Research Labs

UW Medicine Pathology has a strong focus on basic science and clinical research. Our research principle, followed since the establishment of the University of Washington School of Medicine, is that research based on the most modern methods and the up to date knowledge of basic sciences is an essential component of an academic department of pathology. This is particularly true at the present time when new discoveries generated by basic biomedical research are applied to pathology practice. The research done by our faculty has received high recognition both nationally and internationally.

Below is a roster of Department of Pathology research laboratories:

Akilesh Lab

The Akilesh lab uses functional genomic, 3D culture systems and digital spatial profiling methods to study kidney disease and kidney cancer.

Alpers Lab

The Alpers Laboratory of Renal Pathology has research interests which include experimental renal disease, diagnostic human renal pathology, developmental renal biology, and solid organ transplant rejection.

Bornfeldt Lab

The Bornfeldt Laboratory is dedicated to understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of diabetes-accelerated cardiovascular disease, so that these complications can be effectively treated or prevented.

Byers Lab

The focus of the Byers Research Laboratory is to identify and characterize the molecular bases and disease mechanisms responsible for heritable disorders of bone, blood vessels, and skin. The major genetic disorders studied in the lab include all forms of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS); Loeys-Dietz syndrome, familial aneurysm syndromes and other similar disorders. The Byers Research Lab is housed alongside the Collagen Diagnostic Laboratory, a certified clinical laboratory that provides testing and consultation for patients and their families with suspected connective tissue disorders and the associated clinicians.

Chen Lab

The Chen Lab's main research interest is in understanding pathogenesis of cancer using zebrafish and mammalian experimental systems. Their current research focuses on dissecting cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma, in particular the key events regulating tumor differentiation, relapse and metastasis. Chen laboratory utilizes the strategies of chemical genetics, functional genomics and genome engineering to identify key driver events of rhabdomyosarcoma.

Crispe Lab

The mission of the Crispe lab is to understand liver immunology. Therefore, the Crispe lab investigates both innate immunity and T cell immunity in the liver, and the way both kinds of immune processes can lead to or protect against liver injury, cell death and liver fibrosis.

Darvas Lab

The Darvas Research Laboratory focuses on brain circuits as well as structural and molecular bases of learning and memory, the study of mouse brains in aging and Alzheimer’s disease models, investigation of pharmacological therapeutics aimed at preventing or reversing dementia and pathologic processes associated with progressive Alzheimer’s disease, and development of state-of-the-art quantitative neuropathology assays for Alzheimer’s disease pathologic changes in frozen and formalin-fixed autopsy tissue.

Davis Lab

The Davis Lab is focused on uncovering the mechanistic basis for how the heart heals, repairs, and remodels in response to injury and disease. We are tackling the fundamental problem in which contractile muscle is replaced by fibrotic scarring by resolving the cellular and molecular basis for fibrotic scar formation. In addition, we have demonstrated that intracellular and extracellular biomechanical signals are central determinants of maladaptive cardiac remodeling. In lieu of this result, our lab seeks to understand how cell and tissue forces are sensed and transduced into changes in cell geometry, differentiation, and proliferation.

Derdeyn Lab

The Derdeyn Lab combines studies of human subjects and animal models to develop and evaluate novel approaches for vaccination against HIV and elimination of the viral reservoir. Their focus is on viral diversity, particularly within the highly variable envelope glycoproteins, and the B cell and antibody responses that are elicited during infection and vaccination.

Disteche Lab

The goal of the Disteche Lab is to understand the mechanisms of dosage compensation by X up-regulation of the single active X chromosome of males and females in terms of molecular processes.

Gonzalez-Cuyar Lab

Neurotoxicology associated with heavy metal exposure

Greninger Lab

The Greninger Lab strives to understand viruses – how they are transmitted, how they evolve, and how they affect their hosts. They use a wide range of techniques including next-generation sequencing, culture models and screens, and biochemical/biophysical characterization of viral gene products. Their research is tightly integrated with the clinical laboratories of the University of Washington Medical Center.

