Monday, July 29, 2013

Children's Oncology Group Seeking Applicants for Young Investigator Program


Dr. Chris Pierson
I heard today from Dr. Christopher Pierson, neuropathologist and vice-chair of Children's Oncology Group Young Investigators. He asked me to share the following announcement about a fantastic program:

The Children’s Oncology Group Young Investigator (COG YI) mentor/mentee program is currently soliciting applications for potential mentees. The purpose of this program is to provide an opportunity for a junior pathologist to work with a senior pathologist and possibly advance toward serving as part of central pathology review for COG protocols and/or serving on COG committees. The program pairs a young investigator with a senior member of the COG pathology discipline who provides mentorship to the young investigator while executing a research project based on a tumor type or topic of mutual interest. YI mentees are expected to present their progress at the yearly fall COG meeting. The program does not fund specific research projects, but can help direct individuals to other funding sources if needed. Limited funds may or may not be available from COG to defray the cost of travel for mentees to attend yearly COG meetings.

Requirements for potential mentee:         
1.         Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Member
2.         Less than 5 years from completion of fellowship/residency 
3.         Precise area of interest within a specific pediatric tumor
4.         Completed application (see below)

An optimal mentee is an individual with a defined focus in a specific pediatric tumor. Mentees should submit a project proposal related to this area of interest that utilizes resources unique to the COG, such as H+E slides, paraffin sections, tissue microarrays, and in some cases frozen samples.  

This three-year program is aimed to provide guidance to COG young investigators who have matured in their career to a level of interest in one particular pediatric tumor.  Those who are still exploring or examining various subjects within pediatric tumors should not apply. Interested applicants must apply by September 30, 2013.

To apply for the COG YI pathology mentorship program, please prepare the following:
1.      Project proposal (1-2 pages with brief description of background, hypothesis, proposed methods, and brief references).
2.            Curriculum vitae
3.            Letter of support from Department Chair
4.            Documentation of COG membership (can be obtained at the COG website)

Completed applications should be sent to:

Chris Pierson, M.D., Ph.D
COG Pathology Discipline YI Liaison
Vice-Chair, COG YI Committee
Christopher.pierson@nationwidechildrens.org

Thursday, July 25, 2013

What about this cell with red granular cytoplasm?

I'm working on a high-grade glioma and am coming across scattered presumably neoplastic cells that have course red granular cytoplasm. How does one interpret such cells? Does it raise the possibility of a granular cell astrocytoma? Or are these often present and I've just ignored them until now? Thanks for any help you might be able to provide in the comments section!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Disgruntled lab worker arrested in murder of neuropathologist Roger Brumback and three others


I had reported in May of this year on the tragic death of Dr Roger Brumback. Here is a follow-up on the case from CNN:


updated 8:34 PM EDT, Mon July 15, 2013

(CNN) -- Police arrested a former Creighton University lab worker Monday for two double homicides over five years, both sets of victims were connected to the pathology department at the Nebraska school.

Anthony Joseph Garcia, 40, was arrested during a traffic stop in Illinois, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said. Officers were making preparations to arrest him Tuesday, but the Indiana resident "became mobile" and police felt they needed to arrest him right away, he said.

Garcia was arrested on four counts of first-degree murder in the May deaths of Roger and Mary Brumback, both 65, and the March 2008 deaths of 11-year-old Thomas Hunter and his family's housekeeper, Shirlee Sherman.

All lived in Omaha.

Roger Brumback was a professor in the pathology and neurology departments at Creighton and announced his retirement shortly before he was killed.

Thomas Hunter's father, Dr. William Hunter, is a faculty member in Creighton's 12-person pathology department. The boy's mother, Dr. Claire Hunter, is an associate professor in Creighton's cardiology division.

Garcia worked in the pathology lab from July 2000 until June 2001, when the Brumbacks and William Hunter fired him, said Omaha Police Officer Michael Pecha. CNN affiliate KETV said Garcia was fired for "erratic behavior."

An Omaha task force had been monitoring Garcia "for some time," Schmaderer said. He was pulled over for suspected alcohol impairment and was found with a .45 handgun.

Authorities believe Garcia acted alone, Schmaderer said.

It's not clear where Garcia was working at the time of his arrest.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

New Muscle Pathology Text edited by Goebel, Sewry, and Weller out next month

The second edition of Muscle Disease: Pathology and Genetics will be released in August 2013. The publisher states that the book "clarifies the pathology and genetics of muscle disease for pathologists, clinicians, geneticists and researchers to aid in the diagnosis and management of patients. Organized around the 'motor unit' concept, this book presents the latest understanding of muscle disease, and how this can help identify new treatments."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Best Post of January 2013: The Biggest Alzheimer Disease Discovery in 2012


Kári Stefánsson
The next in our "Best of the Month" series is from January 4, 2013:

Perhaps the biggest discovery in the Alzheimer research world last year was the identification of a mutation in APP that significantly decreases its cleavage by β-secretase, leading to 40% less production of amyloidogenic peptides in vitro. The researchers found the mutation (A673T) in the APP gene protects against Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline in the elderly without Alzheimer’s disease.

Future drugs that can recreate this Aβ-reducing effect “should perhaps be given not only to people at risk of Alzheimer’s but to all elderly people,” says Kári Stefánsson, senior investigator of the study, which came out of Iceland and appears online in Nature.

Friday, July 5, 2013

International Congress of Neuropathology to be held for the first time ever in Latin America

The XVIIIth International Congress of Neuropathology will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the first time ever in Latin America, on 14-18 September 2014. It will be organized by Brazilian and Argentinian neuropathologists and an international scientific committee will be established to plan the Congress programme. Organizers say the emphasis will be on promoting the exchange of expertise between the different branches of neuropathology and allied fields of neuroscience.