Research

Many research opportunities are available covering a wide range of areas from basic science to preclinical to clinical research. Though not required, all residents are encouraged to pursue research projects as part of their training. Trainees with an interest in research will find enthusiastic support from the faculty, including help in identifying research mentors. Many residents collaborate with pathologists and other clinicians on small research projects and case reports as an adjunct to their clinical rotations. Residents may also choose to do research elective rotations, allowing them to have an extensive research experience in more diverse areas of research. Current CP-only and AP-only residents are incorporating intensive research training during extended elective rotations into their curriculum.

Residents specifically interested in an academic career in pathology focused on basic or translational research will find many opportunities for career development at the University of Utah. Abundant opportunities for pathology studies and development projects exist in all anatomic, clinical, and experimental areas of the department. In addition, residents are welcome to develop collaborations with faculty in any clinical or basic science department at the University of Utah. Pathology residents have developed collaborations with researchers in departments as diverse as bioinformatics, molecular biology and genetics, internal medicine, cardiology, pulmonary critical care, hematology-oncology, anesthesiology, pediatric neurology, pediatric infectious disease, and dermatology.

ARUP Labs & Pathology

With ARUP Laboratories, an established national reference laboratory affiliated with the Department of Pathology, the University of Utah is unique as a leader in translational pathology research. In addition to substantial departmental external grant funding, ARUP Laboratories and the ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology® spend over eight million dollars annually on translational pathology research and development. This is an unparalleled resource for residents who wish to develop academic careers. 

Over 300 novel diagnostic tests have been developed at ARUP including multiplexed immunoassays for antibodies to pneumococcal capsular polysaccharides, rapid pregnancy screening tests for Down's Syndrome and Fragile X syndrome, and high resolution melting amplicon analysis for c-Kit, PDGFR, and EGFR mutations in tumors. In addition, faculty at ARUP Laboratories have developed cutting edge technologies, such as the LightCycler® Systems for real-time PCR, and have been involved in identifying genes and developing assays for BRCA1, Friedreich ataxia, Chediak-Higashi syndrome, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, and other genetic traits. It is not unusual for resident research projects to spur implementation of new tests at ARUP, which can have an immediate clinical impact nationwide.

Research Opportunities

Lunch meetings are held each year with the residency research director to discuss specific research opportunities available in the department. Residents are urged to submit their research for presentation at national meetings and prepare projects for publication in peer reviewed medical journals. Residents are given travel support to present abstracts at national meetings.  Supplies for research are usually provided by resident's research mentor.  Residents often apply for additional research funds for more extensive projects through the department chair and the ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology.

Contact Us

Kristi J. Smock, MD
Director of Residency Training
Email: kristi.smock@aruplab.com

Kimi Crist
Residency Coordinator
Email: kimi.crist@path.utah.edu