Department of Pathology NEWS 2013

The History of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

IAOP logoThe history of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions is featured in this issue of the News Bulletin of the International Academy of Pathology. Dr. Robin Cooke, Editor of the News Bulletin, visited Johns Hopkins while attending the USCAP meetings here in Baltimore in the Spring. Robin toured historical sites on campus as well as Art as Applied to Medicine, and the tour inspired him to write the story.

~October 2013

Remembering Piotr Kulesza

Piotr Kulesza

~November 2013

New Grant Funding Opportunities Available

SPORE logoCareer Development project grant applications are now available to support investigators involved in projects related to cervical cancer. Priority will be given to investigators focusing on translational research projects, as well as to projects related to the cervical cancer and the human papillomavirus. Investigators performing basic research that has obvious, near-term potential application will also be considered. Funds for the career development project program are provided by our NCI Cervical Cancer SPORE grant.
Download the submission guidelines.
Deadline for submission November 15, 2013

Pilot Project grant applications are now available to support new projects in advanced cervical cancer related research. Priority will be given to translational research projects as well as to projects related to cervical cancer and the human papillomavirus. Basic research that has obvious, near-term potential application will also be considered. Funds for the pilot project program are provided by our NCI Cervical Cancer SPORE grant.
Download the submission guidelines.
Deadline for submission November 15, 2013.

~October 2013

Annual Current Topics in Gastrointestinal & Liver Pathology

13th Annual Current Topics in Gastrointestinal and Liver Pathology Registration is open, more information here.

~October 2013

Christine Hostetter of Pathology Wins Best Education Poster at ASCP Annual Meeting in Chicago!

Christine HostetterChristine Hostetter, MT(ASCP), MA, educational and development coordinator for the Core Laboratory, was the winner of the "Best Education Poster" at the 2013 Annual Meeting of American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) in September in Chicago. The meeting theme was "Beyond the Lab", and Chris submitted a poster about the successful educational partnership with our neighboring high school, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (DHS), and the Departments of Pathology and Radiology which she has been involved with since its inception. (Here are details on the Abstract.)

Chris plans to use her $500.00 award to start a scholarship program for Dunbar High School students on the path to a career in pathology. She wishes to thank the numerous Pathology employees who have participated in project, including phlebotomists, medical lab scientists and technicians, cytotechnologists, histotechnologists and technicians, pathology assistants, fellows, and residents. Very special thanks to Jim Creech, former Johns Hopkins Pathology administrator, since retired, who founded the Pathology and DHS science partnership 10 years ago; Al Valentine, Pathology administrator; Lorraine Blagg, educational coordinator of Transfusion Medicine; Paula Mister, educational coordinator of Microbiology; Mamie Green, DHS Science Department chair; Charrise M. Lomax, Radiology special projects coordinator; and Marty Bledsoe, Radiology administrator.

Winning Poster
View Full Size

~October 2013

Oncology Tissue Services Core Facility Reaches 1000 TMA Milestone

The Oncology Tissue Service (OTS) Core Facility, formerly the TMA core reached a remarkable milestone this week, celebrating its 1000th tissue microarray. To mark this amazing achievement, the core threw a small party to celebrate this event.

"When I first heard about TMAs, I thought they were a terrible idea," said Dr. Angelo De Marzo, inaugural TMA core director and current director emeritus, "but then I realized how powerful they could be." Dr. De Marzo started generating TMAs for his own research program and then recognized how useful TMAs could be for the wider pathology community. Thus he started the TMA core facility around 2000 to provide this service for the entire campus. This foresight has allowed Johns Hopkins Pathology to be a leader in the TMA field. The core has since created TMAs for members of many Johns Hopkins departments, numerous outside research institutions, and international collaborators.

group photo

A number of individuals have made this milestone possible. Working with the team near the beginning of the lab's inception Jim Morgan created a web-based software package and underlying database named TMAJ that allowed the entire TMA process – from generating TMAs, to capturing clinical data to analyzing TMAs - to exist in one place. Helen Fedor has helped with many aspects of the enhanced functionality and usability that has been added to TMAJ over the years and has personally inputted data into TMAJ for hundreds of TMAs and has assisted or taught nearly everyone else who has made a TMA how to enter their data into TMAJ. This robust database has allowed the core to keep track of all of the TMAs and report on some of the amazing statistics associated with it.


To make these TMAs, the laboratory has punched 125,545 cores of tissue from 23,048 donor blocks! Over 41,000 slides have been cut from these TMAs. Forty-three separate investigators have had TMA blocks made through the core facility. Although TMAJ does not keep track of publications related to the TMAs, anecdotally, several hundred manuscripts are the direct result of these TMAs.


