Molecular Diagnostics

Molecular diagnostics is an emerging discipline within pathology which is focused on the study and diagnosis of disease through interrogation of nucleic acids and proteins within solid tissue and body fluids.  In our view, molecular diagnostics is an interdisciplinary science shared between anatomic and clinical pathology.

Resident training in Molecular diagnostics is divided into two blocks taken during the first and fourth year of training.  Training during the first year consists of a 1 month rotation focused on core principles of molecular pathology and application of molecular techniques through all disciplines of pathology.  The knowledge provides the resident with a core understanding of molecular techniques for use in rotations throughout training and is followed by an advanced rotation in the fourth year.

The early phase of training emphasizes diagnostic techniques, during which time trainees are expected to master a core of tests in diagnostic microbiology, hematopathology, cytogenetics, coagulation, and genetics.  Specific tests to be discussed will include: viral load testing, hypercoagulation screening, Cystic Fibrosis mutation carrier screening, Fragile X testing, genotyping, respiratory virus testing, quantitative BCR ABL, and sexually transmitted disease screening.

The molecular diagnostics rotation is conducted at Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratories, Froedtert Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to provide the resident with experience in both pediatric and adult molecular diagnostics.  Teaching on this rotation is accomplished through a combination of didactic teaching sessions, formal lectures, bench rotations, and participation in multi-disciplinary conferences.

Molecular teaching faculty include: Nathan Ledeboer (Course Director), Alexandra Harrington, Steven Kroft, Horatiu Olteanu, Peter Van Tuinen, and Sue Kehl.