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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

The vision of the UTHSC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is to be a premier academic center for pathology and laboratory medicine education, research, clinical care, and public service with the goal of improving human health and patient safety as an essential member of the health care team.


The mission of the UTHSC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is to bring the benefits of the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine to the citizens of Tennessee and others through the pursuit of an integrated program of education, research, clinical care and public service.

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine will pursue this mission:

  • By contributing to the medical education mission of the UTHSC student body, through offering specialty medical training in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and through contributing to graduate medical education in Experimental Pathology with a focus on Cancer Biology through the Integrated Biomedical Sciences Program.
  • By conducting basic Experimental Pathology research in the mechanism of disease with a focus on cancer biology, and through clinical and translational research to improve diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases particularly through the application of precision medicine.
  • By delivering high quality anatomic and clinical pathology services in affiliated institutions, including through laboratory directorships and participation in patient safety committees and programs.
  • By serving as resources to community and professional organizations, the scientific community, policy makers, and the public in matters pertaining to basic mechanisms of diseases, and to appropriate use of existing and evolving pathology and laboratory medicine services.

Core Values

The core values of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in realizing our vision and achieving our mission are:

  • The continuous pursuit of excellence and dedication to the profession and the institution.
  • A strong sense of professionalism, respect, integrity, and accountability among faculty, fellows, residents, and staff.
  • An emphasis on discovery, innovation, and implementation of novel approaches.
  • Intraprofessional interaction, interdisciplinary collaboration, and health care team integration.
  • A focus on continuous improvement, patient safety, and evidence-based practice.
  • Diversity in faculty, fellows, residents, and staff.


The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine provides essential didactic teaching to students in the College of Medicine through the Department of Medical Education.

Additional didactic training to students in other UTHSC Colleges including Dentistry and Health Professions, and a number of our faculty hold joint appointments in these colleges.

Medical students interested in pathology may be interested in arranging a rotational experience in the department or in joining the Pathology Interest Group. Medical students may be interested in Research Scholar programs with our Experimental Pathology faculty.


The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine offers graduate and postdoctoral research experience primarily through the Experimental Pathology Division in the Center for Cancer Research. Prospective graduate students should apply through the College of Graduate Health Sciences.

Congratulations to Lauren King, MD on Receiving the UTAA Faculty Awards

Dr. Lauren KingDr. Lauren Cooper King, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Medical Education was recognized for her exemplary teaching at the UTAA Faculty Awards dinner held in Knoxville on June 1. Dr. King was one of only 11 system wide faculty members to receive a prestigious UTAA Outstanding Teacher Award. Dr. King has previously been recognized through receipt of several Golden Apple Awards for medical student teaching at UTHSC. She also serves as the Program Director for the Pathology residency program in Memphis which recently received full accreditation status from ACGME. Anyone fortunate enough to professionally know Dr. King can attest to her passion for education and her willingness to always go "the extra mile" in dealing with students and residents. Congratulations to Dr. King on this notable honor!

Tejesh Patel, MD, FAAD, Named Interim Chair of Pathology

Dr. PatelWe are pleased to announce that Tejesh Patel, MD/MBBS (Lon), FAAD, has been appointed as the interim chair of the Department of Pathology. Dr. Patel will be taking on this additional role while continuing to fulfill his existing responsibilities as chair and associate program director of the Department of Dermatology. His extensive experience and strong commitment to medical education and faculty development make him an excellent choice for this important position, and we look forward to the guidance he will provide to the department.

We also express our sincerest appreciation to Xianfeng Frank Zhao, MD, PhD MBA, for his exceptional leadership as the previous chair of the department. Dr. Zhao's dedication has been truly commendable, and we wish him all the best as he moves forward.

We invite all members of the UT Health Science Center community to join us in welcoming Dr. Patel to his new interim role and in expressing our gratitude to Dr. Zhao for his outstanding service to our institution.

Pfeffer Awarded $2.6 Million to Continue Glioblastoma Research

researcher in a lab imageLawrence Pfeffer, PhD, has spent the better part of 20 years trying to improve treatments for glioblastoma, the most common malignancy of the brain and the most lethal. After over 30 years as a professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Dr. Pfeffer was nearing retirement and thought he… Read More

Congratulations to Lauren King, MD on her induction into the UTHSC Academy of Master Educators

Congratulations to Lauren King, MD, Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine on her induction into the UTHSC Academy of Master Educators!  

The selection process involved a rigorous review by the AME Executive and Selection Committees. The Selection Committee was impressed with the commitment she has shown for medical education throughout her career and the impact it has had on learners. By inclusion in the Academy, Dr. King joins a cadre of like-minded medical educators with whom to collaborate on continuous quality improvement of our medical curriculum.   

On September 28th, Dr. King will join her fellow inductees in a formal induction ceremony for the new class of Academy of Master Educators. The ceremony will be held in the Mooney Library on the Memphis campus.

Jun 5, 2024