Most of the success in creating TMAs is attributable to Marcela ("Cellie") Southerland. Cellie has been with the core since its inception and has tirelessly worked day after day to build high quality TMAs. "Creating TMAs is quite challenging but equally rewarding," said Cellie Southerland. "It takes a lot of patience, time and effort to finish one. The first time I made a TMA with 400 cores, I thought I would never get it finished. I have to listen to music and entertain myself while making TMAs. Now it's a piece of cake. It is very rewarding to know that making TMA's cuts down the expense of doing very large studies with individually cut unstained slides, and it expands the use of the cases as well as contributing to so many cancer research projects."

cake close up

"The TMA has proven to be a powerful tool used primarily by oncology researchers to identify aberrant protein expression in cancer," said Dr. Marc Halushka, current director of the OTS core. "The discoveries made on TMAs have begun to show up in clinical service where we can use this information to deliver better diagnostic and prognostic information to patients and their health care providers. The tireless work of Helen Fedor and particularly Cellie Southerland have made this all possible."


Other members of the core facility have contributed more recently to our TMA success. Both long-time lab coordinator Bonnie Gambichler and Sarah Northrup, the newest member of our histology team, have also begun generating TMAs. Thus the laboratory continues to expand its expertise in this area.

Since the inception of the TMA core, the core has grown far beyond just creating TMAs and digitally scanning slides. The OTS core, whose name was changed in early 2013 to reflect the growing list of services, now offers TMA production, digital slide scanning, digital slide analysis tools, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, immunofluorescence, and specialized histology services. If you are in need of any of these services, please visit our website or contact Helen Fedor at or 410-614-1660.

~July 2013

50 Years of Change

Mabel Smith delivered a Grand Rounds talk entitled "Fifty Years of Change" on June 24, 2013 to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Department of Pathology.

~July 2013

2013 Sustainability Award

Sustainability Award
Each year The Johns Hopkins Sustainability Network will recognize a department that has exhibited leadership and innovation in their sustainability approach at JHH. This year, we recognize the Histology Lab in the Department of Pathology. By reusing everyday coverslip containers, they were successful in growing tomato plants in their laboratory. The plants were later transfered to personal gardens where fruit blossomed and afterwards enjoyed by all. Their creativity and commitment to sustainability helped reduce hazardous waste, build teamwork, and set an example for all employees at Johns Hopkins that sustainability can be fun and easy.

Please attend the June 12th Green Team meeting at noon in Zayed 2117 as we honor the Histology Lab. Watch a presentation about their story and learn ways that you and your department can contribute to a cleaner and greener Johns Hopkins.

Here's a presentation.

~June 2013

The Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association held its Biennial Meeting on Friday June 7th, 2013. Jerry Spear flew in from California to join the festivities, and several members of the Department were honored.

G. Johan Offerhaus M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., received the Samuel P. Asper Award for Achievements in Advancing International Medical Education. This prestigious award honors the memory of Samuel P. Asper, M.D., a renowned Hopkins educator and physician who led the American University Hospital in Beirut during the civil war in Lebanon in the 1970s, and it recognizes significant accomplishments in international education.

At the same ceremony, Ralph H. Hruban, M.D. received the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award (this award recognizes alumni who "emplify the Johns Hopkins tradition of excellence and have brought credit to the University through their personal accomplishment, professional achievement, and/or humanitarian service"). At the meeting Ralph was also elected the President of the Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association.

Johan Offerhaus receives his award from Dean Rothman
Johan Offerhaus receives his award from Dean Rothman

Jerry Spear visits Robert Heptinstall
Jerry Spear visits Robert Heptinstall

Anirban Maitra gives the special Biennial Grand Rounds
Anirban Maitra gives the special Biennial Grand Rounds

Johan Offerhaus, Mabel Smith and Jerry Spear
Johan Offerhaus, Mabel Smith and Jerry Spear

Brooks Jackson, Jerry Spear and Johan Offerhaus
Brooks Jackson, Jerry Spear and Johan Offerhaus

Carol Greider (2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology) and Johan Offerhaus
Carol Greider (2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology) and Johan Offerhaus

John Boitnott, Jerry Spear and Johan Offerhaus
John Boitnott, Jerry Spear and Johan Offerhaus

Jerry Spear and Johan Offerhaus visit the room in the Billings Building that Jerry lived in as a resident
Jerry Spear and Johan Offerhaus visit the room in the Billings Building that Jerry lived in as a resident

Dean Paul Rothman, Johan Offerhaus and Ralph Hruban
Dean Paul Rothman, Johan Offerhaus and Ralph Hruban

Johan Offerhaus and former Dean Ed Miller
Johan Offerhaus and former Dean Ed Miller

Johan Offerhaus and Ralph Hruban after the awards ceremony with their spouses
Johan Offerhaus and Ralph Hruban after the awards ceremony with their spouses

~June 2013

60 Minutes Visits Pathology

Anirban Maitra with Morley Saffer
Morley Saffer and the 60 Minutes news team visited GI Pathology this week. Keep an eye on 60 Minutes to learn why...
...could it have anything to do with Jack Andraka?

