The Division of Clinical Pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine is one of the largest divisions in the pathology department, under the direction of the Division Head Sherrie Perkins, MD, PhD. The division provides medical oversight of clinical laboratory activities at the University of Utah associated hospitals as well as the ARUP national reference laboratory. The faculty also engage in a broad range of research endeavors. Over 40 clinical and research doctoral faculty provide an integral bridge between clinical care, translational research, and basic science. They play an essential role in the University of Utah and Department of Pathology’s missions to improve patient care and foster research and scholarly activities.

Clinical Activities

A majority of the clinical pathology faculty service as medical directors at ARUP Laboratories, providing clinical and consultation services with ARUP’s clients all over the United States. The faculty are also essential to the clinical services at University of Utah Health and Primary Children’s Hospital, providing clinicians and other health care providers with assistance in laboratory test selection and interpretation. Several of the medical directors also work as subspecialty clinicians who serve patients with a wide variety of problems, including those dealing with hematology, oncology, endocrinology, immunodeficiency disorders, infectious diseases, and coagulation problems. Thus, the members of the clinical pathology division at the University of Utah and ARUP are constantly focused on improving patient care through development and interpretation as well as the appropriate selection and use of laboratory tests.

Research Activities

Another major focus is in both applied and basic research. This work is carried out primarily through the ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology, which is the research arm of ARUP Laboratories, started in 1996. The Institute employs approximately 80 scientists including doctorate, master’s, and bachelor degreed individuals responsible for developing innovative, new esoteric laboratory tests to ensure that ARUP Laboratories and the Division of Clinical Pathology stay at the forefront of laboratory medicine.

Another focus of the division and the institute is publication of academic, peer-reviewed research articles. More than 100 peer-reviewed papers are produced annually and are published in a variety of scientific journals. In addition, the faculty contribute to numerous review articles, text book chapters, and books annually. These scholarly activities enhance the scientific credentials of not only the Department of Pathology but ARUP Laboratories and the University of Utah as a whole.

Teaching Activities

The clinical pathology division provides education for medical students, residents, fellows, graduate students, as well as undergraduates currently pursuing further education at the University of Utah in medicine and the laboratory sciences as well as in laboratory research. Two continuing medical education courses are also offered to practicing pathologists, clinicians, and laboratory scientists from throughout the US and the world. These include the Update in Clinical Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Disease, and Park City Update in Clinical and Laboratory Medicine. 

The division also plays a major role in the teaching of medical students by directing and participating in the freshman microbiology and immunology courses and provides a senior medical student elective course in clinical pathology that reviews all of clinical and laboratory medicine, preparing medical students for efficient use of the clinical laboratory in practice. The clinical pathology rotations for the University of Utah Department of Pathology residency program draw on the expertise and wide diversity of the clinical pathology faculty, making this a premier training experience in clinical pathology for both AP/CP and CP only residents. In addition, the division also sponsors fellowship programs in hematopathology, clinical chemistry, clinical immunology, medical microbiology, clinical biochemical genetics, clinical cytogenetics, clinical molecular genetics, and medical genetics that make use of the wide diversity and extensive number of samples seen through the University of Utah Hospital and ARUP reference laboratory to provide advanced specialty training.