I took a winding road to pathology because I genuinely enjoyed learning about every organ system in the body and found every health problem interesting. As a pediatric pathologist, I have special interests in pediatric cardiology, global health and complex pediatric autopsy. At all times, my mantra is to fit my diagnoses into the social, cultural and clinical context of the child.
I trained as an infectious disease epidemiologist and worked on epidemics, mostly in Africa. I ran a program there on the blinding eye disease trachoma, and a boy’s parents heard there was an "eye doctor" working in their village. They brought their child to see me, and the little boy showed clear symptoms of a brain tumor. Of course, I had no skills to diagnose or treat him properly.
At that point, I realized that although a population-level public health approach is valuable, being able to take care of individuals standing right in front of me is equally so. It was my interest in body systems and diseases that made pathology so incredibly appealing. There were endless mysteries to solve, never-ending problems to work on and a multitude of children I could potentially help.
I am also an autopsy pathologist, so I’m frequently the last doctor who sees a child. I consider this an honor, a privilege and a duty. I also work with numerous national and international groups on initiatives to elevate diagnostic medicine and pathology capacity worldwide. I believe "where you live should not determine if you live."
During my consultations with patients and families, we discuss their pathology reports, including autopsy reports. I work with our hospice programs to discuss end-of-life issues with families. This usually involves an autopsy. I also review all pediatric deaths for Hamilton County as part of the Child Fatality Review Committee and the Fetal/Infant Mortality Review Committee.
I was honored to be named one of the 2019 Top 5 Pathologists/Laboratory Medicine Professionals Under 40 by the American Society for Clinical Pathology. In 2018, I was an Inaugural Global Health Fellow for the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). I am the chair of the World Health Organization (WHO) Essential Immunohistochemistry for Childhood Cancer Group and am also a member of multiple WHO working groups for pediatric cancer control. I studied at Oxford and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as a Marshall Scholar to the United Kingdom, and now serve on the selection committee.
In my research, I work on improving the standard of pathology care worldwide, particularly for pediatric cancer. I’m helping the WHO develop a list of essential pathology tests that all of the world's countries should provide to their citizens. I look for preventable causes of death in children here in Cincinnati and work on various problems in structural, genetic and acquired diseases of the heart.
In my spare time, I am a competitive trail runner. I compete regionally in 25k, 50k, and 50-mile events. I love being on the water, in the woods and in a tent. I also operate a public Facebook page dedicated to science communication, primarily about the COVID-19 pandemic.