Department of Pathology & Immunology

Faculty Spotlight

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One of the strongest assets of our program is our faculty. We are very proud of the outstanding educational experience they provide. They not only enjoy teaching but also serve as strong role models and mentors in residents' professional careers. Read a sampling of spotlight profiles from our faculty.

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Daniel

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Daniel Rosen, M.D.

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Associate Professor, Pathology & Immunology
Works primarily at: Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

What is your subspecialty and what made you choose it?
I chose to practice both general surgical pathology and clinical pathology. My training at BCM gave me the necessary tools and confidence to practice both confidently.

What drew you to the BCM Department of Pathology & Immunology? Why should a pathology applicant pick BCM for residency?
This is a BIG multi-institutional program with collaborations with many other institutions across the Texas Medical Center. This makes BCM a unique place to learn pathology.

What is the most rewarding/best part of your job?
Developing my skills and learning new things every day.

What advice would you give to incoming residents?
Take advantage of all the possibilities the program gives you. You have only four years to learn.

What’s your favorite thing and/or spot in Houston?
Microcenter and BestBuy…I am a geek.

What type of cell would you be and why?
A red blood cell - running free and oxygenating everything.

What is your favorite tumor histology and why?
Renal cell carcinomas are very photogenic.

Kenneth

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Kenneth L. Muldrew, M.D., M.P.H.

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Associate Professor, Pathology & Immunology/Internal Medicine
Works primarily at: Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center & Ben Taub Hospital

What is your subspecialty and what made you choose it?
I am board certified in clinical pathology, molecular genetic pathology and medical microbiology. I originally thought I was going to be an internist and changed to pathology after my intern year in internal medicine. The internship was an invaluable experience that helped solidify my understanding of how the health care system works and how you treat an individual patient at the bedside. Having had experiences in medical microbiology and doing an MPH with a thesis in HIV/AIDS, I naturally gravitated to the field. Obviously, molecular diagnostics has become increasingly important in infectious diseases and I spent a significant amount of time working on related projects while in residency at Vanderbilt and in my medical microbiology fellowship at Yale. Out of my excitement and interest in molecular diagnostics, I decided to expand my molecular diagnostic skills, knowledge, and training by completing a fellowship in molecular genetic pathology at UNC Chapel Hill. This would allow me to also be involved in directing laboratories that include testing for inherited disease, hematology, and oncology for which I also had interest.

What drew you to the BCM Department of Pathology & Immunology? Why should a pathology applicant pick BCM for residency?
I was looking for another opportunity and was focused on being selective about a new job. I wanted to join a department that exhibited excellence in pathology while at the same time being a collegial family-like environment. It was important to me that the institution be a part of a large academic medical center that had diverse patient populations, particularly those with HIV/AIDS and transplant. As an academic pathologist, I wanted to be heavily involved in resident and fellow teaching and research. I particularly enjoy mentoring and training in these two areas. Also, I felt that it was very important that there were extensive opportunities for collaborative clinical research, and I have not been disappointed. I also wanted to be in a department that would be supportive of developing a new medical microbiology fellowship program. From my perspective, I think it is important to be in a program that has good Clinical Pathology training. Many programs are good at training anatomic pathologists but may not have a strong enough clinical pathology program. At Baylor, we have excellent training in both areas which will make you very well prepared when you leave here to begin your journey elsewhere. I would also add that at Baylor, you will have high quality residents and fellows that can guide and support you as you develop from year one through year four of the program.

What is the most rewarding/best part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is teaching residents, fellows, and students in the department. A close second is the expansion of our molecular diagnostic pathology service through development, validation, and implementation of new, high complexity tests such as Real-Time PCR for the COVID-19 virus.

What advice would you give to incoming residents?
Remember that training and learning is not a sprint, it's a marathon and you don't have to know everything in your first year! :) Shoot, the more I practice in pathology, the less I feel that I know. Of course, we are all in this together and that is the rewarding part of practicing pathology in an excellent academic Pathology Department. When you start here, remember that I am available to consult on your infectious disease pathology slides if needed!

What type of cell would you be and why?
If I were a cell, I would be Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This infectious bacterium is one of the most complex and versatile. It can produce several colorful pigments, be heavily mucoid or non-mucoid, has a type III secretion system, and can smell like grapes!

What is your favorite movie/TV genre?
Science Fiction/Fantasy and Action. Who wouldn't enjoy Alien, Terminator 2-Judgement Day, Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow, Mad Max Fury Road, Star Wars, the Matrix Trilogy, and Brave Heart!

