The SP-LIT Program combines training in anatomic pathology (AP) or clinical pathology (CP) with post-doctoral fellowships in cutting-edge scientific laboratories, all under the aegis of a proactive career mentoring program.
SP-LIT Program Overview and Goals
The Pathology Service at the Massachusetts General Hospital recognizes the unique challenges faced by academic pathologists committed to developing careers "split" between diagnostic pathology and basic research, and considers the training of such academic pathologists to be among its highest priorities. To address this priority, the department offers an Mass General Specialized Pathologist-Laboratory Investigator Training (SP-LIT) Program for residents and fellows.
The goal of the SP-LIT Program is to train academic pathologists to become subspecialist pathologists and independently-funded principal investigators in biomedical research. This approach to training combines the subspecialty organization of the clinical training experience with the research opportunities within the department, the hospital, the medical school, the university and the greater Boston scientific community. In short, the Program aims to train the next generation of leaders in academic research pathology.
The SP-LIT Program combines training in anatomic pathology (AP) or clinical pathology (CP) with post-doctoral fellowships in cutting-edge scientific laboratories, all under the aegis of a proactive career mentoring program. Trainees complete AP or CP training alongside other MGH Pathology AP, CP and AP-CP residents, but focus their elective time in research laboratories. Clinical rotations are scheduled to optimize research training by providing extended blocks of time for research. Clinical training is followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in a research laboratory at MGH or at other leading biomedical institutions in the Boston area such as the the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Massachustts Institute of Technology, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Whitehead Institute. Trainees are supported during the post-doctoral fellowship by a long-standing NIH T32 Training Grant that supports seven positions based in the Pathology Department. At all stages, participants in the SP-LIT program are strongly mentored, both in terms of research activity and for career development as clinician-investigators. Thus, the program is closely tailored to individual trainees' needs and interests.
Within the first few months of beginning their residency, residents in SP-LIT Program will meet with a physician-scientist mentor assigned by the Research Mentoring Committee. The mentor is chosen on the basis of overlapping clinical and/or research interests with the trainee. Trainees and mentors meet frequently throughout the program to develop a comprehensive plan for career development, which includes advice about appropriate clinical training as well as developing a research focus and identifying a research supervisor. A key early goal of the mentoring is to fine-tune possible research areas and to facilitate meetings between trainees and principal investigators in the Boston area whose laboratory interests overlap with those of the trainees. The SP-LIT Program is committed to the principle that the successful placement of trainees in post-doctoral fellowship laboratories depends on both scientific subject matter and "personality matching" of trainees and principal investigators. Particularly in the Boston area, where the choice of possible laboratories is unparalleled, the mentor can be an invaluable aid in evaluating the numerous opportunities and finding a good match.
SP-LIT Program Post Doctoral Fellowship Component
The Pathology Service at Mass General has maintained an NIH/NCI T32 Training Grant for the past 25 years and the grant has recently both been renewed for another five years and increased the number of position supported. The grant now supports seven fellows per year and has been highly effective in supporting the early careers of graduating residents over many years. Mass General Pathology trainees in the T32-supported fellowship have also garnered individual grants for research fellowships, and Pathology residents are eligible for support on related T32 training grants in other MGH departments. Over the past 10 years, our trainees have been authors or co-authors on well over 100 publications, in journals that include Cell, Science, Nature, Cancer Cell, Developmental Cell, Molecular Cell, Nature Genetics, Current Biology and PNAS.
The department will support SP-LIT Program trainees in any laboratory in the Boston area, including all institutions affiliated with Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The current faculty on the T32 grant are listed below; additional faculty can be added to the program if trainees select new laboratories that are approved by the Steering Committee.
Current Faculty of MGH Pathology T32 Training Grant
Selected Physician-Scientists Trained by the MGH Pathology Residency Program
David Andrews, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Pathology (Univ. of Miami)
Pavan Auluck, MD, PhD
Lindquist (Whitehead Institute/MIT)
Associate Director, Translational Pathology and Research Technology (Biogen)
Sam Dadras, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Dermatology, Pathology and Genetics/Developmental Biology (Univ. of Connecticut)
Christian Davidson, MD
Assistant Professor of Pathology (Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School)
Karin Finberg, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pathology (Yale)
Jeffrey Golden, MD
Chief of Pathology (BWH) and Professor of Pathology (HMS)
Marcin Imielinski, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (Weill Cornell)
Tan Ince, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Pathology (Univ. of Miami)
J. Keith Joung, MD, PhD
Professor of Pathology (MGH/HMS)
James Kirby, MD
Associate Professor of Pathology (BIDMC/HMS)
Daniela Krause, MD
CP and Transfusion Medicine
Scadden (MGH & Harvard Stem Cell Institute)
Research Group Leader and Physician (George-Speyer-Haus)
Jeannie Lee, MD, PhD
Professor of Genetics (HHMI; MGH/HMS)
Robert Makar, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pathology (MGH/HMS)
Shane Meehan, MD
Associate Professor of Pathology (U. of Chicago)
Matthew Meyerson, MD, PhD
Professor of Pathology (DFCI/HMS)
Neal Smith, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Pathology (MGH/HMS)
Agata Smogorzewska, MD, PhD
Associate Professor (Rockefeller University)
John Staropoli, MD, PhD
CP and Molecular Genetic Pathology
Associate Medical Director (Biogen)
Guillermo (Gary) Tearney, MD, PhD
Professor of Pathology (MGH/HMS)
James Versalovic, MD, PhD
Professor of Pathology (Baylor); Chief of Pathology (Texas Children's Hospital)
Omer Yilmaz, MD PhD
Assistant Professor of Biology (MIT) and Assistant Pathologist (MGH)