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Diagnostics Genetics and epigenetics, COVID-19, Profession, Technology and innovation

A Trip Down Memory Lane


In December 2014, we jumped straight into the nitty gritty and addressed some of the stereotypes that have long plagued the pathology field. “Pathologists are nerds.” “Pathologists don’t like people.” “Pathologists spend all their time with corpses.” “Pathologists aren’t real doctors.” Our issue explored some of the ways we can defeat the myths, once and for all. One solution presented was increased visibility: “Visibility to the general public, to medical students, and even to specialists in other fields is a key part of combating preconceptions with facts.” Read more!

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We celebrated the best and most brilliant advocates of pathology with our very first Power List! We had so many amazing nominees, but Manuel Sobrinho-Simões took the top spot. Why? “His contributions to the clinical diagnosis of thyroid cancer have been outstanding: hospital pathologists worldwide follow his rules in their day-to-day routines.”

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In February 2016, our cover featured a woolen representation of the complexities of the brain. A handful of researchers – including Brad Hyman, James Connor, Michela Gallagher, and Ewan McNay – spoke on the mystery of Alzheimer’s disease and the factors that play a part in diagnosis. “Our biggest opportunity to make an impact in Alzheimer’s right now is to catch it early and to limit any cognitive decline before it becomes problematic. The way we’ll do that is to combine genotyping, biomarkers and imaging, with iron and cognitive testing.” Continue the story here.

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Our October 2017 cover saw tumor genetics represented in the Pierian Spring – the metaphorical source of knowledge in Greek mythology. This issue discussed how liquid biopsy helps oncologists make life or death decisions, and how single-color digital PCR can help lower costs and complexities involved in diagnosis. Joydeep Goswami weighed in: “Liquid biopsy could allow us to move from ‘disease management’ to ‘health management.’ This could be in the form of a simple, annual blood test potentially allowing ‘at risk’ but otherwise healthy patients to check regularly for the appearance of cancer and work with their physicians to decide on the right choice of action.”

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Our October 2018 cover put a spin on Frank Dicksee’s Vikings Heading For Land, where we overlaid imagery that represented paleopathology and modern pathology. Niels Lynnerup provided a roundup of how paleopathology can help modern clinical pathology, and Jane Buikstra discussed new advances shaping the field. “Paleopathologists are usually the ‘history of medicine’ people – relegated to the far corner – but our input in medical training is becoming increasingly valuable as science becomes more and more interdisciplinary; anthropologists, social scientists, and others have an important role to play.”

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For our May 2019 issue, we sat down with six women in pathology and lab medicine to ask some gender-specific questions about their careers. What concrete steps are departments taking to look at female progression and compensation?  What resources are there to fund and invest in scientists with atypical career tracks – specifically, with women taking time off for their small children and then re-entering science? Find out their answers!

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Our first feature centered around COVID-19! The front cover represents our laboratory professionals defending the population against infectious disease. Numerous professionals weighed in, and Keren Landsman – public health specialist – provided insight into how the “behind the scenes” healthcare professionals were contributing to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. “If we take one positive from the COVID-19 pandemic, I hope it’s a truly global health system.”

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Our February 2021 cover showcased a piece of Indian-inspired, pathology-themed art to pave the way for a discussion between Shivayogi Bhusnurmath and Dhaneshwar Lanjewar on how pathology differs between East and West. The issue compared their regional approaches to pathology and highlighted the differences in practice. “Because there is no regulatory agency in India, very few labs are quality-conscious. NABL 15189:2012 accreditation is purely voluntary; less than 1 percent of labs are accredited. Without efficient, credible, and quality-conscious diagnostic reports, the future of healthcare in India will continue to languish.” Continue the story.

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For our December 2022 issue, we explored how rapid, reliable, accessible genomic sequencing could shorten the diagnostic odyssey for many rare disease patients. Venky Soundararajan discussed the biggest challenges in rare disease diagnosis, and how AI could lend a helping hand: “In many rare diseases, AI is also making connections to more common conditions whose FDA-approved treatments may offer a glimmer of hope…” Read on!

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An annual favorite of ours: The pathology art image issue! This year, we saw a diversity of talent, from crochet microscopes to paintings of giant cell tumors. Have a flick through and get lost in the abundance of art creations!

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About the Author
Georgia Hulme

Associate Editor for the Pathologist

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