Dr.

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Linda Green, M.D.

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Professor, Pathology & Immunology
Works primarily at: Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

What is your subspecialty and what made you choose it?
My specialty has always been Cytopathology.  I have my Cytopathology Boards and began the FNA service here at the Houston VAMC over 30 years ago. I serve as the National Cytopathology Consultant for the National Veteran Affairs. Besides Cytopathology, I began the Flow Cytometry Service here back in the 1990’s with a National VA grant for HIV patients. I have changed organ specialties over the years as the GI pathologist, the Liver pathologist and now, the Thoracic and Pulmonary pathologist. I am the Chairman of the Thoracic Tumor Board here at the M.E. DeBakey VAMC.

What drew you to the BCM Department of Pathology & Immunology? Why should a pathology applicant pick BCM for residency?
Baylor drew me because of the diversity of the hospitals to include private, children directed, public supported and federally supported programs with a mix of diverse diseases. This is one of the strengths of this program for training pathology residents. The diversity of tumors, infections and other pathologic diseases is not seen in other programs.

What is the most rewarding/best part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is serving the Houston Veteran and providing the superior Pathology Services that they deserve. I also love teaching the residents and students of the BCM family.

What advice would you give to incoming residents?
My advice to incoming residents is to remember to have a balanced lifestyle with time for outside activities, family and friends to refresh yourself to concentrate fully when you are performing your duties.

What type of cell would you be and why?
If I were a cell, I would be a neuron, waiting for the next big charge to light up my enthusiasm. 
 

Christine

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Christine Roth, M.D., M.M.M.

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Professor, Pathology & Immunology
Works primarily at: Baylor St. Lukes Medical Center

What is your subspecialty and what made you choose it?
Hematopathology – I enjoy being a “disease detective” and putting all of the pieces together.  With hematopathology, you get to integrate the clinical picture with the morphologic findings on the slides, as well as flow cytometry, immunohistochemical, and genetic data. It’s always interesting!

What drew you to the BCM Department of Pathology & Immunology? 
I am a graduate of BCM medical school and embraced the opportunity to come back and teach the next generation of physicians.

Why should a pathology applicant pick BCM for residency?
The diversity of training sites affords the pathology trainee a breadth and depth of experience that would be difficult to find anywhere else. The faculty are very collegial and dedicated to teaching.

What is the most rewarding/best part of your job?
Providing a definitive diagnosis that explains the patient’s symptoms and enables the right therapy
Working with residents, fellows, medical students, and laboratory technologists, and seeing their dedication to patient care and eagerness to learn

What advice would you give to incoming residents?
Keep an open mind as you are going through your rotations.  Once you find your passion -- pursue it with help! There are many faculty mentors here who can provide guidance on whatever career path you decide on.

What’s your favorite thing and/or spot in Houston?
The Children’s Museum and seeing my son’s face light up with the water play activities. 

What type of cell would you be and why?
Helper T cell – it enables the success of other immune cells! 
 

Ila

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Ila Singh, M.D., Ph.D.

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Professor, Pathology & Immunology
Works primarily at: Texas Children’s Hospital

What is your subspecialty and what made you choose it?
My specialties are Laboratory Medicine and Clinical Informatics. I gravitated to them because I am also a researcher. I like the idea of developing tests and analyzing data, especially large amounts of data – on the scale that clinical laboratories generate.

What drew you to the BCM Department of Pathology & Immunology? Why should a pathology applicant pick BCM for residency?
The diverse strengths of the faculty at BCM and in the surrounding hospitals at the Texas Medical Center. No other place in the United States offers this kind of diversity and strength of expertise within a square mile radius. BCM residents get to work at many of these hospitals as part of their scheduled rotations, which is a rare privilege.

What is the most rewarding/best part of your job?
Interacting with the people in the department! I work at Texas Children’s, an affiliate of BCM. The faculty, directors, managers, supervisors and technologists are outstanding. Coming into work is fun!

What advice would you give to incoming residents?
Try out everything in Pathology as if it is going to be what you will ultimately specialize in. Wait a couple of years before you make up your mind about your specialty - you have the rest of your life to focus on it.

What’s your favorite thing and/or spot in Houston?
Houston Arboretum.

What type of cell would you be and why? 
A fertilized ovum – limitless possibilities!

Michael

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Michael Ittmann, M.D., Ph.D.

