Robert J. Boston Photograph Neuro division of pathology

Division chief: Robert Schmidt, MD, PhD

The Division of Neuropathology is committed to the advancement of the clinical practice of diagnostic neuropathology by its integration with modern techniques and insights gleaned from new developments in basic molecular neuroscience research.

Neuropathology is a highly specialized, yet remarkably broad field of study. The innate complexity of the brain and the number of diseases that affect the central and peripheral nervous systems is daunting. Nevertheless, there has never been a more exciting time to practice within this field, as exploding technologic advances allow us to address critical questions in ways that were never possible even a few years ago.

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The research involvement of our faculty is equally active and includes virtually all aspects of basic, translational, and clinical studies, often in association with members of other departments at Washington University, as well as numerous national and international collaborations.

Areas of Neuropathology faculty research interest are widely varied. They include translational research involving the identification of molecular genetic markers associated with tumorigenesis, malignant progression, and biologic behavior of central and peripheral nervous system tumors (Dr. Dahiya).

We have a longstanding interest in the investigation of the mechanisms of neuropathy involving the peripheral nervous system in clinical and experimental settings (Dr. Schmidt). Dr. Corbo’s laboratory is interested in a systems-level understanding of the development, diseases, and function of photoreceptors, and to leverage the developmental and spectral plasticity of these cells to treat blindness.

A major focus is neurodegenerative disease (Drs. Perrin and Morris) conducted in collaboration with the Washington University Alzheimers’s Disease Research Center, an internationally known resource of pathologically and clinically characterized human subjects, and involving molecular characterization of pathogenetic mechanisms using transgenic mouse models. As a result, we form an integral part of the vibrant, diverse and widespread neurobiology research community drawn from the Departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuroscience, Psychiatry, and Developmental Biology.


At least one teaching conference is held each day of the week save Friday, with General Pathology residents, Neuropathology fellows, Pediatric Pathology fellows, and rotating residents from Neurology, Neurosurgery, and/or Neuroradiology in attendance. Lastly, there is a glass slide teaching set within the Division that includes hundreds of cases of all types that can be reviewed under the microscope by medical students, residents, and fellows rotating through our service.

To learn more about residency and clinical fellowship training programs, please visit the Training pages. To learn more about our Neuropathology Fellowship or to see a list of current faculty and trainees visit our fellowship page. A list of our past trainees can be found here.

Clinical services

The clinical service is extremely active and includes everything from “bread and butter” neuropathology to the rarest of entities. We take pride in providing unsurpassed diagnostic and molecular diagnostic services, fulfilling both the local needs at Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s Hospitals, as well as many other centers around the world via our consultation service.

Related links

View Neuropathology Division contact information.