About Us

Message From the Chair

Dr. Kevin Roth, MD, PhD - Chair, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University
Dr. Kevin Roth, MD, PhD - Chair, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University Medical Center

Welcome to the Columbia University Department of Pathology and Cell Biology website. There is much to learn in these pages about the department and our deep commitment to scientific, clinical, and educational excellence. The department has a rich history dating back to 1767 and the appointment of faculty in both the Department of Anatomy and Department of Physiology and Pathology at King’s College, the pre-American Revolutionary War forerunner of Columbia University. The current Department of Pathology and Cell Biology arose from the 2005 merger of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology with the Department of Pathology and reflects the close link between the study of cell biological processes and the understanding of disease pathogenesis. The foundations for the department were laid by many remarkably talented and diverse individuals including such luminaries as Drs. Delafield, Prudden, Stout, Frantz, Axel, Mason, D’Agati and Shelanski. This tradition of achievement carries on today and the department ranks first nationally in the discipline of pathology for the number of NIH grant awards and consistently in the top three for total NIH funding.

A brief overview of the department “by the numbers” will provide you a sense of the size and scope of our clinical and academic enterprise. The department has approximately 600 employees, 160 full-time faculty, 100 post-doctoral and associate research scientists, 40 clinical residents and fellows, and 30 graduate students. Our faculty members hold over 85 NIH grants and receive over $35 million in annual NIH grant support. In partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, which is ranked in the top five Best Hospitals nationally, we annually perform approximately 20 million clinical laboratory tests, 70 thousand surgical pathology examinations, 60 thousand cytology evaluations, and 300 autopsies. However, sheer size does not define departmental excellence. Our faculty, students, and staff are deeply devoted to patient care, education, and scholarship in a departmental culture of professionalism and diversity.

The discipline of pathology is central to the future of precision medicine and the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology plays a key role in leading both clinical and research efforts in this important area. In close partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and other Columbia University Irving Medical Center Departments, Centers and Institutes, the Department has led the way nationally in advancing cancer-related and constitutional genetic and genomic clinical testing. Our precision medicine mission has expanded to include novel test development, cutting edge research, genetic counseling and creative educational opportunities. Over the last year, the department played a critical role in the clinical response to the Covid-19 pandemic and contributed enormously to the scientific literature on the pathological consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection. With our long history of scientific accomplishments, commitment to clinical innovation, and nationally recognized programs in anatomic pathology, laboratory medicine, investigative pathology, and cell biology research, we are uniquely positioned to impact the future of pathology and cell biology.

Thank you for your interest in the Columbia University Department of Pathology and Cell Biology. If you don’t find what you’re looking for on our website, don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about the department.

Kevin A. Roth, MD, PhD
Donald W. King, M.D. and Mary Elizabeth King, M.D. Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology
Chair, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology
Pathologist-in-Chief, Columbia University Medical Center