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Professor, Pathology & Immunology
Works primarily at: Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

What is your subspecialty and what made you choose it?
While I sign out general surgical pathology and autopsies, my subspecialty is genitourinary pathology. Early in my career at the New York VAMC I saw a lot of prostate cancer. Some work in basic science research I was doing in my lab at the time was relevant to prostate cancer and so I began focusing in this area and have carried out an active research program in prostate cancer for the last 27 years. I also enjoy the broad range of diseases you see in genitourinary pathology and the active interactions with the clinicians.

What drew you to the BCM Department of Pathology & Immunology? 
I was drawn to BCM by the outstanding research in prostate cancer and the strong basic research overall. Dr. Tom Wheeler was the pathologist for the Prostate Cancer SPORE program, and he had established a strong infrastructure to integrate pathology and basic science research.

Why should a pathology applicant pick BCM for residency?
We have an extremely diverse array of specimens, practice venues and outstanding pathologists that will prepare you well for anatomic pathology practice. The clinical pathology training is also outstanding. 

What is the most rewarding/best part of your job?
Making a difficult or unusual diagnosis. I also enjoy signing out with residents and watching their skills progress through the years.

What advice would you give to incoming residents?
Read, study, think, question (but have some fun as well). 

What’s your favorite thing and/or spot in Houston?
Uchi has exceptional Japanese food. 

Marwan

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Marwan Yared, M.D.

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Associate Professor and Director of Residency Training Program, Pathology & Immunology
Works primarily at: Ben Taub Hospital

What is your subspecialty and what made you choose it?
Subspecialty: Hematopathology. I chose it because it spans both AP and CP and makes heavy use of cutting-edge ancillary testing modalities like flow cytometry, FISH, molecular etc.

What drew you to the Baylor College Medicine Department of Pathology & Immunology? Why should a pathology applicant pick BCM for residency?
BCM is a world-class academic center the faculty and trainees of which work and train at large area hospitals that serve varied patient populations. BCM is also located within close proximity of other leading academic centers like MD Anderson, providing ample opportunities for collaboration and joint work. Pathology applicants should pick BCM residency for these reasons, and because our program offers them a comprehensive training in different hospitals, with different practice models and patient populations that better prepares them for the real world once they start practicing. Our program is also resident-centric, with residents leading and driving a significant part of the decision-making process that shapes our program and their education and training.

What is the most rewarding/best part of your job?
Knowing that I’m actively participating in the education of the next generation of pathologists. Also very rewarding, at Ben Taub, is the fact that we serve as a safety net hospital for patients who have no other healthcare options.

What advice would you give to incoming residents?
Be ready for an exciting ride for the next four years at the end of which you will become a pathologist!

Sridevi

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Sridevi Devaraj, Ph.D., DABCC, FACB

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Professor, Pathology & Immunology
Works primarily at: Texas Children’s Hospital

What is your subspecialty and what made you choose it?
I am the director of Clinical Chemistry and Point of Care Technology; I love the excitement of developing new technologies and love to be helpful to clinicians from varying disciplines who take care of our patients.

What drew you to the Baylor College Medicine Department of Pathology & Immunology? Why should a pathology applicant pick BCM for residency?
The camaraderie of the colleagues, expertise in different divisions of BCM pathology, the opportunities to collaborate across disciplines, the wide variety of patients throughout the different hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, most of all the awesome staff and faculty at BCM make it a top choice.

What is the most rewarding/best part of your job?
Being inspired and inspiring young minds.

What advice would you give to incoming residents?
Hard work is always rewarding, but make sure you have fun!

What’s your favorite thing and/or spot in Houston?
I love the different kinds of food that the diversity of Houston brings.

What type of cell would you be and why?
I would be a monocyte-macrophage, I fight when I need to, but hey, I can get inflamed too!

Chris

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Chris Finch, M.D.

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Professor, Pathology & Immunology
Works primarily at: Ben Taub Hospital

What is your subspecialty and what made you choose it?
Subspecialty: Cytopathology. I was attracted by the possibility of diagnosing disease with a small amount of material in a way to minimize pain and expense for the patient. I also saw it as a way to sharpen my skills for application in surgical pathology.

What drew you to the BCM Department of Pathology & Immunology? Why should a pathology applicant pick BCM for residency?
I was drawn to our department as a resident applicant because of the wealth of excellent conferences for residents, the depth and breadth of specimens in multiple vastly different hospital settings, the many fellowships available and the number of deeply committed faculty.

