A photo of Sara Szabo.

Sara Szabo, MD, PHD

  • Staff Pathologist, Division of Pathology
  • Medical Director, Anatomic Pathology
  • Director, Oncopathology
  • Professor, UC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
  • UC Department of Pediatrics
While I’m mostly invisible to families, I do enjoy the trust of my clinician colleagues and like to hear how their patients are doing.



Curiosity about nature’s mysteries drove me to the sciences in my teens, with the thrill of small daily discoveries as I tinkered in my mother’s kitchen or my father’s workshop. Yet, my grandfather saw me as a future pediatrician, as a “lady doctor” caring for the neighborhood’s babies and children. Since then, I’ve walked a meandering professional path in diagnostics — from radiology, through molecular virology to pediatric pathology. My daily thrill now comes from correlative diagnostics, working with clinicians to provide personalized care for children and young adults.

My routine clinical work is microscopy-based, with molecular diagnostics, which is salient to data-driven discovery with researchers and is driving better care for every patient we see. In other words: It is an engine of personalized medicine and a motivator for me as a physician.

I make comprehensive diagnoses, focusing on tumors arising in soft tissues and bones, pediatric tumors of abdominal and thoracic organs, and of vascular tumors and malformations. While I’m mostly invisible to families, I do enjoy the trust of my clinician colleagues and like to hear how their patients are doing.

An award that is personal to me was one I received 2015 — the Society for Pediatric Pathology President’s Distinguished Colleague Award. It bespoke of Dr. Kapur’s humanity, collegiality and professional philosophy as a pediatric pathologist.

In research, I've teamed up with clinical and basic scientists to advance therapy for:

  • Soft tissue tumors such as rhabdomyosarcomas and neurofibromatosis
  • Vascular malformations
  • Inflammatory conditions in fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  • Bone marrow transplantation

This work transforms our personal and team practices. I sometimes joke that I’m a neighborhood pathologist-scientist to serious basic scientists.

In my free time, I dance free-style while cardio-kickboxing and “kick” while dancing. I dream of creating a chocolate shop, with neighborhood photos and children’s portraits.

Additional Languages



Cerebral vascular injury in transplant-associated thrombotic microangiopathy. Sabulski, A; Arcuri, G; Szabo, S; Care, MM; Dandoy, CE; Davies, SM; Jodele, S. Blood Advances. 2022; 6:4310-4319.

Ultrasound determination of pediatric thyroid mass. Crothers, AI; Chuang, J; Sharp, SE; Szabo, S; Zhang, B; Trout, AT. Pediatric Radiology. 2022.

Pediatric Acute Liver Failure Due to Type 2 Autoimmune Hepatitis Associated With SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Case Report. Osborn, J; Szabo, S; Peters, AL. 2022; 3.

Novel ARHGAP23-FER fusion in a metastatic spindle cell-predominant neoplasm with a myofibroblastic phenotype and a sustained metabolic response to lorlatinib. Sadaf, A; Szabo, S; Ferguson, K; Sorger, JI; Sumegi, J; Bridge, JA; Pressey, JG. Cancer. 2021; 127:4124-4130.

Cdkn2a Loss in a Model of Neurofibroma Demonstrates Stepwise Tumor Progression to Atypical Neurofibroma and MPNST. Chaney, KE; Perrino, MR; Kershner, LJ; Patel, AV; Wu, J; Choi, K; Rizvi, TA; Dombi, E; Szabo, S; Largaespada, DA; et al. Cancer Research. 2021; 80:4720-4730.

Non-hematopoietic IL-4Rα expression contributes to fructose-driven obesity and metabolic sequelae. Damen, MS M A; Stankiewicz, TE; Park, SH; Helsley, RN; Chan, CC; Moreno-Fernandez, ME; Doll, JR; Szabo, S; Herbert, DB R; Softic, S; et al. International Journal of Obesity. 2021; 45:2377-2387.

Pancreatic Masses in Children and Young Adults: Multimodality Review with Pathologic Correlation. Qiu, L; Trout, AT; Ayyala, RS; Szabo, S; Nathan, JD; Geller, JI; Dillman, JR. Radiographics. 2021; 41:1766-1784.

Novel Pathogenic DNAH5 Variants in Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia: Association with Visceral Heterotaxia and Neonatal Cholestasis. Lin, HT; Gupta, A; Bove, KE; Szabo, S; Xu, F; Krentz, A; Shillington, AL. Journal of Pediatric Genetics. 2021.

Testicular thrombotic microangiopathy: An unrecognized complication. Sabulski, A; Szabo, S; Myers, KC; Davies, SM; Jodele, S. Pediatric Blood and Cancer. 2021; 68.

Congenital Myenteric Hypoganglionosis. Kapur, RP; Bellizzi, AM; Bond, S; Chen, H; Han, JS; LeGallo, RD; Midgen, C; Poulin, AA; Szabo, S; Uddin, N; et al. American Journal of Surgical Pathology. 2021; 45:1047-1060.

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