In Memoriam: Dr. Wanda Szyfelbein

Dear MGH Pathology colleagues,

We are writing to share the sad news that our colleague, Dr. Wanda Szyfelbein, passed away. Following her medical training in Poland and pathology training at Boston University Hospital, Dr. Szyfelbein joined the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Pathology in 1974 as the 2nd pathologist dedicated to the field of cytopathology (the study of single cells and small tissue biopsies for diagnosis). She joined Dr. Priscilla Taft, director of the Cytopathology Laboratory. Dr. Szyfelbein took over as Director of the Cytopathology Laboratory upon Dr. Taft’s retirement in 1983 and continued in that role until 1989.  She retired in 2003.  Dr. Szyfelbein was an expert on the cytopathology of tissues from essentially every part of the body she also had broad knowledge of general anatomic pathology.  She was primarily interested in fine needle aspiration biopsy, a minimally invasive technique for the diagnosis of mass lesions and made several important contributions to that literature, especially in the diagnosis of liver cancer, including a 1994 monograph on fine needle aspiration biopsy of the liver.  When the department moved to subspecialization, she became one of the group devoted to gynecologic pathology and was the senior author of two excellent papers that appeared in the prestigious American Journal of Surgical Pathology.  Wanda was beloved by all who knew her. She was a highly respected teacher and mentored many trainees, some of whom went on to be international leaders in the field of Cytopathology. We hope that you will join us in honoring her memory.

David N. Louis, M.D., Chief of Pathology, MGH

Martha B. Pitman, M.D., Director of Cytopathology, MGH