University of Southern California
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Department of Pathology

Hoffman Medical Research Center 204
2011 Zonal Avenue, Los Angeles 90089‑9092

M.S. Student Advisor: Cheng-Ming Chuong, M.D., Ph.D., (323) 442-1296

Ph.D. Student Advisor: Florence M. Hofman, Ph.D., (323) 442-1153

FAX: (323) 442-3049


Michael E. Selsted, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair

Renette and Marshall Ezralow Family Chair in Cancer Therapeutics: Parkash Gill, M.D.

Harold E. Lee Chair in Cancer Research: Michael F. Press, M.D., Ph.D.

Kenneth T. Norris, Jr., Chair in Medicine: Edward D. Crandall, M.D., Ph.D.

Rita and Edward Polusky Chair in Basic Cancer Research: Michael Lieber, Ph.D., M.D.

Rupert and Gertrude Stieger Vision Research Chair: Narsing Rao, M.D.

Gavin S. Herbert Professor of Vision Research: David R. Hinton, M.D.

Professors: V. Askanas (Neurology); P.T. Chandrasoma*; C.-M. Chuong; T.D. Coates (Pediatrics); E.D. Crandall (Medicine); L. Dubeau; W.K. Engel (Neurology); A.L. Epstein; P.S. Gill (Medicine); F.H. Gilles (Neurological Surgery, Neurology); S. Govindarajan; D. Hinton (Neurological Surgery, Ophthalmology); F.M. Hofman (Ophthalmology, Neurological Surgery); R.W. Jelliffe (Medicine); M.N. Koss; M.R. Lieber (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology); T.M. Mack (Family and Preventive Medicine); C.A. Miller (Neurology); B.N. Nathwani; A. Ouellette; P.K. Pattengale (Molecular Microbiology and Immunology); M.F. Press; F.P. Quismorio, Jr. (Medicine); N.A. Rao (Ophthalmology); S. Rasheed; P. Roy‑Burman (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)*; M.E. Selsted; R.P. Sherwin; D.K. Shibata; I.A. Shulman; M.R. Stallcup (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology); C.R. Taylor; T.J. Triche (Pediatrics); H. Tsukamoto

Associate Professors: S. Bellusci (Surgery); T.C. Chen (Neurological Surgery); A. Erdreich-Epstein (Pediatrics); B.H. Gross (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medicine); A. Kovacs (Pediatrics); B.W. Kovacs (Obstetrics and Gynecology); J.R. Landolph (Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology); H.A. Liebman (Medicine); S.E. Martin; S.B. Turkel (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Pediatrics)

Assistant Professors: S. Asgharzadeh (Pediatrics); E.P. Kartalov; Y.M. Kim (Pediatrics); K. Kobielak; R.D. Ladner; B. Stiles (Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences)

Adjunct Professor: W.M. Blackmore (Physiology and Biophysics)

Clinical Professors: A.M. Abrams (Dentistry); M.D. Appleman; C.A. Bell; K.J. Bloom; H.N. Canawati; J.N. Carberry; J. Cicciarelli (Urology); J. De La Torre-Bueno; K.A. Frankel; B. Gottlieb (Medicine); A.M. Gown; T.S. Greaves; D.N. Halikis; D.S. Harrington; D.V. Hoang; R.E. Horowitz; G. Kanel; L. Khawli; D.V. Kon; O.T. Kuzma (Medicine); D.H. Mills; J.M. Mirra; D.L. Moyer; J. Nelson; G.A. Pangalis; G.C. Ponto; C. Rogers; A.A. Roscher; L. Sathyavagiswaran (Medicine); K. Sheibani; S.-R. Shi; S.V. Sostrin

Clinical Associate Professors: M.I. Abbott; J.S. Allan; H.M. Bauer; W.F. Burgos; M.H. Cheng; C. J. Cobb; M.M. Cosgrove; B.D. Florentine; J.T. Gmelich; C.I. Goldsmith; C.J. Hanna; R.M. Hathout; T.E. Howard; P.C. Hsieh; P. Malik (Pediatrics); L.G. McCarthy; J.M. McDonnell; H. Muensch; C.C. Osborn; H.Y. Pak; G. Pezeshkpour; M. Pietruszka; R.M. Protzel; A.S.S. Raza; J.K. Ribe; K. Saeger; R.M. Silton; J.S. Wollman

