Neuropathology Fellowship Program

Neuropathology Training

Given the variable and continually changing future definition of an academic neuropathologist, applicants are encouraged to define their career objectives and meet with the fellowship director to define their training program. Each fellow comes to the Division of Neuropathology with a unique academic background. The balance of clinical and research activities of each fellow are custom tailored for that individual's previous training. In some situations, individuals have already completed their clinical fellowship and are requesting research training. In other situations, individuals have completed Neurology, Neurosurgery or Anatomic Pathology training and are principally interested in clinical neuropathology training. As a general guideline each fellow hones their clinical skills with a full year devoted to adult and pediatric autopsy and surgical neuropathology.

The Neuropathology fellow is rapidly placed in charge of managing the clinical service under the supervision of one of the clinical faculty. Faculty supervision is rotated on a monthly basis, exposing the fellow to different clinical and research perspectives. Additional years of fellowship training depend upon an excellent performance in the defined clinical program. During subsequent years the fellow's clinical skills are maintained by participation in all clinical conferences including Quality Assurance where important clinical material is reviewed on a weekly basis. On average half of the fellows second year is committed to specialty rotations (4 months of a combination of neuromuscular, neurodegenerative and ophthalmic pathology, plus one month of combination forensic neuropathology and neuroradiology) and the other half to biomedical research. Each fellow may elect laboratory experience in modern techniques employed in the study of neurologic disease. Five of the Division of Neuropathology faculty members has funded research programs studying a variety of neurologic diseases. The fellow is free to work with any of these individuals or other University of Pittsburgh faculty (e.g. faculty in the departments of Neurosurgery, Radiology, Neurology, Neurobiology, Neurosciences, Psychiatry).

In addition to exposure to a wide variety of techniques, the fellow learns supervisory skills for laboratory personnel. Along with traditional Journal clubs, fellows are expected to successfully participate in the review of manuscripts and grants. Each of these activities is carried out under the close supervision of a faculty member. Training beyond the second year is supported within individual faculty member's laboratories and targets the development of independent investigators.