Pathology Fellowship Programs

Clinical Chemistry Fellowship

Program Director: Robert L. Fitzgerald, Ph.D. | (858) 657-5733 | E-mail:

The primary objective of this program is to train qualified individuals to become certified by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry in chemistry or toxicological chemistry, and to compete for positions as directors of clinical chemistry laboratories. This objective is achieved through training in clinical chemistry, laboratory administration, and research.

This program emphasizes a combination of training in classical clinical chemistry (e.g., blood gases, electrolytes, enzymes, proteins, endocrinology, therapeutic drug monitoring) and specialty areas (clinical toxicology and mass spectrometry). A particular strength of this program is in the area of toxicology where there are collaborations with the California Poison Control Center and UC San Diego Medical Toxicology Fellowship program. This program also benefits from the Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine (CALM), a 90,000 square foot central reference laboratory for the UC San Diego Healthcare system. At the CALM, fellows have access to automated chemistry, toxicology, hematology, microbiology, flow cytometry, molecular diagnostics, cytogenetics, and information systems. In addition to the CALM, UC San Diego has clinical laboratories in the UC San Diego Jacobs Medical Center and UC San Diego Hillcrest Medical Center. Both the Hillcrest and Jacobs Medical Center hospital laboratories are fully automated. The chemistry laboratories at UC San Diego Medical Centers perform about 4.5 million reportable results per year covering the full range of clinically important analytes.

The Toxicology laboratory at the CALM is equipped with two triple quadrupole LC/MS/MS instruments (Waters Xevo TQ-S), an accurate mass/high resolution LC quadrupole time of flight (QTOF) instrument (Waters Xevo G2), an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) MS (Agilent 7700), a Tecan Evo automated pipetting system, and all of the necessary peripheral instruments needed for a modern toxicology laboratory. This laboratory performs drugs of abuse confirmations, broad spectrum drug screens, and other clinical applications of mass spectrometry.

Research space is available within all sections of the CALM laboratory. All fellows have electronic links to UCSD literature search programs. The majority of research publications can be obtained by on-line services within the UCSD library system. Microsoft Office and laboratory statistical programs (EP Evaluator) are available for word processing, spread sheet analysis, PowerPoint presentations, and data analysis for research, service, and teaching. Recent research has focused on the clinical utility of highly sensitive troponin and on the effects of marijuana on driving performance. 

Faculty: Robert L. Fitzgerald, Ph.D., DABCC, David A. Herold, M.D., Ph.D., DABCC, Ronald McLawhon, M.D., Ph.D., Michael Kelner, M.D., Marie Dell’Aquila, Ph.D., Amadeo Pesce, Ph.D. and David N. Bailey, M.D.

Requirements: Candidates for admission need to have a PhD (chemistry, biochemistry, biology, pathology, pharmacology or other appropriate scientific discipline) or MD degree. Applicants should have had sufficient courses in analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, and biochemistry to qualify for certification by the American Board for Clinical Chemistry.

Applications: Interested applicants should contact Dr. Fitzgerald for information on how to apply to the fellowship.

Cytopathology Fellowship

Program Director: Farnaz Hasteh, M.D. | (858) 657-5174 | E-mail:

This fellowship is a one-year, ACGME-accredited program that offers advanced training in diagnostic Cytopathology. This fellowship is emphasized on developing a high level of knowledge and experience on interpretation of fine needle aspiration biopsies, GYN, Non-gyn cytology specimens and application of ancillary studies (immunohistochemistry, cytogenetics, flow cytometry and molecular diagnostics). Substantial emphasis is placed on the correlation and integration of cytologic specimens with the surgical pathology specimens. The fellow will be trained to perform FNA biopsies by palpation and with ultrasound guidance. The fellow is required to start and complete a quality control research study during the fellowship and is encouraged to participate in resident teaching. 

Currently the UCSD Medical Center Cytopathology Laboratory approximately 27059 specimens per year including approximately 9705 non-gynecologic specimens. In addition the laboratory directs a pathology-based FNA Service with cytopathologists-staffed clinics and performs or assists with the vast majority of superficial and deep fine needle aspirations (approximately 1,414). 

