Christine A Iacobuzio-Donahue

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, New York, United States

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Publications (188)1522.19 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mucin1 (MUC1) is overexpressed in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) and is associated with tumor aggressiveness, suggesting that MUC1 is a promising therapeutic target for promoterdriven diphtheria toxin A (DTA). Endogenous MUC1 transcript levels were analyzed by quantitative PCR (qPCR) in multiple PDA cells (Capan1, HPAFII, Su.86.86, Capan2, Hs766T, MiaPaCa2, and Panc1). Expression levels were correlated with luciferase activity and cell death after transfection with MUC1 promoter-driven luciferase and DTA constructs. MUC1-positive (+) cells had significantly elevated MUC1 mRNA expression compared to MUC1-negative (-) cells. Luciferase activity was significantly higher in MUC1+ cells when transfected with MUC1 promoter-driven luciferase and MUC1+ cells underwent enhanced cell death after transfection with a single dose of MUC1 promoter-driven DTA. Interferon gamma (IFN-γ) pre-treatment enhanced MUC1 expression in MUC1- cells and induced sensitivity to MUC1-DTA therapy. Matched primary and metastatic tumor lesions from clinical specimens revealed similar MUC1 immunohistochemistry (IHC) labeling patterns, and a tissue microarray of human PDA biopsies revealed increased immunolabeling with a combination of MUC1 and mesothelin (MSLN) antibodies, compared to either antibody alone. Combining MUC1 with MSLN targeted DTA enhanced drug efficacy in an in vitro model of heterogeneous PDA. These data demonstrate that MUC1 promoter-driven DTA preferentially kills MUC1-expressing PDA cells and drugs that enhance MUC1 expression sensitize PDA cells with low MUC1 expression. Implications: MUC1 expression in primary and metastatic lesions provides a rational for the development of a systemic MUC1 promoter-driven DTA therapy that may be further enhanced by combination with other promoter driven DTA constructs.
    Molecular cancer research : MCR. 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Numerous biomarkers for pancreatic cancer have been reported. We determined the extent to which such biomarkers are expressed throughout metastatic progression, including those that effectively predict biologic behavior. Experimental Design: Biomarker profiling was performed for 35 oncoproteins in matched primary and metastatic pancreatic cancer tissues from 36 rapid autopsy patients. Proteins of significance were validated by immunolabeling in an independent sample set, and functional studies were performed in vitro and in vivo. Results: Most biomarkers were similarly expressed or lost in expression in most samples analyzed, and the matched primary and metastases from a specific patient were most similar to each other than to other patients. However, a subset of proteins showed extensive inter-patient heterogeneity one of which was p38 MAPK. Strong positive pp38 MAPK immunolabeling was significantly correlated with improved post-resection survival by multivariate analysis (median overall survival 27.9 months, p=0.041). In pancreatic cancer cells, inhibition of functional p38 by SB202190 increased cell proliferation in vitro in both low-serum and low-oxygen conditions. High functional p38 activity in vitro corresponded to lower levels of pJNK protein expression, and p38 inhibition resulted in increased pJNK and pMKK7 by Western blot. Moreover, JNK inhibition by SP600125 or MKK7 siRNA knockdown antagonized the effects of p38 inhibition by SB202190. In vivo, SP600125 significantly decreased growth rates of xenografts with high p38 activity compared to those without p38 expression. Conclusions: Functional p38 MAPK activity contributes to overall survival through JNK signaling, thus providing a rationale for JNK inhibition in pancreatic cancer management.
    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Many patients with pancreatic cancer have metastases to distant organs at the time of initial presentation. Recent studies examining the evolution of pancreatic cancer at the genetic level have shown that clonal complexity of metastatic pancreatic cancer is already initiated within primary tumors, and organ-specific metastases are derived from different subclones. However, we do not yet understand to what extent the evolution of pancreatic cancer contributes to proteomic and signaling alterations. We hypothesized that genetic heterogeneity of metastatic pancreatic cancer results in heterogeneity at the proteome level. To address this, we employed a model system in which cells isolated from three sites of metastasis (liver, lung and peritoneum) from a single patient were compared. We used a SILAC-based accurate quantitative proteomic strategy combined with a high resolution mass spectrometry to analyze the total proteome and tyrosine phosphoproteome of each of the distal metastases. Our data reveal distinct patterns of both overall proteome expression as well as tyrosine kinase activities across the three different metastatic lesions. This heterogeneity is significant because it led to differential sensitivity of the neoplastic cells to small molecule inhibitors targeting various kinases and other pathways. For example, R428, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that targets Axl receptor tyrosine kinase, was able to inhibit cells derived from lung and liver metastases much more effectively than cells from the peritoneal metastasis. Finally, we confirmed that administration of R428 in mice bearing xenografts of cells derived from the three different metastatic sites significantly diminished tumors formed from liver and lung metastasis-derived cell lines as compared to tumors derived from the peritoneal metastasis cell line. Overall, our data provide proof-of-principle support that personalized therapy of multiple organ metastases in a single patient should involve administration of a combination of agents with each agent targeted to the features of different subclones.
    Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Sonic hedgehog (Shh), a soluble ligand overexpressed by neoplastic cells in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), drives formation of a fibroblast-rich desmoplastic stroma. To better understand its role in malignant progression, we deleted Shh in a well-defined mouse model of PDAC. As predicted, Shh-deficient tumors had reduced stromal content. Surprisingly, such tumors were more aggressive and exhibited undifferentiated histology, increased vascularity, and heightened proliferation-features that were fully recapitulated in control mice treated with a Smoothened inhibitor. Furthermore, administration of VEGFR blocking antibody selectively improved survival of Shh-deficient tumors, indicating that Hedgehog-driven stroma suppresses tumor growth in part by restraining tumor angiogenesis. Together, these data demonstrate that some components of the tumor stroma can act to restrain tumor growth.
    Cancer Cell 05/2014; · 24.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer evolves by mutation, with somatic reactivation of retrotransposons being one such mutational process. Germline retrotransposition can cause processed pseudogenes, but whether this occurs somatically has not been evaluated. Here we screen sequencing data from 660 cancer samples for somatically acquired pseudogenes. We find 42 events in 17 samples, especially non-small cell lung cancer (5/27) and colorectal cancer (2/11). Genomic features mirror those of germline LINE element retrotranspositions, with frequent target-site duplications (67%), consensus TTTTAA sites at insertion points, inverted rearrangements (21%), 5 0 truncation (74%) and polyA tails (88%). Transcriptional consequences include expression of pseudogenes from UTRs or introns of target genes. In addition, a somatic pseudogene that integrated into the promoter and first exon of the tumour suppressor gene, MGA, abrogated expression from that allele. Thus, formation of processed pseudogenes represents a new class of mutation occurring during cancer development, with potentially diverse functional consequences depending on genomic context.
    Nature Communications 04/2014; · 10.74 Impact Factor
  • Christine A Iacobuzio-Donahue, Joseph M Herman
    New England Journal of Medicine 04/2014; 370(14):1352-3. · 54.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Deoxycytidine kinase (dCK) and human antigen R (HuR) have been associated with response to gemcitabine in small studies. The present study investigates the prognostic and predictive value of dCK and HuR expression levels for sensitivity to gemcitabine and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in a large phase III adjuvant trial with chemoradiation backbone in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA). The dCK and HuR expression levels were determined by immunohistochemistry on a tissue microarray of 165 resected PDAs from the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 9704 trial. Association with overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) status were analyzed using the log-rank test and the Cox proportional hazards model. Experiments with cultured PDA cells were performed to explore mechanisms linking dCK and HuR expression to drug sensitivity. dCK expression levels were associated with improved OS for all patients analyzed from RTOG 9704 (HR: 0.66, 95% CI [0.47-0.93], P = 0.015). In a subset analysis based on treatment arm, the effect was restricted to patients receiving 5-FU (HR: 0.53, 95% CI [0.33-0.85], P = 0.0078). Studies in cultured cells confirmed that dCK expression rendered cells more sensitive to 5-FU. HuR cytoplasmic expression was neither prognostic nor predictive of treatment response. Previous studies along with drug sensitivity and biochemical studies demonstrate that radiation interferes with HuR's regulatory effects on dCK, and could account for the negative findings herein based on the clinical study design (i.e., inclusion of radiation). Finally, we demonstrate that 5-FU can increase HuR function by enhancing HuR translocation from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, similar to the effect of gemcitabine in PDA cells. For the first time, in the pre-treatment tumor samples, dCK and HuR cytoplasmic expression were strongly correlated (chi-square P = 0.015). This dual-institutional follow up study, in a multi-institutional PDA randomized clinical trial, observed that dCK expression levels were prognostic and had predictive value for sensitivity to 5-FU.
