Thoracic Pathology Clinical Fellowship Program

The Thoracic Pathology fellowship at UPMC Presbyterian is a one to two year fellowship oriented towards training residents or surgical pathology fellows in thoracic pathology. The program stresses both inflammatory and neoplastic thoracic pathology, with an emphasis on the utilization of state of the art immunohistochemical, fluorescence in situ hybridization, and molecular techniques in both analysis of clinical material and in translational research.

The fellowship is based at UPMC Presbyterian although it receives material from thoracic resections at both UPMC Presbyterian and UPMC Shadyside. The goal of the fellowship is to educate thoracic fellows in three major areas of thoracic pathology: inflammatory lung disease including lung transplantation, neoplastic pulmonary pathology, and the pathology of the mediastinum. The program trains academically-oriented fellows via one on one interactions with dedicated thoracic pathologists with an ability for the thoracic fellow to obtain independent signout experience towards the end of the fellowship year and the potential for an instructorship or assistant professorship at the University of Pittsburgh. The fellowship emphasizes the intimate relationship between pulmonologists, thoracic radiologists, pathologists and thoracic surgeons in the evaluation of pulmonary and mediastinal disease. These interactions take place within a variety of clinicopathologic conferences in addition to intrasectional meetings.

Fellows are expected to undertake at least one investigational project and are strongly encouraged to present at national meetings. The nature of these projects will depend on the fellow’s interest but can take advantage of the special interests of members of the faculty in thoracic pathology, which include fluorescence in situ hybridization, array based comparative genomic hybridization, loss of heterozygosity analysis, and thoracic cytopathology.

Thoracic Pathology Environment

The section of Thoracic Pathology includes four full time faculty. The section is responsible for the handling of all materials resected from the thorax, including lung/pleura, mediastinum, and heart. These materials are analyzed at UPMC Presbyterian and daily signout with faculty members is accompanied by multiple general surgical pathology and thoracic oriented conferences during the week. In addition to a histology lab which provides routine histochemical and immunohistochemical stains, the department has advanced clinical testing in in situ hybridization, fluorescent in situ hybridization and molecular anatomic pathology. To this end, nearly all thoracic neoplasms are analyzed utilizing these materials. Similarly because the University of Pittsburgh is the largest thoracic transplantation program in the world, laboratory testing is extensively utilized for the immunopathologic analysis of acute and chronic lung rejection, as well as assessment of a variety of rare and unusual infectious organisms. Facilities also include state of the art instrumentation and informatics support, along with several research laboratories.

The section of Thoracic Pathology handles over 5000 specimens per year, each seemingly a difficult and challenging one. In addition, a growing and expanding consultation service, which handles voluminous numbers of cases from around the country and world, allows exposure to rare and unusual, primarily inflammatory, lung conditions. A library containing teaching materials from the upper and lower respiratory tract is available for fellow education, and is shared with fellows in otolaryngic pathology. This library includes numerous teaching sets of rare and unusual pulmonary conditions, which provide basic material to establish a strong foundation in thoracic pathology.

The section has very active collaborations with Jennifer Hunt, MD, Director of Molecular Anatomic Pathology. Her laboratory utilizes loss of heterozygosity analysis, microsatellite instability assessment, methylation assays and DNA sequencing in a translational fashion, allowing integration of histopathological changes in thoracic disease to molecular genetic events and prognostic variables. The importance of this relationship in clinical diagnosis and investigational studies cannot be underestimated. It is a vital and active relationship.


Follow this link to view Thoracic Pathology faculty profiles.

Fellowship Training Program

Follow this link to learn more about the Fellowship Training Program.


Follow this link to apply to the Thoracic Pathology Clinical Fellowship Program.


Gabriel L. Sica, MD, PhD
Professor of Pathology
UPMC Department of Pathology / Thoracic Pathology
Thoracic Pathology Fellowship Director
Thoracic Pathology Residency Rotation Director
UPMC Presbyterian, Room C608, 200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA, 15213

Office Telephone: (412) 647-3238
Fax: 412-647-3455
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