Fellowships: Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship

Welcome to the University of New Mexico Molecular Genetic Pathology (MGP) Fellowship Program Website!  The ACGME-approved MGP Fellowship Program at the University of New Mexico/TriCore Reference laboratories provides a comprehensive training in all areas of molecular pathology including molecular oncology, HLA high resolution typing, post-transplant chimerism, hereditary genetic testing, molecular virology/microbiology and cytogenetics/FISH. In addition, training in medical genetics and genetic counseling is provided in pediatric dysmorphology clinic and adult cancer genetics at the university of New Mexico Cancer Center. Our fellows are offered prestigious positions in academic and community practices after completion of their fellowship.

The University of New Mexico is located in Albuquerque, NM. This metropolitan area boasts a low cost of living; a mild, sunny climate; beautiful views of the Sandia mountains and the Rio Grande; and easy access to outdoors activities of all kinds.

- Mohammad Vasef, M.D. 
Director, Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship Program

Length of Program

12 months; July 1st through June 30th


MD plus residency training in pathology or medical genetics in an ACGME accredited program.


The molecular tests are mainly performed at TriCore Reference Laboratories and include over 70, 000 molecular diagnostic tests, over 3,000 molecular oncology, and over 5,500 cytogenetics/FISH assays. A range of technologies is employed that include Next Generation Sequencing RT-PCR, qualitative PCR, allelic discrimination PCR, quantitative real time PCR, Sanger sequencing, high resolution melting curve analysis, restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, DNA methylation assays, fluorescent and chromogenic in situ hybridization, and capillary electrophoresis.

Teaching Faculty

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Mohammad Vasef, M.D.

Affiliations: Professor of Pathology, Director of Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory and Program Director of Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center/TriCore Reference Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Dr. Vasef graduated from the University of Tehran, Faculty of Medicine. He completed combined Anatomic and Clinical Pathology residency training at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, an affiliate of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH and, completed a fellowship in Hematopathology at the City of Hope National Medical Center, in Duarte, California. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals, authored several books and most recently was the lead author of "Molecular Oncology" in Diagnostic Pathology Series of Amirsys. Dr. Vasef's areas of research and interest include hematopathology and molecular genetic pathology.

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Bonnie Carmichael, M.D.

Dr. Carmichael works at Pathology Associates of Albuquerque. Her interests include: Surgical Pathology; Molecular Pathology; Cytopathology, and Clinical Pathology.

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Devon Chabot-Richards, M.D.

Dr. Chabot-Richards is Medical Director of the Transplant Laboratory and Assistant Director of Flow Cytometry. She has expertise in benign hematology and hemoglobin electrophoresis as well as molecular genetics and cytogenetics. She is an enthusiastic teacher of residents and fellows and won the Pathology Department Faculty Award for Teaching in 2015.

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Karissa Culbreath, Ph.D., D(ABMM)

Dr. Culbreath is an Assistant Professor and Scientific Director, Infectious Disease, Research and Development at TriCore Reference Laboratories. Her interests include: Medical microbiology and immunity, infectious diseases(research and diagnostics), and infectious diseases diagnostics capacity development in international and domestic resource limited settings.

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David Czuchlewski, M.D.

Dr. Czuchlewski received his MD degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He completed residency training in anatomic and clinical pathology at Weill Cornell Medical College, followed by fellowships in hematopathology and molecular genetic pathology at the University of New Mexico. At UNM he is the associate director of the hematopathology fellowship training program, as well as associate director of the molecular diagnostic laboratory at TriCore and senior director for education in the Department of Pathology. He is the author of numerous articles, textbooks, and book chapters, and enjoys teaching everyone from medical students (as co-course director of the first year Hematology course) to experienced pathologists (as a frequent faculty member at CAP, ASCP, and USCAP meetings). He is currently pursuing a master's degree in education at Johns Hopkins University and actively incorporates best teaching practices into the hematopathology fellowship program.

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Rama Gullpalli, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Gullapalli is Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Medical Director of Biomedical Informatics. Dr. Gullapalli is a physician-scientist in the departments of Pathology, Chemical and Biological Engineering at UNM. Dr. Gullapalli's research interests include: Hepatobiliary cancer biology, circulating biomarkers in cancer, clinical molecular diagnostics and clinical/translational bioinformatics. Dr. Gullapalli has over 15 years of experience in clinical and research bioinformatics and serves as the Medical Director of Biomedical Informatics in the department of Pathology here at UNM. Dr. Gullapalli did his medical schooling from the Armed Forces Medical College in India. Dr. Gullapalli completed a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a PhD degree in Bioengineering from Penn State University. He then completed his clinical pathology residency and molecular genetic pathology fellowship from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Gullapalli is interested in translational research and seeks to enable research projects for interested clinical fellows.

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Richard C. Harvey, Ph.D.

Dr. Harvey is Research Professor in the Department of Pathology. His interests include: Leukemia and Lymphoma, molecular markers of disease, and gene expression signatures in cancer.

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Barbara J. Masten, Ph.D.