Hidden Beauty: Exploring the Aesthetics of Medical Science

Hidden BeautyNorman Barker and Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue M.D., Ph.D., recently collaborated on a beautiful book called "Hidden Beauty: Exploring the Aesthetics of Medical Science." The book features aesthetically pleasing medical images and descriptions from our Pathology faculty, non-Pathology Hopkins faculty and Pathology staff. Please join Norm and Chris for a wine and cheese reception and book signing on the 13th of May from 4:30-6:30 in the Turner concourse.

Download the poster here.

~May 2013

Frances Burroughs Retires

Frances Burroughs retired after a forty year career in the Division of Cytopathology. Fran, a graduate of Rutgers University (English major, just enough science to get by), came to Hopkins the day after Christmas in 1972 as the supervisor of the Cytopathology reporting office. After three years of her asking "how do you know?" and "what does that mean for the patient?" she decided to pursue cytotechnology as a profession and graduated in the Hopkins cytotechnology class of 1975-76. After a period of working as a cytotechnologist, mainly in quality control, she was given the additional responsibility of Education Coordinator of the School of Cytotechnology in 1990. Later, she was additionally appointed as the supervisor of technical operations for the Cytopathology Laboratory, a position she held until her recent retirement.

Fran had a distinguished career at Hopkins. She played a tremendous part in making the School of Cytotechnology one of the best in the nation. She educated dozens of cytotechnology students, many of whom are currently leaders in their own cytopathology laboratories. One of her everlasting contributions is the creation and maintenance of thousands of glass slide study sets, considered a true educational asset of our department. Hundreds of residents, fellows and visiting pathologists have been the direct beneficiaries of her hard work and dedication. She is a kind, generous person, who never hesitates to help the faculty and trainees at all levels in order to enhance their educational experience.

Fran is married to Russ, a retired middle school science teacher, and they have a son Mark, and a ten year old grandson, Erik. She is very involved with her church – choir, handbells, and preparing meals for less fortunate church members. She is a great seamstress – sewing, crocheting and cross-stitching. She is rarely idle. Now she can fill her "free" time with all her hobbies and church activities instead of proofing all the journal articles and books written by the cytology staff. We would like to wish her all the very best in her retirement.

~May 2013

Hopkins Team Recognized for Advancing Pancreatic Cancer Research Through Innovative, Collaborative Science

Dr. Hruban speaking at the meeting
The Pancreatic Cancer Sequencing Team in the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins received the Team Science Award from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) at the AACR's Annual Meeting held in Washington, D.C., on 7th , 2013. This $50,000 award recognizes an outstanding interdisciplinary research team for its innovative and meritorious scientific work that has advanced or will likely advance cancer research, detection, diagnosis, prevention or treatment. The Hopkins team was selected based on its tremendous impact on understanding of the fundamental genetic changes that characterize pancreatic cancer. The interdisciplinary team, led by Ralph H. Hruban, M.D., comprises 20 faculty members from three different institutions: Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.; Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.; and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, N.Y. Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D., chief executive officer of the AACR, said that the team's "research has greatly contributed to our knowledge of pancreatic cancer, which currently has an extremely poor prognosis. They have provided a wonderful example of the innovative scientific discoveries we can expect to find when the efforts of multiple institutions and different biomedical fields collaborate."

Team photo

Pictured above are:
Row 1 (left to right): David Klimstra, Kenneth Kinzler, Ralph Hruban (team leader), Bert Vogelstein, Nicholas Papadopoulos, Michael Choti, Victor Velculescu
Row 2: (left to right): Christopher Wolfgang, Joseph Herman, Laura Wood Row 3: (left to right): Scott Kern, N. Volkan Adsay, Alison Klein, Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue
Not pictured: Peter Allen, Luis Diaz, James Eshleman, Michael Goggins, Anirban Maitra and Alan Meeker

Pictured with Katie Couric are Drs. Michael Goggins, Alan Meeker, James Eshleman, and Ralph Hruban.

Pictured above with Katie Couric are Drs. Michael Goggins, Alan Meeker, James Eshleman, and Ralph Hruban.

~April 2013

President Daniels at Pathology Grand Rounds

President DanielsJohns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels will present "The Creative University: Innovation in a Shifting Research Landscape" on Monday, April 29, 2013 from 8:30-9:30am in Hurd Hall Memorial Auditorium.

Please note: This session will not be considered for CME credit.

~April 2013


Here are photos from the 2013 alumni dinner, which featured Ric Cottom as our speaker, the departmental tour and USCAP posters. Be sure to visit Dr. Hruban's Pathology Quiz from the alumni dinner, which can be reviewd online.

