About Our Department
Michael E. Selsted, M.D., Ph.D.
With 90 full-time primary faculty, 28 dual-appointment faculty, 87 voluntary faculty, and 42 residents and fellows in training, the Keck USC Department of Pathology is one of the largest pathology departments in the United States.
Pathology is a medical specialty that provides the scientific foundation for all medical practice. The pathologist works with each of the clinical specialties, using the tools of laboratory medicine to provide information essential to problem solving in clinical practice. As such, the pathologist is the "doctors' doctor." One vision of the Department of Pathology at Keck is to shape the future of pathology as it will be practiced in community hospitals, academic medical centers and clinical laboratories throughout the country. Pathologists practicing in hospital and clinical laboratories have access to knowledge gained from the examination and treatment of large numbers of patients. As consultant physicians, they apply this knowledge to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of individual patients. As medical scientists, they make contributions that advance the understanding of disease. As teachers, they impart this knowledge of disease to their medical colleagues, to house staff and to students. The Pathology Department at Keck is dedicated to training physicians to be outstanding teachers, researchers, diagnosticians, and managers in the field of laboratory medicine. The pathologists trained by our Department are prepared to play key roles in advancing patient care by improving the quality assurance practices of hospitals through their leadership on numerous committees such as infection control and tumor boards, and by serving as valuable resources for other physicians around the clock.
The department provides diagnostic laboratory services for the LAC+USC Medical Center, the Keck Hospital of USC and Norris Cancer Hospital, and, through its reference laboratories, the USC Clinical Laboratory Group. Approximately 35 of the department's full-time faculty members work in service laboratories throughout the LAC+USC Medical Center, where they are supported by 40 residents and fellows, and a technical and clerical staff numbering 334. The Keck Hospital of USC and Norris Hospital house 10 full-time pathologists, two fellows, and approximately 124 clerical and technical staff.
Pathology is the study of disease: its etiology, pathogenesis, and pathophysiology, and its morphologic expression at organ, tissue, cellular, and ultrastructural levels. The spectrum of research interests of our faculty includes basic molecular mechanisms of cell function and vertebrate development, as well as translational studies on disease mechanism, diagnosis, and treatment. This theme gives the research within our Department a unique dual role within the Keck School of Medicine and the University. First, many of our faculty members are recognized as international research leaders in their respective fields. Second, all studies which involve analysis of disease status in humans or animals require clinical sample procurement and evaluation by a pathologist. Thus, our practicing clinical and surgical pathologists contribute key expertise to support basic and translational studies for the entire School of Medicine and University. One vision of the Department of Pathology is to contribute to the development of new molecular diagnostic and prognostic parameters, supported by classical pathology, but greatly surpassing it in power of sensitivity and objectivity.
The majority of pathology research space is located in the Hoffman Medical Research Center and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Research laboratories are also located in McKibben Hall, Edmondson Research Building and the Clinical Sciences Center.
Pathology is the only discipline that can be classified as both a basic and a clinical science. As such, it provides for our medical students an indispensable bridge between the basic science that forms a large part of the first two years of medical school and the clinical relevance and application of this information that is the foundation of the third and fourth years. In addition, the Pathology Department provides a rich environment for graduate education in which our students can receive comprehensive training in many areas of both the basic and clinical sciences as they relate to pathologic mechanisms. Our goal is to provide a dynamic and flexible program in research so that we can help physicians and scientists of different levels prepare for successful careers and to meet the needs of society.
National and International Recognition
“America’s Top Doctors”
- Russell K. Brynes, M.D.
- Parakrama T. Chandrasoma, M.D.
- Louis A. Dubeau, M.D., Ph.D.
- Juan C. Felix, M.D.
- Sugantha Govindarjan, M.D.
- Gary C. Kanel, M.D.
- Michael N. Koss, M.D.
- Bharat Nathwani, M.D.
- Clive R. Taylor, M.D., Ph.D.
- Timothy Triche, M.D., PhD