Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology
My interest in pathology dates back to my Medical school years. However it was not until I had spent some time in Internal Medicine and clinical Hematology / oncology that I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in pathology. As a pathologist my interest and training is broad based in both clinical and anatomic pathology, however my fellowship in Oncologic surgical pathology from Roswell Park Cancer Institute steered me towards that path. Ever since I started working in Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Buffalo New York, I noticed the increasing incidence of HPV related head and neck squamous cell carcinomas and that sparked a curiosity to understand the mechanism of disease and why HPV is slowly replacing smoking as the predominant causative agent in the pathogenesis of squamous cell carcinoma especially in the Head and Neck region and what are the prognostic implications of its prevalence to the disease. This has thus become my research interest. In addition to oncologic surgical pathology, I am also interested in Hematology. Fortunately working at VAMC provides me with ample opportunity to continue to polish and improve my skills in diagnostic Hematology and also acquire additional skills in the form of flow cytometric evaluation and diagnostic molecular pathology, with the support of my colleagues who have unique expertise in these fields. The kind of clinical material that we evaluate here every day is also very challenging and the opportunity for growth provided, very gratifying.
Apoptosis and cell death; Cell Cycle; Cytoskeleton and cell motility; Gene Expression; Genomics and proteomics; Molecular Basis of Disease; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Signal Transduction
One third of our tissue mass is extracellular matrix (ECM). The ECM provides structural support for cells in tissues and varies from being stiff like bone to soft like skin. Importantly, the stiffness of the ECM affects how cells proliferate and migrate and this can be changed by injury or disease. My research is in blood vessels and particularly in arterial stiffening, which is a significant risk factor for the progression of cardiovascular disease, (leading worldwide cause of death). While medications reduce hypertension and cholesterol, none specifically treat arterial stiffness. My lab will identify what happens to cells when arteries become stiffened and determine how this contributes to cardiovascular disease. To understand how arterial stiffening affects cells, we will use mouse and cellular models to mimic the stiffening process in patients. We believe that cells within a stiffer matrix overproduce certain proteins that lead to uncontrolled cell growth, which then begets even more stiffening. Identifying and understanding the proteins in these pathways will allow the development of drugs to counteract their function. Our research will bring fundamental new knowledge about arterial stiffness and lead to new medications that help reduce a key cause of cardiovascular disease.
Cytopathology; Surgical Pathology
I have board certification in Anatomical/ Clinical Pathology and Cytopathology along with fellowship training in Gastrointestinal Pathology. My clinical service responsibilities include interpretation of Cytopathology, Gastrointestinal, Liver, Pancreato-biliary, general Surgical Pathology biopsy and resection specimen. I am also involved in providing intra-operative frozen section service. I contribute to the autopsy service as well. My areas of interest include fine needle aspiration Cytopathology, gastrointestinal and liver Pathology. The Cytopathology fellowship training at Wayne State University involved high-volume and diversity of specimen. It helped me acquire diagnostic acumen under the guidance of experienced mentors. The Gastrointestinal Pathology fellowship training at Indiana University has a large number of in house and consult cases. The Hepatology / Liver Pathology service is one of the largest divisions in the country with enormous breadth to clinical expertise, along with a large patient and procedural volume, thus contributing immensely to the learning experience. I enjoy teaching medical students, residents and fellows during the microscopic sign-out sessions and gross evaluations. I would also be giving core curriculum lectures. I look forward to pursuing clinical research and collaborative multi-disciplinary endeavors in Liver, Gastrointestinal Pathology and Cytopathology.
Experiments focus on the dynamics of microtubule assembly in spindles during the process of meiosis using live imaging of labeled microtubules. We utilize cranefly spermatocytes isolated into acute cultures containing cells at various stages of cell division that can be studied for several hours. Microtubule dynamics are studied by the technique of fluorescent speckle imaging whereby spermatocytes are injected with low concentrations of fluorescent-labeled tubulin that incorporates into microtubules at low density. This creates a patterned, discontinuous labeling of microtubules that enables quantification of the rates and sites of assembly. We currently are testing the role of tension as a modulator of microtubule polymerization during anaphase. Chromosome kinetochores exert dragging forces on attached microtubule ends favoring microtubule assembly as chromosomes move from spindle equator to spindle poles. However, microtubule disassembly is induced when dragging forces are eliminated by laser ablation of attached chromosomes. These observations may reveal some of the self-organizing mechanisms that control the orderly separation of chromosomes during cell division.
I am interested in bringing people together who have an interest in anatomy but are trained as educators, artists, computer scientists programmers or graphical designers. For example, a graphical artist by training completed a master’s degree in our department by designing a computer-based tutorial on the anatomy of the renal corpuscle. Other projects I have worked on include a computer-guided program of instruction for the histology laboratory (see http://www.buffalo.edu/news/3016), a highly interactive computer-based examination that has a broad range of applicability, and a computer-based video examination. In the future I expect to introduce virtual microscopy to our course in histology. I am also interested in the evaluation of computer assisted instruction and the way CAI contributes to learning.
I have served as an instructor in the Department of Biotechnical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences for over 15 years. I bring to my role the many years of experience I gained teaching students while simultaneously working as a nuclear medicine technologist in a variety of clinical settings, from large university hospitals to private offices. I have been a member of clinical trials teams, contributing my expertise in molecular imaging technology alongside other health care providers. My expertise includes electronic dual- and triple-head detectors, nuclear cardiology, positron imaging and monoclonal imaging for specialized tumor detection. Balancing the demands of diagnostic imaging, patient care and management and clinical competencies has enriched my capacity to instruct students as emerging technologists. I lecture and serve as lab instructor for Anatomy 113. The classroom and lab allow me to bring my clinical experience to bear in teaching students about the relevance of lifestyle, fitness and nutrition in precipitating anatomical and physiologic changes which alter wellness and promulgate disease. I also teach the Radionuclide Therapy course (NMD 415) for the Nuclear Medicine Technology Program and parts of the In Vivo I& II Studies courses. I am one of the instructors for the Patient Care and Management (NMD 340) course and the Clinical Conference course I & II for senior students. I am on the Admissions Committee that screens new applicants to the department. Challenging, demanding and rewarding careers in health care continue to expand. I enjoy my role in advancing the knowledge base and personal development of each student I teach and mentor.
