A Year of Transition

By Lynn McCain | February 7 2023

Throughout 2022 the Department of Pathology began its transition back to life before the pandemic. Many cherished activities returned and new initiatives were implemented, creating a memorable and remarkable year.

Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan receives the Sjöberg Prize for his prostate cancer discoveriesAs life returned to normal, the Department saw a return of in-person symposia and travel to numerous conferences across the world where faculty and residents alike had the opportunity to present their research and clinical experience, and where they earned countless awards. Among some of the award winners, Dr. Jeffery Myers was recognized with the premiere award in his field, (ASCP Mastership Award), and Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan was presented with the Sjöberg Prize from the Karolinska Institute, a prestigious award given by those responsible for awarding the Nobel prize.

While there was much to be celebrated, the Department didn’t stop there. Our renovation projects continued to progress at the University Hospital Core Laboratories. New automation lines were installed, and several areas were renovated including specimen processing and blood bank. We are eagerly anticipating final project completion in the fall of 2023.

Laura Lamps, MD
Angela Wu, MD
Maria Westerhoff, MD

During challenging times, the importance of workplace culture and life balance remained top of mind. This led to the appointment of three assistant chairs: Dr. Laura Lamps, Assistant Chair for Faculty and Staff Development, Dr. Angela Wu, Assistant Chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Dr. Maria Westerhoff, Assistant Chair for Wellness and Culture. To further the efforts of workplace culture and life balance, we hosted our second annual Equity Walk, yoga stretching, began lunch and learn sessions, and so much more

2022 didn’t stop there! Our trainees excelled in every avenue from publishing manuscripts to obtaining research grants and supporting the service duties in the department. In recognition of training excellence in Molecular and Cellular Pathology, we received a five-year extension of our T32 training grant which allowed us to expand by two additional trainees, now totaling six per year. MCP Graduate Program director, Dr. Zaneta Nikolovska Coleska, began a new appointment as Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral studies, and Dr. Shih Hon (Sean) Li began as Residency Director, alongside two associate directors, Drs. David Manthei and Sara Abbott. To continue expanding, the Physician-Scientist Training Program added Dr. Aaron Udager alongside Dr. Asma Nusrat as co-Directors.

While COVID-19 initially slowed research within our department, 2022 was full-speed ahead. Our faculty published 393 manuscripts (25% in journals with impact factors >10 and almost half in journals with impact factors >6). We received more than $31.6 million in grant funding and our Department ranked 5th in the number of R01 grants awarded and 9th in overall NIH funding among Academic Pathology Departments. We further expanded our Digital Pathology efforts and utilized opportunities from previous years to grow this important field of pathology, specifically using AI-assisted diagnoses, remote diagnostics and whole slide imaging, which are now standards of care at Michigan Medicine.

While 2022 brought us much success and great memories we are excited for what 2023 will bring!