Faculty Profiles

Lalarukh, Aftab
Aftab, Lalarukh, MDAssistant Professor
Email: aftab@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-859-2655

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Research Summary:
I am a pathologist with twenty-four years of post-residency experience and sub-specialize in hematopathology.

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

Saad, Baqai
Baqai, Saad, MDAssistant Professor (HS)
Email: saadbaqa@buffalo.edu
Phone: 

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

Research Summary:
After earning my Bachelor’s degree, I completed my residency in anatomic and clinical pathology followed by fellowship training in oncologic surgical pathology and cytopathology. I thoroughly enjoy the practice of this subspecialty, which I chose due to longstanding interest in oncologic disorders as well as ample opportunity for clinical interaction and correlation. During the course of my training I have gained extensive experience in frozen section interpretations, rapid on-site cytology evaluations, fine needle aspiration biopsy and diagnosis of complex surgical pathology, gynecologic and non-gynecologic exfoliative cytopathology cases. I have actively participated in patient care through daily exchanges with physicians, oncologists and surgeons and in weekly multidisciplinary conferences (tumor boards), taught residents and also participated in research. My interests in pathology are broad and diverse. Being trained at a Roswell Park Cancer Institute my main focus has been on neoplastic diseases. As a fellow, I became very familiar with specialized pathology of tumors and cancer-related conditions. My clinical responsibilities at Kaleida Health System are primarily in anatomic pathology including general surgical pathology and cytopathology. As a well-trained board certified pathologist I look forward to provide high quality clinical service to the patients as well as participate in research as I believe is the most important way to help us keep practicing up-to-date medicine and improve our clinical practice.

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

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology

Richard, Cheney
Cheney, Richard, MDClinical Professor and Vice Chair for Academic Clinical Affairs
Email: rtcheney@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-829-5213

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine; Clinical Pathology; Cytopathology; Dermatopathology - Anatomic Pathology; Autopsy

Research Summary:
My clinical interests have been in diagnostic anatomic pathology with a focus on non- small cell lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies, soft tissue sarcoma, and all aspects of dermatopathology including inflammatory dermatoses, melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer and the cytologic evaluation of fine needle aspiration biopsy material. Participation as a panel member in the NCCN‘s development of empirically based guidelines for clinical care of cancer patients with thoracic malignancies and non melanoma skin cancer was a major focus during the previous decade. My career focus has evolved over time such that currently mentoring of faculty and participation in the development of innovative approaches to medical education occupies the vast majority of my effort.

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

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology

Research Summary:
Current experiments focus on the dynamics of microtubule assembly in spindles during the process of meiosis using live imaging of fluorescent 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. In previous experiments, we studied cytoskeletal changes in neuronal growth cones as they navigated through their environment. Reorganization of actin filaments and microtubules was visualized using fluorescent cytoskeletal analogs in neuronal cultures. Dynamic flow of actin filaments in growth cone lamellipodia and their effect on microtubule extension into growth cones was studied to understand the basis of growth cone turning.

Stuart, Inglis
Email: stuartin@buffalo.edu
Phone: 829-2846

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Biomedical Imaging; Molecular and Cellular Biology

Research Summary:
I am a classically trained gross anatomist with a specific interest in clinical anatomy. Although I received my PhD through the Interdisciplinary Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Ohio University, with a specific focus on skeletal muscle biology, my professional interest and focus since graduation has been in the teaching of the anatomical sciences, and in educational research and theory, in general. I am also involved in the development of anatomical models for teaching purposes and in research and documentation of anatomical variants identified during gross anatomy dissection. Presently, I am one of the instructors for the ANA 500 gross anatomy course for the medical and dental students and serve as the coordinator for the dental section of the course. I also serve as course director for the ANA 407 gross anatomy course for OT, PT, and exercise science students. My educational research interests involve the development and execution of a flipped classroom approach to teaching, with the replacement of traditional didactic lectures with facilitated active learning (FAL) sessions. The traditional university classroom, in which a content expert lectures and students take notes, dates back to the earliest universities and predates the printing press. This was therefore the most effective and efficient means by which to disseminate knowledge. Current technology makes this approach unnecessary, and allows instructors to explore other teaching approaches that may improve retention and help develop lifelong learning strategies. Pre-recorded lectures give students more control over the time and pace at which they view the didactic sessions. My classroom sessions are modelled after the Team Based Learning (TBL) paradigm and make use of the latest in audience response technology. I am also interested in the utilization of Open Educational Resources (OER) to deliver lessons to a wider population base without violating copyright restrictions.

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) 323-2034

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 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 practices at the Hopital Ste Justine in Montreal and Children‘s Hospital at Scottish Rite in Atlanta. My current clinical and academic responsibilities include surgical pathology sign-out service at Oishei Children‘s Hospital, teaching of the residents and fellows, participating in the Pathology core lecture series for Pathology Residency Program, multiple interdepartmental conferences held at Oishei Children‘s Hospital as well as meetings held jointly with Roswell Park Cancer Center. My interests are focused on pediatric disorders with emphasis on pediatric gastrointestinal and liver disorders and childhood tumors. My clinical duties also include perinatal and placental pathology as well as pediatric and perinatal autopsy service. I offer expert consultation service in the area of Pediatric Pathology. I actively collaborate in research projects with multiple pediatric subspecialty divisions affiliated with Oishei Children‘s Hospital.

Keith, Krabill
Krabill, Keith, MDClinical Assistant Professor
Email: krabill@buffalo.edu
Phone: (716) 323-2036

Specialty/Research Focus:
Anatomic Pathology; Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine; Clinical Pathology; Cytopathology; Hematology - Clinical Pathology; Immunopathology; Surgical Pathology; Transfusion Medicine; Toxicology; Microbiology; Bioinformatics; 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 John R Oishei Children‘s Hospital and the Center for Laboratory Medicine, Williamsville (Flint). I also provide more specialized medical support for the Forensic Toxicology laboratory, the Virology Laboratory, and the fetal defect screening program at the Center for Laboratory Medicine in Williamsville, 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. In 2013 I served as the laboratory director of the Erie County Public Health Laboratory and continue there as assistant laboratory director for Virology. Since January 2018 I have served as the assistant laboratory director for Transfusion Services and Hematology at the Erie County Medical Center. 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, MDAssociate 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 centered on improvements in sample procurement and biomarker studies for antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) characterization. Current work on the former is centered on the development of an automated prototype for the processing of cells recovered from washed core needle biopsies, but with utility for any ‘wet’ type biopsy or sample (e.g., cytology specimens). This prototype is intended to enable unfixed cells to travel through a microfluidic platform that will allow for their quantitative evaluation and assessment of their cytologic features for diagnostic purposes, and their recovery for downstream molecular studies. Because of their unfixed nature, we are assessing the utility of the DNA extracted from these cells for long read sequencing technologies, believing these devices will ultimately replace both multi-panel, next generation tests and FISH assays for the elucidation of molecular abnormalities at both the single nucleotide and structural variation level. This approach will preserve the original core needle biopsy tissue for further tissue-based testing that requires morphologic evaluation, in particular, the profiling of tumor tissue to guide treatment with the aforementioned ADC currently being tested in clinical trials. The underlying effort is to maximize the amount of informative data derived from diminutive biospecimens and prevent the current problems associated with tissue exhaustion.

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; Clinical Pathology; Cytopathology; Dermatopathology - Anatomic Pathology; Immunopathology; Medical Microbiology; Surgical Pathology; Autopsy; Bioinformatics

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

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

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