The Cytopathology laboratory is one of the largest and most active anatomic pathology laboratories at the University of Kentucky, with over 15,000 specimens accessioned annually. Our staff of seven subspecialty board-certified cytopathologists work together with dedicated cytotechnologists and support personnel to provide the highest quality care for patients in Kentucky and beyond. 


Dana Richards, MD
Director of Cytopathology

Kimberly Absher, MD

Derek Allison, MD

Therese Bocklage, MD

Julie Dueber, MD

Dava West-Piecoro, MD

Protima Rayapati, MD

Sherry Strickland, CT(ASCP)

Quenna Collins, CT(ASCP)

Tracy Howard, CT (ASCP)

Jenn Leake

Bettye Peel

Flora Thomas

Laura Turas, CT(ASCP)

Our specimen volume is comprised of gynecologic (~8,000/year, >13% abnormal), non-gynecologic (~4000/year), fine needle aspiration/core biopsy specimens (~2,000 year), and outside consult cases (~400/year).  Our specimens provide a wide variety of rare and diagnostically challenging cases, including many pulmonary, pancreatic, head and neck, and soft tissue/bone cases, among others.

The Division works closely with colleagues in Radiology, Endoscopy and others to provide immediate evaluation for over 1,500 image-guided biopsies per year, improving diagnostic yield and access to molecular therapy for our patients.  The staff of six cytopathologists, four full-time cytotechnologists, fellows and residents work together to provide this service across an ever-growing campus.  With the help of a telecytology system introduced in 2016, we have been able to improve speed and access to this vital service.

In addition to our immediate evaluation services, we perform over 150 superficial fine needle aspirations per year.  Ultrasound-guided aspiration was added to our service in 2019, which helps to improve targeting accuracy, diagnostic yield, and patient safety.

The University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center is a 945 bed tertiary care center, which includes the NCI-accredited Markey Cancer Center, the Kentucky Children's Hospital, the Gill Heart Institute, the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute and the Center for Advanced Surgery.  The hospital has been named #1 in the region for five consecutive years in US News and World Report rankings. 

Our fellowship program offers extensive training and experience in all aspects of gynecologic, non-gynecologic, and fine needle aspiration biopsy cytology. Graduated responsibility is supported via the use of a telecytology system and other methods.  Experience in performing superficial FNA biopsies with ultrasound guidance is provided.  Correlation with surgical pathology is inherent in our practice, as our laboratory interprets core biopsies with their associated touch preparations.  Training in immunocytochemistry, molecular cytology and other ancillary techniques is included.  We offer two ACGME-accredited fellowship positions annually. Check out more information about our cytopathology fellowship here!