Jennifer Picarsic, MD
Assistant Professor of Pathology

Dr. Jennifer Picarsic is a board certified Pediatric Pathologist at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the Department of Pathology. Dr. Picarsic joined the Pediatric Pathology group after completing her residency training in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology in 2011 at UPMC and her Pediatric Pathology Fellowship at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in 2012. Dr. Picarsic's academic interests are in the fields of histiocytic disorders, heart transplant pathology, and molecular pathology. Dr. Picarsic has been recently appointed as the Director of Informatics at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Office Location:
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children's Hospital Drive
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-692-5650
Fax: 412-692-6550


  • MD - University of Pittsburgh, 2007
  • BS - Dickinson College, summa cum laude, 2003

Clinical Expertise

Diagnostic general pediatric pathology with a special interest in:
  • Childhood histiocytoses
  • Pediatric transplantation pathology
  • Pathology informatics

Research Interests

Dr. Picarsic's academic interests are developing in the fields of histocytic disorders, heart and lung transplant pathology, molecular and autopsy pathology. She is the lead author on the original article "Histologic patterns of thymic involvement in Langerhans cell proliferations," and co-authored an updated review on the pathology of LCH for the Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America: Congenital and Acquired Disorders of Macrophages and Histiocytes, which is currently in press. She has also given a workshop on the pathology of histiocytic disorders at the 2015 annual meeting of the Society for Pediatric Pathology (SPP) in Boston and is an invited member to the Nikolas Symposium on the Histiocytosis in Greece. Current work is focused on the molecular characterization of pediatric thyroid malignant lesions from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh 2000-2014 using the DNA/RNA ThyroSeq v2 NGS assay in a collaborative project with Dr. Nikiforov. Preliminary work has shown novel new mutations in sporadic pediatric thyroid malignancies which was presented at the 2014 Society for Pediatric Pathology Annual Meeting in San Diego and is in submission in Pediatric and Developmental Pathology Journal.

Dr. Picarsic is also a co-Investigator on two heart transplant grants. The first is with Dr. Heth Turnquist, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Immunology at the UPSOM on a ROTRF funded study reviewing digitized pediatric heart transplant biopsies as part of project focused on investigating the Prognostic value and function of IL-33/ST2 in pediatric heart transplant recipients and its correlation with EBV infection and rejection. The second is an American Heart Society funded study with Dr. Feingold, in Division of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Transplant, that will investigate clinical parameters and markers of end-stage fibrosis and outcomes in heart transplant patients with novel digital pathology techniques in collaboration with Dr. Demetris. She is a pathology collaborator on two additional grants that are in submission at this time.

Dr. Picarsic is also a co-Investigator in a collaborative pilot study with the CHP Radiology Department to compare the results of post-mortem CT and MR with findings of conventional autopsy. Post-mortem imaging has the benefit of being both rapid and non-invasive but its reliability in establishing cause of death has not been determined fully in non-forensic pediatric cases. In order to establish this as either an adjunct or alternative to conventional autopsy this study will compare the analyses of the two investigations. As the liaison, Dr Picarsic will be reviewing the autopsy results in a blinded manner to compare with radiology findings. Post-mortem imaging may be used as an adjunct to conventional autopsy or function as an additional tool in especially difficult cases. Furthermore, religious and cultural restrictions are placed on post-mortem dissection or delay in burial and post-mortem imaging may provide a rapid, non-invasive alternative in the future for establishing cause of death.