Requirements: Applicants should be Board-eligible or Board-certified in anatomic pathology or AP/CP, as well as having passed USMLE Step III.

Applications: See our Fellowship Application section below for details.

Gastrointestinal Pathology Fellowship

Program Director: Vera Vavinskaya, M.D. | (858) 657-5327 | E-mail:

The Gastrointestinal Pathology Fellowship is a one-year program designed to provide rigorous diagnostic training in gastrointestinal, hepatic, and pancreaticobiliary surgical pathology. The program takes advantage of USCD's large volume of diverse cases with a considerable proportion of high-complexity and esoteric cases. Cases include neoplastic and non-neoplastic gastrointestinal mucosal biopsies and resections, liver explants, medical liver biopsies (including transplant biopsies), pancreatic resections, and outside consultation cases. Areas of expertise include inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, fatty liver disease, liver transplant pathology, and a variety of neoplastic diseases.

In addition, the fellowship experience is enhanced by exposure to pediatric and community-based cases through participation in elective rotations at sites outside of the Division of Anatomic/Surgical Pathology that include UCSD Rady Children's Hospital and Kaiser Permanente. To further strengthen training in academic gastrointestinal pathology, each fellow is required to complete at least one clinicopathologic research project (clinical, translational, or basic science) related to gastrointestinal disease.

Educational objectives of the fellow include the following:

  • In-depth training in the spectrum of benign, premalignant, and malignant disease of the gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary systems, including gross assessment, microscopic characteristics, and intraoperative evaluation
  • Developing skill sets to allow successful communication with clinicians across departments, including presentation at tumor boards and clinical conferences
  • Academic research that focuses on clinicopathological aspects of disease with an expectation of presentation of research results
  • Teaching rotating medical students and pathology residents
  • Learning basic aspects of gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary cytology

Fellow activities will include:

  • Subspecialty sign-out
  • Consultation/second opinion slide review
  • Clinicopathological research
  • Tumor board/interdepartmental conference
  • Frozen section diagnosis
  • On call diagnostics

Faculty: Vera Vavinskaya, M.D., Mojgan Hosseini, M.D., Grace Y. Lin, M.D., Ph.D., Ann M.P. Tipps, M.D., Charmi Patel, M.D., Jingjing Hu, M.D., Ph.D., Haiyan Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., and Maryam Pezhouh, M.D., M.Sc.​

 See our Fellowship Application section below for details.

Gynecologic/Breast Pathology Fellowship

Program Director: Oluwole Fadare, M.D. | (858) 249-1297 | E-mail:

The Gynecologic/Breast Pathology Fellowship is a one-year program that provides an intensive exposure to surgical pathology of the breast and gynecologic tract. The fellowship will primarily consist of subspecialty sign out of surgical pathology material generated from comprehensive clinical programs at Jacobs Medical Center, Moores Cancer Center, Hillcrest Medical Center, and the Comprehensive Breast Health Center at the Koman Family Outpatient Pavilion, and of material sent in for continuity of patient care or a second opinion. 

Over the course of the year, the fellow is expected to learn a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care that includes working with surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, geneticists, radiologists, nurses, advanced practice providers, social workers and other team members. UCSD Pathology evaluates approximately 3000 breast and 4000 gynecologic tract cases annually. 

Education objectives of the fellowship include learning the following: 1) The full morphologic and immunophenotypic spectrum of benign/non-neoplastic, premalignant and malignant diseases of the breast and gynecologic tract; 2) The significance of gross evaluation and appropriate sampling of breast and gynecologic tract specimens; 4) The morphologic spectrum of breast and gynecologic tract diseases as they may potentially appear on frozen sections; 5) Quickly generating a differential diagnosis for common gross and microscopic appearances; 6) The clinical implications of various pathologic diagnoses; 7) The clinical features of breast and gynecologic diseases (including those with genetic syndrome implications); 8) Recurrent molecular events and their potential role in the evaluation and prognostication of gynecologic and breast diseases; 9) The strengths and limitations of various pathologic techniques in patient care; 10) Communicating effectively with all members of the multidisciplinary breast and gynecologic teams and 11) Some basic aspects of breast and gynecologic cytology. 

