Division of Gynecologic Pathology


Photo of Dr. CullenThe Gynecologic Pathology Laboratory at Johns Hopkins Hospital was established in 1893 under the direction of Dr. Thomas Cullen, who was a resident in gynecology under Dr. Howard Kelly, Chief of Gynecology, and Dr. William Welch, Chief of the Department of Pathology. Dr. Cullen was first in this country to examine tissues removed in the operating room, using the microscope to make diagnoses. He thus pioneered what was to become the field of gynecologic pathology in the United States. During his tenure as Chief of the Laboratory and then Chairman of the Department of Gynecology, Dr. Cullen wrote several definitive textbooks in various areas of gynecologic pathology. When Dr. Cullen retired, the Laboratory came under the direction of Dr. Emil Novak, a gynecologist who was to achieve an international reputation for his work in gynecologic pathology. The textbook that he wrote served as the standard for nearly three decades. In 1952, Dr. Novak's pupil, Dr. J. Donald Woodruff, a consummate gynecologic surgeon with extensive training in pathology, assumed the Directorship of the Pathology Laboratory, remaining in that position until 1989.

TeLinde Endowment

Dr. Richard W. TeLindeIn 1991 upon the death of Dr. Richard W. TeLinde who was the Chairman of the Department of Gynecology from 1939 to 1960, an endowed chair in gynecologic pathology was established. This is the only one of its kind in the United States. Dr. Woodruff was the first to hold this chair. The current Richard W. TeLinde Distinguished Professor is Ie-Ming Shih, M.D., Ph.D.. Dr. Shih has his primary appointment in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics and a secondary appointment in the Department of Pathology and was endowed with this professorship in 2014, succeeding Dr. Robert J. Kurman. When the endowment was created, it was envisioned that the annual proceeds that were generated would be used to fund pilot research projects. Once these projects generated preliminary data, investigators could then apply for extramural sources of funding. This has turned out to be a highly successful endeavor, as demonstrated by the fact that since its inception, extramural funding in the Division, largely from grants from the National Institutes of Health, has nearly quadrupled. Thus, for every dollar from the Endowment, four dollars have come into the Division from federally funded research grants. This is a tribute to the accomplishments of the investigators in the Division and to the vision of Dr. TeLinde who provided the funding for the endowment. If you are interested in supporting the gynecologic division, please see the Giving page.