be viewed by diagnosis or by features (these features re-enforce the diagnostic features used in the algorithm), and the atlas can be searched using a key word search. You can create your own albums and add images you select from the atlas to add to these albums. The flash cards module allows you to view a randomly generated assortment of images from the image bank and subsequently view the diagnosis and caption by simply "flipping" the card over.

For the teaching algorithm, the authors present the reader with their general approach to the challenging mucinous tumors of the ovary. This module consists of sequential steps, including approach to the gross (laterality/size)/microscopic characteristics (stratified/non-stratified epithelium) and immunohistochemical profiles of primary and the most common secondary mucinous tumors to the ovary, each step prompting the selection of one out of two presented options, until a final diagnosis is reached.

This App, for iPads only, is available in the iTunes store. Enjoy!

~January 2019

Congratulations, Carli Jones!

Carli Jones We are proud to announce that Carli Jones, a 2nd year graduate student in the Pathobiology Graduate Program, along with collaborators, has recently had a paper published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences titled: "Short and Long-Term Changes in Social Odor Recognition and Plasma Cytokine Levels Following Oxygen (16O) Ion Radiation Exposure".

Carli is from Hillsborough, New Jersey and received her Bachelor's of Science in Biology with a minor in Bioengineering from Lafayette College in spring 2017. At Lafayette, Carli worked with Dr. Robert Kurt on projects involving the TLR4 signaling pathway. Since matriculating in the Pathobiology program in fall 2017, she joined the lab of Dr. Karen Sfanos and is studying the effects of radiotherapy for prostate cancer on the GI microbiome. In collaboration with Dr. Sfanos and Dr. Catherine Davis, she was also awarded a seed grant from Space@Hopkins to study the effects of cosmic radiation on the gut microbiome, and the effects of the radiation on the gut-brain axis. She is serving as the VP of Public Relations for the School of Medicine's Graduate Student Association for the 2018-2019 school year. In the future, Carli aspires work for NASA and study the effects of spaceflight on the human body, particularly in the areas of immunology and the gut microbiome. In her free time, Carli enjoys baking, dancing, and fitness. She has also fostered five dogs through City Dogs Rescue since moving to Baltimore.

Keep up the great work, Carli!

~January 2019

Dr. TC Wu elected as Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

T.C. Wu, M.D., Ph.D. Congratulations to Dr. TC Wu, Director of the Division of Gynecologic Pathology, for his election to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM). The AAM is an honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), which is the world's oldest and largest life science organization. The AAM recognizes scientists for their excellence, originality, leadership, and outstanding contributions to the microbiological sciences.

Dr. Wu has dedicated his career to characterizing the molecular pathogenesis of HPV and developing therapeutic vaccinations to treat HPV-associated malignancies. He has been elected to AAM for his many translational contributions in the fields of microbiology and gynecologic pathology. Dr. Wu will be recognized during the annual ASM Microbe 2019 conference in San Francisco in June along with all newly elected fellows.

~January 2019

2019 Red Cross Blood Drives

Red Cross Blood Drive

There are many Red Cross Blood Drives scheduled for the Hopkins community-across all Hospitals and all locations-throughout 2019. Please click the image above to see the entire list. Please consider a donation to save lives.

~January 2019

Febuary 2019 Diversity Calendar

The Pathology Diversity Calendar for the month of February is now available for download (PDF format). Visit the Pathology Diversity web site or get your copy here and learn more about Pathology Diversity Fast Facts and local events for February.

~January 2019

Congratulations, Dr. Aaron James!

Diagnosis of Endometrial Biopsies and Curettings

Congratulations to Dr. Aaron James and the James Lab on discovering the signal that drives stem cells to form new bones! In Dr. James' own words,

The mechanisms by which progenitor cells commit to adopt a bone cell (osteoblast) or fat cell (adipocyte) fate are not well understood. Leveraging prior transcriptome studies, our group identified the matricellular protein WISP-1 as integral to this decision making process. WISP-1 is highly expressed in the perivascular niche, positively regulating bone formation upon cell transplantation. Overall, our findings suggest that WISP-1 signaling upregulation may be of future benefit in cell therapy mediated bone tissue engineering, for the healing of bone defects or other orthopaedic applications."Dr. James

Read the Hub article.

~January 2019

Diagnosis of Endometrial Biopsies and CurettingsThe 3rd edition of Diagnosis of Endometrial Biopsies and Curettings was recently published. Congratulations to Drs. Tricia Murdock, Emanuela Veras, Robert Kurman and Michael Mazur! This book entails a comprehensive review of endometrial pathophysiology, including the recognition of physiologic conditions, as well as the accurate interpretation of pathologic entities.

~January 2019

The New PathWays is out!

PathWays December 2018 PathWays is our annual departmental newsletter. Read about developments, news and people in the department! Read the newest PathWays. You can also view the archive of previous PathWays.

~January 2019

January 2019 Diversity Calendar

The Pathology Diversity Calendar for the month of January is now available for download (PDF format). Visit the Pathology Diversity web site or get your copy here and learn more about Pathology Diversity Fast Facts and local events for January.

~January 2019

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