Howell inducted as president of American Society of Cytopathology

November 8, 2011

Lydia Pleotis Howell, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, was inducted as the president of the American Society of Cytopathology at the ASC's annual scientific meeting on Nov. 6 in Baltimore, Md.

Howell will lead the ASC during its 60th anniversary year in 2012. The ASC is the oldest professional organization in cytopathology and is devoted to advancing education, research and clinical practice in this minimally invasive diagnostic cellular method.

Lydia Howell © UC Regents
Lydia Howell

"Dr. Howell is recognized nationally for her work to improve diagnostic tests and protocols for the evaluation of breast and cervical cancer," said Claire Pomeroy, UC Davis vice chancellor for human health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine. "She has long championed the importance of clinical excellence in laboratory medicine and the transformational power of pathology research. She is an outstanding choice to serve as ASC president."

As chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Dr. Howell oversees nearly 40 faculty members and more than 400 clinical and academic staff who provide comprehensive laboratory testing for UC Davis Medical Center and other hospitals and clinics throughout Northern California. The department performs more than 5 million clinical tests annually, maintains more than $7 million in external research funding, and advances knowledge in cancer, cardiovascular disease, nutrition, neuroscience, infectious disease and stem cell biology.

Dr. Howell will continue to drive forward ASC's Future of Cytopathology effort, intended to create a new paradigm for this discipline, and delineate the evolution and future roles of cytopathologists and cytotechnologists. In addition, Dr. Howell will lead the development of a new, five-year strategic plan for the society. She has chosen leadership as the theme of her presidency to recognize and reinforce the responsibility of everyone in the field to drive change locally and beyond by discovering, applying and teaching new methods and practices that will enhance cytopathology and health for all.

Previous ASC presidents include George Papanicolaou, inventor of the acclaimed Pap test, which has reduced deaths from cervical cancer by more than 70 percent in the U.S. and other countries.

The UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. The school offers fully accredited master's degree programs in public health and in informatics, and its combined M.D.-Ph.D. program is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care. Along with being a recognized leader in medical research, the school is committed to serving underserved communities and advancing rural health. For more information, visit UC Davis School of Medicine at

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