Gastrointestinal Cancer

The focus of gastrointestinal pathology is the molecular diagnostics of inherited colorectal cancer and gastrointestinal tumors and, including KRAS, BRAF, NRAS and PIK3CA mutational testing in colorectal cancer for determination of therapeutic response to EGFR inhibitors. An algorithm for Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer or HNPCC) testing is available, which includes the rationale for microsatellite instability testing (by PCR and/or IHC), BRAF mutational testing, and detection of MLH1 methylation. Germline analysis of MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2 mutations are also offered as a part of the Lynch syndrome. Tests are also available for APC sequencing and MYH mutational tests. ARUP also offers the first blood-based screening test for colorectal cancer, based on the Septin 9 biomarker. ARUP’s test has a reported 90% sensitivity at 90% specificity for detecting colorectal cancer. ARUP is one of only two labs in the US to offer this test. HER2 testing is available for gastric cancers, and c-Kit mutation testing is offered for gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Circulating tumor cell counting (Cell Search) is available for thereapeutic monitoring of colorectal cancer patients.
  • Chief, Division of Anatomic and Molecular Oncologic Pathology
    Dr. Bronner is a Carl R. Kjeldsberg presidential endowed professor of pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Dr. Bronner received her MD from the University of Pennsylvania and completed her pathology residency training and chief residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Dr. Bronner’s honors include her election as president of the GI Pathology Society, election as council member of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, and, in 2005, the award of the Arthur Purdy Stout Prize, recognizing her work as a surgical pathologist under the age of 45 whose research publications have had a major impact on diagnostic pathology. Dr. Bronner is an editorial journal board member for Human Pathology and Modern Pathology. She has served as an investigator on numerous NIH and foundation grants over the course of her career and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and numerous book chapters.
  • Medical Director, Anatomic Pathology
    Dr. Emerson is an associate professor of pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She received her MD from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston and served a residency in pathology at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and the University of Texas Health Sciences Center. Dr. Emerson completed her fellowship in general surgical pathology at the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics and is certified by the American Board of Pathology in anatomic pathology. She is a member of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, American Society for Clinical Pathology (fellow), and the Huntsman-Intermountain Cancer Care Program. Dr. Emerson's current research interests include molecular characterization of the initiating mutations in lung cancer.
  • Section Chief, Molecular Genetics and Genomics
    Dr. Mao is a professor of pathology and co-director of the Clinical Molecular Genetics Fellowship Program at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She received her MD from Capital University of Medicine in Beijing, China and her MS in molecular pathology from Beijing Union Medical College. She is board certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics, with a subspecialty in clinical molecular genetics, and certified with the New York State Department of Health, with a subspecialty in genetic testing. She is a member of several professional societies, including American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, Association for Molecular Pathology, and American Society of Human Genetics. Her research interests include the genotype-phenotype correlations in inborn errors of metabolism and genetic diseases in the RAS/MAPK pathway; she is also involved with implementing next-generation sequencing techniques into molecular diagnostics.
  • Medical Director, Anatomic Pathology
    Dr. Samowitz is a professor of pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He received his MD from SUNY Downstate, and completed residency training in anatomic pathology at the University of Chicago and fellowship training in gastrointestinal pathology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. His clinical and research focus is gastrointestinal pathology and the molecular genetics of colorectal cancer.