Chairman's Message

On behalf of our faculty, residents, fellows and staff, welcome to the home page of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky.  I hope that this site will inform you about our department, our facilities and our people as well as convey our pride in our department and the science and profession of pathology. I invite you to contact me (cdjenn@uky.edu) or other faculty or staff with any questions that you may have about our department.

A common definition of pathology -- the study of the mechanisms of disease and their effects on the human body –  emphasizes the key role of the science of pathology in understanding the pathogenesis and manifestations of human diseases as a prerequisite to their treatment.  We also believe strongly that pathology practice is about patients, not specimens!  Our teaching of medical students at the University of Kentucky -- who first encounter physicians as teachers in our sophomore pathology course -- as well as our residency and fellowship training programs are heavily influenced by that philosophy.  We continue to believe in the time-honored concept of the pathologist as the “doctor’s doctor” and a major advocate for excellent patient care.

Our Department mission statement emphasizes our commitment to four areas: (1) excellent diagnostic services, (2) outstanding teaching programs, (3) the importance of research and scholarly activities, and (4) the personal growth of our faculty, housestaff, students and staff.  These diverse missions are linked by our definition of the pathologist as a clinician, teacher, researcher and scholar, as well as a good citizen.

We achieve our missions through the team effort of our faculty, residents, fellows and staff.  Our faculty have been recruited with diverse interests and capabilities in keeping with the clinical, research, and educational needs of the department.  Currently, the Department has 35 full time faculty members with additional faculty with part time assignments in Pathology and primary appointments in other departments.  Many of our faculty have shared or joint appointments in other departments or centers including the Markey Cancer center, the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging,  and the departments of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Pediatrics, OB-GYN, Neurology, Internal Medicine and Surgery as well as the College of Allied Health Sciences and the Graduate Center for Toxicology.

Our faculty members serve as leaders in American Pathology and are active participants in regional, national and international societies including the College of American Pathologists, the American Society of Cytopathologists, the US Canadian Association of Pathologists, the National Board of Medical Examiners and test committees of the American Board of Pathology. 

Our four-year combined anatomic and clinical pathology residency training programs and fellowships in cytopathology and surgical pathology attract strong candidates who achieve success in American Board of Pathology certification and in securing excellent fellowship training programs and job placements in both community and academic settings. At present, the department has residents in both four and five year combined programs in anatomic and clinical pathology training. The overall programmatic goal is excellent preparation of the trainee pathologist for the practice of pathology.  This is achieved through exposure of the resident to a high volume of representative case material with opportunity for graded responsibility and a team approach involving faculty and housestaff in a structured and outcomes-focused didactic teaching program that emphasizes careful but supportive mentoring of our residents. The majority of residents plan to practice in the community setting (as do 75 percent of pathology trainees throughout the country).  Because of our close association with practicing pathologists within the state of Kentucky (many practicing pathologists in the state are graduates of our program), we have a uniquely focused perspective on fulfilling that goal.  In addition to training experience in an affiliated community hospital, the program also provides opportunities for self-selected residents preparing for a career in academic medicine to engage in research with senior faculty currently engaged in research in diverse areas of experimental, translational and molecular pathology. These faculty members also provide both didactic and bench-based exposure to modern techniques and concepts of molecular pathology and genetics.

A key component of the department’s training philosophy is a team approach that links residents, staff and faculty to the recruitment of quality candidates with professional and personal qualities consistent with department goals. Our faculty is committed to education in the areas of anatomic pathology, clinical laboratory medicine, and research.  Important elements of the program include a department Residency Program Oversight Committee and a resident mentoring program.  We also offer one-year fellowships in cytopathology, neuropathology and surgical pathology as well as a combined 2-year cytopathology and surgical pathology fellowship.  Our residents participate in core and advanced rotations in the major areas of anatomic pathology (autopsy, surgical pathology, cytopathology, neuropathology, dermatopathology, electron microscopy, forensic pathology and cytogenetics) and clinical pathology (clinical chemistry, microbiology, hematology, immunopathology and blood banking).  We are proud that our residency program is fully accredited by the Residency Review Committee of the ACGME.  In addition to core rotations, training in Immunopathology, molecular diagnostics and laboratory management prepare the residents to be true consultants to their clinician colleagues and institutions.  In the past several years residents have participated in College of American Pathologist Laboratory Accreditation Inspections of clinical laboratories at other academic health centers in New York, Tennessee, Connecticut, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

A full range of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine clinical services are offered by the department in diverse settings including the University Hospital and the Veterans Administration Medical Center, housed in connected facilities and staffed by faculty members of the department. The faculty also provides clinical services to St. Claire Medical Center, Morehead, KY, the Central Kentucky Blood Center, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky Medical Examiners Program in Frankfort. 

Complete pathology services and laboratories are available at all three hospitals, the largest at the University Hospital where surgical pathology, transplant pathology, cytopathology, hematopathology, neuropathology, dermatopathology and autopsy services are present.  A large, fully automated clinical laboratory service provides state-of-the-art testing in chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunomolecular pathology and flow cytometry, cytogenetics, and transfusion medicine.  This laboratory achieved Accreditation with Distinction from the College of American Pathologists in 2012.

Our research programs encompass diverse areas of investigation in the molecular genetics of cancer, aging, and neurodegenerative disorders. We are committed as a department to increasing translational research efforts and creating synergies between our experimental pathology group and our clinical faculty.  We are also pursuing opportunities for collaborative research with investigators in other departments and centers.