Apoptosis and cell death; Molecular Basis of Disease; Neurobiology
Professional Summary: The research in my laboratory has been focused on the effects of chronic ethanol abuse on aging neurons and the effects of ethanol on development of neuronal systems. These investigations are associated with major socioeconomic issues that will become more pronounced with time. For example, alcoholism in the elderly will become more pronounced as the alcohol-drinking baby boomer generation reaches old age. In addition, alcohol consumption during pregnancy remains the number one cause of mental retardation in the western world. In our aging and alcohol studies, extensive investigation of the Purkinje neuron (PN) of the cerebellar cortex have demonstrated that dendritic regression accompanies chronic ethanol consumption in aging Fischer 344 rats. Dendritic regression in PN alters synaptic transmission from the cerebellum, the major brain center for coordination. Further ethanol-induced alteration of regressing dendrites include dilation of the smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER), a major calcium homeostatic component, and the formation of degenerating structures in dendrites of Purkinje neurons following chronic ethanol consumption in aging rats. These morphologic changes have been recently shown to be accompanied by decreased levels of the SERCA 2b pump which pumps calcium back into the SER following an action potential. Homeostasis between uptake and release of calcium from the SER is essential for cell health as uncontrolled release of calcium results in activation of a myriad of cellular pathways and cell death. Current investigations in the laboratory as focusing on the role ATF6 and caspase 12, both residents of the SER, in the development of ethanol-induced SER stress as a result of chronic ethanol consumption. Future investigations will include other ethanol-induced alterations to calcium homeostatic systems and the role of ethanol-induced alterations in epigenetics in decreases in calcium buffering mechanisms. The fetal alcohol study has focused on the effects of ethanol on the eye and the heart in the zebrafish model. Zebrafish are good models for developmental studies because they are transparent the short developmental period of three days between fertilization and hatching. Early investigations in collaboration with Dr. Richard Rabin established that the zebrafish was sensitive to ethanol and that the sensitivity was dose and strain dependent. Later studies focused on morphological and pharmacological assessment of ethanol-induced alterations to the heart and eye using pharmacologically relevant effects of ethanol. Current plans include focus on determining the mechanisms of ethanol’s actions on retinal ganglion cells and dopaminergic centers in the zebrafish.
Digital Pathology; Image Analysis; Machine Learning; Quantitative Histology
Our group specializes in building quantitative image and data analysis algorithms for biomedical datasets. For the past 9 years, I have been developing computerized methods to quantify and analyze large medical imaging datasets. These methods include data processing, object detection / segmentation, feature extraction and selection, dimensionality reduction, and classification (supervised and unsupervised). I strongly believe in translating academic research into real-world products and services. To that end, along with my colleagues, I have worked at a start-up company to bring my work into the marketplace -- an experience that has given me great insight into the business side of academia. This experience broadened my understanding of how basic research is translated into a profitable enterprise, and I believe these lessons have made me a better engineer. I am currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology & Anatomical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, where I am focused on building a teaching and research program for quantitative modeling of anatomy and cell biology. This program will introduce students of both medicine and engineering to pattern classification approaches developed in recent years, applying them to real-world clinical problems.
I enjoy all aspects of anatomic pathology, but due to my fellowship training I have a special place in my mind for Gynecologic pathology and Cytopathology. In the areas of GYN pathology I‘m especially interested in vulvar pathology and have research interests in melanocytic lesions of the vulva. In Cytopathology I am interested in studying anal pap smears and working towards better guidelines for diagnosis and clinical management. In a clinical capacity my daily work includes signing out surgical pathology specimens (both biopsies and resections), cytopathology specimens, autopsies as well as interpreting frozen sections. I have had special training in medical education and am lucky to get to work with residents here at UB by both across the scope teaching as well as hands on teaching in the gross room. In addition I will be giving core lectures and functioning in the roll of assistant to the director of the residency program for administrative duties and helping with recruitment and interviewing of future residents. I hope to incorporate my clinical research interests with teaching and work with residents on projects for presentation at national meetings and original publications
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology; Cytopathology
I am board certified in Cytopathology, Anatomical Pathology and Clinical Pathology. I have special interests in detecting malignant cells in all body sites using light microscopy and immunohistochemistry. I am interested in GYN cytology, Non-GYN cytology and Find Needle Aspirate (FNA) cytology, in including making rapid adequacy assessment and diagnosis in Endoscopic Ultrasound FNA (EUS-FNA) of pancreas and intra-abdominal mass, and Endobronchial Ultrasound FNA (EBUS-FNA) of lung cancer diagnosis and staging. I also have a broad interest in surgical pathology, including biopsy and frozen sections.
Cell growth, differentiation and development
My research interests are centered in hematology, the study of blood cells. In particular, current research is focused on the study of comparative hematology of the erythrocyte (red blood cell). This entails an analysis of how the erythrocyte is adapted or modified for its existence in the rare invertebrates in which the erythrocyte is first found and thereafter throughout the vertebrate spectrum (fish, amphibians, and reptiles’ ect.). Thus this work can be envisioned as a study of a conceptual odyssey that the red blood cell undertakes through the rare invertebrates, thereupon throughout the classes of poikilothermic (cold blooded) vertebrates onward to the first homoeothermic (warm blooded) vertebrates (birds) and thereupon to mammals including man. Current studies specifically include the analysis of available data and information regarding the light and electron microscopy of this cell, the quantitative representation of red cells in the circulating blood, the size, shape and form of the red cell, sites of production of elytroid precursors, embryologic aspects of erythropoiesis, primitive and definitive generations of erythrocytes, and study of factors that impact on the morphology, number, life span ect. of red cells. These studies ultimately lead one to a better understanding of the erythrocyte of man and its activities in health and disease.
Cytopathology; Surgical Pathology
As a pathologist in the Department of Pathology and Anatomic Sciences, my clinical duties are primarily in anatomic pathology, including surgical pathology, cytopathology and autopsy. In addition, an important part of our department’s mission is resident and medical student education and I participate formally, giving didactic lectures, and informally, in the gross room and at the microscope. During the course of my residency, I developed an interest in breast pathology as well as cytopathology, and both of these areas have become a focus of my clinical work today. Since joining the department in 2007, I have participated in the breast pathology service. I provide diagnoses and prognostic information to assist in the appropriate treatment of breast diseases. Being a member of a subspecialty service has allowed me to develop relationships with surgeons and oncologists, which, in turn, facilitates better care for patients. After practicing pathology for several years and observing some of the inefficiencies that exist in the medical system, I became interested in applying process improvement principles to the laboratory. I have completed a certificate course in Lean Six Sigma through Villanova University, and participate in the department’s Process Improvement committee. After receiving my medical degree from the University at Buffalo School of Medicine in 2001, I completed a residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology and a fellowship in Cytopathology at Cleveland Clinic. I am board certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology and Cytopathology.
