Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania dates back to 1895 with the opening of the William Pepper Laboratory of Clinical Medicine and William Pepper, Jr. as its first Director. William Welch, Professor of Pathology at Johns Hopkins University, delivered the opening address, stating "[a] hospital, and especially one connected with a medical school, should serve not only for the treatment of patients, but also for the promotion of knowledge … and intended especially for investigation and training of advanced students." (Announcement in Science, 13 Dec 1895: vol. II, No. 50). For a history of the William Pepper Lab, see Clinical Chemistry, January 1997, vol. 43, No 1. PubMed keyword search for William Pepper Laboratory.)
The Division of Laboratory Medicine continues in this tradition by performing state-of-the-art diagnostic testing, basic and translational research, and by training the next generation of pathologists in the various disciplines within Laboratory Medicine. The Department performs about 10 million diagnostic tests annually for inpatients and outpatients at medical centers throughout the Delaware Valley and the United States. The Laboratory Medicine Division includes laboratories that provide testing not readily available elsewhere (see lab-specific descriptions in the navigation links).
TThe Division faculty members at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) lead the different sections for Laboratory Medicine, augmented by additional faculty with similar primary interests at neighboring Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (PPMC) in West Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania Hospital (PAH) in Center City. The high quality of laboratory services provided by divisional laboratories would not be possible without the expertise and dedication of nearly 275 technical and support staff. The armamentarium of tests offered through this Division’s clinical laboratories is one of the largest for an academic medical center in the United States in support of the Penn Medicine affiliated hospitals, their out-patient practices, and the health system’s community physician practices.
Division faculty have extramurally funded research programs in diverse areas, including: the genetic basis of development; immunity and neurodegenerative disease; autoimmunity; thrombosis and hemorrhage, atherosclerosis, pathogenesis and epidemiology of infectious diseases.
While all sections and services within the Division are profiled separately on this website, following are some selected highlights:
- HUP is one of the nation’s pioneering hospitals in total laboratory automation
- The Coagulation Laboratory provides direct consultative services for physicians caring for patients with bleeding and clotting disorders
- The Toxicology Laboratory provides consultative services in all areas including therapeutic drug monitoring laboratories, with national outreach programs, notably with busulfan individualized dosing based on detailed subject-specific pharmacokinetic studies
- The Clinical Immunology and HLA laboratory is once of the leading laboratories in the US providing testing and consultation for the management of immunological disease, such as autoimmune encephalopathy, and for support of solid organ and bone marrow transplantation, where state of the art for HLA genomics uses next-generation sequencing for personalized medicine in clinical transplantation, HLA associated diseases and other areas
- The Clinical Microbiology Section is a leading laboratory for infectious diseases diagnostics with an extensive array of molecular diagnostic platforms and consultative services
- The Point of Care Testing Section manages a large menu of tests throughout the hospital and outpatient practices, with a large team of POC coordinators who work to assure excellent in staff training and testing excellence