Anatomical Pathology

Anatomic Pathologists examine tissue or cells removed from the patient's body, either surgically or in less-invasive procedures such as needle biopsies, for microscopic evidence of cancer and other diseases; or, in the case of forensic pathologists, to determine the cause of the patient's death in an autopsy.

The Anatomic Pathology Laboratories are located on the main campus. Dr. Michael B. Cohen is the Interim Medical Director of Anatomic Pathology. Please see the individual listings for the directors and managers of each laboratory.

Surgical Pathology

The Surgical Pathology section provides comprehensive diagnostic services to patients across the full spectrum of healthcare within the context of an academic medical center with robust educational and investigational programs. The division houses expertise in all subspecialty areas, with specific emphasis in dermatopathology, bone and soft tissue pathology, head and neck pathology, gastro-intestinal pathology, neuropathology, and breast pathology. The roughly ten pathologists comprising the section are dedicated physicians who strive to provide optimum patient care in a resource conscious manner. The section offers and is pleased to provide consultative services to other laboratories and physicians, both regionally and nationally. Providing service to the only Comprehensive Cancer Center in Western North Carolina, our physicians can be a valuable resource and are experienced in ensuring appropriate diagnosis and care in ever increasingly complex cancer cases.

Flow Cytometry

The flow cytometry section does immunophenotyping for HIV patients, transplant patients, and leukemia/lymphoma patients. DNA cell cycle analysis is also performed. Research projects include clinical development of new tests.

The studies performed in this laboratory use a laser flow cytometer to excite fluorescent molecules on the surface of cells stained with monoclonal antibodies. The amount of fluorescence emitted allows quantitation of the surface markers on the cells of interest.

Peripheral blood specimens for routine T and B Cell Enumeration are accepted Sunday noon through Friday noon, as the Lab is closed on the weekends. The specimen of choice is one EDTA (purple top) tube delivered to the lab within 2 hours of collection. Do not refrigerate.


Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Cytopathology Laboratory evaluates both gynecological and non-gynecological specimens in a robust teaching academic environment. The laboratory performs SurePath® as well as Thin Prep® liquid based gynecologic testing.  Human Papilloma Virus Reflex Testing and GC/Chlamydia co-testing can be performed on gynecologic samples submitted to the laboratory. The laboratory examines a large number of fine needle aspirations and non-gynecologic specimens from a wide array of body sites and disease conditions,

The Cytopathology Laboratory is staffed by 3 cytopathologists and most of who are board certified in cytopathology and has an accredited fellowship program. The laboratory has a long history of training residents in cytopathology and is proud to have many of its graduates practicing locally and nationally. The cytopathology physician staff is heavily involved in teaching and residency training. Several of the physician staff are involved in conducting national and international workshops and lectures. Numerous interdisciplinary conferences are held weekly and monthly to discuss patient diagnosis and care.

The laboratory has 5 cytotechnologists whom interact daily with medical center personnel in the assessment of fine needle aspirations. The fine needle aspiration service is tailored to accommodate many specialties. The service maximizes diagnostic decisions by utilizing morphologic criteria, flow cytometric analysis, microbiology testing and molecular techniques which are all performed within the laboratories at Wake Forest Baptist. Currently, the laboratory seeks to expand its fine needle aspiration service to the community. The cytopathology laboratory offers and welcomes consultative services to other laboratories and physicians locally and from around the nation. Our NIH designated Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only such center in Western North Carolina. Our pathologists serve as a center resource.

Our Cytopathology Laboratory offers a fellowship specialty training position.