Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

From its beginnings in 1893, the Mount Sinai Department of Pathology has been a leader in the field. In addition to delivering more personalized pathology services to patients, Mount Sinai is the first major medical center to establish a fully integrated pathology department combining the various arms of testing—anatomical, clinical, molecular/genetic, and cytological—under a single umbrella. Our focus is ensuring that every patient receives the right test at the right time, setting the stage for physicians to deliver the proper treatment. Learn more

About Us

Pathology is the study and diagnosis of disease, which traditionally has been aimed at understanding and defining a condition or disease. Recently that paradigm has been shifting, and Mount Sinai’s vanguard pathologists are galvanizing this field from one of reactive diagnostics toward an evolution of predictive and preventative medical diagnostics and testing. We are transforming pathology through the analysis of anatomical and molecular, as well as clinical components related to the disease processes. 

Mount Sinai conducts more than eight million tests a year and is the second largest Department of Pathology in the nation with a vast biological bank of meticulously catalogued pathology samples (tissue, cells, fluid, etc.). These resources enable us to be uniquely positioned as leaders in redefining the science of pathology toward one that can potentially thwart disease with early treatments, allow patients to bypass unnecessary treatments, and determine - at the cellular level - the most appropriate medication or intervention based upon a patient’s unique genetic fingerprint.

Our pathologists often review cases on a second-opinion basis, providing patients with the opportunity with another diagnosis and treatment.”

History of Groundbreaking Pathology Discoveries 

From the time it was established in 1893, the Mount Sinai Department of Pathology has been a longstanding leader in this discipline. A founding father of the Department, Frederick Mandelbaum, MD, was the first to develop the technique of identifying malignant cancer cells in tissue fluids. Currently the department is led by Dr. Carlos Cordon-Cardo, internationally recognized as a father of molecular pathology and more recently systems pathology, which are advanced branches of pathology, aimed at delivering personalized medicine and diagnostics to patients. 

In addition to delivering more personalized pathology services to patients than most facilities across the globe, Mount Sinai was the first major medical center to establish a fully integrated Department combining anatomical, clinical, molecular/genetic, and cytological testing all under a single umbrella to ensure that every patient gets the right test at right time, and, thus, the right treatment at the right time.

Comprehensive Care from Birth Through Every Stage of Life 

Our vision at Mount Sinai is to provide each patient a better chance of cure by defining their disease and optimizing treatment, while offering a superior quality of live and preserving their moral and personal integrity. We plan to achieve this by building a pathological medical record - similar to an electronic medical record - that can be mined for helpful data throughout a patient’s lifespan beginning at birth. 

Comparative tissue analysis, like comparative mammography or electrocardiograms, can be used to establish baselines and measure changes. Such comprehensive and personalized pathology will mean less fragmented care and the potential for fewer invasive tests for patients. Plus it will enable pathologists to establish ongoing relationships with patients over the course of their lifetimes. It can also assist patients in gaining entry into clinical trials because of the additional benefit of a personal tissue bank that will significantly aid researchers in studying the course of the disease process.

Research Activities 

In addition to offering an extensive array of clinical trials, Mount Sinai continually advances the science of pathology through various research endeavors and rigorous education programs. We are advocates of embracing new technologies and view pathology as the engine of translational research. Our concentration on molecular pathology touches multiple disciplines of patient care and research, such as Mount Sinai’s Tisch Cancer institute, Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine, the Black Family Stem Cell Institute, the Department of Genetics, the Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, the Immunology Institute, and the Cardiovascular Institute. 

We are also expanding our Department to include mathematicians, computational biologists, and systems pathologists to act as decoders or translators of this voluminous information. “We must amalgamate all our knowledge and data in order to produce a greater understanding of the disease process so we can produce the best result for patients on an individual level,” says Dr. Cordon-Cardo. Translation: better pathology means a better you.