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Molecular Oncology is a subdivision within the Division of Genomic Diagnostics & Bioinformatics. A major goal of the Molecular Oncology Subdivision is to develop and offer molecular diagnostic tests to identify genetic variants and characterize molecular signatures of solid tumorsto facilitate diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutic decision making


As part of the molecular genetic pathology rotation, residents and fellows are exposed to specimen triage, interpretation of Fluorescent in-situ Hybridization (FISH), single gene testing (for example, Idylla and Sanger sequencing), Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) mutation analysis, and NGS-based fusion gene analysis testing of solid tumors.   


Various collaborative efforts are undertaken to characterize different types of tumors using molecular and genomic approaches.


  • Targeted Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Panel for lung cancer, colorectal cancer, brain tumor, melanoma and solid tumor comprehensive
  • Fusion gene analysis for solid tumors, sarcomas, salivary gland tumors and targeted therapy
  • Rapid sequencing (BRAF, KRAS, NRAS)
  • FISH analysis 
  • Microsatellite instability(MSI)testing by immunohistochemistry (mismatch repair gene expression) and molecular analysis

Projects & Programs

  • Upgrade targeted NGS panel testing to achieve fast turnaround time and improve performance on small biopsy and cytology samples 
  • Develop large panel tofacilitateclinical trials matching
  • Implement LIM system tomanage molecular workflow andimprove efficiency
  • Expand the array ofdisease specific panels,e.g. for brain tumor 
  • Developpharmacogenetictesting to guided therapy for different clinical service lines including cardiovascular, psychiatric, and pain management  

Section Head: Shuko Harada, M.D.