Autopsy Faculty & Staff
In addition to general interest in pathobiology and clinicopathologic correlations, I have a longstanding interest in infectious diseases, particularly vector-borne diseases and pneumonia. Currently my research focuses on rickettsial and ehrlichial diseases and biodefense. Many clinicopathologic aspects of Ehrlichia chaffeensis, E. ewingii, and undiagnosed pneumonia of potential bioterrorist or natural zoonotic orgin remain to be determined. Inhalational anthrax remains a topic of importance for biodefense. Autopsy studies and high vigilance continue to offer opportunities for contributions to academic knowledge and public health response.
My Primary is specialty: Neuropathology. I am currently active in neuropathology consult service for autopsies, and attending for general autopsies at UTMB since 1985. I received post-graduate training in Neuropathology and Anatomic Pathology at Duke University Medical Center (1981-1985) and certification by American Board of Pathology in Anatomic Pathology and Neuropathology, 1986.
I was educated at Yale University and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. I did my residency training in Anatomic Pathology at the University of Washington in Seattle. I also did fellowship training at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, UTMB, and the University of North Carolina. My interest is in general autopsy pathology, and the pathology of infectious diseases.
My areas of interest include general autopsy pathology and infectious disease pathogenesis. I currently have three funded research projects on ehrlichial and rickettsial infections focused on pathogenesis and development of new laboratory diagnostic methods. I also collaborate with the Department of Surgery on a project related to atherosclerotic disease in a mouse model.
After attending Union College and Tufts University Medical School, I trained in Pathology at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (now Brigham and Women's). A faculty member at UTMB since 1977, I have also served as a visiting scientist at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in the Pathology Branch, and at the University of Bologna, Italy. My interest is in diseases of the heart and blood vessels, and my involvement with the autopsy service is both routine and as a consultant on matters of cardiovascular pathology. I encourage residents to publish from their anatomic experiences, and I work closely with the Cardiology residents and faculty as well. My basic research efforts probe the underlying mechanisms of vascular injury and defense against oxidative injury. Experimental models I am developing focus on medial injury, including that responsible for dissecting aortic aneurysm and abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Dr. Dan Cowan, Adjunct Professor of Pathology
My experience with autopsies began with my residency training at McGill University, under the firm guidance of William Thurlbeck, noted pulmonary pathologist. It also included medical neuropathology at McGill's Montreal Neurological Institute, and pediatric pathology under F. W. Wigglesworth at the Montreal Children's hospital. For several years I was pathologist at the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia. My primary orientation is toward adult pathology, however. I am particularly interested in autopsy technique, safety in the autopsy room, and in clinical-pathological correlation. I am also interested in environmental pathology, and comparative pathology as a reflection of environmental adaptation.
My hope for training future pathologists on the autopsy service emphasizes neuropathogenesis. I am interested in employing the autopsy to gain insights into how the chemistry of the human brain influences its function. Some cognitive functions cannot be observed in animal models, and the autopsy remains the only means to observe the neurochemical basis for human disease. Animal models for peripheral nerve dysfunction often tend to focus on final common pathways of degeneration rather than neuropathogenesis. Thus, I also perform careful study of nerves and ganglia from diseased humans. My hope is to show our residents that creating a completely comprehensive program of excellence in pathogenesis depends on pursuing excellence in autopsy pathology.
I received my Anatomic Pathology training and Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology from Duke University, and did a fellowship in Pediatric Pathology at the University of Florida. Prior to coming to UTMB, I was a pathologist for 10 years at Texas Children's Hospital. I have expertise in a wide variety of areas, including stillbirth, perinatal pathology, placental pathology, pediatric tumors, forensic pathology, and pathology of burn injury in children.
Dr. Stephen Pustilnik, Forensic Pathology
Galveston County Medical Examiner
Dr. David E. Smith, Adjunct Professor of Pathology
My experience in autopsy pathology began in 1944 at Washington University in St. Louis and has extended for nearly sixty years at a number of institutions including the University of Virginia and Tulane, among others, before I came to Galveston in 1985. My involvement has been quite general, including a bit of specialization in neuropathology and forensic, and my interest has always been primary in the autopsy as a teaching device for students, residents and physicians. My present contacts are principally attendance at the biweekly gross autopsy review conferences and the weekly gross neuropathologic conferences where I offer occasional comments and suggestions and sometimes a bit of technical assistance.
I am a general surgical pathologist who has maintained an interest in autopsy pathology throughout my career as an anatomic pathologist. This interest includes diagnosis, resident education and research in autopsy.
I received my Masters of Science degree for Pathologistsí Assistant at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. I did both surgical and autopsy pathology at Sinai Hospital and Northwest Medical Center in Baltimore, as well as the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Maryland. I came to the University of Texas Medical Branch in July of 2003. My interests are in general autopsy pathology and forensic pathology.