Mucociliiary Transport; Cell growth, differentiation and development; Cytoskeleton and cell motility; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Signal Transduction
Our lab is involved in two major projects: 1) Cell motility research – mucociliary transport. We have developed a series of real “models” or simplifications of the respiratory mucociliary epithelium (primary cultures, isolated epithelial sheets, isolated ciliated cells, demembranated and MgATP-reactivated cell models, and isolated, demembranated and reactivated ciliary axonemes) that allow one to study mucociliary transport at number of levels of organization. We have studied these models using biochemical methods, stroboscopic imaging, high speed image analysis, and EM to analyze the control of the beat frequency, waveform and coordination of respiratory cilia. We have developed correlative LM/EM methods and correlative live/immunofluorescence methods for this purpose. These studies have import for 1) detecting and understanding abnormal parameters of ciliary function, as in primary ciliary diskinesis (PCD) 2) for the testing of exogenous agents (drugs, environmental agents, etc.) on mucociliary transport. 2) Along with 4 other UB labs in Chemistry and Engineering, plus 1 lab in Head and Neck Surgery Dept. at Roswell Park, our lab is involved in an interdisciplinary project to develop a “high tech bandage” that is doped with tissue specific growth factors and cytokines that can be released with full activity and at known rates to stimulate wound healing in scrape and burn types of acute (and potentially, chronic) injuries. These agents are selected to promote: a) the motogenic and mitogenic activity of epithelia and b) blood vessel formation. Our lab specifically is responsible for the in-vitro testing of doped membranes for their ability to promote wound closure (re-epithelialization of 9 mm wounds) in a human epidermal cell line by image analysis of wound closure kinetics and cell division and cell death rates. We also are responsible for the in-vivo testing of such membranes in animals using a porcine burn model to assay inflammation, epithelial closure rates, blood vessel formation, and inflammation. As a faculty member and Co-Director of one of the oldest biological imaging courses in the U.S. (Optical Microscopy and Imaging in the Biomedical Sciences Course, Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA) my lab frequently is asked to help other researchers with digital imaging problems and has contributed computerized digital image analyses in a number of scientific publications.
Surgical Pathology; Renal Pathology
I am board certified in anatomical and clinical pathology. I have a broad interest in surgical pathology, especially genitourinary and gynecological pathology. I am also interested in molecular diagnostic pathology.
Neuroimmunology; Behavioral pharmacology; Gene therapy; Immunology; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Molecular Basis of Disease; Neurobiology; Gene Expression; Signal Transduction; Protein Function and Structure; Neuropharmacology
My research spans three interrelated fields: chronic pain, depression and inflammation. Experiments in my laboratory focus on how brain-derived pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF), function as modulators of brain-body interactions during neuropathic pain and how brain-TNF is involved in the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs. My overall goal is to advance knowledge of, and therapeutic efficacy for pain, depression, neuro-inflammation and drug addiction. This research is based on my earlier work showing that neurons produce the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF and that the production of TNF by macrophages is regulated by neurotransmitters. Cytokines and neurotransmitters are principal signaling molecules that mediate bidirectional communication between the nervous and immune systems--the crosstalk important in maintaining homeostasis. Consequently, aberrant production of either of these two classes of mediators could profoundly affect signaling by the other, thereby impacting health. A shift in balanced cytokine-neuron interactions that regulate neurotransmitter release in the central nervous system (CNS), and that have potential behavioral consequences, manifest themselves as states of depression and chronic pain. My research uses both cell systems and animal models to test these hypotheses. Colleagues and I use a combination of imaging techniques to localize cytokine production, bioassays and ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays) for pharmacological and functional analyses, electrophysiological (brain slice stimulation) and molecular methods for our studies. In addition to investigating neuron functioning in the brain, trainees in my laboratory also study the peripheral macrophage, a major source of TNF during inflammation. Specifically studying neurotransmitter regulation of TNF production in the periphery is enhancing our knowledge of how the brain controls a peripheral inflammatory lesion. Our studies are designed to investigate the mechanisms of centrally mediated pain as associated with immune dysfunction and to elucidate mechanisms of drugs used to treat such pain states. My projects are evolving to investigate the mechanisms and neural pathways involved in TNF neuromodulator functions during chronic pain (due to peripheral nerve injury and diabetes) and stress-induced depressive behavior. We also study mechanisms contributing to the comorbidity of chronic pain and depression. I collaborate with researchers in several UB departments and at other institutions. Our projects include using noninvasive methods for delivery of anti-TNF therapeutics for chronic pain, elucidating the neural-immune mechanisms involved in the rapid recovery afforded by centrally administered anti-TNF therapy and using nanotechnology-mediated, targeted gene silencing within the CNS. I am invested in helping my undergraduate and graduate students, medical residents and postdoctoral fellows realize their potential and achieve their goals. Previous students have advanced professionally and hold clinical, academic and industrial positions.
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology; Pediatric Pathology
I spend most of the time at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo taking care of routine Surgical Pathology, and Frozen sections. We cover a broad spectrum of cases which are received not only from children but also from adult patients. We have a very close relationship with Gastroenterology Group. All endoscopic biopsies are reviewed every week in a joint conference attended by Physicians, Fellows, Residents and Medical students. Pathology Residents from SUNY program rotate through this hospital for Pediatric Pathology training. I serve as Site Director for this training. Neonatal and Pediatric autopsies are performed here and they are later discussed with a group of pediatricians, surgeons, radiologists and OB/GYN, whoever is involved in that particular case. I am and Assistant Director for the Clinical Laboratories of Women’s and Children’s Hospital and also Assistant Director of Blood Bank at Buffalo General Hospital. I am responsible for all hemoglobin electrophoresis performed at the specialty lab of Women’s and Children’s Hospital and, on rotation basis, cover Immunofluorescence at Kaleida Health Lab at Flint Road. I represent Roswell Park Cancer Institute as Principal Investigator of Pathology at National Children Oncology Group (COG) and as an Investigator for NIH- Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program. We discuss all malignancies at Tumor Board. The Tumor Board is held every week at Women’s and Children’s Hospital with video link to Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Cardiovascular Disease; Cytoskeleton and cell motility; Molecular Basis of Disease; Molecular and Cellular Biology
My primary research interest is the behavior of endothelial cells, which form the inner lining of blood vessels and are key players in the remodeling events that occur during wound healing, aneurysm formation, tumor growth, and a wide variety of disease conditions. There are two questions about endothelial behavior that drive most of the research in my laboratory: (1) How does an endothelial cell migrate during wound healing and blood-vessel remodeling? We are particularly interested in the motor protein, myosin II, and how it exerts force within the cytoskeleton to push or pull the cell as it moves. In order to study the organization and movements of cytoskeletal proteins - and not just there biochemical properties - we use a variety of light microscopic methods to examine the dynamics and biochemistry of cytoskeletal proteins in living migrating endothelial cells. We also use conventional biochemical, genetic, and pharmacological manipulations to investigate the regulatory events that control myosin II behavior in situ. (2) How do endothelial cells sense and respond to their mechanical environment? Blood vessels remodel to accommodate long-term changes in blood flow. Certain flow environments can cause destructive remodeling that leads to cerebral aneurysms (local “ballooning” of vessels). Working with biomedical engineers in the laboratory of Dr. Hui Meng at the Toshiba Stroke Research Center, we use cell culture and whole animal systems to examine how endothelial cells respond to specific hemodynamic micro-environments in order to understand the mechanism and regulation of flow-induced remodeling, especially as it relates to cerebral aneurysms. A third interest is understanding the response of cultured endothelial cells to electrical fields, which have been shown to orient endothelial migration in vitro and to suppress edema in vivo by enhancing the endothelial permeability barrier.
