Abigail I. Wald, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Pathology, Division of Molecular & Genomic Pathology

Dr. Wald is the Assistant Director of the Molecular & Genomic Pathology laboratory.

Clinical Expertise

As Assistant Director of the UPMC Molecular & Genomic Pathology laboratory, Dr. Wald supports clinical lab operations, technical quality control, and development, validation and implementation of new clinical testing.

Dr. Wald focuses on integrating cutting-edge techniques into routine molecular diagnostics, including targeted and expanded Next-Generation Sequencing assays and other high-throughput techniques, to identify genomic alterations that assist with diagnosis of disease, prognostication of disease, and therapeutic options for the patient.

Representative Publications

View Dr. Wald's publications on PubMed

  • Wald AI, Hoskins EE, Wells SI, Ferris RL, Khan SA. Alteration of microRNA profiles in squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck cell lines by human papillomavirus. Head Neck. 2011 Apr;33(4):504-12. PMID: 20652977.
  • Nikiforova MN, Wald AI, Roy S, Durso MB, Nikiforov YE. Targeted next-generation sequencing panel (ThyroSeq) for detection of mutations in thyroid cancer. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013;98(11):E1852-E1860. PMID: 23979959.
  • Roy S, Durso MB, Wald A, Nikiforov YE, Nikiforova MN. SeqReporter: Automating Next-Generation Sequencing Result Interpretation and Reporting Workflow in a Clinical Laboratory. J Mol Diagn. 2014 Jan;16(1):11-22. PMID: 24220144.
  • Chapman BV*, Wald AI*, Akhtar P, Munko AC, Xu J, Gibson SP, Grandis JR, Ferris RL, Khan SA. MicroRNA-363 targets myosin 1B to reduce cellular migration in head and neck cancer. BMC Cancer. 2015 Nov 6;15:861. PMID: 26545583.
  • Nikiforova MN, Wald AI, Melan MA, Roy S, Zhong S, Hamilton RL, Lieberman FS, Drappatz J, Amankulor NM, Pollack IF, Nikiforov YE, Horbinski C. Targeted next-generation sequencing panel (GlioSeq) provides comprehensive genetic profiling of central nervous system tumors. Neuro Oncol. 2016 Mar;18(3):379-87. PMID: 26681766.
  • Beadling C, Wald AI, Warrick A, Neff TL, Zhong S, Nikiforov YE, Corless CL, Nikiforova MN. A Multiplexed Amplicon Approach for Detecting Gene Fusions by Next-Generation Sequencing. J Mol Diagn. 2016 Mar;18(2):165-75. PMID: 26747586.
  • Theisen BK, Wald AI, Singhi AD. Molecular Diagnostics in the Evaluation of Pancreatic Cysts. Surg Pathol Clin. 2016 Sept;9(3):441-56. PMID: 27523971.
  • Panebianco F, Kelly LM, Liu P, Zhong S, Dacic S, Wang X, Singhi AD, Dhir R, Chiosea SI, Kuan SF, Bhargava R, Dabbs D, Trivedi S, Gandhi M, Diaz R, Wald AI, Carty SE, Ferris RL, Lee AV, Nikiforova MN, Nikiforov YE. THADA fusion is a mechanism of IGF2BP3 activation and IGF1R signaling in thyroid cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2017 Feb 28;114(9):2307-2312. PMID: 28193878.
  • Bhargava R, Florea AV, Pelmus M, Jones MS, Bonaventura M, Wald A, Nikiforoa M. Breast Tumor Resembling Tall Cell Variant of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma: A Solid Papillary Neoplasm With Characteristic Immunohistochemical Profile and Few Recurrent Mutations. Am J Clin Pathol. 2017. Apr 1;147(4):399-410. PMID: 28375433.
  • Singhi AD, McGrath K, Brand RE, Khalid A, Zeh HJ, Chennat JS, Fasanella KE, Papachristou GI, Slivka A, Bartlett DL, Dasyam AK, Hogg M, Lee KK, Marsh JW, Monaco SE, Ohori NP, Pingpank JF, Tsung A, Zureikat AH, Wald AI, Nikiforova MN. Preoperative next-generation sequencing of pancreatic cyst fluid is highly accurate in cyst classification and detection of advanced neoplasia. Gut. 2018 Dec;67(12):2131-2141. PMID: 28970292.
  • Nikiforova MN, Mercurio S, Wald AI, Barbi de Moura M, Callenberg K, Santana-Santos L, Gooding WE, Yip L, Ferris RL, Nikiforov YE. Analytical performance of the ThyroSeq v3 genomic classifier for cancer diagnosis in thyroid nodules. Cancer. 2018 Apr 15;124(8):1682-1690. PMID: 29345728.