What is the most rewarding/best part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is really two-fold:

  • It is gratifying to be able to play a role in providing the best care possible to the underserved population in Harris County.
  • It is very enjoyable and rewarding to work with residents, fellows and medical students due to the level of interest and eagerness they show and the ability to watch the growth and maturity trainees attain over time.

What advice would you give to incoming residents?
My advice would be to work hard but don’t panic. The residency is four years for a reason – learning is sometimes incremental.

What’s your favorite thing and/or spot in Houston?
Favorite spot – actually two: the zoo and the Museum District, but particularly the Menil Museum.

What type of cell would you be and why?
The plasma cell is my favorite due to the lovely lavender cytoplasm (on Diff-Quik stain).

What is your favorite tumor histology and why?
Pheochromocytoma is attractive for a tumor – abundant cytoplasm and relatively easy to diagnose when combined with immunohistochemistry.

zarrin/

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Neda Zarrin-Khameh, M.D., M.P.H

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Professor and Program Director of Cytopathology Fellowship
Works primarily at: Ben Taub Hospital

What is your subspecialty and what made you choose it?
Cytology and GI. Cytology to me is like solving the ultimate mystery! Imagine that you have to reach a diagnosis just by looking at a few cells. When you know your cells, close and personal, you will become more comfortable with histology. 
Gastrointestinal pathology is another interesting area. It is one of the most common specimens that a pathologist receives, as GI disorders are very common. The correlation of what you see on the slide with the patient's signs and syndromes are phenomenal. 

What drew you to the BCM Department of Pathology & Immunology? Why should a pathology applicant pick BCM for residency?
Baylor College of Medicine is one of the nation's premier academic health science centers and is known for excellence in education, research, healthcare, and community service. BCM is affiliated with multiple educational, healthcare, and research affiliates.

What is the most rewarding/best part of your job?
I am passionate about teaching and teaching various subjects and teaching on microscope and unknown conferences are the most satisfying part of my job.

What advice would you give to incoming residents?
Do your best 

What's your favorite thing and/or spot in Houston?
Organization Museum district, zoo, Brazos Bend state park and Houston Symphony.

Kevin

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Kevin Fisher, M.D., Ph.D.

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Assistant Professor, Pathology & Immunology
Works primarily at: Texas Children’s Hospital

What is your subspecialty and what made you choose it?
Molecular Genetic Pathology, I chose this specialty because it’s a great blend of anatomic and clinical pathology.

What drew you to the BCM Department of Pathology & Immunology? Why should a pathology applicant pick BCM for residency?
The opportunity to work at Texas Children’s Hospital in the Texas Medical Center and contribute to dynamic, growing molecular genomic enterprise. An applicant should choose our program because of the breadth and depth of training.

What is the most rewarding/best part of your job?
Working with residents and fellows.

What advice would you give to incoming residents?
Pick a program where the residents are entering diverse fellowships/jobs after graduating. This speaks to the educational breadth and mentorship available at the program. Follow your passion!

What’s your favorite thing and/or spot in Houston?
Spots – Rice University, Natural History Museum
Restaurants – Teotihuacan, Goode Company Seafood
Events – Houston Rodeo, Thanksgiving Day Parade, Zoo Lights
Teams – Astros, Dynamo, Houston Symphony

What type of cell would you be and why?
A pericyte. They’re vitally important but very few people know what they do. Kind of like pathologists.

What is your favorite tumor histology and why?
Viable tissue without decalcification or necrosis because it yields the highest quality nucleic acid.

krishnan/

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Bhuvaneswari Krishnan, M.D.

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Professor, Pathology & Immunology
Works primarily at: Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

What is your subspecialty and what made you choose it?
I think I was in early middle school when I read an article in a magazine about how a human kidney works. That triggered my desire to know about myself and in general about the human body. That is what led me to go to medical school and subsequently to Pathology. This is the specialty that allows me to know more about the human body. I am fascinated and excited to be dwelling in this pursuit of science. Though I have been in this field for so many years, I am still fascinated and excited to be at work and be able to learn about the new information that is uncovered every day. 

