Translational and Clinical Research

Interdisciplinary Research Teams

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine includes basic biomedical researchers, physician scientists, and anatomic and clinical pathologists located on the Brown campus and at the affiliated hospitals. These faculty work together with other researchers and clinicians at Brown Medical School to study the basic mechanisms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human disease. Three examples of these interdisciplinary research teams include those that focus on Cancer, Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease, Global Health, and Prenatal Diagnosis and Early Pregnancy Loss.


Pathologists play a central role in the collection, storage, and categorization of human tissue samples and they have the diagnostic and management skills needed to use these specimens for quantitative and molecular analyses. Dr. Murray Resnick, Director of Surgical Pathology at Lifespan Academic Medical Center, has developed a human tumor bank and established a Molecular Pathology Core Laboratory to facilitate research on new diagnostic and prognostic markers of human cancer. The surgical pathologists at Lifespan and Women and Infants Hospital are key members of interdisciplinary clinical research teams studying cancer of the prostate, breast, colon, esophagus, brain, and female reproductive tract.

Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease

 Pathologists are working with basic scientists, clinical neuroscientists, neurologists, and geriatricians to study aging, Alzheimer's disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases. This research team includes neuropathologists at Lifespan Academic Medical Center: Drs. Edward Stopa, Suzanne de la Monte and John Donahue.

Global International Health

 Drs. Jonathan Kurtis and Jennifer Friedman lead the Center for International Health Research at Rhode Island Hospital, applying techniques of molecular biology, immunology, and population biology to screen for naturally-occurring determinants of resistance to malaria, and utilizing these findings to develop strategies to prevent malaria in children who are naturally susceptible.  They are involved in a multidisciplinary research program:  "Immune-Based Interventions Against Infectious Diseases", a new COBRE grant awarded to the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island Hospital. 

Pathologists at Women and Infants Hospital are linked to national and international research networks on fetal and maternal health.

Drs. Jacob Canick, Geralyn Messerlain, and James Haddow are developing and validating new genetic markers to screen for fetal disease. Dr. M. Halit Pinar leads a national collaborative study on placental pathology and early pregnancy loss. Other researchers involved in perinatal and reproductive pathology include Drs. Surendra Sharma, Fusun Gungodan, and Monique DePaepe. Dr. Jake Kurtis recently received a grant from the Gates Foundation to develop new strategies to prevent maternal deaths and pregnancy loss associated with malaria.


Clinical Research at our Hospitals

Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island

The faculty in the Divisions of Perinatal Pathology, Gynecologic/Breast Pathology, and Medical Screening and Special Testing and Genetics at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island (WIH) are involved in a wide variety of research projects.  These studies range from the investigation of fetal lung development, fetal alcohol syndrome, and placental pathology to the discovery of prognostic cancer markers.  The hospital’s multidisciplinary approach to the care of women with breast and gynecologic cancers provides unique opportunities for clinicopathologic studies of tumor oncogenesis and diagnosis.  Another facet of investigative pathology from our Division of Medical Screening and Special Testing involves expertise in clinical biomarker discovery, which has led to the development and implementation of promising new assays and methods in prenatal screening and cancer biomarker analysis.