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UCLA Pathology & Laboratory Medicine


Chair's Welcome

J Braun A recent winner of the international competition for the Most Human Human was Brian Christian (full story here).  A philosopher, journalist and comedian, Christian participated for the Loebner Prize, an annual competition on the Turing Test of computers and humans to overcome the greatest challenge of our time-meaningful conversation. As he observed, living in our technology world provides "... a healthier view of human intelligence-an understanding, not so much that it is complex and powerful, per se, as that it is reactive, responsive, sensitive, nimble..." The computation theorist Hava Siegelmann once described intelligence as "a kind of sensitivity to things."

Buffeted by technologic and social change, who doesn't struggle to harness the tumult to benefit, rather than diminish, the welfare of those we care for? This struggle was at the heart of the works of artists from Mark Twain to Bruce Springsteen, and John Dewey to Modest Mouse.  More than most disciplines of medicine, pathology is immersed in technology. Our anatomic pathologists dive deep into cell biology to diagnose cancer and inflammatory diseases. Our laboratory medicine staff array thousands of biochemical and molecular features to monitor disease course and guide treatment. Our researchers, probing molecular metabolism, immunity, and stem cell biology, struggle for new insights from cancer to Alzheimer's disease, and as well as heart disease to the control of HIV. And together, we train our students so that they can do better than us to understand and treat these diseases for the generations ahead.

Welcome to our website and the activities of our Department. As an investigative discipline, pathology researchers identify the origins of disease and contribute to strategies for its treatment. As a medical discipline, pathologists engage in patient care as consultants and innovators for biochemical, molecular, and cell biology tests that guide diagnostic and treatment choices. Through these roles, the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UCLA assists doctors and patients in making optimal decisions based on the latest diagnostic studies, using state-of-the-art instrumentation. Each month, approximately 500,000 samples, including 10,000 biopsy and cytology cases, are analyzed to guide the care of patients in UCLA Health System, and through our referral network regionally and nationally.

I invite you to learn about us, and join in our clinical care, research, and educational offerings. Read about our amazing people, wrestling to harness powerful technologies on behalf of our patients and community, and all while mentoring our students and fellows in "sensitivity to things". 

Jonathan Braun, MD, PhD
Professor and Chair
Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

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