Neuropathology, one of the oldest medical subspecialties, emerged as a profession during the 19th century. Many distinguished individuals during the early days of neurology and psychiatry were practicing neuropathologists, including Freud, Alzheimer, Charcot and Kraepelin. Neuropathology is primarily an academic discipline, aimed at understanding the pathologic reactions of all parts of the central and peripheral nervous systems at both the gross and microscopic levels. In addition, neuropathologists serve as valuable consultants to other clinicians who are involved in the treatment of patients with brain tumors, neuromuscular disorders, infections, and degenerative diseases.

The Division of Neuropathology in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University is physically located on the third floor of the Physicians’ Office Building (POB) at Rhode Island Hospital, with lab space on the twelfth floor of the Ambulatory Patient Center (APC) building. The faculty includes three full-time neuropathologists: Drs. Douglas C. Anthony, Ivana Delalle, and John E. Donahue, as well as a full-time histotechnologist devoted to doing the special stains required for studying the nervous system. There are also two full-time neuropathology fellows plus rotators from the neurology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology, psychiatry, and pathology residencies and medical students from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. The program provides didactic instruction to Alpert Medical School students and graduate students in the multidisciplinary departments associated with the Carney Institute for Brain Science at Brown University (neuroscience, mathematics, computer science, and engineering). 

The neuropathology division covers a patient service area of over 1 million people and includes all of the Brown University-affiliated hospitals, as well as most of the neighboring community hospitals in Rhode Island, southeastern Massachusetts, and eastern Connecticut. We also provide regular consultation services to the Rhode Island Medical Examiner’s Office and have been used as consultants by other state Medical Examiner’s Offices, as well as pathologists at distant hospitals and universities. The neuropathology division enhances our neurology, psychiatry, and neurosurgery residency training programs by providing academically-oriented, didactic instruction to trainees in these other disciplines. All neurology and neurosurgery residents rotate through neuropathology during their training. A neuropathology division is also necessary for the accreditation of these residency programs.

 

Program Details

Goals

To train career neuropathologists in clinical diagnostic skills through the use of gross, microscopic, and ultrastructural analyses of tissue samples obtained within a hospital setting which offers a diverse and steady case mix and excellent support services.

To provide research skills by exposure to techniques and methodology which will enable the trainee to qualify, enter, and contribute in research fields or academic medicine.

To encourage dialogue, independent investigation, and interdisciplinary cooperation with other members of the Pathology Department, the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute, and various basic science departments with the medical school

Supervision

In accordance with hospital guidelines, an attending pathologist with the appropriate hospital privileges must make all autopsy and surgical final diagnoses.  Fellows are expected to participate in this process by organizing autopsy and surgical case material, rendering a preliminary pathologic diagnosis, and signing out final diagnoses under the supervision of a member of the neuropathology staff.  The attending staff works closely with the fellows and is readily available to make recommendations and answer questions.

General Overview

Background:  Neuropathology, one of the oldest medical subspecialties, emerged as a profession during the 19th century. Since then, many distinguished individuals in the fields of neurology and psychiatry have been practicing neuropathologists including: Freud, Alzheimer, Charcot and Kraeplin.  Neuropathology is primarily an academic discipline, aimed at understanding the pathological reactions of all parts of the central and peripheral nervous systems at both the gross and microscopic levels.  In addition, neuropathologists serve as valuable consultants to other clinicians who are involved in the treatment of patients with brain tumors, neuromuscular disorders, infections and degenerative diseases. 

Fellowship Description:  Drs. Anthony, Delalle, and Donahue represent the third generation of neuropathologists at Rhode Island Hospital.  Various records within our division date back to the turn of the 20th century.  The neuropathology fellowship originated in the early 1970’s under the mentorship of Dr. Stanley Aronson, the former dean of the Brown University School of Medicine.  At that time, there were approximately six full-time neuropathologists working within the state of Rhode Island.  The fellowship has been ACGME-approved since its origin.  In the past, the fellowship position was filled primarily by anatomic pathology, neurosurgery, or neurology residents who wanted one year of additional neuropathology experience. 

Curriculum Expectations

Fellows are expected to participate in all weekly conferences and other service-related activities and play an instrumental role in the autopsy service and are responsible for reviewing the clinical record and removing the brain and other relevant tissue specimens.  In addition, they are responsible for reviewing relevant clinical, pathologic, and molecular studies related to the case.  Fellows are expected to assist in all frozen sections diagnoses, nerve and muscle biopsies, and final surgical diagnoses. A minimum of 12 months must be devoted to clinical service activities.  Fellows are encouraged to devote 3-12 months pursuing an independent research project in basic or translational neuroscience and to publish their findings in a peer reviewed journal.

Teaching Opportunities and Responsibilities

Neuropathology is a division within the Department of Pathology.  Its primary concern is the teaching of diagnostic neuropathology to the neuropathology fellows and pathology residents utilizing clinical-pathologic correlation, as well as a variety of molecular, histologic, and immunologic techniques.

Fellow Salary and Benefits

Fellows are employees of the Rhode Island Hospital and are appointed with renewable one- year contracts approved by the Graduate Medical Education Committee at Rhode Island Hospital.  Stipends are commensurate with the year of postgraduate training, four weeks of paid vacation plus approximately 10 holidays, malpractice insurance, and reduced rates for health insurance.  Some moneys are available for travel expenses, book purchase, and meeting/course registration.

Fellows will have ready access to the Program Director, as well as to the technical and clerical staff within the Neuropathology Division.

Application Process

Send inquiries to:

John E. Donahue, MD
Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
[email protected]

Alisha Lima
Residency and Fellowship Program Coordinator
[email protected]

Faculty

John E. Donahue, MD
Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
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Douglas C. Anthony, MD, PhD
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
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Ivana Delalle, MD, PhD 
Director of Neuropathology
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Fellows

Alumni

Albert Klein, MD (1992-1994)
Michael Sikirica, MD (1994-1996)
Deviyani Lathi, MD (1995-1998)
Keith Brecher, MD (1995-1997)
Edward Famiglietti, MD (1995-1999)
John E. Donahue, MD (1996-1999)
William Taylor, MD (1998-2000)
Howard Chang, MD (1999-2001)
Aaron Gleckman, MD (1999-2001)
Jason Peck, MD (2001-2002)
Thomas Lee Chalker, MD (2001-2003)
Louis Neipris, MD (2002-2003)
Qian Wu, MD (2003-2005)
Lesli Tull, MD (2004-2005)
Brian E. Moore, MD, MEd (2003-2004, 2005-2006)
Robert Bagdasaryn, MD (2005-2007)
Carlos Chaves-Arias (2006-2007)
Victor Alvarez, MD (2007-2009)
Mirfrida Geller, MD (2007-2009)
Dorota Latusynski, MD (2009-2010)
Jason E. DeGregorio, MD (2009-2011)
Mohammad J. Mahboob, MD (2011-2013)
Anne H. Lee, MD, Ph.D. (2011-12, 2013-15)
Keyla Klyser-Sugrue, MD (2012-2014)
Michael Punsoni, MD (2014-2016)
Nelli S. Lakis, MD (2015-2017)
Darren Groh, MD (2016-2018)
Galam A. Khan, MD (2017-2019)