Pathology, the study of disease, has evolved over centuries into a complex and unique discipline recognized as both a basic biomedical science and as a clinical specialty. From its ancient roots in anatomy, pathology has helped spawn other basic science disciplines such as physiology, microbiology, immunology, and cell-molecular biology. In contrast, the clinical practice of pathology is relatively new, representing the logical application of scientific method and technology to characterize disease and to guide clinical treatment. Thus, the modern discipline of pathology can be defined as the study of the fundamental processes and the in vivo manifestations of disease. Simply put, our goal is to reduce the suffering caused by disease by studying the basic mechanisms that drive disease.
Basic science pathologists tend to study fundamental cellular, molecular, and genetic processes to provide a basic understanding of disease mechanisms, while clinically oriented pathologists tend to study cellular, molecular, and genetic manifestations of a patient's disease to provide an accurate diagnosis and to guide patient management. These diverse aspects of pathology provide numerous exciting opportunities for those interested in biomedical research and training.
The Department of Pathology at Johns Hopkins offers an extraordinary environment for biomedical research and education focused on both the mechanisms and manifestations of disease. Our faculty form the foundation of our program. At Hopkins we are privileged to have distinguished faculty engaged in research and training in virtually every subspecialty area of basic and clinical pathology. The many outstanding research and training programs in our department are described in this brochure.
Our faculty are also deeply dedicated to teaching and to mentorship. The faculty of Johns Hopkins Pathology are firmly committed to the following principles of mentorship in the education of all our trainees: that they obtain expert knowledge, skill, and ability in their field of study; that they are treated with respect as individuals; that they receive ongoing feedback on their progress; and that they receive meaningful career counseling. To optimize the effectiveness of mentorship, annual evaluations are made of every trainee by his/her mentor and of every mentor by his/her trainee. In addition, the directors and co-directors of our departmental training programs (fellowship, residency, graduate student, medical student; see Contacts Page) and the Deputy Director for Education (Mike Borowitz, MD, PhD), all help to promote the quality and effectiveness of our educational programs.
In addition to an outstanding faculty with diverse interests and a commitment to education, the Department of Pathology has excellent material resources to support research. The breadth and depth of the clinical sub-specialty programs at Hopkins provides a wealth of patient specimens for research and training experience in pathology. The facilities for these activities are also exceptional. Basic pathology research is located in 55,000 square feet of space in the Ross Research Building, the Bond Street Building, in the Cancer Research Building II, and on the Bayview campus; with state-or-the-art equipment and facilities, this provides a superb setting for modern biomedical research. Applied and clinical research in pathology is conducted in labs adjacent to pathology service activities in the Carnegie, Pathology, Meyer, Park, and Weinberg Buildings. Most of these recently renovated diagnostic labs are connected by bridge to the pathology basic research labs in the Ross Building. This arrangement facilitates interactions among our research, service, and educational activities.
Core equipment and lab facilities in the Department of Pathology include: a reference histology lab, immunohistochemistry lab, electron microscopy lab, laser capture microscopy lab, molecular diagnostics and cytogenetics labs, a flow cytometry lab, computerized image analysis and transmission, extensive tissue banks, a full service photography lab, and a departmental data system-computer network.
Support for research training and experience with faculty in the Department of Pathology is available for graduate and medical students through various training grants and programs, for residents during elective periods in their training, and for postdoctoral and clinical research fellows through available fellowships and individual investigator's grants.
In summary, the environment for research and training in Pathology at Johns Hopkins is extraordinary. We hope this brochure will provide you with a sense of this outstanding environment and the many opportunities that are available.
Ralph H. Hruban, M.D.
Baxley Professor and Director
Department of Pathology