Anatomic Pathology; Pediatric Pathology; Surgical Pathology; Autopsy
I am a surgical pathologist with nearly twenty years of experience and specialty expertise in Pediatric Pathology. I gained first entrance into this career field at the main pediatric teaching hospital affiliated with Medical University in Warsaw, Poland and continued my training in Pediatric Pathology at the Cincinnati Children‘s Hospital Medical Center, followed by practice at the Hopital Ste Justine in Montreal and Children‘s Hospital at Scottish Rite in Atlanta. My clinical and academic focus involves responsibilities related to the surgical pathology sign-out service at Women and Children‘s Hospital of Buffalo, teaching of the residents and fellows, participating in the Anatomic Pathology core lecture series for Pathology Residency Program, multiple interdepartmental conferences at Women and Children‘s Hospital as well as Neonatology-Pathology Morbidity & Mortality meetings. I am active in the pediatric tumor board conferences shared by both Women and Children‘s Hospital and Roswell Park Cancer Center. My interests are focused on diagnosis of pediatric pathologic disorders affecting children of all ages, with emphasis on pediatric gastrointestinal and liver disorders and pediatric neoplasms. Clinical service at Women and Children‘s Hospital of Buffalo allowed me to expand my interests in recent years to encompass fetal, neonatal and placental pathology. I also sign out autopsies, gynecologic and non-gynecologic cytology and I offer expert consultation from outside institutions in the area of Pediatric Pathology. I am participating in the ongoing NASH and other pediatric GI tract disorder research projects carried out in collaboration with the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition and in research studies on experimental necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) with the Division of Neonatology.
Anatomic Pathology; Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine; Clinical Pathology; Cytopathology; Hematology - Clinical Pathology; Immunopathology; Surgical Pathology; Toxicology; Transfusion Medicine; Bioinformatics; Microbiology; Virology
I serve the Department of Pathology and Anatomic Sciences as a general pathologist in anatomic and clinical pathology. My primary areas for service work include surgical pathology and cytopathology as an attending pathologist rotating among the Kaleida hospital sites and clinical pathology activities in clinical chemistry, transfusion medicine, microbiology and hematology. I serve as the laboratory medical director for the clinical laboratories at the Women and Children‘s Hospital of Buffalo and the Center for Laboratory Medicine, Williamsville (Flint). I also provide more specialized medical support for the forensic toxicology laboratory at the Women and Children‘s Hospital, the fetal defect screening program at the Center for Laboratory Medicine in Williamsville, the Virology laboratory at Women and Children‘s Hospital and the Therapeutic Plasmapheresis program at the Buffalo General Medical Center. I have developed an interest in Clinical Informatics and regularly employ those skills to retrieve and analyze data from Kaleida and elsewhere to support clinical decision making, research activities, EHR development and business development. Within the department, I am the pathologist overseeing the Transfusion Service across Kaleida and also provide pathology direction to the Kaleida Clinical Chemistry and Microbiology programs. In addition, I support the leadership of Kaleida in their Utilization Program, the Gainsharing Program, Peer Review and as Chair of the Site specific Transfusion Committees. Since January 2013 I have also served as the laboratory director of the Erie County Public Health Laboratory. Previously I have served as the laboratory director at the Center for Laboratory Medicine, Amherst (Suburban), Buffalo General Hospital and as an assistant laboratory director at Gates Circle. Each of these positions has been valuable to me in learning how different groups work together and how different groups of clinicians see and set expectations for a pathology department. Outside of Kaleida, I serve the region as representative to the Erie County Medical Society Legislative Committee and the Economic Affairs Committee. I have also served as president of the Western New York Society of Pathologists (1999-2000) and as Delegate to the College of American Pathologists House of Delegates (2005 - present). The overall theme of these activities is to leverage the skills cultivated by any practicing pathologist to recognize patterns. Those patterns recognized are then directed to purposes that can be quite diverse, ranging from diagnosis to data integrity. Data retrieved from multiple sources are used to provide an unbiased review for departmental and hospital leaders to troubleshoot, drive test menus or to review patterns of practice. Good data can drive good decisions, but only to the degree that the data can be recognized and understood. My professional time is divided in four parts, with anatomic pathology service work comprising about one quarter of my time, clinical pathology service work a second quarter, administrative activities a third quarter and clinical informatics the last quarter (plus or minus 5%), but with the added bonus that on any one day, these duties can shift dramatically to address the needs of the department and hospital. One of the most rewarding parts of my career has been the opportunity do all of these to the best of my ability and to support the efforts of the excellent professionals around me. The variety of responsibilities I have translate into a job that is never dull. I have used my own situation as a model for the pathology residents I train to provide a live demonstration that the field of Pathology is big enough to have something of interest for any interested person.
I am interested in all aspects in general surgical pathology with major focus on medical renal and genitourinary pathology. I also have special interest in immunology and molecular pathology. Due to my previous long years research training, I would like to continue the endeavor in research directed to address clinical related questions and disease mechanisms.
I have broad interests in pathology with special interests in oncologic surgical pathology and gastrointestinal pathology. After graduating from medical school and practicing general surgery for a couple of years, I enrolled in a Ph. D program at Roswell Park Cancer Institution in the department of molecular pharmacology and cancer therapeutics to fulfill my interest in finding tumor makers that can help to diagnose cancer earlier and to develop target therapy to improve cancer patients’ life quality. I finished my Ph. D program successfully with a couple of publications and a patent. Realizing that pathology is the best specialty that can help me to combine my research interests with clinical practice, I did four years’ pathology residency training at State University New York at Buffalo followed two years’ fellowship training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. These trainings not only helped me to develop excellent clinical skills but also provided me with good opportunities to perform translational research. I regard that my career is composed of three major parts and it is in these three parts that I have set my career goals and been working hard to achieve them. The first is clinical service. As a well-trained and board certified pathologist on anatomic and clinical pathology, I practice general surgical pathology and some clinical pathology. I corporate with clinicians to provide high-quality clinical service to our patients for the management of their diseases. The second is research. I think research is the most important way to help us keep practicing up-to-date medicine. The fast developing advanced techniques provide us with many opportunities to improve our clinical practices. Currently, I continue working on a project I started during my fellowship which is using next generation sequencing to analyze genomic alternations in ampullary carcinoma. I am also interested in evaluating liver fibrosis by using quantitative image analysis tools. The university and department of pathology provide great research opportunities. The third is teaching. I have been actively involving in teaching medical students and residents during my residency and fellowship training and I really enjoy it. Now my teaching activities include core lectures, signing out cases with residents and giving unknown conferences.
