2021 Pathology Retreat

Poster awardee
Wearsch Harding
Adoro Harding
Xiao Harding
Poster show

7th Annual Department of Pathology Research Retreat 

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Tinkham Veale University Center
11038 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH 44106
Ballrooms A and B


The Awards/Recognition Committee of the Department of Pathology, chaired by Drs. Claire Michael and Nicholas Ziats, is pleased to announce the faculty teaching awards for the academic years of 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.  Each year, Pathology students identify Department of Pathology faculty members with outstanding teaching performance.  The two awards established in 2003 are the John R. Carter Award, honoring former Pathology Chair, John R. Carter, M.D., which honors excellence in teaching within the CWRU Medical School curriculum.  The Michael E. Lamm Award, honoring former Pathology Chair, Michael E. Lamm, M.D., honors excellence in teaching within the CWRU Pathology Graduate Program curriculum. These awards are intended to recognize faculty who are particularly effective educators and go ‘above and beyond’ in the classroom setting, which may include lectures, IQ group facilitation and other formal teaching contributions. 

Previous Awardees of the John R. Carter Award:
James Anderson, MD, PhD
Mark Cohen, MD
Joseph Tomashefski, MD
Thomas Pretlow, MD
Jay Wasman, MD
Nicholas Ziats, PhD
Theresa Pretlow, PhD
Dawn Dawson, MD
Howard Meyerson, MD
Robert Petersen, PhD
Steven Emancipator, MD
Man-Sun Sy, PhD

2019-2021 Awardee - Tsan Sam Xiao, PhD
2020-2021 Awardee - Sanjita Ravishankar, MD

Previous Awardees of the Michael E. Lamm Award:
Scott Vande Pol, PhD
Steven Emancipator, MD
Neil Greenspan, MD, PhD
John Nedrud, PhD
Robert Peterson, PhD
Mark Smith, PhD
Nicholas Ziats, PhD
Brian Cobb, PhD
Alan Tartakoff, PhD
Wendy Goodman, PhD

2019-2021 Awardee - Pamela Wearsch, PhD
2020-2021 Awardee - Stanley Adoro, PhD


Best Poster Prizes

Lydia Raines
Brendan Barton
Katharine Umphred-Wilson
Heidl Standke
Teresa Kee

Department of Pathology Clinical and Experimental Division Training Programs:

Clinical Training Programs and Directors

Residency and Fellowship Programs
Director: Holly Reeves, DO (hollie.reeves@uhhospitals.org)
Program Description: University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center Anatomic and Clinical Pathology Residency Program, in collaboration with Case Western Reserve University, offers rigorous balanced training in anatomic and clinical pathology within a large thriving academic medical center. The faculty members of the department are enthusiastic teachers committed to postgraduate pathology education. The mission of our program is to provide a supportive and congenial atmosphere in which our residents can develop to their full potential and find their niche in the diverse field of pathology. The curriculum for residents pursuing the combined anatomic and clinical pathology training program has the first year dedicated to anatomic pathology and the second year dedicated to clinical pathology. The training is integrated in the third and fourth years, which consist of rotations of four-week blocks in anatomic or clinical pathology and elective time. Single-track and Physician-Scientist research tracks are also offered. The residency program is ACGME accredited. 

The program has a very diverse group of 24 residents with interests in the field of pathology that are as varied as their backgrounds. This diversity contributes to an exceptional educational experience and camaraderie that often extends beyond graduation. In addition to the daily work associated with residency, the residents participate in scholarly activities, with approximately 20 abstracts (posters and platforms) accepted and presented annually at national and international meetings. Notably, current residents and recent graduates have received such accolades for their work as the Gordon F. Vawter Pathologist-in-Training Award at the 2020 Society for Pediatric Pathology meeting (Dr. Catherine Gestrich, graduate of 2021), the Jerome Smith Award from the Binford-Dammin Society of Infectious Disease Pathologists presented at the 2020 USCAP meeting (Dr. Kara Roncin, graduate of 2021), and the Leon Barnes Award from the North American Society of Head and Neck pathology for best poster at the 2020 USCAP meeting (Dr. Luvy Delfin, PGY3 resident). Current resident research pursuits include work in GATA3 IHC for prostate adenocarcinomas, study of appendiceal neuroendocrine tumors, incidence of cutaneous squamous or basal cell carcinomas in patients with colorectal adenocarcinoma, and studies in breast pathology, to name a few. Each year several of our residents are chosen as recipients of the Harry L. Taylor Trainee Award in Pathology to help support their research endeavors. 