~March 2013

Remembering Letanya Johnson-Lewis

Letanya Johnson-LewisDear Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Letanya Johnson-Lewis who passed away unexpectedly on February 20, 2013, at the age of 41 in South Africa, while returning home from an HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) meeting and site visits that she was attending and conducting on behalf of the Department of Pathology.

Letanya was a Medical Technologist in the Department of Pathology and School of Medicine (SOM) for 14 years. First joining the Hopkins family in 1999 as a hospital employee, she later transitioned to the SOM in 2008 as a Laboratory QA/QC Coordinator for the HIV Prevention Trials Network. Working as a member the of HIV Laboratory and HPTN Network Laboratory team, she worked tirelessly to effect changes in the attitudes concerning HIV and HIV transmission. Her efforts are captured in many abstracts and journal articles. She was involved directly as a protocol team member for HPTN protocols 043, 064, 068, 071, and 073 and performed specialized HIV testing for HPTN protocols.

Always greeting everyone with a welcome smile, a warm hello and laughter, her energy and positivity were endless. Letanya leaves behind her husband, Anthony Lewis, mother, brother, nephew and host of family and friends. She will be dearly missed by all whom have been touched by her smile. Final arrangements will likely be made available within the next few days.

Brooks Jackson, MD
Director of Pathology

~March 2013


Current and former residents, fellows and faculty of the Department of Pathology here at Johns Hopkins University are cordially invited to a special Alumni Dinner to be held in conjunction with the annual meetings of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology here in Baltimore.

Date SUNDAY, March 3, 2013
4:00pm. Shuttle bus leaves the Baltimore Convention Center for those going on the Department Tour.
4:30 pm -6pm. Campus tour [map] led by Dr. Ralph Hruban. Please meet promptly at 4:30 in the concourse (basement level) in front of the Turner Auditorium.
5:45pm. Shuttle bus leaves the Baltimore Convention Center for those attending the cocktail reception.
6:00 pm. Cocktails in the concourse (basement level) in front of the Turner Auditorium.
6:30 pm. Shuttle bus leaves the Baltimore Convention Center for those attending the dinner.
7:00 pm. Dinner in the concourse (basement level) in front of the Turner Auditorium. Guest Speaker Ric Cottom - Baltimore historian and radio personality to give a talk honoring William Welch.
End of dinner: Shuttle bus returns out of town guests to Baltimore Convention Center.
Please support our residents and fellows when they present at the 102nd Annual USCAP Meetings here in Baltimore. Here is the list of presentations.

~February 2013

Remembering Gary Hill

Gary Hill Gary Hill, MD passed away on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at the age of 74. Gary was an internationally renowned renal pathologist and long-time faculty member in the Department of Pathology. Gary was a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine alumnus, a Hopkins professor, former chief of pathology at Johns Hopkins Bayview, and a visiting professor at l'UFR Broussais Hotel-Dieu, University of Paris. Services and a reception to celebrate Gary's life will be held Thursday, February 21st, at 1:30 p.m., at the Church of the Redeemer, 5603 North Charles St. The family will receive visitors at home from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20th.

In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to:
The Renal Pathology/Pathophysiology Fund
Attn: Kimberly Gill
Dept. of Pathology
Carnegie 437
Johns Hopkins Hospital
600 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21287-6417

~February 2013

MU-JHU/IDI Core laboratory was recognized as a Best Practice in Laboratory Medicine

MU-JHU/IDI Core laboratory
The MU-JHU/IDI Core laboratory was recognized by the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) as a BEST PRACTICE IN LABORATORY MEDICINE. The award was announced in December 2012 at the 1st International ASLM Conference in Cape Town and the award trophy was accepted on behalf of the Core Laboratory by Dr. Alex Opio (Ministry of Heath - Chairman of the Ugandan laboratory Steering Committee).

The award objective is to promote and recognize a sustainable laboratory improvement/ best practice leading to tangible and replicable outcomes for enhanced quality in laboratory systems and patient care in Africa.

This award is a great accolade to the outstanding quality efforts provided not only by the Core Laboratory staff, but also by all members', clients and friends of IDI, our JHU support team, and MU-JHU Care staff for the supportive environment and sustainable demand for world-class diagnostic and healthcare quality standards

Congratulations to all for receiving this most prestigious and deserving award.

From Dr. Ali Elbireer

~January 2013

Hopkins Pathology Leads in Funding

The Department of Pathology at Johns Hopkins leads all departments of pathology in NIH funding again this year! Rankings of NIH funding by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research shows that the Pathology Department at Hopkins has $46,819,803 in NIH funding. Emory University is in second place with $31,749,376. Two of the top five funded pathologists, Drs. Brooks Jackson and Susan Eshleman, are from Hopkins. Congratulations to our researchers!

~January 2013

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