Fellowship activities will include 1) Subspecialty sign out, organized in one-week blocks; 2) Primary review of all consultation/second opinion cases; 3) Multi-disciplinary gynecologic and breast conferences; 4) Participation in all breast and gynecologic tract frozen sections when feasible; 4) Periodic presentations, including journal clubs and assigned topics of interest; 5) Participation in a weekly perinatal/placental pathology sign out; 6) Completion and presentation of an academic research project; 7) a few weeks (typically 4) of being on call as an attending pathologist; 8) Depending on availability and interest of the fellow, a short rotation in the cytogenetics laboratory (with an emphasis on fluorescence in situ hybridization), or at the clinics.

Faculty: Oluwole Fadare, M.D., Somaye Zare, M.D., Andres Roma , M.D., Farnaz Hasteh, M.D., Omonigho Aisagbonhi, M.D., Ph.D., Mana Parast M.D., Ph.D., and Maria Dell'Aquila Ph.D.

Applications: See our Fellowship Application section below for details.

Hematopathology Fellowship

Program Director: Huan-You Wang, M.D., Ph.D. | (858) 822-2538 | Fax: (858) 822-1415 | E-mail:

The Hematopathology Fellowship Program sponsored by the University of California San Diego Department of Pathology is an ACGME-accredited one-year program, and we offer one position each year in the Division of Hematopathology within the Division of Clinical Laboratories.

The overall goal of this one-year fellowship is to provide broad-based training in the field of Hematopathology with an emphasis on the laboratory approach to the diagnosis of benign and malignant hematolymphoid disorders. It will also emphasize education in the structure and function of routine hematology, bone marrow, special coagulation, flow cytometry, molecular diagnostics, and genetic laboratories. A multi-modality approach is stressed, with the incorporation of information from multiple sources, including clinical, hematologic, morphologic, cytogenetic, flow cytometric, and molecular data. The program will be structured to give trainees maximum exposure to a wealth of diversified case materials and to faculty with a variety of clinical and research interests and expertise.

Hematopathology, the jewel of pathology, covers all aspects of modern pathology and requires skills and knowledge from cytology, clinical pathology, and anatomic pathology. The Division of Hematopathology sign-outs over 1,100 bone marrow biopsies, 350 lymph nodes and lymphoid tissues, and 1,800 flow cytometry cases each year. The Division of Hematopathology has an intimate relationship with our active Hematology/Oncology colleagues to support a busy bone marrow transplant program and multiple leukemia/lymphoma clinical trials. Within the Department, the fellow will interact with the Anatomic Pathology, Neuropathology and Cytology to provide consultations. Thus the fellows will be exposed to a wide spectrum of diverse cases in both benign and malignant disorders. In addition, the Division of Clinical Laboratories at the Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine (CALM) of UC San Diego also has state-of-the-art Flow Cytometry, Special Coagulation, Cytogenetics, and Molecular Diagnostic laboratories, all of which provide first-class training for either academic or community practice.

Besides clinical training, the fellows will have ample opportunity to engage in clinical, translational, or basic research projects both within the Pathology Department and the University.

Located within two miles from the Pacific Ocean in the American’s finest city, UC San Diego is one of the best public universities. The University boasts a diverse student population and San Diego provides an array of outdoor activities all year around. We welcome you to visit our website and let us know if you need any further information.

All residents with combined AP/CP training are welcome to apply. Residents with either AP or CP training will be considered on a case-by-case base.

Faculty: Huan-You Wang, M.D., Ph.D., Frank Zhao, M.D., Ph.D., Jack Bui (flow cytometry), M.D., Ph.D., Maria Dell’Aquila(cytogenetics), Ph.D., Steven L. Gonias (coagulation), M.D., Ph.D., and Dzung T. Le (coagulation), M.D., Ph.D.