Dr. Masten is a Professor, Clinician Educator and Scientific Director of Histocompatibility, TriCore Reference Laboratories. Her current interests include: Transplantation Immunology with an emphasis on solid organ and hematopoietic stem cells, Medical Laboratory Sciences education, and Immunology with an emphasis on dendritic cells.

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Shangxin (Shaun) Yang, Ph.D., D(ABMM)

Dr. Yang earned his PhD in molecular biology from the University of Southern California and has been a certified Medical Laboratory Scientist for 8 years. He built a clinical molecular microbiology lab and then a next-gen sequencing (NGS) core lab at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. After that he went through the clinical microbiology fellowship training at UCLA and became board certified by the American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM). During his fellowship at UCLA, his genomic research led to the timely discovery and investigation of a CRE outbreak related to ERCP scope, which raised public awareness of the multi-drug resistant “Superbug” and the hospital-associated infections caused by dirty medical equipment. Dr. Yang joined the University of New Mexico in 2016 as an assistant professor of Pathology, where he serves as the associate scientific director of infectious disease and the director of molecular microbiology at the TriCore Reference Labs. Dr. Yang’s main expertise and research interests are focused on molecular diagnostics and microbial genomics, including molecular test development, application of NGS in infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance prediction and molecular epidemiologic investigation. As a pioneer in the application of NGS for clinical microbiology, Dr. Yang published/coauthored numerous NGS related papers on high impact journals including JAMA Pediatrics, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy and Journal of Clinical Microbiology, etc. He has also taught NGS lectures and spoken at numerous international conferences including ASM MICROBE and ID Week.

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Stephen A. Young, Ph.D.

Dr. Young is currently Director of Research and Clinical Trials, TriCore Reference Laboratories.

Randall Heidenreich, M.D. (Pediatric Medical Genetics)

Thomas Cushing, M.D. (Pediatric Medical Genetics)

Carol Clericuzio, M.D. (Pediatric Medical Genetics)

James Gale, Ph.D. (Research and Development)

Lori Ballinger, MS, CGS, Senior Genetic Counselor, UNM Cancer Center (Cancer Research Center)

2018-2019 Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellows

Joanna Conant, MD

Fellowship: 2017-2018, Hematopathology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Residency: 2012-2017, AP/CP, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
MD: 2012, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT

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Andrew Judd, MD

Residency: 2014-2018, AP/CP, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
MD: 2014, Washington University of St. Louis, School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

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Fellowship Alumni and their current positions

Year Fellow Position after training
2015 Adriana Maria Sanchez, MD 2016-17 Cytopathology Fellow, University of New Mexico, Department of Pathology, Albuquerque, NM
2014 Eric Loo, MD Assistant Professor of Clinical Pathology, University of Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine
2014 Parisa Khalili, MD Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas Childrens Hospital, Department of Molecular Diagnostics, Little Rock, AR
2013 Amer Mahmoud, MD Clinical Assistant Professor, Pathology Associates of Albuquerque, Albuquerque, NM
2012 Devon Chabot-Richards, MD Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico, Department of Pathology, Albuquerque, NM
2011 Giovanni Insuasti-Beltran, MD Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas Department of Hematopathology and Molecular Diagnostics, Little Rock, AR
2011 Stella Wenceslao, MD Pathologist, PBM Med Fusion Laboratories, Lewisville, TX
2010 Carmen Kletecka, MD Assistant Professor of Clinical Pathology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA
2009 Haleh Farzanmehr, MD Pathologist, Genex Laboratory Professional Corporation, Irvine, California
2009 Kristin Karner (Hunt), MD Pathologist, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI
2008 David Czuchlewski, MD Associate Professor, University of New Mexico, Department of Pathology, Albuquerque, NM

Recently Published Books

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Mohammad A Vasef MD, Aaron Auerbach MD FRCPC Dipl. Epid. Diagnostic Pathology: Molecular Oncology. Amirsys, Salt Lake City, 2015.

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Foucar K, Czuchlewski D, Karner (Hunt) K, Reichard K, Vasef M, Wilson C, Zhang Q-Y. Diagnostic Pathology: Blood and Bone Marrow, 1st ed. Amirsys, Salt Lake City, 2012.

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Foucar K, Richard K, Czuchlewski D. Bone Marrow Pathology: ASCP Integrative Hematopathology Series 3. ASCP Press, Chicago 2010.

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Vasef MA, Platz CE. The Pathology of the Spleen. In: The Complete Spleen: Structure, Function, and Clinical Disorders, 2nd Edition. Anthony J. Bowdler (ed). Humana Press Inc, Totowa NJ, 2001, pg. 79-105.


CAP application, CV, personal statement, and 3 letters of reference to be received no later than November 15 of each year for positions commencing July 1 two years later. Interviews will be conducted in January.

Application Deadline:

November 15th

Visas Accepted:


Contact Information:

Cynthia Hart, MGP Fellowship Program Coordinator
Mohammad Vasef, M.D., MGP Fellowship Program Director

Office: 505-938-8456
Fax: 505-938-8414
Email: cahart1@salud.unm.edu


1001 Woodward Place NE
Albuquerque, NM 87102