What drew you to the BCM Department of Pathology & Immunology? Why should a pathology applicant pick BCM for residency?
I am originally from India, and my residency training was in BCM Department of Pathology & Immunology. This department was welcoming and made me feel at home immediately. All the faculty were extremely helpful. I liked the fact that I was able to rotate through so many different hospitals with different kinds of patient populations. This wide exposure made me see a wide array of human pathologies. I learnt from my interactions and teaching from all the pathologists. The Texas Medical Center is a great place to be because of the interactions with all the different institutions. I did a fellowship in cytopathology at Baylor and a surgical pathology fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

After my residency and fellowship experience at Baylor, it was an easy decision to come back to Baylor as a faculty. I work at the Michael E. DeBakey VA medical center. I have enjoyed working here for all these years. Pathology is a very wide field and it is expanding so much that it is hard to keep up with all the advances. I sign out both surgical pathology and cytopathology. I like dermatopathology because it is so diverse and requires clinical and pathological correlations. I also like kidney pathology because of its complexities.  

What is the most rewarding/best part of your job?
I have worked at the VA hospital for many years now. I do feel the sense of purpose and service every day at work. Many challenges come up from time to time but through it all serving the people who signed up to give their lives to the country seems worth it in the end. I enjoy teaching the residents because I can contribute to the career of future budding pathologists.  

What advice would you give to incoming residents?
The BCM Pathology & Immunology Department is a great place to learn. I speak from my own experience. The wide exposures to pathologies from different hospitals including the private, community, veterans and pediatric patients is hard to find in any other program. When the incoming residents have the desire to work hard and learn, this is the place to be. At the same time the hours are manageable to spend time with family and friends. 

What's your favorite thing and/or spot in Houston?
I have enjoyed living in Houston for all these years. The cost of living is not exorbitant for a big metropolitan city. It was manageable for me as a resident. Houston has a lot to offer depending on our interests. I like the fact that I can taste the food from all over the world in this one city. I like the parks and museums that are so close to the medical center. Within a few minutes you can have a whole different experience walking in the park or enjoying the exhibits at the museum. 

Sagar

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Sagar Dhamne, M.B.B.S., M.D.

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Assistant Professor, Pathology & Immunology
Works primarily at: Ben Taub Hospital

What is your subspecialty and what made you choose it?
I subspecialize in breast pathology. My interest in breast pathology stemmed during my intern year in India when I used to perform large number of FNA biopsies on breast lesions in the Surgery clinic. I often walked to the pathology department to take a peek for adequacy but eventually ended up learning how to interpret them which I found quiet fascinating, especially the satisfaction of diagnosing breast lesions and recognizing the important of accurate interpretation for further management of the patient. Eventually I took up residency in pathology. During residency, breast pathology was a natural choice for me. I happened to find a great mentor which only furthered my interest in the sub-specialty.

What drew you to the BCM Department of Pathology & Immunology? Why should a pathology applicant pick BCM for residency?
The people and the environment and, of course, the completeness of the program in terms of education it has to offer. BCM has one of the most diverse programs in terms of patient population it caters to. It is a mix of four different hospital systems which includes a county hospital, a private hospital setup, a leading pediatric and women’s hospital, and a VA hospital providing an excellent platform to see the most varied pathology specimens. The department at each of the hospitals has enthusiastic teachers. We proudly foster a collegial environment in the department among residents and faculty alike.

What is the most rewarding/best part of your job?
The best part of my job is that I can guide breast radiologists, oncologists and surgeons to make appropriate decisions in patient care and ultimately make a difference to someone’s life. I really enjoy teaching residents, fellows and medical students. This gives me a great deal of satisfaction.

What advice would you give to incoming residents?
Always put in your best foot forward and you will excel in whatever you do. Most importantly, enjoy what you do.

What type of cell would you be and why?
A myoepithelial cell in the breast. It supports the epithelial cells and helps propel the secretions to its destination. Similarly, I strive to be a support to the residents and push them along their career paths

A.

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A. Hafeez Diwan, M.D., Ph.D.

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Professor, Pathology & Immunology/Dermatology
Works primarily at: Main Baylor Campus & Ben Taub Hospita

What is your subspecialty and what made you choose it?
Dermatopathology. There is an amazing variety of diagnoses and it a very satisfying, rewarding specialty. It’s like being in a museum almost every day.

What drew you to the BCM Department of Pathology & Immunology? Why should a pathology applicant pick BCM for residency?
The extraordinary variety of cases, the camaraderie and collegiality of wonderful colleagues, excellent trainees and students.

What is the most rewarding/best part of your job?
It’s hard to say. It’s a mix of things: cases, colleagues, students.

What advice would you give to incoming residents?
Try to see as much as you can. The more you see, the better you will be as a pathologist.

What is your favorite tumor histology and why?
I like blue nevi. They remind me of van Gogh’s paintings.