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Faculty Profiles

Ayesha, Arshad
Arshad, Ayesha, MDAssistant Professor
Email: aarshad@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 834-9200

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Research Summary:
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.

Lucia, Balos
Balos, Lucia, MDAssociate Professor
Email: lbalos@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 859-2140

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Autopsy; Neuropathology; Surgical Pathology

Research Summary:
Board Certified in Anatomic and Neuropathology

Joanne, Becker
Becker, Joanne, MDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: jbecker2@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 845-7700

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Christopher, Cohan
Email: ccohan@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 829-3081

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology

Research Summary:
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.

Nora, Frisch
Frisch, Nora, MDAssistant Professor (HS) / Pathologist ; Associate Director of Pathology Residency Program; Director of Cytopathology
Email: norafris@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-859-2232

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology

Research Summary:
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

Chen, Gao
Gao, Chen, MD, PhD, FCAP, FASCPClinical Assistant Professor
Email: chengao@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-859-1128

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology; Cytopathology

Research Summary:
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.

Sirisa, Kandel Amatya
Kandel Amatya, Sirisa, MDAssistant Professor
Email: skama@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 238-2188

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Abdur, Khan
Khan, Abdur, MDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: arkhan2@buffalo.edu
Phone: 878-1481

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology; Pediatric Pathology

Research Summary:
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.

Thaer, Khoury
Khoury, Thaer, MDAssistant Professor
Email: tkhoury@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 845-4178

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Elizabeth, Korangy
Korangy, Elizabeth, MDAssistant Professor
Email: eam2@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 568-3705

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Surgical Pathology

Research Summary:
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.

Rafal, Kozielski
Kozielski, Rafal, MDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: rk56@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 878-7777

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Pediatric Pathology; Surgical Pathology; Autopsy

Research Summary:
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.

Keith, Krabill
Krabill, Keith, MDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: krabill@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 859-2140

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine; Clinical Pathology; Cytopathology; Hematology - Clinical Pathology; Immunopathology; Surgical Pathology; Toxicology; Transfusion Medicine; Bioinformatics; Microbiology; Virology

Research Summary:
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.

Charles, Levea
Levea, Charles, MD, PhDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: clevea@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 845-7701

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Mihai, Merzianu
Merzianu, Mihai, MDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: merzianu@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 845-7701

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Wilfrido, Mojica
Mojica, Wilfrido, MDAssistant Professor
Email: mojica@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 859-2140

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology; Molecular Genetic Pathology - Clinical Biochemical; Surgical Pathology

Research Summary:
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.

Hassan, Nakhla
Nakhla, Hassan, MDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: nakhla@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 859-2140

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology; Surgical Pathology

Research Summary:
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.

Ted, Ondracek
Ondracek, Ted, MDClinical Assistant Professor; Attending Pathologist for UB Pathologists, Inc.
Email: ondracek@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 859-2140

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Autopsy; Clinical Pathology; Cytopathology; Dermatopathology - Anatomic Pathology; Immunopathology; Medical Microbiology; Surgical Pathology; Bioinformatics; Microbiology

Research Summary:
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.

Rana, Samuel
Samuel, Rana, MDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: rsamuel@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 862-8701

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Amy, Sands
Sands, Amy, MDAssociate Professor; Pathology Residency Program Director
Email: asands@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 859-2140

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Cytopathology; Hematology - Clinical Pathology; Hematopathology

Research Summary:
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.

Yousef, Soofi
Soofi, Yousef, MDClinical Assistant Professor/Pathologist
Email: yousefso@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-859-2259

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Nan, Zhang
Zhang, Nan, MD, PhDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: nzhang7@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 859-2434

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Research Summary:
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.