Clinical Assistant Professors: A.R. Abrams; I.S. Arulanantham; A. Baltayan; B. Bodey; J. Bonadio; S.G. Brodie; X. Bu; E. Carpenter, Jr.; J.A. Chan; L.-S. Chen; W. Chick; O. Chinwah; P.D. Colman; D.K. Darvish; C.E. Day; E.C. Dinovo; K.A. Fagin; P.L. Fitzgibbons; R. Gellibolian; M.D. Haimowitz; N.V. Heard; A.M. Hieshima; R. Karjoo; L.K. Kelly; T.M. Kim; M.T. Kiyabu; V. Knez; D.L. Krasne; B.J. Le Berthon; M.S. Lewis; K. Matsuda; J. Nachazel; C.M. Nadelman; V. Nelson; L. Nguyen; M. Osby; J.A. Pachiarz; L.A. Pena; R. Phan; G. Pinsky; B.E. Platz; B.J. Poletti; A.K. Rechdouni; S.K. Reddy; V. Richters; S. Sadeghi; S. Sahgal; L.A. Scheinin; R.K. Schmidt; W.M. Schultheis; T.A. Sherwood; R.A. Soni; S.D. Stewart; J. Toh; D.D. Tschirhart, Jr.; R.R. Turner; E.A. Wagar; C. Williams; P. Yetur; K.J. Young; S.M. Zneimer

Clinical Instructors: P. Javaherbin; K.K.Y. Lai; G.N. Pontrelli

Professors of Clinical: R.K. Brynes; .K.-M. Chan; J.F. Emerson; D.B. Endres; J.C. Felix (Obstetrics and Gynecology); E.M. Gomperts (Pediatrics); A.L. Hiti; C.B. Inderlied (Molecular Microbiology and Immunology); Y. Iwaki (Urology, Surgery); A.J. Keyser; W.Y. Naritoku; P.W. Nichols; L.M. Petrovic; A.E. Sherrod; H. Shimada; S. Wu (Pediatrics)

Professors of Research: J. Groffen (Pediatrics); E. Heisterkamp (Pediatrics)

Associate Professors of Clinical: R. Atkinson (Neurology); N.J. Barr; D.B. Casebolt; D.L. Commins; A.N. Fedenko (Orthopaedic Surgery); J.L. Fridey; Y. Ma; R.D. MacPhee; G.D. Zeger

Assistant Professors of Clinical: M. Burnett (Neurology); A.J. Correa; W.A. Elatre; D. Hawes; S. He (Ophthalmology); G.H. Kim; N.E. Klipfel; I. Knezevic-Maramica; F. Ough; K.A. Rich; M.E. Sibug Saber; S. Shamszadeh; I. Siddiqi; R.G. Simental-Pizarro; K.D. Tsoulas; L.Wang; L.L. Wang; Y. Wang; J. Zheng

Associate Professors of Research: W. Cozen (Preventive Medicine); R.B. Widelitz; L. Wu

Assistant Professors of Research: M.J. Anderson; K. Asahani; Y.-P. Han (Surgery); P. Hu; T. Jiang; S. Lee; R.A. Moats (Radiology); K.A. Nash; P. Tongaonkar; P. Wu; J.F. Zhong

Research Associate Professor: S.M. Brennan

Research Assistant Professors: N.W. Marten; E. Ojo-Amaize; Y. Ouyang; T. Schichinohe; A. T’Ang

Research Professor: T. Oki

Resident Clinical Instructors: S. Acree; M. Afkhami; J. Benjamin; W. Bishop; E. Broxman; D. Buxton; R. Chan; D. Cortez; S. Das; A. D’Auria; J. Guo; K. Iverson; M. Karunanayake; M. Kennedy; C. Lee; A. Liu; C. Lwin; J. Marchan; M. Nagamine; Z. Piao; D. Rhee; M. Sandoval; D. Shen; S. Srivastava; V. Tunru-Dinh; Shalini Verma; M. Welker; Y. Xu; L. Zamis; A. Zarrinpar; G. Zhao; S. Zhou

Emeritus Professors: S.B. Chandor; J.W. Parker; A. Richters; D. Tatter; R. Terry; N.E. Warner; E.T. Wong

Emeritus Associate Professors: A.D. Cramer; R.M. Nakamura

Emeritus Clinical Professors: H.S. Aijian; R. Aller; M. Greenblatt; G.G. Hadley; W.H. Kern; J.A. Kernen; E.B. Reilly; D.S. Shillam; R.J. Schroeder; S.C. Sommers; P.R. Thompson

Emeritus Clinical Associate Professor: W.C. Smith

Emeritus Clinical Assistant Professors: R.L. McClure; J.K. Waken

Emeritus Professors of Clinical: J.F.P. Dixon; T.T. Noguchi (Emergency Medicine)

Emeritus Associate Professor of Clinical: W.P. Lewis

Emeritus Assistant Professor of Clinical: R.B. Hopper

Emeritus Professor of Research: T.L. Lincoln

*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.

