New Leadership in the Division of Anatomic Pathology

Published by David B. Roth, MD, PhD, on April 20, 2015

After two years of dedicated service as the Director of the Division of Anatomic Pathology, Dr. Kumarasen Cooper has decided to step down to devote himself to his two chief passions as an academic pathologist: diagnostic surgical pathology and the teaching of our residents, fellows and medical students. In particular, the continuing expansion of the Abramson Cancer Center’s Sarcoma Program under the leadership of Dr. Kristy Weber will place increasing demands on Dr. Cooper’s time. Although he will relinquish this leadership role within the Division, the Department, our trainees, and Penn Medicine as a whole will continue to benefit from his tremendous skills as a world-renowned pathologist and as a gifted teacher. I thank him for his dedication to the Anatomic Pathology Division.

I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Kathleen Montone has agreed to succeed Dr. Cooper as Director of Anatomic Pathology, effective May 1, 2015. Dr. Montone will continue to serve as the Director of the Residency Program (along with her Co-Directors Drs. Christopher Watt, Lauren Schwartz, and Warren Pear), a role she took on for the Department in May of 2014. Dr. Montone is a Professor, Clinician-Educator track in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.  She graduated from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and did her residency in Anatomic Pathology at the University of Pennsylvania. During her residency, Dr. Montone was Chief Resident, received the Leonard Berwick Resident Teaching Award and received the Stowell Orbison Award from the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology a record-setting two times. Following residency, Dr. Montone took a faculty position in the Surgical Pathology section where she concentrated her service efforts on head and neck and infectious disease pathology. In 2011 Dr. Montone was named Chief of the Surgical Pathology Section and in 2014 was selected to also oversee the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Residency Program. We are very fortunate that she has agreed to take on this extraordinary level of administrative responsibility for the good of the Department.

With Dr. Montone assuming the position of AP Division Director, Dr. Leslie Litzky has agreed to act as interim Chief of Surgical Pathology. She will continue to serve in her long-standing role as Chief of Medical Pathology (Autopsy) and in her recent role as Director of the Molecular Anatomic Pathology Service. Dr. Litzky is a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Clinician-Educator track. Following residency training in Anatomic Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was also a chief resident, she completed a Surgical Pathology fellowship at George Washington University with a special interest in thoracic pathology. Dr. Litzky has a firmly established international reputation in Thoracic Pathology. She is a past President of the Philadelphia Pathology Society (2002-2004) and served on the Program Committee for the International Pulmonary Pathology Society (2004-2007).  She serves as a Section Editor in Pulmonary Pathology for the Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (2006-present). She joined the Thoracic Oncology Research group under the direction of Dr. Steven Albelda. The group’s novel research on gene therapy for malignant mesothelioma has resulted in a number of clinical trials which have made the University of Pennsylvania an internationally recognized referral center for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. In addition to her work on malignant mesothelioma, her publications (57 peer-reviewed research publications, 8 peer-reviewed reviews) and invited talks on thoracic pathology reflect both the breadth and depth of her academic interests and diagnostic abilities.

Both of these experienced leaders are expert pathologists, recognized educators, respected academics, and team players. I am confident that this leadership team will achieve outstanding results for our Anatomic Pathology Division and will be a valuable resource for our Department and for Penn Medicine.