Anatomic Pathology; Surgical Pathology
I am a board certified pathologist in both anatomic and clinical pathology. I practice general surgical pathology as well as some clinical pathology. My area of expertise is breast and gynecological pathology. I completed a fellowship at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Magee Hospital, where I studied both breast and gynecological pathology and was able to participate in their active consult service. Working in a place with so many breast/gyn. cases has really helped me in my diagnostic skills today. I also enjoy participating in the multidisciplinary breast conference where we discuss challenging patient cases and look at many aspects of patient care including pathology, radiology, oncology, and surgery. I also have an interest in teaching residents and medical students. I give some of the core curriculum lectures to our pathology residents in my areas of interest. I also work with residents when they are rotating through the surgical pathology service. I spend some of my time doing research predominantly in breast and gyn. areas. I especially enjoy clinical research and working with colleagues from other specialties.
Function and Structure
Current interests: 1) Killing techniques (forensic pathology) of extant and extinct big cats and cat-like carnivores (sabertoothed forms), 2) virtual clinical training platforms, and 3) determining best practices for managing sprains and other soft tissue injuries.
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology; Molecular Genetic Pathology - Clinical Biochemical; Surgical Pathology
Professional Summary: As a pathologist, I help cover the clinical duties for the Kaleida Health system’s anatomical pathologist needs at the Buffalo General Medical Center, Suburban Hospital and DeGraff Hospital. I am Board certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology with an interest in oncologic pathology and approaches related to precision medicine. The majority of my time is allocated for clinical service work, which includes general surgical pathology, some clinical pathology coverage, and the teaching of pathology residents. Additional clinical duties include overseeing the laboratory’s immunohistochemistry section and involvement in the build-up of the CTRC’s biobank. For resident education, one major emphasis currently being undertaken is the deciphering of the technical and bioinformatic bridges that separate pathologists from those involved in the field of genomic sequencing. Dedicated research time has allowed me to be involved in investigations with several different collaborators on sample enrichment, and how it effects downstream molecular and proteomic studies. Recent work has scrutinized regional gene expression profiles in an attempt to map cancer field effects and identify biomarkers for colon cancer. Current investigations are centered on designing microscale sample preparation methods to allow for combinatorial evaluation of diminuitive core biopsy specimens. This is a little thought of, but key element that fulfills a stated need from basic scientists and would extend the utility of such specimens for de novo assembly methods currently in development. A number of other investigations also exist, and are in different levels of progress, but all trace back to a sequence/ genomic context in relation to precision medicine.
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology; Surgical Pathology
I spend my professional time working in anatomic pathology service work, clinical pathology service, administrative activities and teaching pathology residents from SUNY Pathology residency program. I serve as the medical director for the clinical laboratories at DeGraff Memorial Hospital, director of Outreach Services at Kaleida Health and as assistant director to the Center for Laboratory Medicine, Williamsville (Flint). I had also served as the laboratory director of the Erie County Public Health Laboratory STD clinic. I serve the Department of Pathology and Anatomic Sciences at Kaleida Health as a general pathologist in anatomic and clinical pathology. My primary areas for service work include surgical pathology and cytopathology as an attending pathologist rotating among the Kaleida hospital sites. Each of these positions has been valuable to me in learning how different groups work together and how different groups of clinicians see and set expectations for a pathology department.
Anatomic Pathology; Autopsy; Clinical Pathology; Cytopathology; Dermatopathology - Anatomic Pathology; Immunopathology; Medical Microbiology; Surgical Pathology; Bioinformatics; Microbiology
I pursued undergraduate and graduate education in biomedical engineering because of my interest in the application of basic science to solve real world problems. My studies included biomaterials and medical imaging. An interest specifically in medical science led me to medical school and eventually into pathology. After close to four years practicing community pathology, a desire to reestablish connections with UB pathologists initiated during my Roswell Park fellowship brought me back to Buffalo as a UB pathologist. My clinical responsibilities include surgical pathology, cytopathology, autopsy pathology and clinical pathology. I routinely work with pathology residents during their surgical pathology, cytology and autopsy rotations. I have particular interest in dermatopathology and gastrointestinal pathology. Image processing and analysis and bioinformatics also intrigue me. I am currently searching for new opportunities to collaborate with faculty in the anatomical sciences half of our department.
Anatomic Pathology; Cytopathology; Hematology - Clinical Pathology; Hematopathology
My professional interests are focused in the areas of Hematology, Hematopathology, Cytopathology, Laboratory Administration and Education. 1. I am actively involved in patient care, interpreting biopsies of lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen, thymus, and extra-nodal lymphoid lesions. I review and diagnose abnormal peripheral smears and body fluids for the hematology laboratories of the Kaleida System. I specialize in the diagnosis of leukemias, lymphomas, and benign reactive processes. I also interpret flow cytometry and lymphocyte stimulation tests including cases for patients immunologically compromised as well as those with neoplastic processes. I rotate on the Cytology Service and sign out Pap smears and Non-Gynecologic samples (such as fine needle aspirations of lesions, body fluids, urines, and bronchial brushings/washings). 2. I am actively involved in laboratory administration and presently am the Medical Laboratory Director for the Clinical Laboratories based at the Buffalo General Medical Complex. I also over see and am the Medical Director of Hematology and Hematopathology for the five hematology laboratories of Kaleida Health. 3. I am very involved in medical education and am the Residency Program Director for the Pathology Residency Program. I teach Hematology and Hematopathology to the Pathology Residents as well as to the medical and dental students at the University of Buffalo School of Medicine.
