Lydia Pleotis Howell, M.D.
Pathology - Anatomic
Pathology - Clinical
- Professor and Chair, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Lydia Howell is an anatomic and clinical pathologist well known for her work to improve methods and protocols for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast and cervical cancer. She provides clinical service in cytopathology, fine-needle aspiration biopsy and surgical pathology.
As the Director of UC Davis Health’s clinical laboratories, she 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 through Northern California.
A leader in her field, Howell is a past president of the American Society of Cytopathology (ASC), former chair of the ASC’s Foundation, and the 2017 recipient of Papanicolaou Award, the ASC’s highest honor. She has pioneered methods for cervical cancer screening, including liquid-based preparations and computer-assisted methods. An advocate for high quality screening, early detection and diagnosis, she has provided leadership in standardizing practices that improve quality, outcomes, and access for the under-served through her participation in state workgroups, national consensus conferences and panels, and chairs the Pathology and Hematology Device Subcommittee for the US Food and Drug Administration.
Howell is also known for her commitment to faculty development and served as co-principal investigator for a $1.27 M NIH grant studying the effect of family-friendly policies on women’s careers in medicine, as well as the project leader for an Innovation Award for faculty career flexibility from the American Council on Education and the Sloan Foundation. She co-founded UC Davis Health’s award-winning Women in Medicine and Health Science program, and co-led it for 15 years. She chairs the Leadership Development and Diversity Committee of the Association of Pathology Chairs (APC) and co-founded and co-directs the APC’s Pathology Leadership Academy.”
As chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, she oversees faculty and academic staff who conduct leading-edge basic and translational research, and advance education and training at all levels within the field.
M.D., Northwestern University School of Medicine, Chicago IL 1981
B.S., Northwestern University Medical School, Evanston IL 1979
Pathology- Anatomic and Clinical, Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia PA 1981-1985
Cytopathology, Lankenau Medical Center, Philadelphia PA 1985-1986
American Board of Pathology, Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, 1986
American Board of Pathology, Cytopathology, 1989
American Society of Clinical and Colposcopic Pathology
American Society of Clinical Pathology
American Society of Cytopathology
Association of Pathology Chairs
College of American Pathologists
Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology
United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology
Honors and Awards
Papanicolaou Award, highest honor of the American Society of Cytopathology, 2017
Dean’s Award for Inclusion Excellence (research team award), UC Davis Health, 2017
AAMC Group on Women in Medicine Award as co-founder of UCD’s Women in Medicine and Health Science Program, 2016
Dean’s Award for Excellence in Departmental Mentoring, UC Davis Health, 2016, 2017
Dean’s Hero Award, UC Davis Health, 2015
Future of the Profession Prize Paper Award, American Society of Cytopathology, 2013
Faculty Development Award, UC Davis School of Medicine, 2007
Christine Landgraf Memorial Research Award, UC Davis School of Medicine, 1993