Cytogenetics Rotation

The cytogenetics rotation is one block designed to provide the pathology resident with a basic introduction to the theory and methods of cytogenetic analysis and FISH testing. Upon completion of the cytogenetics rotation and the HLA/molecular rotation, the resident should have thoroughly reviewed the basic biochemistry of nucleic acids, including structure, function, replication, and synthesis. The resident will be instructed in the nature of the disease process at the molecular level and the methods used for detection. They will also develop the ability to function as a consultant in the selection and application of methods for cytogenetic analysis.


  • Provide interpretative support regarding the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and recurrence risks in patient care decisions
  • Be able to correlate cytogenetic and molecular data with all case work-ups as part of a multi-modality diagnostic approach
  • Rotate in the Cytogenetics Laboratory and Molecular Diagnostic laboratory. The trainee is involved in sample preparation, microscopic analysis, and result reporting together with the attending cytogeneticist and molecular geneticists.
  • Participate in, but not be primarily responsible for, interpretation and sign-out of final patient reports.

The rotation emphasizes the more common, recurring chromosomal abnormalities found in hematopoietic neoplasms, and the diagnostic and prognostic implications of these abnormalities.

The resident will become familiar with conventional cytogenetics procedures including indications for chromosome analysis, culture methods, harvesting and slide preparation, banding techniques, and karyotyping. Teaching and hands-on experience in advanced techniques of molecular cytogenetics will be available, including FISH analysis and chromosomal painting for particular lymphoma/leukemia diagnoses.

Additional instruction will include readings from pertinent textbooks and journals, attendance at the weekly Medical Genetics Clinical Conference, and collaboration/participation in case write-ups and research projects.