The training program in Pediatric Pathology is designed to educate pathologists in the unique features of disease in the fetus, infant, child and adolescent. The focus of the program is in anatomic pediatric pathology, but rotations through the clinical laboratories are also included in the program. The Department offers exposure to all aspects of pediatric pathology. Special strengths include tumor pathology, gastrointestinal and liver pathology, fetal pathology, hematopathology and neuropathology. Although only one year of training is required for Board eligibility, the fellow is encouraged to remain in the program for an optional second year that is tailored to his or her specific interests. Possibilities include full-time research activities, additional training in general pediatric pathology or more intense training in one of several subspecialty areas accompanied by participation in clinical research activities. The first year of training is primarily devoted to clinical work.
If the fellow chooses to remain in the program for a second year, the fellow may become fully involved with experimental research in one of the many laboratories at Children's Hospital or throughout the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Research in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is focused around several themes. An active area of research is transplantation immunobiology, with programs studying the role of costimulatory molecules in the functions of memory and effector T cells and their role in transplantation. Another program addresses the biochemical basis of T lymphocyte function and differentiation, particularly as it pertains to the cellular mechanisms of immune memory and tolerance. A new area of research in immunopathology and proteomics will focus on the role of endoplasmic reticulum molecular chaperones in exerting quality control over the biosynthesis of membrane and secreted immunoglobulins.
There is a program in molecular pathology which aims to understand how mutated transcription factors cause acute leukemias and how to apply this knowledge to develop new therapies, with a special emphasis on the transcription factor E2A and its function during normal and leukemic B cell development. There is also an active area of research in developmental neurobiology to elucidate key events in early nervous system development in order to examine the role of specific genes and gene products in patterning the embryonic brain. Another focus is on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of cell migration in the developing CNS. Research in diabetes is aimed at signaling mechanisms involved in insulin secretion by islets of Langerhans, identifying the mechanisms of beta-cell death in type 1 diabetes and the role of novel cytokines and studying the function of human islets for transplantation.
Fellows who have completed the training program are currently on staff at Phoenix Children's Hospital, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
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