The hard work and dedication of our residents to the field of pathology, in addition to the comprehensive training in both anatomic and clinical pathology they receive, contributes to an overall first-time American Board of Pathology pass rate of greater than 97%. The majority of our graduates go on to pursue subspecialty training in fellowship areas of their choice including, hematopathology, surgical pathology, GI/Liver pathology, head and neck pathology, pediatric pathology, breast pathology, GU pathology, forensic pathology, neuropathology, molecular pathology, transfusion medicine and clinical informatics. Current program improvement initiatives include: interprofessional teaming efforts in conjunction with CWRU’s Office of Interprofessional and Interdisciplinary Education and Research, resident and faculty evaluation upgrades in a new electronic platform, and establishment of a gross room working group to evaluate workflow and volume. The residency program is supported by a dedicated team including program director, Dr. Hollie Reeves, associate program directors, Dr. Shahrazad Saab, Dr. Holly Harper, and Dr. Jennifer Yoest, and program administrator and coordinator, Ashley Hlavacik and Linda Krencik. 

Transfusion Medicine Fellowship
Director: Katharine Downes, MD (katharine.downes2@uhhospitals.org 
Program Description: The Section of Transfusion Medicine (TM) encompasses clinical, educational, and research activities in the field of Transfusion Medicine. Transfusion Medicine involves the areas of blood banking, transfusion services, apheresis, hematopoietic progenitor cell collection, and coagulation. Faculty in this section are all Clinical Pathology trained with subspecialty training and American Board of Pathology certification in Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine (BB/TM). Faculty members participate and serve on the College of American Pathologists (CAP), American Society for Apheresis and the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies (AABB) national committees in Transfusion Medicine in many areas including accreditation, standards, pediatric transfusion therapy and national meeting design. Areas of research in the Transfusion Medicine Section are broad and include coagulation validation studies, testing and diagnostic strategies for thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, hematopoiesis, lymphopoiesis, sickle cell disease, alloimmunization, transfusion indications, convalescent COVID-19 plasma therapy use, CAR-T therapy, Notch signaling, and blood component utilization. Faculty teaching at national meetings has been in some of these areas as well. The Section of Transfusion Medicine educates residents from the Department of Pathology, fellows from the adult and pediatric Divisions of Hematology/Oncology, Anesthesiology and Critical Care as well as rotating medical students. Residents in Clinical Pathology have a 12-week rotation in Transfusion Medicine and a 4-week rotation in coagulation. On the Transfusion Medicine rotation residents focus on the areas of blood banking, apheresis, and transfusion medicine.  On the coagulation rotation residents study diagnostics and test performance in hemostasis and thrombosis, receive training in laboratory management, and participate in the pediatric hemostasis clinic. The Department of Pathology Section of Transfusion Medicine also has a 1-year ACGME accredited fellowship in the area of Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine.  BB/TM Fellows train at University Hospitals as the primary fellowship site with additional rotations at the Northern Ohio American Red Cross and the Cleveland Cord Bank. Faculty mentor clinical pathology residents, blood bank fellows and residents from other departments on research projects with both oral and poster presentations in Transfusion Medicine at CAP, ASH, ASCP, ASFA, and AABB annual meetings. The Harry L Taylor Memorial Lecture Series in Transfusion Medicine is given annually and is a survey course directed to trainees and attended by pathology residents and fellows interested in learning more about Transfusion Medicine.

Basic Science Training Programs and Directors

Cancer Biology Training Program
Director: Mark Jackson, PhD (mwj7@case.edu)
Program Description: The goal of the CBTP is to train PhD and MD/PhD scientists who will advance research on the causes, diagnosis, progression, and treatment of experimental and human cancer. The CBTP provides a PhD training program that is focused on cancer research and includes the many facets of cancer biology, including cancer pathology, cancer genetics, cell signaling, control of cell growth, tumor apoptosis, cancer pharmacology, cancer therapeutics, stem cell biology, cancer imaging, tumor immunology and others. The field of cancer biology includes basic scientific research and its applications to clinical settings. The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center provides a rich confluence of basic science and clinical activities and resources, enriching the training of PhD students as they engage in both basic science and translational research in the field of cancer. To accomplish these training goals, the CBTP has been developed as an interdisciplinary track within the Pathology PhD Program and is jointly sponsored by the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Department of Pathology.