  • Diplomat of the American Board of Pathology
  • American Board of Pathology, Combined Anatomic and Clinical Pathology
  • American Board of Pediatric Pathology


  • Pediatric Pathology

Awards and Honors

  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • UPSOM, American Society of Clinical Pathology Award for Academic Excellence
  • UPSOM, Robert E. Lee Award for Excellence in Anatomic Pathology

Selected Publications

View Dr. Picarsic's publications on PubMed
  1. Gibson SE, Picarsic J, Swerdlow SH, Pantanowitz L. Role of Epstein-Barr virus status and immunophenotypic studies in the evaluation of exfoliative cytology specimens from patients with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders. Cancer Cytopathol. 2016 Mar 17. [Epub ahead of print] (PMID: 26992116).
  2. Emile JF, Abla O, Fraitag S, Horne A, Haroche J, Donadieu J, Requena-Caballero L, Jordan MB, Abdel-Wahab O, Allen CE, Charlotte F, Diamond EL, Egeler RM, Fischer A, Gil Herrera J, Henter JI, Janku F, Merad M, Picarsic J,Rodriguez-Galindo C, Rollins BJ, Tazi A, Vassallo R, Weiss LM. Revised classification of histiocytoses and neoplasms of the macrophage-dendritic cell lineages. Blood. 2016 Mar 10. pii: blood-2016-01-690636. [Epub ahead of print] (PMID: 26966089).
  3. Gomez-Ospina N, Potter CJ, Xiao R, Manickam K, Kim MS, Kim KH, Shneider BL, Picarsic JL, Jacobson TA, Zhang J, He W, Liu P, Knisely AS, Finegold MJ, Muzny DM, Boerwinkle E, Lupski JR, Plon SE, Gibbs RA, Eng CM, Yang Y, Washington GC, Porteus MH, Berquist WE, Kambham N, Singh RJ, Xia F, Enns GM, Moore DD. Mutations in the nuclear bile acid receptor FXR cause progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis. Nat Commun. 2016 Feb 18;7:10713. (PMID: 26888176).
  4. Picarsic J, Buryk MA, Ozolek JA, Ranganathan S, Monaco SE, Simons JP, Witchel S Gurtunca N, Joyce J, Zhong S, Nikiforova MN, Nikiforov Y. Molecular characterization of sporadic pediatric thyroid carcinoma with the DNA/RNA ThyroSeq v2 next-generation sequencing assay. Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2015 Sep 14. [Epub ahead of print] (PMID: 26367451).
  5. Johnson WT, Patel P, Hernandez A, Grandinetti LM, Huen AC, Marks S, Ho J, Monaco SE, Jaffe R, Picarsic J. Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis and Erdheim-Chester Disease, both with cutaneous presentations, and papillary thyroid carcinoma all harboring the BRAF(V600E) Mutation. J Cutan Pathol. 2015 Oct 10.[Epub ahead of print] (PMID: 26454140).
  6. Chivukula M, Picarsic J, Ahrendt, Gretchen M, Brufsky A, Carter G. Prognostic significance of transcription factors [FOXA1, GATA-3] in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in terms of recurrence and Estrogen receptor (ER) status. Journal of Cancer Metastasis and Treatment. 2015. 1(2);84-89.
  7. Picarsic J, Egeler RM, Chikwava K, Patterson K, Jaffe R. Histologic patterns of thymic involvement in Langerhans cell proliferations: a clinicopathologic study and review of the literature. Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2015 Mar-Apr;18(2):127-38.
  8. Buryk M, Picarsic J, Creary SE, Shaw PH, Simons JP, Deutsch M, Monaco SE, Nikiforov Y, Witchel S. Identification of unique heterozygous germline mutation, STK11 (p.F354L), in a child with encapsulated follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma within 6 months of completing treatment for neuroblastoma. Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2015 Mar 9.
  9. Buryk MA, Simons JP, Picarsic J, Monaco SE, Ozolek JA, Joyce J, Gurtunca N, Nikiforov YE, Feldman Witchel S. Can malignant thyroid nodules be distinguished from benign thyroid nodules in children and adolescents by clinical characteristics? A review of 89 pediatric patients with thyroid nodules. Thyroid. 2015 Apr;25(4):392-400
  10. Picarsic J, Reyes-Múgica M. Phenotype and immunophenotype of the most common pediatric tumors. Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2015 May-Jun;23(5):313-26.