The molecular genetic pathology fellowship program is a joint undertaking between the Divisions of Anatomic and Molecular Pathology, Laboratory and Genomic Medicine and Neuropathology. The fellowship is a one year position accredited by the ACGME and is designed to meet the needs of trainees interested in a careers focused on the application of molecular genetic techniques to translational science and the clinical laboratory. For applicants interested in basic science careers, additional research years may be available through the physician scientist-training program (PSTP) within the department.

History

The fellowship was approved by Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and began July 1, 2008. 

Curriculum

During training fellows will learn how to design and validate molecular assays; interpret molecular testing results, including Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data; and how to best use the results of molecular testing to improve patient care.

The overall fellowship training is flexible and allows trainees to spend additional time focused on key sub-specialty areas of interest within molecular diagnostics. Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital provide the clinical material for the program.

Rotations

The fellowship includes laboratory rotations through the Clinical Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory, Microbiology Laboratory, HLA Laboratory and FISH Laboratory at Barnes-Jewish Hospital; the Cytogenetics Laboratory, Microarray Laboratory of the Department of Pathology; Genomics and Pathology Services (GPS) at Washington University; and the Bioinformatics section of the Department of Pathology.

The fellowship also includes clinical rotations through the general pediatric genetics clinic and the general adult genetics clinic (as well as elective rotations through the neurogenetics, Down syndrome or Beckwith-Wiedemann clinics).

The fellowship provides a strong emphasis on the application of high throughput technologies to molecular oncology, and fellows will spend considerable time in our state-of-the-art NGS laboratory learning all aspects of the process including specimen intake, panel design, data analysis and case sign-out. Fellows will be active in the Washington University genomics tumor board held in conjunction with the McDonnell Genome Institute.

Fellows will also participate in regular didactic teaching sessions with faculty and contribute to departmental conferences and journal clubs. Fellows are encouraged to present research findings at national meetings.

The fellowship maintains three fully funded, ACGME-accredited one-year positions, is among the largest MGP fellowship training programs in the country, and was the first to offer clinical NGS-based training. Trainees will interact directly with ordering physicians, geneticists, bioinformaticians and research faculty providing a full breadth of training. The program is especially focused on the application of a full range of sequencing based assays to improve patient care through more accurate diagnostics, improved risk stratification and better tumor monitoring.

Previous fellows have pursued successful careers in NIH-funded basic science research, clinical academics, private practice and industry.

Facilities

Training for the fellowship occurs in state-of-the-art facilities at Washington University School of Medicine/Barnes-Jewish Hospital/St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The Molecular Genetic Pathology section is located in the 680,000 square-foot BJC Institute of Health (BJCIH) at Washington University School of Medicine which is an 11-story research building housing laboratories and support facilities and is Washington University’s largest building.

Additional training is held in the state-of-the-art Cortex building on the edge of the medical campus known as the CORTEX District (Center of Research, Technology and Entrepreneurial Exchange).

Application

Applicants must be board certified/board eligible in anatomic and/or clinical pathology, or medical genetics and meet the requirements for medical licensure in Missouri.

Applications for the 2021-2022 academic year are currently being accepted, apply at fellowships.path.wustl.edu.

For general questions, please contact Ashley Edwards at edwards.a@wustl.edu or 314-454-8462.

Faculty and trainees

Faculty

Current trainees


Contact information

Ashley Edwards
Fellowship Program Coordinator
Department of Pathology & Immunology
Washington University School of Medicine
660 S. Euclid Ave., Box 8118
St. Louis, MO 63110
Phone: 314-273-5476
edwards.a@wustl.edu