The Department of Pathology provides training for both medical and graduate students. Medical students are trained in general, systemic and cellular pathology, providing them with an understanding and visualization of the basic processes underlying symptoms and clinical courses, as well as the ability to evaluate laboratory findings. This department also contributes to the training of residents and fellows at the LAC+USC Healthcare Network, USC University Hospital and Norris Cancer Hospital, and the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare Network, providing these residents and fellows with an intensive residency program in anatomic and clinical pathology and offering subspecialty fellowship training in surgical pathology, cytopathology, hematopathology and neuropathology.

The Department of Pathology has both a Master of Science and a Ph.D. program. The two-year M.S. program provides training in the latest technologies and concepts of biomedical research and provides the graduate with enhanced opportunities for positions in biotechnology companies, teaching colleges and various health department/governmental positions. The Ph.D. program provides the student with training to be an independent scientist. Faculty members provide a cutting-edge scientific environment in the fields of cancer research, neurodegenerative disorders, AIDS and other disease processes.

With more than 87 full-time faculty and more than 40 residents and fellows in training, the USC Department of Pathology is one of the largest pathology departments in the United States. The department is particularly strong in areas of surgical pathology, cytopathology, hematopathology, immunocytochemistry, immunopathology, neuropathology, and AIDS-related research. The department maintains active research programs in hematopathology, neuropathology and translational cancer research and has begun to expand its base in radioimmunoimaging and immunotherapy. It also has ongoing research projects in the new areas of molecular and genetic pathology. Since October 2003, the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Pathology Residency Training Program has been incorporated with the LAC+USC Medical Center Pathology Residency Training Program.

The department provides diagnostic laboratory services for the LAC+USC Medical Center, the Norris Cancer Hospital, the Doheny Eye Hospital, USC University Hospital and the USC Clinical Laboratories Group. Approximately 40 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 in excess of 500. The Norris Cancer Hospital and Research Institute and USC University Hospital houses seven full-time pathologists, two fellows, two residents and approximately 25 clerical and support staff.

Graduate Programs

General Admissions
Applicants to the graduate program in pathology must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with an undergraduate major in one of the natural sciences; a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for undergraduate work is required. Applicants must submit undergraduate transcripts and letters of recommendation from two undergraduate teachers with their application. All applicants must take the general portion of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). A combined score of at least 1100 for the verbal and quantitative scores is required. International students whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) examination. Personal interviews by members of the department’s Graduate Committee may be requested.

Original application materials, except letters of recommendation, should be sent to the Office of Admission, University of Southern California. To expedite consideration of the application, applicants should also send photocopies of the application, transcripts, and GRE scores to the Pathology Department’s Graduate Committee secretary, Lisa Doumak. Letters of recommendation should be addressed directly to the secretary, Graduate Committee. Applications are considered for admission to both the fall and spring semesters.

Residency and Fellowship Programs
The Department of Pathology offers seven first-year residency positions and 28 residency positions in its fully approved four-year training program in anatomic and clinical pathology at the LAC+USC Medical Center. Training is offered in autopsy and surgical pathology, neuropathology, cytology, microbiology, hematopathology, immunohematology, clinical chemistry, toxicology, immunopathology, radioisotopes, cytogenetics, instrumentation, management, computer techniques, electron microscopy, molecular pathology and other specialty areas. The Department of Pathology also offers the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) fully-credited fellowship training in cytopathology (four positions). Hematopathology (two positions) and neuropathology (one position). The Surgical Pathology Fellowship Training Program recently received five years full accreditation of their program (seven positions).

Master of Science in Experimental and Molecular Pathology
The Department of Pathology offers a program for the master of science degree with a major in experimental and molecular pathology. The primary objectives of this program are to provide the necessary theoretical and practical training in experimental pathology that culminates with the master of science degree. Goals of the program are to train students in preparation for senior research staff or senior technician positions in academic or industrial institutes, further M.D. or Ph.D. study, consultantships requiring multidisciplinary backgrounds or advanced teaching positions in community colleges.

Admissions The prerequisite for applicants to this program in pathology is a bachelor’s degree with an undergraduate major in one of the natural sciences. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in the natural sciences (including mathematics) is usually required. Applicants must achieve a competitive score on the general portions of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). In addition, the department requires at least three letters of recommendation from faculty members who can evaluate the applicant’s potential for graduate work. Demonstrated proficiency in the English language is required. International students whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) examination. Special circumstances may provide consideration for conditional admission.

