Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine website! We are a fully integrated academic Department, with Divisions of Anatomic Pathology, Laboratory Medicine, Transfusion Medicine and Therapeutic Pathology, Hematopathology, Neuropathology, Precision and Computational Diagnostics, Pediatric Pathology, as well as Experimental Pathology and Immunobiology. Our roughly 150 full-time faculty are more or less evenly divided between clinicians and scientists/clinician-scientists, and each one is committed to the highest standards of practice, basic and translational research, and excellence in education.

We provide outstanding clinical training that prepares our residents and fellows for any type of career in Pathology. Close to 80% of our residency graduates, however, go on to academic positions, reflecting our commitment to academic pathology as well as the breadth of research opportunities on the Penn campus. In particular, our Department has invested heavily in translational research to provide cutting-edge personalized diagnostics (including molecular pathology and genomic pathology) and personalized therapeutics (including recent successes in cancer immunotherapy). Our Department is consistently among the top three in the nation in NIH funding.

Indeed, the goal of Penn’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is to lead the way for the practice of diagnostic medicine by integrating research, education, and patient care in ways that embrace the emergence of precision diagnostics, deep phenotyping, and informatics as central themes in healthcare and biomedical research.

As I embark on my second six-year term as Chair, we have outlined four strategic pillars in our PLM Strategic Plan 2023 to support this mission. We will:

1. Provide State of the Art Diagnostic and Cellular Therapeutics Services to Patients by

  • Harmonizing our diagnostic practices across all UPHS entities, beginning with HUP, PAH and PPMC.
  • Investing in new diagnostic technologies, including genomics and other 'omics, pathology informatics, clinical decision support, and a new laboratory information system.
  • Pioneering the use of a digital workflow in anatomic pathology, allowing us to tighten integration between UPHS sites, expand our reach locally, nationally, and globally, and to develop and deploy advanced tools to support diagnostics and clinical decisions.
  • Working closely with our colleagues in Radiology and other clinical disciplines to develop integrated approaches to precision diagnostics that streamline the path to arriving at the correct diagnosis.
  • Investing in cellular therapeutics to ensure we maintain cutting edge capabilities.
  • Maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and ethics.

2. Build on Research Preeminence 
To maintain and enhance our recurrent position as the preeminent pathology research department, we will:  

  • Recruit a cadre of CE and tenure track faculty over the next five years to continue our strong tradition of research. These recruits will work in areas that synergize with our clinical missions, particularly genomics, biomarker discovery, cancer, immuno-and cellular therapies, and pathology informatics.
  • Partner with Centers, Institutes, and other Departments in selective recruitment of faculty whose research aligns closely with the Department’ s strategic interests.
  • Selectively recruit CE faculty to foster close integration of clinical work and research in strategic areas.
  • Develop training programs to ensure a strong pipeline of research-oriented faculty candidates.
  • Participate in and support translational research efforts at Penn and, in some cases, lead these efforts (including but not limited to cellular therapeutics, precision diagnostics, neurodegeneration).

3. Ensure Financial Sustainability  
To guarantee financial sustainability, we will:

  • Maintain a strong financial performance to support the above goals.
  • Develop processes in all divisions to practice more efficiently, including through system integration and technological advances (e.g, digital workflow, decision support, informatics).
  • Aggressively pursue outreach business and training opportunities.
  • Pursue entrepreneurial opportunities for developing new diagnostic tools and modalities.

4. Provide Flexible, Best-in-Discipline Training Opportunities to

  • Become the destination of choice for residents and fellows seeking training in academic pathology, particularly those wanting to train not only in “present day” pathology but also for the “future of pathology” – genomics, bio- and medical informatics, and leadership.
  • Provide track flexibility so residents can easily switch from AP/CP to single track training to concentrate in an area of interest.
  • Provide our clinical fellowships the opportunity to add funded research fellowship years to develop physician scientists. These research opportunities will be awarded on a competitive basis, to the best candidates, and will help us develop a pipeline of future faculty members.
  • Develop innovative fellowship programs, with research components, based on new diagnostic areas, e.g., Cellular Therapies, Genome Diagnostics, Informatics.
  • Continue to innovate in the area of leadership training for our trainees and our faculty.
  • Pursue innovative strategies to integrate modern pathology into the medical school curriculum.
  • Maintain a rich environment for training postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.

I invite you to explore our website further to learn more about the Department. Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information.

David B. Roth, MD, PhD
Simon Flexner Professor and Chair, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Director, Penn Center for Precision Medicine

Email: David.Roth2@uphs.upenn.edu
Tel.: 215-615-6510