Applications: See our Fellowship Application section below for details.

Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship

Program Director: Wei Song, M.D., Ph.D. | (858) 657-5737 | Fax: (858) 657-5807 |


The Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship Program sponsored by the University Of California San Diego Department of Pathology is an ACGME-accredited one-year program, and we offer one position each year in the Division of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine.

The overall goal of the UC San Diego Medical Center Molecular Genetic Pathology (MGP) Program is to prepare trainees for a successful career in molecular pathology. At the time of completion of the fellowship, trainees will be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to assume the directorship of a clinical molecular pathology laboratory and to continue with a pattern of lifelong learning in this field. During the course of the one year program, MGP fellows will participate in the day to day operation of molecular genetic pathology laboratories performing and interpreting a variety of clinical tests. Although the work of fellows will proceed under the supervision of an attending faculty member, a gradually increasing degree of independence and responsibility will be granted and be commensurate with his or her ability and level of training.

Fellows entering the program as pathologists will additionally gain experience with the diagnosis, management, treatment, and counseling of patients with genetic disorders during rotations through Medical Genetics clinics, while fellows entering as medical geneticists will gain exposure to surgical pathology and autopsy pathology via a rotation through the surgical pathology service. Trainees will attend didactic sessions with the supervising Medical Staff, courses in Medical Genetics, journal clubs, and laboratory and clinical conferences. The trainees will be expected to attend and present relevant laboratory findings at clinical conferences within the Department of Pathology as well as other clinical departments.

Fellows are highly encouraged and expected to perform at least one research project of their own choosing with the guidance and assistance of one or more faculty members in the Department of Pathology. The expectation is for the fellows to present the results of the project(s) at national scientific meetings, such as those of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP), College of American pathologists (CAP), or Association for Molecular Pathology.

Located within two miles of the Pacific Ocean in American’s finest city, UC San Diego is a top-ranked public university. The University boasts a diverse student population and San Diego provides a large variety of cultural and outdoor activities.

The MGP fellowship is open to MD graduates with prior residency training in Pathology (either AP, CP, or combined AP/CP) or Medical Genetics.

Faculty: Gerald Morris, M.D., Ph.D., Marie Dell’Aquila, Ph.D., Sharon Reed, M.D., David Pride, M.D., Ph.D., Bruce Barshop, M.D., Ph.D., Marilyn Jones, M.D., Lynne Bird, M.D., and Lisa Madlensky, Ph.D.

Applications: See our Fellowship Application section below for details.

Neuropathology Fellowship

Program Director: Lawrence Hansen, M.D. | (858) 657-5139 | E-mail:

The Department of Pathology offers a combined AP/NP residency/fellowship program for applicants who want an integrated, contiguous training program. The two-year Neuropathology residency (fellowship) Program is ACGME accredited and also available to any applicant who has completed two years of anatomic pathology training in another accredited Anatomic Pathology Program. Preference is given to applicants for the combined AP/NP track.

The overall goals of the Neuropathology Training Program are twofold. The first is to provide postgraduate medical instruction that will culminate in the quality of clinical skills commensurate with successful board examination in Neuropathology. The second is to provide training in specialty and experimental neuropathology. These provide a suitable foundation of experimental neuroscience and technical expertise to enable the trainee to better understand the basic neurosciences as they relate to neurologic disease and translational research in neuropathology. The objectives of the Training Program are designed to provide instruction in the 6 major competencies as defined by the ACGME, and to provide exposure to the types and quantities of cases as defined in the ACGME “Program Requirements for Graduate Medical Education in Neuropathology.”

The educational philosophy of the Program is that the discipline of neuropathology is firmly rooted in a solid academic background, whether it is practiced in a traditional academic institution, a community/private practice setting, or a forensic setting. The primary goal of our training program is to prepare candidates for an academically-oriented career that emphasizes an enduring commitment to advancing the field of neuropathology and that encompasses any combination of clinical neuropathology diagnosis, translational and basic research, and teaching.

