Cytopathology Laboratory

The Cytopathology Laboratory, under the direction of Dr. Martha B. Pitman, MD, occupies the first floor of the Warren Building. The Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy Clinic is on Wang 2. The laboratory is staffed by eight cytopathologists, seven cytotechnologists, three medical technologists, 2 clinical laboratory assistants and one staff assistant. The Laboratory is accredited for three cytopathology fellows. Anatomic pathology residents rotate on one of three services covering gynecological and non-gynecological specimens including a busy interventional biopsy service with rapid on-site evaluation and an active pathologist-run fine needle aspiration biopsy clinic with ultrasound available. The personnel of the laboratory participate fully in the teaching programs of the hospital and medical school. All faculty are active in clinical research. 

The goals of the laboratory are:

  • To maintain the highest quality patient care activities, using the newest and most cost-effective technology available.
  • To provide outstanding teaching to trainees such that they will become tomorrow's leaders in cytology and other anatomic pathology disciplines.
  • To develop and evaluate new methods in, and related to, cytologic specimen procurement.
  • To foster an environment in which clinical, translational, and basic research can be successfully performed.


  • Martha B. Pitman, MD - Subspecialty Head and Director, Director of the Cytopathology Laboratory and Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy Service
  • Vanda Torous, Cytopathology Fellowship Program Director, and Director of Cytopathology Quality Assurance/Improvement
  • Amy Ly, MD
  • W. Stephen Black-Schaffer, MD
  • William C. Faquin, MD, PhD
  • Ivan Chebib, MD
  • Emilio Madrigal, DO 
  • Ronald N. Arpin, Laboratory Technical Director
  • M. Lisa Zhang, MD

Academic and Research Accomplishments

Dr. Martha B. Pitman has written and lectured extensively on the clinical utility of fine needle aspiration biopsy, particularly of the pancreas. Her primary research interests center on the role of cytology in the pre-operative diagnosis and management of patients with pancreatic cysts. She is co-author of the 4th series AFIP fascicle on Pancreatic Tumors as well as co-author of pancreas sections on ductal adenocarcinoma and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms in the next edition of the WHO Classification of Tumours of the Digestive System and the principal author of the Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology System for Reporting Pancreaticobiliary Cytology. She is currently President-Elect of the American Society of Cytopathology. 

Dr. William C. Faquin is the Chief of Otolaryngologic Pathology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear and a subspecialist in Head and Neck Pathology & Cytopathology at the MGH.  His areas of subspecialization include thyroid, salivary gland, and HPV-related cancers of the head and neck.  He has authored over 340 peer-reviewed publications, and has co-authored books on head and neck cytohistology, salivary gland cytopathology, and thyroid cytopathology.  Dr. Faquin is the Editor-in-Chief for Cancer Cytopathology which is one of the 3 journals of the American Cancer Society.  He is a co-author of the Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology, co-chair of the College of American Pathologists Evidence-Based Guidelines Committee for the testing of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas for high-risk HPV, and co-chair of the Milan System for Reporting Salivary Gland Cytopathology sponsored by the ASC and IAC.

Dr. Amy Ly's principal clinical interests are in breast and lung pathology and cytopathology. She has extensive training and experience in performing and interpreting fine needle aspiration biopsies. She is the past director of the Fine Needle Aspiration Service and continues teaching FNA and ultrasound-guided FNA techniques. Dr. Ly's research interests include the study of breast and thoracic disease.  

Dr. Stephen Black-Schaffer's interests are in pathology graduate medical education and in the organizational and management aspects of pathology practice. He is Associate Chief of Pathology for Training and Education at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he directs the residency training program in pathology. He is active on committees and councils of the Association of Pathology Chairs (APC), the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the American Society of Cytopathology (ASC), as well of the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization (MGPO) and Mass General Brigham.

Dr. Ivan Chebib’s interests include cytopathology and bone and soft tissue surgical pathology. He is currently the medical director of the Immunohistochemistry Laboratory. He is board certified in Anatomic Pathology and Cytopathology with the American Board of Pathology, and certified as a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada.

Dr. Vanda Torous’ interests include quality assurance and medical education. She is the Director of Quality Assurance in Cytopathology and the Cytopathology Fellowship Program Director. Her research interests include all aspects of cytopathology, particularly gynecologic cytopathology, with an emphasis on education, quality improvement, and patient safety.

Dr. Emilio Madrigal’s interests are pathology informatics, data analytics, FNA biopsy techniques, and change management. He is the Assistant Director of Pathology Informatics. Since joining the department, has developed and implemented several clinical, education, and operation informatics solutions, including our residency management system and an adjunct to our laboratory information system.

Dr. Lisa Zhang specializes in cytopathology and gastrointestinal pathology. She is actively involved in clinical/translational research and has additional interests in improving pathology education. Dr. Zhang has authored numerous publications and co-authored the textbook “Atlas of Cytopathology: A Pattern-Based Approach,” multiple chapters of the second edition of The Paris System for Reporting Urinary Cytology, and the forthcoming WHO/IARC-IAC International System for Reporting Pancreaticobiliary Cytopathology. She serves on several national committees for the American Society of Cytopathology.