Division of Molecular Genomic Pathology - Training Opportunities

Summary of Teaching Activities

  • One-on-one teaching of Pathology Residents, Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellows, and other rotating fellows during daily case signout
  • Exposure of trainees to technical aspects of laboratory assays and operations via shoulder-to-shoulder interactions with technologists and supervisory staff
  • Supervised assay development and research activities for Molecular Genetic Pathology and Clinical Molecular Genetics Fellows as well as visiting Scholars
  • Weekly Professional Staff/Teaching/Patient Safety Conference employing a broad range of topical material to include clinical cases, assay development, problem-solving in the laboratory, journal club, and research presentations. Residents, Fellows, Faculty and senior laboratory staff participate and present material.
  • Bi-weekly laboratory development meeting for trainees
  • Targeted attendance of Fellows and Residents at clinical genetics clinics for broadened perspective
  • Preparation of abstracts, publications and abstracts with Residents, Fellows, and Visiting Scholars
  • Lectures to Residents, Fellows, medical, graduate and genetic counseling students on molecular diagnostics and its relationships to patient care, basic research, and ethical/legal/social implications.
  • Elective rotation experiences from several hours to several months to introduce medical students to clinical molecular diagnostics and projects in the laboratory

Summary of Training Activities

  • Core Pathology Residency Program rotation in Molecular Diagnostics for residents in AP, AP/CP and CP-only training tracks
    • Emphasis on background molecular biology, molecular techniques, interpretation and reporting of assay data, professional consultation with clinical users, relevant topics in laboratory management
  • ACGME-accredited Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship Program
    • 3 fellows annually (‘Standard’ and ‘MAP-intensive’ training tracks)
    • Emphasis on depth and breadth of clinical expertise with junior attending-level responsibility sufficient to prepare trainees for Laboratory Director roles
  • ABMG-accredited Clinical Molecular Genetics Program
  • Occasional Visiting Scholars from other countries
  • Hematopathology Fellows – training in molecular hematopathology methods
  • Medical Genetics Residents – orientation to the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory
  • Medical Students - Laboratory Medicine regular and longitudinal electives

Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship

The Division offers a 1-2 year experience in clinical Molecular Genetic Pathology training to deepen training received as a resident. The intent is to train MDs to be capable of directing a current laboratory practicing this discipline.

This training will qualify residents from Pathology and Human Genetics programs for the Molecular Genetic Pathology board certification examination from the American Board of Pathology.

Online applications are available. Interested applicants should contact:

    Marie C. DeFrances, M.D., Ph.D.
    Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship Program
    Room S-406 BST
    University of Pittsburgh
    200 Lothrop Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15261

    Office Phone: 412-648-8346
    Fax: 412-648-1916
    Email Address: defrancesmc@upmc.edu

Residency Rotation

The Division currently provides an 8 week core rotation for Program residents in the 1st or 2nd year of training. Trainees receive a comprehensive introduction to principles of molecular biology and genetics, molecular techniques used in the clinical laboratory, direct exposure to assays performed and laboratory management issues, as well as progressive responsibility for interpretation of tests results, report construction and clinical liaison with laboratory users. The rotation includes exposure to molecular diagnostic activities in anatomic pathology and 2 weeks of dedicated cytogenetics experience.

Elective Rotations

Senior residents may schedule elective time in molecular diagnostics to deepen their clinical experience, participate in clinical and translational research projects, or to perform basic research with Division faculty. A number of residents from other training programs have chosen elective rotations of a general or focused nature; several of these have been supported by Training in technology awards through the College of American Pathologists.