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Our dermatopathologists specialize in the study of cutaneous lymphomas, melanocytic lesions, all inflammatory disorders and pediatric dermatopathology, including vascular and melanocytic lesions in children. The Dermatopathology Laboratory trains future dermatopathologists to conduct both routine and complex procedures.

The Dermatopathology Lab is accredited by the College of American Pathologists and is therefore part of an exclusive group of more than 7,000 laboratories worldwide that have met the highest standards of excellence.

The team has recently expanded to four dermatopathologists, providing expert diagnostic service covering all aspects of dermatology from lymphomas to melanomas and pediatric biopsies. In addition to reading over 30,000 biopsies annually from local dermatologists, this team reviews over 2,000 cases referred from pathologists across the nation as expert consultants.

We are advancing the field by researching new molecular aspects of melanoma and lymphoma.”

Joan Guitart, MD
Chief, Dermatopathology

Joan Guitart, MD

What We Do


The two-year Dermatopathology Fellowship Program is a joint effort of the departments of Dermatology and Pathology. The first year focuses on research, and the second year is dedicated to the fulfillment of core requirements for general dermatology/pathology and dermatopathology.

Dermatopathology faculty train dermatology and pathology residents, as well as teach medical students and offer educational rotations. Weekly dermatopathology conferences are offered to students, residents, fellows and faculty.


Joan Guitart, MD, and Pedram Gerami, MD, have performed significant research on cutaneous lymphomas and melanocytic lesions, respectively.

 Patient Care

The Dermatopathology Laboratory handles approximately 40,000 skin specimens per year from Northwestern University, referring physicians from the Chicagoland area and across the nation.

Procedures done through the lab include:

  • Rapid processing and evaluation of hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained sections
  • Molecular studies including TCR and IGH gene rearrangements
  • Extensive panel of immunohistochemical antibodies and special stains performed in-house
  • Direct and indirect immunofluorescent studies for immunobullous or connective tissue disease
  • Molecular analysis of various skin tumors

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