Training for the PhD degree in the CBTP includes course work, research rotations, formal and informal seminars, a dissertation proposal/qualifying examination, research experience resulting in scholarly publications, and a PhD dissertation. The CBTP includes the core curriculum of the Pathology Graduate Program (see Section II: Pathology PhD Program in the Pathology Graduate Program Student Handbook; link below) and a well-developed curriculum focused on cancer biology. Core components of the Pathology PhD curriculum include the BSTP curriculum coursework in cell and molecular biology (IBMS 453 and IBMS 455), a minimum of three research rotations and two Pathology core courses (PATH 510 Basic Pathophysiologic Mechanisms, PATH 520 Basic Cancer Biology & Interface with Clinical Oncology). PATH 510 provides a solid foundation in mechanisms of disease, including topics related to cancer. PATH 520 provides a detailed survey of basic cancer biology. CBTP students take at least two CBTP Track Electives (see Handbook Section X) and other elective courses to meet the PhD requirements (see Handbook Section II). Elective courses should be selected in consideration of the research emphasis of the individual student and may include a wide range of courses offered by the Department of Pathology or other basic science departments. A student's course selections must be approved by his/her Thesis Mentor and must follow the program guidelines. A Planned Program of Study form must be completed to insure adequate planning for coursework and other curriculum components. This plan must be reviewed and approved by the CBTP Track Thesis Committee Representative (Clive Hamlin), and then submitted to the Pathology Graduate Program Coordinator (Christine Kehoe). The CBTP Track Thesis Committee Representative will be an ex officio member of all Thesis Committees for CBTP students and will ensure consistency in advising and adherence to guidelines.

Immunology Training Program 
Director: Brian Cobb, PhD (bac28@case.edu)
Program Description: The goal of the Immunology PhD Training Program (ITP) is to train the next generation of PhD and MD/PhD physician scientists who will advance research, knowledge, and/or the application of immunology and related fields to clinical and public awareness endeavors. This general mission provides all ITP students with exposure to many career paths that include active research (laboratory & clinical), science policy, patent law, teaching, and others. The ITP provides research training in a wide range of immunology-related topics, spanning from basic science to research in clinical disorders, including topics like innate immunity, T cell activation, tolerance, antigen processing and presentation, MHC function, complement, antibody structure and function, mucosal immunity, clinically relevant models of infectious diseases (e.g. tuberculosis, HIV), vaccine development, transplantation, allergy (e.g. asthma), inflammatory disease (e.g. inflammatory bowel disease), and autoimmunity (e.g. multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes). The ITP also includes an expanding incorporation of high-throughput technologies and data analysis expertise. Participating institutions and departments provide a rich confluence of basic science and clinical resources, enriching the training of PhD students as they engage in basic and/or translational research in the field of immunology. Within the ITP, we have also created an NIH-supported Laboratory Leadership Track T32 Training Program that was recently renewed through 2026. The ITP-LT is designed specifically for those students targeting active laboratory or clinical research in either academia, hospital, or pharmaceutical industry settings as a career objective and who have shown the most potential in terms of creativity and scientific prowess in the years of study. The ITP-LT emphasizes rigorous classroom and laboratory PhD training in fundamental immunology and mechanisms of immunologic disease combined with formal instruction in research proposal design and laboratory management. Applications for support within the ITP-LT will be welcomed beginning in January 2022 (formal announcement coming soon).

Molecular and Cellular Basis of Disease Training Program
Director: Xiongwei Zhu, PhD (xiongwei.zhu@case.edu)
Program Description: MCBDTP is one of the three training tracks in the Pathology PHD program with the goal to provide rigorous PhD training in fundamental aspects of experimental Pathology and the molecular and cellular mechanisms of diseases. The scope of the training program includes basic scientific research, translational research, and applications to clinical settings in a wide research topic ranging from biomaterial biocompatibility, cell growth control, neoplasia, cell death, tissue injury and healing, to various diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. MCBDTP trainers come from multiple departments throughout CWRU SOM and affiliates, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the program, which provides a rich confluence of basic science and clinical activities and resources, enriching the training of PhD students as they engage in both basic science and translational research in Pathology. Neurodegenerative disease is the largest component among the participating MCBDTP faculty with primary appointment in the Department of Pathology and a T32 Neurodegeneration Training Program within MCBDTP was formally launched and supported by an NIH T32 training grant since 2013. Training for the PhD degree in the MCBDTP includes course work, research rotations, formal and informal seminars, journal club, a dissertation proposal/qualifying examination, research experience resulting in scholarly publications, and a PhD dissertation. The student and Thesis Mentor may use the flexibility of the program to design a customized curriculum to address the specific research interests of the student.