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About Us

Welcome to Anatomic pathology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, a division of the department of laboratory medicine and molecular diagnostics. We are a team comprised of 19 sub-specialized pathologists, nine pathology assistants as well as a large number of skilled medical laboratory technologists and clerical staff. The division is served by well-established labs in gross pathology, histology, cytology, autopsy, frozen sections, immunohistochemistry, molecular pathology, and a research laboratory. We process in excess of 27,000 surgical and biomarker cases and 15,000 cytology specimens annually. The pathologists are organized into teams by their sub-specialty with many possessing fellowships in their area of practice. Several of our faculty also cover the molecular pathology service.

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Our pathologists are major contributors at multidisciplinary rounds and tumour boards and support the clinical activities across nine programs at Sunnybrook, the Edmond Odette Cancer Centre and the Holland Centre. Quality is central to all of our activities in anatomic pathology and we participate in external quality assurance schemes (NordiQC, CPQA and CAP) and are accredited by IQMH (Institute for Quality Management in Healthcare). Our high-performing team work closely to facilitate the patient journey by ensuring accurate and timely reporting of results 'when it matters most'.

All faculty are cross-appointed to the department of laboratory medicine and pathobiology at the University of Toronto. Our team pride ourselves on our educational contributions. We are a training site for the University of Toronto anatomic pathology residents and fellows and are one of three AFC accredited fellowship sites for cytopathology training in Canada. Additionally, we are a rotation site for the pathology assistant's master's program students and laboratory technology students from partner institutions. The division offers electives for both residents and undergraduate medical students. We engage in undergraduate medical student teaching at the Peters-Boyd academy, teach residents and fellows from other programs and lecture on graduate and post-graduate courses at the University of Toronto. Our faculty partake in continuous medical education events locally, nationally and internationally. The anatomic pathology staff consistently receive excellent teaching effectiveness scores and are frequent recipients of teaching awards.

Our pathologists are engaged in translational research with many being PI, co-PI or co-investigators on translational research grants. We work with colleagues at Sunnybrook Research Institute on basic science, digital pathology and translational projects. In the past several years, our staff pathologists have authored and coauthored numerous high impact, peer- reviewed articles, presented peer-reviewed abstracts at national and international scientific meetings and participated as grant and manuscript reviewers. Our staff oversee and mentor residents and fellows in various research projects, presentations and publications.

Michelle R. Downes, MB BCh BAO, MRCSI, MD, FRCPC
Division head, anatomic pathology


Location and contact

Department of anatomic pathology

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue,
E-wing, 4th floor, room E4-32
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-6100 ext. 64600
Fax: 416-480-4271