Course Requirements At least 34 units of graduate study are required. The required courses include INTD 522 Infection and Host Responses (4), INTD 531 Cell Biology (4), INTD 550 Introduction to Pathology (2), INTD 551 Advanced Pathology (6), INTD 571 Biochemistry (4), PATH 552ab Methods in Experimental Pathology (5) and PATH 570ab Seminar in Pathology (2). Fourteen or more course units must be taken in the Department of Pathology, 8 units may be pursued outside the department, and a maximum of 8 units of directed research in pathology may be applied to the degree. No more than 4 units of course work taken outside of USC should be applied toward the M.S. degree requirements. Students considering such an action should submit a petition to the pathology graduate committee and document a rigorous academic standard for the course (reading materials, texts and other performance criteria, lecture content, etc.). The pathology graduate committee reviews the petition and informs the student of its decision.

Master’s Examinations/Master’s Thesis
The Master of Science has the option of either an experiment-based thesis or theory-based thesis course of study. Each student’s program will be tailored to suit individual needs and background. Students who require training mainly in the knowledge of pathology may opt for the theory-based thesis course of study. Students also have an opportunity to register for directed research (PATH 590). For the experiment-based thesis option, the student must take PATH 594ab Master’s Thesis. For the theory-based thesis option, the student must take GRSC 810 Studies for Master’s Examination during the semester they plan to graduate if not otherwise enrolled.

Doctor of Philosophy in Pathobiology
The Pathology Department’s graduate program in pathobiology prepares individuals for careers in research and teaching and leads to conferment of the Ph.D. degree. The program seeks to develop scientists who have a sound understanding of disease and are capable of creating experimental approaches to investigate its mechanisms with a goal of either basic science or translational research. The program can be varied to fit individual requirements and goals. Areas of research include cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, molecular biology, stem cell, virology and developmental biology.

Course Requirements The Ph.D. course work consists of 30 credits of required courses and a minimum of 30 units of elective credits. The elective courses may be chosen from those offered within and outside the department; the student must make up any prerequisite deficiencies before taking a required or elective course for which that background is necessary. Required courses include INTD 522 Infection and Host Responses (4), INTD 531 Cell Biology (4), INTD 550 Introduction to Pathology (2), INTD 551 Advanced Pathology (6), INTD 561 Molecular Genetics (4), INTD 571 Biochemistry (4) or prior equivalent, PATH 570ab Seminar in Pathology (2), PATH 794ab Doctoral Dissertation (4). The remaining 30 units will consist of 8 units from the courses listed below, or any other graduate level course of interest to the student, research credits (not to exceed 14 units), and up to an additional 4 units of dissertation research: BIOC 542, INTD 504, INTD 555, MICB 502, MICB 542, MICB 551, MPTX 500, PATH 552ab, PATH 570cd, PATH 575, PATH 580, PATH 581, PATH 599, PATH 630, PHBI 562, PM 510L. During years I and II, students are advised to rotate through at least two research laboratories. The student must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA for all course work, exclusive of research credits.

The Ph.D. advisor is available to advise each newly admitted student regarding educational objectives and research interests, to acquaint the student with the research activities of the department, and to recommend a program of graduate courses and research. The Ph.D. advisor must approve the student’s program before the student may register for any courses, evaluate the performance of each first-year student and approve the student’s progress before the student may register for the second year. The student’s guidance committee should evaluate yearly progress. This may be a written or oral screening examination.

Guidance Committee Not later than one month after being approved to register for the second year, each student must file for formation of a five-member guidance committee, one member of which must be from a department other than pathology. This committee guides and advises the student during preparation for the qualifying examination and writing of a research proposal. This committee may also serve as a dissertation committee, or the student may request changes in membership. The dissertation committee must have at least three members: chairman, tenured Pathology faculty, and tenured faculty outside the Pathology Department. The dissertation committee advises the student once the qualifying examination has been successfully completed, throughout the research period and concluding with the evaluation of the dissertation.

Qualifying Examination To be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree, each student is required to pass both the written and oral portions of a qualifying examination, usually taken no later than the fifth semester of graduate standing. The examination is designed to test the student’s core knowledge in pathobiology and to determine fitness and competence to undertake independent research. The written portion of the examination is prepared by the Pathology Graduate Committee and is offered once each year.

The oral examination is administered by the student’s guidance committee and is based in part on a written proposal which the student must submit two weeks prior to the oral examination. The written proposal follows the NIH application guidelines, and must consist of an original research project.

Dissertation and Oral Defense The written dissertation is prepared in a format commonly used by major peer-reviewed scientific journals that publish similar experimental results. When the student has substantially completed the research and writing of the dissertation, the department requires that the student orally defend the dissertation’s research conclusions. Although attendance at the oral defense is open to all members of the department and other interested faculty, the examination is conducted and evaluated solely by the candidate’s dissertation committee. The student may defend the dissertation at any time in the year mutually agreeable to the dissertation committee. It should be noted that the Master of Science degree is not automatically awarded to Ph.D. students who do not finish the Ph.D. program.