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The Department of Pathology at A.I.I.M.S, New Delhi, founded in 1957, has been a pioneer in the field of pathology since its inception. The Department is a leading innovator in research, service, and education. The department offers state of the art histopathology and cytopathology patient care services incorporating advanced diagnostic methods that include immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, immunofluorescence, immunoblot, and molecular techniques such as in-situ hybridization and polymerase chain reaction.
The Department is currently headed by Professor. Venkateswaran K. Iyer (2021 onwards).
In the year 2021-2022, Department of Pathology has been able to maintain high-level academics and efficient clinical services, despite the waves and troughs of COVID-19 pandemic. The department is engaged in routine diagnostic reporting of Surgical Pathology and Cytopathology, and teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate students in addition to performing high quality research in various areas of pathology. The department provided services to large number of patients by processing approximately 40,000 surgical pathology and 17,000 cytopathology specimens.
New facilities have been added in the department for routine patient care services related to molecular pathology and cytogenetic work-up, which include in-situ hybridization, flow cytometry, tissue microarray, capillary electrophoresis, real-time PCR etc. The diagnostic and predictive immunohistochemical panel has been expanded and a total of 50,558 slides have been stained and studied during this period.
The Department is regularly providing reports for molecular tests in all pathology sub-specialities. A few examples include EGFR gene mutations, ALK and ROS-1 rearrangements in lung cancer, Her-2/neu amplification in breast cancers, TCR clonality assay in lymphomas, multiple gene fusions and other molecular alterations in salivary gland tumors as well as soft tissue sarcomas, and has started providing MYCN amplification in pediatric neuroblastomas, and FOXO1 fusions in rhabdomyosarcomas. Liquid biopsy testing using patients’ blood plasma has been standardized and included in patient-care program. We have been doing resistant mutation analysis in therapy-progressed EGFR-positive lung cancer patients by liquid biopsy and reports are released in clinics.
We are moving towards Digital Pathology sphere for implementation of next generation pathology in future. In that context, department has organized national cytology conference ‘CYTOCON 2021’ entirely in virtual mode with overwhelming participation from all over the country. Many virtual workshops were organized including a one on digital pathology where whole slide images were used for teaching purposes.
In addition, during this year also, AIIMS Pathology monthly Webinar Series (Department of Pathology YouTube channel) was as successful as earlier years in which lectures from many international alumni including the eminent Dr. Vinay Kumar, editor of Robbins and Cotran basis of disease, Dr.Rifat Mannan, Dr. Sonika Dahiya, Dr. Kamaljeet Singh, Dr. Kalyani Patel from USA, were streamed on YouTube.
The undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programs are being constantly updated and refreshed to meet the knowledge and skills sets currently required of trainees in the era of evidence based medical practice.
The Department faculty have received funding for approximately 30 extramural and 21 intramural projects related to pathology and molecular features of wide spectrum of neoplastic and non-neoplastic diseases. The faculty of the department has presented their research work at various virtual national and international conferences and received awards individually or to their residents. More than 200 papers have been published in peer reviewed national and international journals during the year 2021 alone.
Notably, Dr. Sandeep R. Mathur has been awarded the prestigious Earnest Fernandez slide seminar by Indian Academy of Cytologists in Annual Conference held in Nov 2021. Dr. Deepali Jain was the first Indian to receive the prestigious Mary J. Matthews Pathology/ Translational Research Award, International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), Sep 2021, and was listed in most cited work of top 10 doctors of AIIMS New Delhi which was prepared from Stanford University California list of world’s top 2% of scientists.
We have many faculty members contributing to World Health Organization (WHO) blue books for classification of tumors of various systems edited by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon, France.