Miller School Department Celebrates 70th Anniversary, Hosts 48th Annual Conference

Esther Diana Rossi, M.D., Ph.D., and William Faquin, M.D., Ph.D., at the annual conference.

After several years of virtual conferences, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine’s “Pathology on the Beach” annual conference returned to an in-person format at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel Jan. 22-26.

More than 200 people attended.

Now in its 48th year, the conference provides current information on critical topics for both academic and community pathologists, with didactic lectures, case presentations and interactive Q&A sessions.

Presentations from Renowned Pathologists

The conference covered a wide range of pathology disciplines, with presentations from the department’s internationally recognized faculty. Additionally, four guest speakers renowned for their pathology expertise and leadership in education joined the conference.

  • Stuart Schnitt, M.D., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, discussed the latest advances in breast pathology.
  • William Faquin, M.D., Ph.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital, reviewed head and neck pathology and was joined by surprise guest Esther Diana Rossi, M.D., Ph.D., from the Agostino Gemelli School of Medicine in Rome, to present their landmark work, the Milan System of reporting salivary gland cytopathology.
  • Cristina Magi-Galluzi, M.D., Ph.D., newly appointed chair of pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, gave several lectures on genitourinary pathology.

The conference was directed by:

  • Carmen Gomez-Fernandez, M.D., clinical professor and vice chair of education in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
  • Elizabeth Montgomery, M.D., clinical professor and vice chair of faculty development and mentoring in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
  • YanYun Wu, M.D., clinical professor and vice chair of business development and innovation in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

“Pathology is such an integral part of health care. These conferences are essential to provide education on key updates in all disciplines,” Dr. Gomez emphasized. “It really is a joy to organize this conference and hear the impactful information that our internationally recognized speakers bring to the podium. A huge bonus is our residents and fellows have such easy access to these topics and these leaders in pathology.”

The annual conference reflects the mission of the department—to be a leader in academic pathology and laboratory medicine—originated by W.A.D. Anderson, M.D., named founding chair of the department in 1953. Internationally recognized for his expertise, Dr. Anderson’s textbooks in pathology were translated into dozens of languages and used widely by medical students and residents for more than 30 years.

Gala Anniversary Celebration

The department also celebrated its 70th anniversary in January with an alumni gala which showcased its rich history. The gala was a fantastic opportunity for alumni to learn more about the department and meet current trainees.

Azorides Morales, M.D., at the podium with Sebastian the University of Miami mascot to his left
Azorides Morales, M.D. (center), received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the department’s anniversary gala.

Gala recognition included:

  • Azorides Morales, M.D., former chair and professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award for his 33-year tenure and contributions to elevating the clinical service and education program to an international level.
  • Christian Wunsch, M.D., Ph.D., clinical associate professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, received the Distinguished Service Award for his more than 50 years of service to the department and the prestigious W.A.D. Anderson Award for his education efforts, contributions to the hospital laboratory information systems and work in the development of the Needleman-Wunsch algorithm, a foundational application in the Human Genome Project and a core element in bioinformatics training programs.

“It is not possible for us to have a successful future without recognizing our core values of education that were set by our founding leaders, Drs. Anderson and Morales,” said Merce Jorda, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A, professor and Joseph R. Coulter, Jr. Chair in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. “The service of Drs. Wunsch and Morales to our department is reflected in all the strides that we have made to provide outstanding subspecialty-based patient care. The conference and gala were a celebration of the best of all of us and our rich future in pathology and laboratory medicine.”

Tags: Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Dr. Carmen Gomez-Fernandez, Dr. Elizabeth Montgomery, Dr. YanYan Wu