Horwitz Lab 

The Horwitz Lab employs genetic mapping and sequencing strategies to identify genes responsible for familial predisposition to leukemia, lymphoma, and bone marrow failure syndromes. This lab has successfully identified genes responsible for human cyclic neutropenia, canine cyclic neutropenia, severe congenital neutropenia (Kostmann syndrome), Hodgkin’s lymphoma, myelodysplasia and acute myeloid leukemia, and, recently, acute lymphocytic leukemia.

Keene Lab

The Keene Lab focuses on Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and toxicity.

Kennedy Lab

The Kennedy Lab's main interest is the intersection of aging and the accumulation of somatic mutations (in both mitochondrial and nuclear genomes) in age-related diseases

Latimer Lab

The Latimer Lab studies the molecular mechanisms that underlie resilience and resistance to Alzheimer’s disease neuropathologic change

Mendenhall Lab

The Mendenhall Lab is working to understand the fundamental aspects of gene expression regulation. They are focused on understanding how epigenetic and stochastic differences in gene expression affect the manifestation of traits like lifespan and cancer. Understanding the basic biology of gene expression will allow us to collectively affect change in human health and disease.

Monnat Lab

The Monnat Lab is located in the UW Departments of Pathology and Genome Sciences in Seattle. Our research is focused on the mechanisms that ensure human genomic stability and determine cancer therapeutic response. We also develop and apply genome engineering tools to advance biology and disease treatment or prevention.

Murphy Lab

The Murphy Lab is dedicated to studying the biology of Plasmodium parasites that cause malaria and our immune response against them in order to make highly effective and long-lasting malaria vaccines. To study these infections, the laboratory uses specialized immunology and diagnostic techniques in mice, non-human primates, and humans.

Murry Lab

Since 1996, the Murry Lab has worked to understand the mechanisms that underlie cardiovascular disease and to develop new treatments. We have a longstanding interest in the biology of myocardial infarction (heart attacks), and in particular, how the heart heals after infarction. The lab has a major focus in stem cell biology and tissue engineering, where we seek to understand the molecular basis for cardiovascular differentiation, and to harness the potential of stem cells to repair the heart. Recently, our group has begun to use stem cell approaches to study genetically based cardiomyopathies.

Najafian Lab

Najafian Lab research strives to better understand pathobiology of kidney diseases.

Oshima Lab

The Oshima Laboratory is interested in the genetic mechanisms of aging and age-related disorders with a special emphasis on the progeroid syndromes. In the past 15 years, our main focus has been the genetics and pathogenesis of Werner syndrome. 

Promislow Lab

The Promislow Lab works on the evolutionary genetics of life history strategies and sexual selection, bringing a systems biology perspective to the study of natural genetic variation for traits relevant to fitness and disease. We use empirical, epidemiological, bioinformatic and theoretical approaches in studies on a variety of organisms, from flies and mice to dogs, marmosets and humans.

Rea Lab

The Rea Lab is working to define the fundamental molecular causes of aging and makes use of several model organisms ranging from worms to mice. Areas of special emphasis include mitochondrial dysfunction and retrograde signaling, human cellular senescence and life extending interventions.

Risques Lab

The Risques Lab studies the early steps of cancer progression and works on translating this knowledge into biomarkers for early cancer detection and prediction. We are especially interested in alterations that link cancer and aging including somatic mutation, telomere shortening, and mitochondrial dysfunction. We have developed and optimized genetic methods to quantify these alterations with high sensitivity with the ultimate goal of understanding early cancer progression and enabling cancer prediction and prevention.

Stewart & Shi Lab

The Stewart & Shi Lab's research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of development and progression of neurodegenerative disorders (including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases), and exploring unique biomarkers for diagnosing the diseases and monitoring their progression.

True Lab

The focus of the lab, in collaborative projects, is to  identify and determine the clinical importance of novel phenotypes of prostate cancer, using open top light sheet microscopy and immunohistochemistry.

Young Lab

The Young lab is interested in determining the molecular and cellular mechanisms behind genetic risk for late-onset sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (SAD), the most common neurodegenerative disorder.