  • Efanov AA, Brenner AV, Bogdanova TI, Kelly LM, Liu P, Little MP, Wald AI, Hatch M, Zurnadzy LY, Nikiforova MN, Drozdovitch V, Mabuchi K, Tronko MD, Chanock SJ, Nikiforov YE. Investigation of the Relationship Between Radiation Dose and Gene Mutations and Fusions in Post-Chernobyl Thyroid Cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2018 Apr 1;110(4):371-378. PMID: 29486199.
  • Nikiforova MA, Nikitski AV, Panebianco F, Kaya C, Yip L, Williams M, Chiosea SI, Seethala RR, Roy S, Condello V, Santana-Santos L, Wald AI, Carty SE, Ferris RL, El-Naggar AK, Nikiforov YE. GLIS Rearrangement is a Genomic Hallmark of Hyalinizing Trabecular Tumor of the Thyroid Gland. Thyroid. 2019 Feb;29(2):161-173. PMID: 30648929.
  • Smith NG, Gyanchandani R, Shah OS, Gurda GT, Lucas PC, Hartmaier RJ, Brufsky AM, Puhalla S, Bahreini A, Kota K, Wald AI, Nikiforov YE, Nikiforova MN, Oesterreich S, Lee AV. Targeted mutation detection in breast cancer using MammaSeqâ„¢. Breast Cancer Res. 2019 Feb 8;21(1):22. PMID: 30736836.
  • Singhi AD, Nikiforova MN, Chennat J, Papachristou GI, Khalid A, Rabinovitz M, Das R, Sarkaria S, Ayasso MS, Wald AI, Monaco SE, Nalesnik M, Ohori NP, Geller D, Tsung A, Zureikat AH, Zeh H, Marsh JW, Hogg M, Lee K, Bartlett DL, Pingpank JF, Humar A, Bahary N, Dasyam AK, Brand R, Fasanella KE, McGrath K, Slivka A. Integrating next-generation sequencing to endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)-obtained biliary specimens improves the detection and management of patients with malignant bile duct strictures. Gut. 2019 Apr 10. PMID: 30971436.
  • Roy S, Agnihotri S, El Hallani S, Ernst WL, Wald AI, Santana Dos Santos L, Hamilton RL, Horbinski CM, Wadhwani NR, Born DE, Pollack IF, Nikiforov YE, Nikiforova MN. Clinical Utility of GlioSeq Next-Generation Sequencing Test in Pediatric and Young Adult Patients With Brain Tumors. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2019 June 10. PMID: 31298284.
  • Panebianco F, Nikitski AV, Nikiforova M, Kaya C, Yip L, Condello V, Wald AI, Nikiforov YE, Chiosea SI. Characterization of Thyroid Cancer Driven by Known and Novel ALK Fusions. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2019 Sep 1. PMID: 31539879.
  • Singhi AD, Wood LD, Parks E, Torbenson MS, Felsenstein M, Hruban RH, Nikiforova MN, Wald AI, Kaya C, Nikiforov YE, Favazza L, He J, McGrath K, Fasanella KE, Brand RE, Lennon AM, Furlan A, Dasyam AK, Zureikat AH, Zeh HJ, Lee K, Bartlett DL, Slivka A. Recurrent Rearrangements in PRKACA and PRKACB in Intraductal Oncocytic Papillary Neoplasms of the Pancreas and Bile Duct. Gastroenterology. 2019 Oct 30;S0016-5085(19)41481-9. PMID: 31678302.
  • Nikiforova MN, Lepe M, Tolino LA, Miller ME, Ohori NP, Wald AI, Landau MS, Kaya C, Malapelle U, Bellevicine C, Troncone G, Nikiforov YE, Baloch Z. Thyroid cytology smear slides: An untapped resource for ThyroSeq testing. Cancer Cytopathol. 2020 Jul 22. PMID: 32697051.
  • Favazza LA, Parseghian CM, Kaya C, Nikiforova MN, Roy S, Wald AI, Landau MS, Proksell SS, Dueker JM, Johnston ER, Brand RE, Bahary N, Gorantla VC, Rhee JC, Pingpank JF, Choudry HA, Lee K, Panniccia A, Ongchin MC, Zureikat AH, Bartlett DL, Singhi AD. KRAS amplification in metastatic colon cancer is associated with a history of inflammatory bowel disease and may confer resistance to anti-EGFR therapy. Mod Pathol. 2020 Sept;33(9):1832-1843. PMID: 32376853.
  • Jones TE, Bellin, MD, Yadav D, Freeman ML, Schwarzenberg SJ, Slivka A, Chennat JS, Beilman GJ, Chinnakotla S, Pruett TL, Kirchner V, Humar A, Wijkstrom M, Zureikat AH, Nikiforova MN, Wald AI, Whitcomb DC, Singhi AD. The histopathology of SPINK1-assocatied chronic pancreatitis. Pancreatology. 2020 Oct 16. PMID: 33097431.
  • Chong AS, Nikiforov YE, Condello V, Wald AI, Nikiforova MN, Foulkes WD, Rivera B. Prevalence and spectrum of DICER1 mutations in adult-onset thyroid nodules with indeterminate cytology. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Jan 18. PMID: 33460435.
  • Yip L, Gooding WE, Nikitski A, Wald AI, Carty SE, Karslioglu-French E, Seethala RR, Zandberg DP, Ferris RL, Nikiforova MN, Nikiforov YE. Risk assessment for distant metastasis in differentiated thyroid cancer using molecular profiling: A matched case-control study. Cancer. 2021 Feb 4. PMID: 33539547.