Biomedical Image Analysis; Biomedical Imaging; Bioinformatics
I have worked in three distinct research domains in my career: analytical statistical signal processing, experimental molecular imaging, and genomic data analysis. I collaborate with researchers from both academia and industry in multiple disciplines, including theoretical and applied physics, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, and medicine. This multidisciplinary, cross-sector experience has given me unique skills and tools for successfully executing the goals of my laboratory. The major projects in my laboratory are focused on quantitative biomedical image processing and analysis. I am also interested in developing end-user biomedical software and building novel biomedical instruments, e.g., handheld devices that will allow noninvasive microscopic and tomographic optical imaging. This work will build on my previous research and expand into translational research that will directly support human health. My laboratory’s broad goal is to decipher meaningful information from anatomical structures and their pathologic conditions and connect them with molecular information to gain a better understanding of biological processes and disease. We focus on developing novel quantitative image processing and analysis methods, incorporating physical as well as statistical information of biological structures and their associated functional genomic information. Using statistical analysis, we have shown that our methods perform significantly better than existing ones. Existing methods in biomedicine typically do not employ both physical and statistical parameters associated with the imaging object and imaging system--and their environmental factors--while analyzing data. Thus, the results are often error-prone. By uniquely utilizing concrete physical and statistical modeling of the measurement data, our goal is to provide a more realistic profile and interpretation of complex biological systems and diseases. This, in turn, will provide new insights into diseases and improve disease diagnosis. My laboratory is woven strongly into the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences’ innovative research and teaching directions that integrate anatomy, pathology and data analysis. Departmental faculty members participate in both graduate biomedical and medical programs; as part of that effort, I seek motivated students to work in my research group to focus on our novel research direction. I believe that teaching and research greatly complement each other, and I emphasize equally teaching in the classroom and guiding students in my research lab.
Cell growth, differentiation and development; Gene Expression; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Neurobiology; Signal Transduction
The long term mission of my research has been to understand developmental and regenerative processes within the mammalian CNS. Towards these goals I have employed stereological and microscopic imaging techniques, stem cell cultures and in vivo models to analyze brain development, regenerative capacity, etiology of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. I have established a quantitative Neuroanatomy Stereology laboratory within a multi-disciplinary Molecular and Structural Neurobiology and Gene Therapy Program. Current projects: Developmental disorder- Schizophrenia The studies that I have been engaged in the last several years have addressed fundamental aspects of organismal development, their pathological disruptions and their targeting for regenerative medicine. With the advent of multicellular organisms, mechanisms emerged that imposed new controls which limited the natural propensity of organisms composed of single cells to proliferate, and to invade new locales, which ultimately results in the formation of tissues and organs. How such an immense task is accomplished has been largely unknown. Our collaborative studies have revealed a pan-ontogenic gene mechanism, Integrative Nuclear Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 1 (FGFR1) Signaling (INFS), which mediates global gene programing through the nuclear form of the FGFR1 receptor (nFGFR1) and its partner CREB Binding Protein, so as to assimilate signals from diverse signaling pathways. My work, which has contributed to these findings, has been focused on the role of INFS in cellular development. I have shown that INFS is central to the development of neural cells and that pluripotent ESC and multipotent NPCs can be programmed to exit from their cycles of self-renewal, and to undergo neuronal differentiation simply by transfecting a single protein, nFGFR1. Using viral and novel, nanotechnology based gene transfers, I have demonstrated that it is possible to reactivate developmental neurogenesis in adult brain by overexpressing nFGFR1 in brain stem/progenitor cells. We have shown that similar effects can be produced by small molecules that activate the INFS. These findings may revolutionize treatments of abnormal brain development, injury and neurodegenerative diseases by targeting INFS to reactivate brain neurogenesis. Schizophrenia (SZ) has been linked to the abnormal development of multiple neuronal systems, and to changes in genes within diverse ontogenic networks. Genetic studies have established a link between FGFs and nFGFR1 with these networks and SZ. nFGFR1 integrates signals from diverse SZ linked genes (>200 identified) and pathways[2-6] and controls developmental gene networks. By manipulating nFGFR1 function in the brain of transgenic mice I have established a model that mimics important characteristics of human schizophrenia: including its neurodevelopmental origin, the hypoplasia of DA neurons, increased numbers of immature neurons in cortex and hippocampus, disruption of brain cortical layers and connections, a delayed onset of behavioral symptoms, deficits across multiple domains of the disorder, and their correction by typical and atypical antipsychotics[6, 7]. To understand how SZ affects neural development, I have begun to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) using fibroblast of SZ patients with different genetic backgrounds. In my studies I employ 3-dimensional cultures of iPSCs, co-developmental grafting of the iPSCs neural progeny into murine brain, FISH (Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization), gene transfer and quantitative stereological analyses. I am testing how genomic dysregulation affects the developmental potential of schizophrenia NPCs (formation of 3D cortical organoids, in vivo development of grafted iPSCs) which may be normalized by correcting nFGFR1 and miRNA functions. In summary, my studies are aimed to develop to new treatments for Schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental disorders including potential preventive therapies. Effect of maternal diet and metabolic deficits on brain development (collaboration with Dr. Mulchand Patel, Department of Biochemistry, UB) Approximately 36% of the adults in the US are classified as obese. Available evidence from epidemiological and animal studies indicate that altered nutritional experiences early in life can affect the development of obesity and associated metabolic diseases in adulthood and subsequently in the offspring of these people. Furthermore, there is an increased risk for mental health disorders that is associated with these conditions. Our studies show that an altered maternal environment in female rats produced by consuming a high fat (HF) or high sugar diet (HS) negatively impacts the development of brain stem cells and fetal brain circuitry in the offspring[8, 9]. Increased numbers of immature, underdeveloped neurons are found in the hypothalamus, which controls feeding behavior. Similar changes are found in areas of the cerebral cortex involved in other diverse behavioral functions. These changes reveal an alarming predisposition for neurodevelopmental abnormalities in the offspring of obese female rats. Blast induced brain injury and regeneration (collaboration with Dr. Richard Salvi, Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences, UB) Sound blast induced brain injury is a major concern in military exposure to excessive noise. In mice exposed to the sound blast we found marked loss of myelinated fibers and neuronal apoptosis in brain cortex. These degenerative changes were accompanied by increased proliferation of brain neural progenitor cells in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles. Immunohistochemical and stereological analyses reveal that these initial changes are followed by the gradual reappearance of myelinated cortical fibers. This is accompanied by increased proliferation of oligodendrocytic progenitors. I found that these progenitors also differentiate to mature oligodendrocytes in brain cortex. Our findings show that the blast-induced activation of the brain neural stem/progenitor cells generates predominantly new oligodendrocytes. The capacity of these new cells to myelinate damaged and regenerating neurons will be addressed in my planned future investigation.
