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Donna Hansel, MD, PhD, to Join MD Anderson as Division Head of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


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The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center recently announced that Donna Hansel, MD, PhD, has been named Division Head of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Dr. Hansel will lead a team of 650, including more than 130 clinical and research faculty, across 4 departments that serve as a bridge between basic research, translational research, and clinical care at MD Anderson.

Donna Hansel, MD, PhD

Donna Hansel, MD, PhD

Dr. Hansel was formerly Professor and Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland. In this role, she expanded the number of departmental faculty, grown the subspecialty of anatomic pathology, and re-established previously outsourced microbiology lab services, which positioned the department to become a partner in Oregon Health Authority’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She oversaw more than $46 million of state funding for research and services, including epidemiologic surveillance, wastewater testing, genomic sequencing and surveillance, testing of K to 12 schoolchildren, and testing and outreach in underserved and disproportionately affected communities.

At OHSU, Dr. Hansel also led the construction of a digital pathology and informatics core, established multidisciplinary research initiatives, created subspecialty anatomic pathology fellowship programs, and popularized medical student programs in pathology. These efforts resulted in the tripling of grants and contracts revenue, the doubling of submitted research manuscripts, and an increase among OHSU medical students’ applications to pathology residencies.

Professional Background

Dr. Hansel began her career at the Cleveland Clinic, where she rose from Assistant Professor of Anatomic Pathology to Associate Professor in 4 years, with joint appointments at associated cancer centers and genomic and urologic institutes. She later joined the faculty at the University of California San Diego as Professor and Chief of the Anatomic Pathology Division.

Dr. Hansel earned her medical and doctoral degrees from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program. She completed her clinical training there as well, including a residency in pathology, a clinical fellowship in genitourinary pathology, and a postdoctoral fellowship in pathology-gastrointestinal pathology. 


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