About Us

Message From the Chair

Kevin Gardner, MD, PhD, Interim Chair, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Kevin Gardner, MD, PhD - Interim Chair, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University Irving 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.

Our History

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. Many remarkably talented and diverse individuals laid the foundation for the Department, 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 four for total NIH funding.

Our Mission

The discipline of pathology is central to the future of precision medicine, and the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology is crucial in leading clinical and research efforts in this vital 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. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department played a critical role in the clinical response 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.

Our Numbers

A brief overview of the department “by the numbers” will provide you with a sense of the size and scope of our clinical and academic enterprise.

Our People: (approximately)
  • 580 employees
  • 142 full-time faculty
  • 55 post-doctoral and associate research scientists
  • 25 clinical residents and fellows
  • 33 graduate research assistants
Our faculty:
  • hold over 50 NIH grants
  • receive over $35 million in annual NIH grant support
Our Clinical Testing:

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
  • 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.

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 Gardner, MD, PhD
Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology
Interim Chair, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology
Director, Physician Scientist Research Pathway
Columbia University Irving Medical Center