Bioinformatics; Cell growth, differentiation and development; Gene Expression; Gene therapy; Genome Integrity; Genomics and proteomics; Molecular Basis of Disease; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Neurobiology; Signal Transduction; Stem Cells; Transcription and Translation
The long term mission of our laboratory, which I co-direct with Dr. Ewa Stachowiak, is to understand the principles governing molecular control of neural development, the implications for developmental- and aging-related diseases and the wide ranging effects on brain functions including behavior. The main achievement of our program has been the discovery of “Integrative Nuclear FGFR1 Signaling”, INFS a universal signaling mechanism which plays a novel integral role in cell development and complements other universal mechanisms such as mitotic cycle and pluripotency .Based on these revolutionary findings we have formulated a new theory called “Feed-Forward End-Gate Signaling” that explains how epigenetic factors either extracellular like neurotransmitters, hormonal or growth factors or intracellular signaling pathways control developmental gene programs and cellular development. This discovery is a product of our twenty-year multidisciplinary research that has been reported in several peer-reviewed papers in major journals including Proc. Natl. Acad. of Science (USA), Integrative Biology, Molecular Biology of the Cell, Journal of Cell Biology, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Physical Chemistry (etc.). In addition, we have applied this theory to analyze the etiology of neurodevelopmental /neurodegenerative disorders, and cancer in order to utilize it in new potential therapies. Towards these goals we have employed new technologies for an in vivo gene transfer, developed new transgenic mouse models for Schizophrenia and Parkinson-like diseases and established an interdisciplinary Molecular and Structural Neurobiology and Gene Therapy Program which has o engaged researchers from the different UB departments, other universities in the US as well as foreign institutions including Hannover Medical School (Germany), Gdansk Medical University, and Polish Academy of Science. Detailed research activities and future goals of our research program: 1. Molecular mechanisms controlling development of neural stem and related cells. In studying molecular mechanisms controlling development of neural stem and related cells we have established a novel universal signal transduction mechanism -Feed-Forward-And Gate network module that effects the differentiation of stem cells and neural progenitor cells. In the center of this module is the new gene-controlling mechanism "Integrative Nuclear Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor-1 (FGFR1) Signaling" (INFS), which integrates diverse epigenetic signals and controls cell progression through ontogenic stages of proliferation, growth, and differentiation. We have shown that, Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor-1 (FGFR1) a protein previously thought to be exclusively involved with transmembrane FGF signaling, resides in multiple subcellular compartments and is a multifactorial molecule that interacts with diverse cellular proteins In INFS, newly synthesized FGFR1 is released from the endoplasmic reticulum and translocates to the nucleus. In the nucleus, FGFR1 associates with nuclear matrix-attached centers of RNA transcription, interacts directly with transcriptional coactivators and kinases, activates transcription machinery and stimulates chromatin remodeling conducive of elevated gene activities. Our biophotonic experiments revealed that the gene activation by nuclear FGFR1 involves conversion of the immobile matrix-bound and the fast kinetic nucleoplasmic R1 into a slow kinetic chromatin binding population This conversion occurs through FGFR1’s interaction with the CBP and other nuclear proteins. The studies support a novel general mechanism in which gene activation is governed by FGFR1 protein movement and collisions with other proteins and nuclear structures. The INFS governs expression of developmentally regulated genes and plays a key role in the transition of proliferating neural stem cells into differentiating neurons development of glial cells, and can force neoplastic medulloblastoma and neuroblastoma cells to exit the cell cycle and enter a differentiation pathway and thus provides a new target for anti-cancer therapies. In our in vitro studies we are using different types of stem cells cultures, protein biochemistry, biophotonics analyses of protein mobility and interactions [Fluorescence Recovery after Photobleaching (FRAP), Fluorescence Loss In Photobleaching (FLIP), and Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET)] and diverse transcription systems to further elucidate the molecular circuits that control neural development. 2. Analyses of neural stem cell developmental mechanisms in vivo by direct gene transfer into the mammalian nervous system. An understanding of the mechanisms that control the transition of neural stem/progenitor cells (NS/PC) into functional neurons could potentially be used to recruit endogenously-produced NS/PC for neuronal replacement in a variety of neurological diseases. Using DNA-silica based nanoplexes and viral vectors we have shown that neuronogenesis can be effectively reinstated in the adult brain by genes engineered to target the Integrative Nuclear FGF Receptor-1 Signaling (INFS) pathway. Thus, targeting the INFS in brain stem cells via gene transfers or pharmacological activation may be used to induce selective neuronal differentiation, providing potentially revolutionizing treatment strategies of a broad range of neurological disorders. 3. Studies of brain development and neurodevelopmental diseases using transgenic mouse models. Our laboratory is also interested in the abnormal brain development affecting dopamine and other neurotransmitter neurons and its link to psychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia. Changes in FGF and its receptors FGFR1 have been found in the brains of schizophrenia and bipolar patients suggesting that impaired FGF signaling could underlie abnormal brain development and function associated with these disorders. Furthermore the INFS mechanism, integrates several pathways in which the schizophrenia-linked mutations have been reported. To test this hypothesis we engineered a new transgenic mouse model which results from hypoplastic development of DA neurons induced by a tyrosine kinase-deleted dominant negative mutant FGFR1(TK-) expressed in dopamine neurons. The structure and function of the brain’s DA neurons, serotonin neurons and other neuronal systems including cortical and hippocampal neurons are altered in TK- mice in a manner similar to that reported in patients with schizophrenia. Moreover, TK- mice express behavioral deficits that model schizophrenia-like positive symptoms (impaired sensory gaiting), negative symptoms (e.g. low social motivation), and impaired cognition ameliorated by typical or atypical antipsychotics. Supported by the grants from the pharmaceutical industry we are investigating new potential targets for anti-psychotic therapies using our preclinical FGFR1(TK-) transgenic model. Our future goals include in vivo gene therapy to verify whether neurodevelopmental pathologies may be reversed by targeting endogenous brain stem cells. Together with the other researchers of the SUNY Buffalo we have established Western New York Stem Cells Analysis Center in 2010 which includes Stem Cell Grafting and in vivo Analysis core which I direct. Together with Dr. E. Tzanakakis (UB Bioengineering Department) we have written book “ Stem cells- From Mechanisms to Technologies’ (World Scientific Publishing, 2011). Educational Activities and Teaching: I have participated together with the members of our neuroscience community in developing a new Graduate Program in Neuroscience at the SUNY, Buffalo. I am teaching neuroanatomy courses for dental students (ANA811) and for graduate students (NRS524). At present I participate in team-taught graduate courses in Neuroscience and Developmental Neuroscience (NRS 520, 521 and NRS 524). I am serving as a mentor for several undergraduate, graduate (masters and doctoral students) and postdoctoral fellows in the Neuroscience Program, Anatomy and Cell Biology Program and in the IGERT program in the Departments of Chemistry and Engineering. Additionally to mentoring master and Ph.D. students at the UB, I have helped to train graduate students in the University of Camerino (Italy) and Hannover Medical School (Germany). The works of our graduate students have been described in several publications.
