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Division of Neuropathology

Neuropathology Conferences and Activities

Lawrence Hansen, M.D.
Director of Neuropathology

Digitally colored brain structure

The brain is a world consisting of a number of unexplored continents and great stretches of unknown territory.”
— Santiago Ramón y Cajal

“The study of the human brain and its disease remains one of the greatest scientific and philosophical challenges ever undertaken.”
—Floyd E. Bloom, M.D., 2007

The Division of Neuropathology encompasses three closely interrelated and complementary activities in the exciting quest of advancing the understanding of nervous system diseases: clinical service, educational programs and research activities. The clinical service encompasses the full spectrum of diagnostic neuropathology in neurodegenerative, neuro-inflammatory, neuromuscular, neoplastic, ophthalmic pathology, and forensic pathology in adult and pediatric patients. The overall goal of the Neuropathology Training Program is to provide a flexible, full-time educational program in both diagnostic and experimental neuropathology. Areas of active research programs in the Division include the unfolded protein response (UPR) in pathologic processes, molecular transport in axons and how these are disrupted in neurodegenerative states, the genetic alterations that drive the genesis, progression and biologic heterogeneity of high-grade gliomas, neurodevelopmental disorders including brain malformations, and mechanisms of peripheral nerve diseases.

The ACGME-Accredited Training Program encompasses the varied aspects of modern neuropathology, including molecular and genetic pathology, with an emphasis on training academic neuropathologists. The educational philosophy and elements of the Program curriculum complements the six competencies specified by the ACGME that prepare the trainees for eligibility to be certified in Neuropathology by the American Board of Pathology. In addition, an emphasis is placed on attaining three goals. The first goal is to impart the requisite skills for the histologic and ultrastructural assessment of the nervous system and neuromuscular diseases. This training in morphologic analysis encompasses the application of special histochemical, immunohistochemical/ immunofluorescent techniques with emphasis on effectively integrating neuropathologic findings with both clinical and laboratory data (including neuro-imaging studies). The technical application of diagnostic molecular biology to complement morphologic techniques, especially in the study of neoplasia and degenerative diseases, is an important component of the educational program. The second goal is to foster the development of effective communication skills in oral presentation, scientific writing and digital image acquisition. The third goal is to provide a suitable foundation in the basic neurosciences along with a technical expertise that enables the trainee to translate new developments from the basic neurosciences into neuropathology practice as they relate to neurologic disease.

The Division of Neuropathology also provides diagnostic support and services to the Neuropathology Core of the UCSD Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

Division of Neuropathology Faculty Neurodegeneration Neuromuscular Pathology Ophthalmic Pathology Pediatric Neuropathology Brain Tumors Neuropathology Administrative Assistant