The program is structured to meet this goal through exposure of the fellow to 1) an abundance of diversified case material with a variety of instructional modalities; 2) faculty members with a spectrum of clinical and research activities who actively participate in teaching, including joint clinical conferences and research journal clubs; 3) state of the art clinical and research laboratory support facilities; and 4) a graduated program of assigned responsibilities. Neuropathology diagnostic activities include post-mortem examinations of neurovascular, neurodegenerative, neuro-inflammatory, CNS developmental, ophthalmic and neoplastic diseases; and forensic cases, including blunt force and projectile trauma; surgical neuropathology of adult and pediatric CNS/PNS tumors, inflammatory processes involving the nervous system and ophthalmic pathology. Neuromuscular cases include examinations of both skeletal muscle and peripheral nerves. By the completion of training, all Neuropathology fellows should be competent to practice at the level of a newly board certified practitioner in Neuropathology in all 6 of the core competency areas as defined by the ACGME. Neuropathology enjoys close working relationships with the Department of Neurosciences, the Division of Neurosurgery, and the San Diego County Department of the Medical Examiner and holds joint conferences for clinical and educational activities. House staff from Neurosciences and Neurosurgery, in addition to residents in the Division of Anatomic Pathology; rotate through the neuropathology diagnostic service for one to two month periods.

The Program is normally configured in a two year curriculum. The two year program is designed to be complete so that the trainee obtains the correct balance of diagnostic and technical/research skills that are supplemented with investigative activities in either translational or basic neurosciences. An optional third year is provided for trainees who desire more intensive post-doctoral research training. Research opportunities within the Neuropathology Division are complemented by the outstanding, highly interactive research neuroscience environments within the UCSD Neurosciences Department, Moores Cancer Center, Institute of Engineering in Medicine, and the Section of Neurobiology in the Division of Biological Sciences. These are uniquely strengthened by affiliated institutes, including the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, the Salk Institute, the Scripps Research Institute, the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center. The flexibility of the two or three year format depends on the previous experience and professional goals of each trainee.

Applications for NP or combined AP/NP Program: See our Fellowship Application section below for details.

Surgical Pathology Fellowship

Program Director: Oluwole Fadare, M.D. | (858) 249-1297 | E-mail:

The Division of Anatomic Pathology sponsors a 1-year Fellowship in General Surgical Pathology (see description). The fellowship provides a notably varied experience during the year. Surgical pathology fellows help provide continuity of clinical care by previewing cases in a subspecialized model that is enriched in complex cases, by supervising the gross room and teaching housestaff officers rotating on surgical pathology, by preparing and delivering some organ-specific clinicopathologic conferences, and ultimately, by independently signing out some routine surgical pathology cases.

Description: A one-year fellowship in general surgical pathology is offered by the Division of Anatomic Pathology. One position is available for an AP or AP/CP resident who is interested in receiving focused and intensive training in diagnostic surgical pathology at a variety of practice settings. Fellows rotate through the subspecialty services, present at clinicopathologic conferences, are on-call periodically, and supervise housestaff officers. There are also opportunities for the fellow to experience alternative practice settings by rotating through the Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego and the Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Group (~50,000 surgical specimens), a robust private practice setting. Applicants must be licensed in the state of California by the beginning of the fellowship

Requirements: Licensed in California.

Faculty: Oluwole Fadare, M.D.Andres A. Roma, M.D., Mojgan Hosseini, M.D., Haiyan Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.Vera Vavinskaya, M.D.Farnaz Hasteh, M.D.Grace Y. Lin, M.D., Ph.D.Ahmed Shabaik, M.D.Ann Tipps, M.D.Mana Parast, M.D., Ph.D., Somaye Y. Zare, M.D., and Omonigho Aisagbonhi, M.D., Ph.D.

Applications: See our Fellowship Application section below for details.

Fellowship Application

Please complete the CAP Fellowship Application and e-mail to:

Alexandra Murtha ( and Melanie Sevilla (​)

For additional questions regarding our fellowship programs or application, please contact Alexandra Murtha at or (858) 249-1096.