Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Research


The faculty of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles perform basic, translational, and clinical research in areas ranging from detection and exploration of emerging mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance to the identification of genes responsible for the development of pediatric solid tumors. Our faculty are working every day to help create hope and build healthier futures for children and their families. All faculty members have academic appointments in the Department of Pathology in the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.


  • Neurologic Disease/Neuropathology
  • Cancer Biology/Anatomic Pathology
  • Genomic/Genetic Medicine
  • Clinical Immunology/Immunogenetics
  • Blood Disease/Hematopathology
  • Clinical Microbiology

Alexander Judkins, MD, FCAP, FRCP (Edin) – Diagnosis of molecular genetics and genomic characterization of pediatric brain tumors.
Debra Hawes, MD – Pediatric CNS diseases.
Jennifer Cotter, MD - Human fetal neurodevelopment; perinatal brain injury, including germinal matrix hemorrhage.

Shengmei Zhou, MD - Hepatoblastoma, pediatric hepatocellular carcinoma.
Mikako Warren, MD - General pediatric pathology, cancer genetics, transplant pathology, renal pathology, ultrastructural pathology.
Larry Wang, MD, PhD - Soft tissue tumors, renal tumors, neuroblastomas,  liver diseases.
Nick Shillingford, MD - General pediatric surgical pathology, gastrointestinal and liver pathology, solid tumors.

Jaclyn Biegel, PhD, FACMG -Identification of genes responsible for the development of pediatric solid tumors, rhabdoid tumors, role of SMARCB1 in disease risk.
Sulagna Saitta, MD, PhD, FACMG - Microdeletion syndromes, particularly for the chromosome 22q11 deletions that underlie DiGeorge and Velocardiofacial syndromes.
Gordana Raca, MD, PhD, FACMG - Molecular and cytogenetic mechanisms of genetic disorders and hematologic malignancies.
Xiaowu Gai, PhD – Genetics/genomics of mitochondrial disease, copy number variation, molecular genetics of eye disease, next generation sequencing (NGS), genotyping data analysis, functional and pathway analysis.
Matthew Hiemenz, MD, MS, FCAP -Molecular oncology, Next-Generation Sequencing for inherited disorders and cancer, integration of genomic data into the practice of medicine.
Jianling Ji, MD, MS, FACMG – Next-Generation Sequencing for patients with rare mendelian disorders, cancer genomics.
Timothy Triche, MD, PhD – Pediatric sarcomas, molecular genetic/genomic diagnostics.

Maurice O’Gorman, PhD, MSc, D(ABMLI), MBA -Immunopathogenesis of immune system-related disorders, investigation of immune mechanisms of immune suppression withdrawal in liver transplant patients, development of novel immune-related diagnostic laboratory tests.
Lee Ann Baxter-Lowe, PhD, dABHI - Allogeneic transplantation, chimerism/microchimerism, histocompatibility, HLA antibodies, HLA polymorphism.

Matthew Oberley, MD, PhD – Hematopathology, pediatric mixed phenotype acute leukemia, pediatric mature B-cell lymphoma.

Jennifer Dien Bard, PhD, FCCM, D(ABMM) - Development of novel, non-culture based methods to improve detection of microbiological agents; detection and exploration of emerging mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance, development of improved susceptibility testing for bacterial and fungal agents, implementation of MALDI-TOF in the clinical microbiology laboratory, development of molecular microbiology assays