Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship Program

The educational mission of the Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship is to train individuals at the fellowship level to become future Laboratory Directors and/or expert consultants to support the growing field of clinical Molecular Genetic Pathology in academic and non-academic settings. Training is typically one year and is tailored to the long-term career interests of the fellow. Additional years of training may be available.

Molecular Genetic Pathology Environment

The Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellow is based in the Division of Molecular & Genomic Pathology (MGP). MGP is the primary clinical testing site for DNA and RNA-based assays in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System. The Division offers a range of clinical assays in the areas of inherited diseases (genetics) and oncology (hematologic and solid tumor). Over 21,000 tests are performed annually spanning major areas of solid tumor, hematologic oncology and genetics. Most assays are performed using next generation sequencing (NGS). Please visit for more information regarding tests offered.

MGP has an assortment of state-of-the-art instruments including automated Next Generation and conventional DNA sequencers, capillary electrophoresis instruments, quantitative PCR equipment, multiple thermal cyclers, spectrophotometers, fluorescent plate readers, power supplies and gel apparatuses.

The Division is located on the 7th and 8th floors of the newly renovated Clinical Laboratory Building. The Department's special hematology and flow cytometry laboratories are located in the same building. There is a particularly close working relationship with the Divisions of Hematopathology and Anatomic Pathology. The molecular infectious disease testing is carried out in laboratories located on adjacent floors in close proximity. The Division currently occupies ~18,000 square feet of space with additional space for assay development. The fellow is provided desk space with a computer that has access to the Department and Division laboratory information systems (LISs) as well as the internet. On-site parking is available for most rotations.

Clinical and Research Training

MGP Fellowship training is a one-year experience. The primary purpose of the MGP fellowship is to train the fellow to become an expert clinical consultant in molecular genetic testing as well as a qualified technical consultant in the choice, development, evaluation and interpretation of clinical assays. This phase of training occupies the majority of the first year during which the fellow is expected to undertake several clinical projects designed to lead to presentable and/or publishable results. The fellow is also exposed heavily to day-to-day management issues associated with running a modern molecular genetic laboratory and should be qualified to direct such a laboratory upon completing the fellowship. The training offered will meet the training requirements of the joint American Board of Pathology - American Board of Medical Genetics Training Program in Molecular Genetic Pathology .

An additional year of training may be available for fellows interested in basic research within or outside the Division of Molecular and Genomic Pathology. Research in the Division includes active basic research programs dealing with mechanisms and mediators of programmed cell death, oxidative mechanisms of pulmonary disease and cell signaling in endocrine and liver neoplasia. There are also ongoing clinical and translational research efforts; these include clinico-pathologic correlations and improved assay method development in genetic and oncologic disorders, quantitative assessment of gene expression, the use of microfabricated chips in diagnostics, and regulatory, economic, ethical, and informatics issues associated with clinical Molecular Genetic Pathology. The Program also interfaces with a number of clinical user groups in the Medical Center, as well as investigators in the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute as well as other faculty in the Department of Pathology to support developmental and clinical molecular genetic testing in a variety of cancers. There is a broad array of research opportunities elsewhere in the Department and the medical center to include particular strengths in cell growth, differentiation and regeneration, cancer, gene therapy, genomic sciences and quantitative genetics, neurosciences, immunology and molecular biology.

Fellow Responsibilities

Follow the link to learn more about Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship training objectives and duties.


Interactions in clinical service, laboratory projects and conference presentations form the basis for evaluation in the general areas described on the Department of Pathology Resident/Fellow evaluation Form including the following general areas.

  1. Performance of duties
  2. Knowledge of medicine, pathology and molecular genetic pathology
  3. Presentation skills at conferences
  4. Interpersonal skills
  5. Research skills and productivity

Input is solicited from all teaching faculty as well as laboratory staff in evaluating the fellow. Input from other Departmental faculty and clinical users is also incorporated as appropriate.

Application Requirements

The Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship program offers two (2) ACGME-approved positions per academic year.

Application requirements include:

  • The applicant must be board-eligible or board-certified in Pathology or Medical Genetics
  • The applicant must submit:
  • A minimum of three (3) letters of recommendation (one of which must be from the applicant's residency director) is required.
  • Materials can be emailed (preferably) or mailed to Dr. Oury or Amy Kirchner-Baker:

Tim D. Oury, MD, PhD - MGP Fellowship Director
Email Address:

Amy Kirchner-Baker - MGP Fellowship Coordinator
Email Address:

Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship Program
Clinical Laboratory Building
3477 Euler Way
Room 8032
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

  • Applications are typically accepted July 1 - December 1
  • Application Deadline: December 1 - 19 months in advance of the fellowship start date.

Tim Oury, MD, PhD
Director, Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship Program
S785 Scaife Hall
3550 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Office Telephone: 412-648-9659
Email Address:

Marie C. DeFrances, MD, PhD
Associate Director, Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship Program
Room S-406 BST
University of Pittsburgh
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Office Telephone: 412-648-8346
Fax: 412-648-1916
Email Address:

Amy Kirchner-Baker
Fellowship Coordinator
Office Phone: 412-864-0590
Fax: 412-802-6799
Email Address:

Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship Program
Clinical Laboratory Building
3477 Euler Way
Room 8032
Pittsburgh, PA 15213