Pathology 802: Histopathology for Translational Scientists


This course is unique among the graduate curricula, introducing students to the pathogenesis of disease via integration of actual autopsy patient cases. Emphasis is placed on understanding the basic mechanisms of disease at the level of cell, organ, and body, as well as the morphologic expression patterns of selected common specific disease processes. In addition to attending twice-weekly lectures, students will participate in weekly autopsy gross organ conferences as well as microscopic review sessions. In this way, the concepts covered in lectures will be applied and reinforced in the interactive autopsy sessions. Students will also observe at least one full autopsy, gaining a three-dimensional understanding of structure and disease. The grade for this course is derived from a final multiple-choice exam and a short essay regarding an autopsy case. At the conclusion of this course, students should: gain an appreciation of how disease processes directly impact patients; be able to distinguish the morphologic patterns of normal versus pathologic tissues; be familiar with the pathogenesis of selected common disease processes; and recognize how basic laboratory research may be applied to specific disease processes.

Course Content

This course is intended to serve as an introduction to disease pathogenesis, and act as a bridge to upper level courses such as Pathology 803. The course has two components: lectures and interactive autopsy patient case-based sessions.

One-hour lectures are given twice weekly by pathology residents and faculty. Lectures are largely power-point in format, but may include a microscopic slide section component as well. One-hour microscopic correlation sessions derived from patient cases are also offered to further an understanding of how gross disease manifestations predict findings at the microscopic/cellular level. Later in the course, students will attend at least one autopsy prosection. This provides the opportunity for one-on-one discussion of critical external and internal exam findings with the case pathologist, furthering a three-dimensional understanding of structure and disease. The pathologist will also later review case histology, as well as any additional testing results (i.e. cultures/PCR, toxicology, electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry), illustrating how laboratory studies and research can be applied to specific disease processes.

Course Directors: