Molecular Pathology and Genomics


Molecular Pathology and Genomics Division all-faculty meeting, Feb. 28th, 4 pm. in the Dale Shephard Room, Campus Club 


To be a world class division of LMP that provides department, collegiate and national leadership in the pursuit of excellence in molecular pathology and genomic research, education and clinical service

Strategic Intent

To foster a culture of innovation and academic excellence by promoting synergistic collaborations among members of the Division of Molecular Pathology and Genomics



Molecular Pathology and Genomics Faculty 

LMP Research Network

Cytogenetics Fellowship
Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship

Grand Rounds

(Grand Rounds sponosored by the Division of Molecular Pathology and Genomics)

Sept 7, 2016
Matthew Meredith, PhD
Cytogenetics Fellow, University of Minnesota
Nov 9, 2016
Timothy Moss, MD, PhD
Molecular Genetics Fellow
University of Minnesota
December 7, 2016
Sharon E. Plon, MD, Ph.D. 
Professor of Pediatrics - Oncology and Molecular and Human Genetics
Director of the Neurofibromatosis Clinic
and Cancer Genetics Clinical and Research Programs
Texas Children's Hospital
Baylor College of Medicine
"Implementing clinical whole exome sequencing for the care of children with Mendelian disorders and cancer"

LMP Research Forum

 External Links

Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory

Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory

Anatomic pathologist Andrew Nelson (left), hematopathologist Sophia Yohe, and clinical pathologist Bharat Thyagarajan in the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory.  The laboratory is at the forefront of the clinical genomics and precision medicine revolution.  Thyagarajan is medical director.

Genomics is helping to transform how cancer is characterized, enabling physicians to select treatments that improve chances of survival and reduce exposure to harmful side effects. Thyagarajan says the MDL focuses on "a narrow set of genes that have been shown to have established clinical relevance." He expects MDL's current panel of some twenty genes in cancer diagnosis to be expanded to a menu of approximately 150 genes distributed across several cancer specific panels within the next six months. "All the action is being directed toward predictive biomarkers, which can influence how the patient is treated." 

What's driving genomics within pathology is the growing demand for more types of molecular-based genomic analyses on specimens and the increased integration of diagnostic technologies. There's an ongoing effort under Thyagarajan, anatomic pathologist Andrew Nelson, hematologist Sophia Yohe and others involved in the department's molecular pathology and genomics initiative to join molecular genetics with cytogenetics and results from flow cytometry and clinical chemistry to get a more complete picture of tumor behavior. Interpretation remains key. 

"The problem that I see routinely is people misunderstanding technological capabilities for clinical interpretive capabilities," Nelson says. "Our ability to interpret the ever-increasing onslaught of data in a clinically meaningful way to predict how the disease will behave is a challenge." One of the ways the challenge can be met is through sound data curation and data sharing by clinical consortia in the U.S. and around the world, Nelson says.
MDL has achieved a major success in its ability to test successfully nearly all cancer specimens it analyzes. Thyagarajan believes community pathologists can benefit from MDL cancer genomics because it
  • uses of minimal amounts of tissue
  • provides integrated diagnostic reports
  • provides expanding gene panels, and
  • has the ability to detect low-level mutations. 

LMP molecular pathologists are happy to consult on cases or help in assessing genomic approaches that might be utilized.


Dehm-led team finds genomic defects in treatment-resistant prostate cancer  

Scott Dehm

Scott Dehm and his colleagues have identified genomic structural rearrangements in the androgen receptor (AR-GSRs) that may serve to limit current treatment options for prostate cancer patients. In a paper published in Nature Communicationsthey report that AR-GSRs in prostate cancer metastatic tissues enable cancer cells to circumvent current androgen receptor-targeted treatments.  They conclude that their study "advances understanding of the prostate cancer genome by identifying the frequency, spectrum and functional impact of widespread AR-GSR events in clinical prostate cancer tissues."  

The study provides key insight into the development of disease resistance and suggests promising avenues for the development of more effective therapies.

Dehm partnered with Christine Henzler and Rendong Yangof the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, faculty in the Masonic Cancer Center and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and faculty at the University of Washington and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.