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Department of Pathology + Laboratory Medicine

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine provides comprehensive testing and analysis services across all aspects of anatomic and clinical pathology, as well as blood bank analyses. Thousands of specimens land in our labs each day, each sample containing valuable diagnostic information about medical conditions and how to best treat them.
Sabrina Doherty, medical technologist, working in laboratory medicine at Tufts Medical Center.
Behind-the-scenes difference makers

Our department includes more than 200 pathologists, medical technologists, medical technicians, phlebotomists and administrative staff who touch nearly every medical specialty at Tufts Medicine. It’s this spirit of collaboration and pursuit of pathology excellence that earned our department the prestigious College of American Pathologists (CAP) accreditation — an award bestowed to only 8,000 facilities worldwide.

The work our team does, while often behind the scenes, is a 24/7 operation made up of fiercely dedicated experts whose combined efforts are critical to patient care, safety and the advancement of our mission.  

All our IT systems are seamlessly integrated across our multiple Tufts Medicine entities, so despite being geographically spread across much of Eastern Massachusetts, all patient data is housed in one location for ease of access and use. Technology is our ally for managing thousands of specimens every day. We equip our labs with the best systems possible, including our state-of-the-art automated system for processing blood samples. This allowed for more productivity, faster turn-around times and reduced human workload on our staff.

Our work forms the backbone of diagnostic care and research at Tufts Medicine. It encompasses everything from diagnostic testing services and tissue analysis to groundbreaking research and patents. It’s here that we’re redefining global standards of surgical pathology. Tufts Medicine proudly serves as headquarters to a research consortium that will establish industry-wide immunohistochemistry (IHC) reference standards.

Contact info

Laboratory Specialties

Biorepository

We help medical researchers study human diseases and how to improve individual’s and population health. We offer banked frozen tissues, fresh/snap frozen prospectively collected tissues, recuts from FFPE blocks, and other biospecimens to research investigators and industry so they can contribute to medical discoveries. We have the capability to prospectively bank clinical lab specimens. We also provide histology services including H&E slide preparation, immunohistochemistry and tissue microarray construction.

Blood bank, transfusion medicine and cell therapy laboratory

We provide high-complexity testing, blood products and hemotherapy-based support for all services requiring blood transfusion and treating bleeding patients, including Cardiac and Cardiac, Renal, Liver Transplant Surgery, Trauma Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Hematology Oncology. We provide cell collection (apheresis), viability and infectious disease testing and culture, cryopreservation, and transportation for further manufacturing. Such services are integral, particularly to Hematology/Oncology, where cellular therapies (FDA-approved and clinical trial) are the standard of care for the treatment of multiple hematologic malignancies.

We provide in-person clinical care for patients requiring therapeutic apheresis treatments, treatments which are first-line therapy for the treatment of life-threatening Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, Hyperleukocytosis, and Sickle Cell Disease Stroke and Severe Acute Chest, among many other indications.

Chemistry laboratory

We provide routine and STAT testing of various analytes in blood, urine and other body fluids, including electrolytes, proteins, lipids, therapeutic drugs, drugs of abuse, reproductive endocrinology, cardiac markers and tumor markers. Specialty testing includes blood gas analysis, antinuclear antibodies, protein electrophoresis for myeloma/amyloidosis and viral loads assessment for HIV/hepatitis/CMV/BKV.

Cytogenetics laboratory

We are partnering with LabCorp, a global leader in laboratory testing, to provide karyotype (chromosome) analysis of peripheral blood, bone marrow aspirate, amniotic fluid, skin and tumors.  Additional testing services include fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis for constitutional changes and for cancer, as well as tissue culture and cell storage.

Cytology laboratory

We provide complete processing and reporting of samples submitted for evaluation of cellular material for malignancy or other abnormalities. Additional special procedures include assistance by lab personnel with fine needle aspirate procedures, with or without “rapid read” evaluation.