Immunopathology; Surgical Pathology; Renal Pathology
Patient care for a Pathologist is centered on assisting patients and clinicians in the understanding and the use of clinical laboratory data for the planning of therapeutic decisions. My personal specialty focus areas are in renal pathology, immunopathology, and urological pathology. I provide tissue biopsy and clinical laboratory diagnose , prognoses, and therapeutic advice to patients and clinicians on medical and surgical diseases of the kidney (including kidney transplants), bladder, prostate , and testis. These services include the interpretation of biopsies and pathology specimens, consultations on the ordering and/or the results of clinical laboratory lab tests. Raised in Philadelphia, PA I received my undergraduate education from LaSalle College in Philadelphia in 1973. I attended the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine and received my MD in 1977. After finishing medical school I did an internship in Internal Medicine at Pennsylvania. I completed my Pathology Residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1982. During that training I had special concentrations in immunology, HLA testing, and nephropathology. I was a Fellow in Surgical Pathology in 1982-1983. I joined the faculty in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1983. In my first year of appointment I was given the opportunity to do a specially arranged fellowship with Dr Conrad Pirani in Nephropathology at Columbia University. At Penn I rose through the ranks to become Professor, Vice Chair for Anatomic Pathology-Hospital Services, and Interim Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine My research interests are translational and have been focused in the domain of genitourinary pathology. Over the last decade I have had the great opportunity to work collaboratively with a group of image scientists in the development of quantitative image analysis tools tailored to the needs of the digital pathology community. Our vision is to create a new analytic paradigm fusing the data from the quantitative analysis of high resolution images with multidimensional molecular data. This “fused diagnostics” approach will support personalized predictive modeling of disease and its response to therapy. Our collaborative group is funded and is working hard to develop platforms which will support this new way of addressing complex multivariable testing. Over the years I have had the great good fortune to teach many classes of undergraduate medical students in nephropathology and genitourinary pathology. I have been Program Director of the Surgical Pathology and Immunopatholgy Fellowships at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and instructed 56 Fellows. I have been a member of 9 PhD and 1 MS candidates’ thesis committees. I continue to instruct at the UME, GME, and Graduate student levels. I have been active in the work of many Pathology societies both as a speaker and in varied leadership roles. My volunteer work has been with the ACSP, USCAP, CAP, Pathology Informatics, ASIP, ICPI, and APC. I was a member of the ASCP Board of Directors for many years and rose through the leadership sequence to be elected ASCP President for 2010-2011. My society work has helped me understand both the challenges and the opportunities which face our profession in these times of great change. In 2011 I moved from Philadelphia to Buffalo to become Chair of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. I continue to maintain an active collaborative research program in image science and focus my efforts as Chair on building our clinical, educational, and research programs at UB. I am excited to be part of this great University which is on the rise.
Function and Structure
I am an integrative and evolutionary biologist, and my research focuses on the quantitative and functional anatomy and evolution of the mammalian craniodental system. One of the oldest endeavors in the study of gross anatomy is the exploration of the link between musculoskeletal structure and function. For centuries, scientists and artists alike have been digging into anatomical systems to draw connections between animal forms and the functional adaptations that allow some species to out-compete and out-survive others. Scientists’ and physicians’ understanding of current structure-function relationships can be improved by incorporating the long-term, evolutionary histories of anatomical systems. Research in my laboratory is focused on the macroevolutionary-scale patterns of structure-function relationships in mammals and other vertebrate groups. My model system of choice is the skull of carnivoramorphan mammals (dogs, cats, bears, hyenas and their living and extinct relatives). Despite the suggestion of a meat-eating lifestyle implied by the name of this mammal group, living carnivoramorphan species include not only specialists of vertebrate soft tissues, but others that are adapted to feed on insects, plants, fruits--or even bones. Projects in my lab include analysis of important variables such as diet, evolutionary relationships and non-masticatory functional constraints and their interplay on the structure and function of the skull as a feeding tool. I use methodologies such as landmark-based shape analysis (geometric morphometrics), model-based assessments of feeding performance (finite element analysis) as well as experiment-based model validation approaches and field-based and collection-based research on extinct mammal groups. I also use theoretical modeling approaches based on computed tomography (CT) to test functional optimality in skull structures of carnivoramorphans and primates (including humans). My goal is to develop a prototyping approach to better understand structure-function patterns of musculoskeletal systems. This will lead, eventually, to novel biomedical devices such as body implants and replacement body parts (e.g., artificial limbs) that benefit from a design approach informed by evolution. I welcome PhD students to work with me.
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology
I am a board-certified pathologist. I‘m serving the Kaleida Health laboratories primarily in the fields of hematology/hematopathology and transfusion medicine. My research experiences includes both basic immunology and translational research involving antibody engineering, lymphoma and solid tumor immunotherapy, lymphoma characterization, leukemic bone marrow microenvironment studies, as well as general clinical pathology research. My previous research was focused on using different antibody-based strategies to generate novel reagents for cancer immunotherapy. For example, based on the observation that the induction of apoptosis in lymphoma cells requires proper presentation of anti-CD20, we have generated a novel Rituximab Polymer that induces apoptosis in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cells. Bio-distribution study has shown that this polymer targeted Burritt’s lymphoma cells in mouse xenograft model. Immunotherapeutic study has demonstrated that systemic delivery of this polymer successfully induced tumor regression in vivo. Moreover, we found that some anti-HLA-DR monoclonal antibody and its humanized form are also potent apoptosis inducers on lymphoma cells. We also showed that tumor targeting antibodies fused with T-cell co-stimulators presented increased tumor uptake. Systemic administration of this combination induced tumor regression significantly and prolonged the survival of treated mice. Currently, my research focuses on the characterization of follicular lymphoma with marginal zone differentiation. Follicular lymphoma (FL) with marginal zone differentiation is a relatively rare morphologic variant of FL. We tried to characterize the clinicopathologic features as well as survival studies. We found that this morphology correlates with complex cytogenetic abnormalities and associated with worse clinical outcome compared with follicular lymphoma without marginal zone differentiation. Recognizing this variant is important in patient treatment and prognosis. Another focus of my currently ongoing studies is about the bone marrow microenvironment in leukemic and aleukemic acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Aleukemic AML differs from leukemic AML in that the peripheral blood show high blast counts. Little is understood why in certain AML, the bone marrow releases high number of blasts into the peripheral blood. Our hypothesis is that there is a bone marrow-sinusoids gate that controls the release of hematopoietic cells into peripheral blood, including the immature precursor cells. This gate can be affected by the changes in bone marrow microenvironment including aberrant expression of certain adhesion molecules and a variety of depositions in the stroma by AML. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that in many previous studies, only high blast counts in the peripheral blood correlates with worse prognosis in AML. I believe further exploration along this direction will gain us more valuable information about AML pathophysiology. I have also been actively involved in undergraduate student, medical student, and junior resident teaching and training during all these years of my career development. I enjoyed sharing my thoughts and experiences with them and often times, I learn a lot from these interactions.