The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) Department of Pathology was established in 1976 under the direction of Kenneth Earle, M.D. In 1980, Robert M. Friedman, M.D. was selected as chairman of the department and served with distinction until 2014. J. Stephen Dumler, M.D. became the “Robert M. Friedman Chairperson” of the USUHS Department of Pathology with functions extended to additionally include both the Pathology Department at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and the Joint Pathology Center (JPC) in 2016.
The USUHS Department of Pathology is now an integral component of the growing Academic Health System of the DoD, NIH, and Federal Government in the National Capital Region, clustered across Wisconsin Avenue corridor in Bethesda, Maryland. The primary mission of the Department is to prepare medical students for their clinical years and beyond. The students learn about human diseases to develop an outstanding basis of understanding of disease processes to facilitate diagnosis, management, and treatment of their patients' medical problems. To accomplish this, instructors in the Department identify key aspects of pathobiology and applied pathology practice that are integrated into a curriculum that includes 1) disease mechanisms and processes, 2) organ system pathology, and 3) diagnostic medicine and therapeutic pathology, with each containing multiple learning goals and specific learning objectives. Through this direction of study, students understand the origin of signs and symptoms of disease, and how to interpret laboratory data used to support diagnoses in the patients they encounter. The instruction is in the form case-oriented instruction using one-on-one, small group, and directed laboratory instruction, as well as lectures.
Research is an integral component of the mission of the department, focusing on programs to define the pathogenesis of human diseases that affect both active duty military readiness and civilians alike. Major areas of activity include: Cancer biology, immunopathology and human immunity, vaccine development, vector-borne infectious diseases, radiation biology and mechanisms of radioresistance, neuropathology and neurobiology of traumatic brain injury, among other key areas. As an adjunct to the research programs, Departmental faculty further instruct graduate students via advanced courses, laboratory rotations, and intensive laboratory experiences leading to doctoral degrees in Molecular and Cell Biology as well as in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Cutting edge research enables research and departmental faculty contribute toward developments in biomedical sciences, so that the medical and graduate students will be provided the most advanced instruction possible.
Pathologists on the USUHS faculty also function as practitioners of Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the Joint Pathology Center, the National Cancer Institute of the NIH, Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital, and other Medical Treatment Facilities across the National Capital Region. Such clinical endeavors provide unparalleled opportunities to conduct translational and clinical research in a unique environment enriched for diversity of patients and range of disease processes that impact solely soldiers or broadly all patients.
The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Department of Pathology is a key part of clinical care for all patients at the DoD’s premier tertiary care hospital. The laboratory is a large, full-service facility administering the entire range of Pathology products including Surgical Pathology, Cytology, Autopsy Pathology, Neuropathology, Dermatopathology, Clinical Chemistry, Hematology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Immunology, Molecular Pathology, and Blood Banking/Blood Services. Many faculty at WRNMMC also have appointments at USUHS and assist with instruction of medical students, while functioning a primary instructors in the National Capital Region Consortium Pathology Residency Program. Key translational and clinical research is conducted by members of the WRNMMC in conjunction with entities within and outside of the tertiary care facility. Activities include, but are not limited to, providing biobanking and molecular pathology services to support Precision Medicine at the Murtha Cancer Center, APOLLO Cancer Moonshot Program, the Collaborative Health Initiative Research Program of USU and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH, and The American Genome Center (TAGC) located on the USU campus, as well as other important regional and national objectives within the DoD and Federal Government.
The Joint Pathology Center, located on the Forest Glen Annex, represents the reorganization of the famed Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, which retains its premier role as a world-class Pathology reference center for diagnosis, education and research serving the DoD and Veterans Administration health systems. The outstanding group of top pathologists at the JPC serve the DoD global Pathology services, focusing on diagnostic pathology and clinical studies across human and veterinary medicine, while providing cutting edge research in machine learning for Pathology and Molecular Pathology services shared with WRNMMC, the DoD Cancer Registry Program, and other key activities.
We will provide unparalleled pathology expertise and promote military readiness globally by delivering the highest quality evidence-based laboratory services, training the next generation of physicians and scientists, and fostering research and disseminating new knowledge to advance medical science and military medicine.
Be the Federal Government’s premier Pathology Department, providing unparalleled excellence and collaboration in military readiness, diagnosis, consultation, education, research and global outreach.