Hematology laboratory

We provide both automated and manual CBC and WBC differential, as well as reticulocyte count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and eosinophil count. Additional tests include body fluid cell count and differential, urinalysis and sediment, fluid crystal search, PT with INR, PTT, fibrinogen, sensitive d-dimer, Anti Xa assay for LMWH, unfractionated, and other heparins, Amnisure ROM, monospot, sickle cell screen, guiac card for occult blood in stool (inpatient only), iFOBT screen for colorectal cancer, Kleihauer-Betke stain for fetal hemoglobin and smear examination for blood parasites.

Histology laboratory

We provide tissue processing for pathologic examination by light microscopy, electron microscopy and immunofluorescence.  In preparation for pathologic examination, tissues are processed, embedded, cut, mounted, stained (by routine, special and immunohistochemical methods) and coverslipped in the Histology Laboratory.  Processed tissues are stored per regulatory guidelines.

HLA molecular laboratory

We provide transplant testing including HLA Class I (A, B, C) and Class II (DR, DQ, DP) typing by molecular method (SSOP Luminex), T and B cell crossmatch by Flow Cytometry method, Single antigen testing for disease association or drug hypersensitivity by molecular method (SSOP), and HLA Antibody Identification Class I and Class II testing using the solid phase of Luminex platform.

Laboratory support service:

We provide inpatient and outpatient phlebotomy services, specimen drop-off, and specimen processing for send-out testing. These can be dropped off at our partner LabCorp’s sites.

Microbiology laboratory

We provide aerobic and anaerobic bacterial culture and susceptibility testing, mycology cultures with limited susceptibility testing, and mycobacteriology smears and cultures with limited on-site identification. Additional services include parasitology

Surgical pathology

We provide accessioning, description, dissection and submission of fresh and fixed tissue material, from biopsies and partial/total organ resections to Histology Lab for routine processing and specialized procedures such as electron microscopy and immunofluorescence.  Additional special procedures include frozen section processing to evaluate tumors or margins immediately. Pathologists diagnose cancer and other diseases by examining tissues, cells and body fluids.

Department research

We believe in redefining what’s possible. That’s why our faculty conducts cutting-edge research, with the goal of translating what we’ve learned into bedside care. Plus, our anatomic and clinical pathology expertise makes us a trusted partner and tissue resource for researchers across Tufts Medicine and throughout the healthcare industry. 

Explore our research

Kimseth Song, Phlebotomist at Lowell General Hospital's Urgent Care Tewksbury location, prepares a patient for a blood draw by tying a band around arm.

Success stories

Setting a standard for immunohistochemistry

Our Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine established the Consortium for Analytic Standardization of Immunohistochemistry (CASI), where we aim to improve the accuracy and reliability of immunohistochemistry (IHC) tests.

booklet

Training + education

There’s never been a better time to enter the field of pathology. We help prepare the next generation of lab medicine professionals through hands-on learning and guidance from the brightest minds in the field.

people

Our leadership

Our leadership team gives us the guidance and support we need to ensure that the clinical, research and training goals of the department are met.

  • Department Chair: Ming Zhou, MD
  • Director, Surgical Pathology, Residency Program Director: Dan Rust, MD
  • Chief, Clinical Pathology: J. Ryan Peña, MD, PhD
  • Medical Director, Clinical Operations: Nicholas Heger, PhD
  • Medical Director, Stoneham Cancer Center Labs: Monika Pilichowska, MD, PhD
Vijitha Thayaparan, senior medical technologist, lifting a set of tubes into a machine in the laboratory medicine department at Tufts Medical Center.
Our locations

From regular office visits to inpatient stays, our specialists across Tufts Medicine offer the best in healthcare, when and where our patients need it.

Smiling Luz Adames-Pringle, ‪phlebotomist at Tufts Medical Center, prepares a patient for a blood draw by tying band around arm.
Our doctors + care team

Our specialists and care team members across Tufts Medicine deliver unmatched healthcare with a personalized touch.

News
Tomoko Kaneko-Tarui on CNBC
June 20, 2020
Tomoko Kaneko-Tarui, a Mother Infant Research Institute Director, was featured on CNBC.
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