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Basic Molecular Pathology and Pre-Analytical Variables


In this session, we will briefly review the basics of molecular biology, examine critical factors which affect  the quality of nucleic acids in the tissues and cells which are submitted for downstream molecular diagnostics,  and briefly introduce some alternative fixatives and preservatives.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review basic molecular biology.
  2. Identify sources of pre-analytical variables that  may contribute to failed molecular diagnostic testing, including sources of contamination within the gross  room and histology laboratory. 
  3. Conceptualize a model for standard molecular curl cutting procedures in the histology laboratory. 


Dr. Cecilia Yeung is an Associate Member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center where she serves as the medical director of the Molecular Oncology Laboratory.

She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, Department of Anatomic Pathology where  she serves as the chair of the Clinical Competency Committee for the Molecular Genetics Pathology Fellowship and the director for the Molecular Pathology Elective.  She is the co-coordinator and speaker of the Molecular Pathology Lecture Series for residents and fellows. She  is a member of the Board of Directors and the chair of the Teaching and Education Committee at the Association for Molecular Pathology.

 Her clinical appointment at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is where she focuses her pathology diagnostic skills in immunotherapy, transplant, and hematopathology. Her research interest focuses on developing novel molecular diagnostics for hematologic malignancies and improving clinical trials correlative data via implementation of better translational medicine diagnostic assays.

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