    Cancer biology & therapy 03/2014; 15(6). · 3.29 Impact Factor
  • Kalpesh Patel, Christine A Iacobuzio-Donahue, Paul E Gormley, Scott E Kern, Steven C Cunningham
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 03/2014; · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cancers comprise a heterogeneous group of human diseases. Unifying characteristics include unchecked abilities of tumor cells to proliferate and spread anatomically, and the presence of clonal advantageous genetic changes. However, universal and highly specific tumor markers are unknown. Herein, we report widespread long interspersed element-1 (LINE-1) repeat expression in human cancers. We show that nearly half of all human cancers are immunoreactive for a LINE-1-encoded protein. LINE-1 protein expression is a common feature of many types of high-grade malignant cancers, is rarely detected in early stages of tumorigenesis, and is absent from normal somatic tissues. Studies have shown that LINE-1 contributes to genetic changes in cancers, with somatic LINE-1 insertions seen in selected types of human cancers, particularly colon cancer. We sought to correlate this observation with expression of the LINE-1-encoded protein, open reading frame 1 protein, and found that LINE-1 open reading frame 1 protein is a surprisingly broad, yet highly tumor-specific, antigen.
    American Journal Of Pathology 03/2014; · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) has been found in multiple precancerous and cancerous lesions, including colorectal adenomas, colorectal cancers, and duodenal adenocarcinomas. There are no reports in the literature of a relationship between CIMP status and clinicopathologic features of sporadic duodenal adenomas. This study sought to elucidate the role of methylation in duodenal adenomas and correlate it with KRAS and BRAF mutations. CIMP+ (with more than 2 markers methylated) was seen in 33.3% of duodenal adenomas; 61% of these CIMP+ adenomas were CIMP-high (with more than 3 markers methylated). Furthermore, CIMP+ status significantly correlated with older age of patients, larger size and villous type of tumor, coexistent dysplasia and periampullary location. MLH1 methylation was seen in 11.1% of duodenal adenomas and was significantly associated with CIMP+ tumors, while p16 methylation was an infrequent event. KRAS mutations were frequent and seen in 26.3% of adenomas; however, no BRAF mutations were detected. Furthermore, CIMP-high status was associated with larger size and villous type of tumor and race (non-white). These results suggest that CIMP+ duodenal adenomas may have a higher risk for developing malignancy and may require more aggressive management and surveillance.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 02/2014; 9(5). · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammation marker, is associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk in some prospective studies. Whether increased CRP is indicative of colonic inflammation, a possible CRC cause, or of other sources of inflammation (e.g., adiposity), is unknown. Thus, we evaluated the association between CRP and colonic mucosal measures of inflammation. 151 adults undergoing colonoscopy provided a blood sample and random left- and right-side colonic mucosal biopsies. Height and weight were measured, and lifestyle information was collected. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) was measured by immunoturbidometric assay. A gastrointestinal pathologist evaluated biopsies for seven colonic inflammation measures. Of 119 participants with complete information, 24 had an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) history and were analyzed separately. We calculated the number of colonic inflammation measures present in both biopsies, and separately for right and left biopsies. Adjusted geometric mean hsCRP was calculated using linear regression, overall, by demographic and lifestyle factors, and inflammation measures. Most participants had ≥1 colonic inflammation measure (0: 21 %, 1: 39 %, ≥2: 40 %). Adjusted mean hsCRP did not increase with increasing number of inflammation measures (0: 1.67; 1: 1.33; ≥2: 1.01 mg/L; p trend = 0.21). Obese (2.03 mg/L) and overweight (1.61 mg/L) participants had higher adjusted mean hsCRP than normal-weight participants (0.62 mg/L; p trend <0.0001). Patterns were similar for participants with a history of IBD. hsCRP concentration was not associated with colonic inflammation, although hsCRP increased with adiposity. The hsCRP-CRC association may be explained by residual confounding by other risk factors, such as adiposity, rather than by CRP marking colonic inflammation.
    Cancer Causes and Control 01/2014; · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The availability of human genome sequence has transformed biomedical research over the past decade. However, an equivalent map for the human proteome with direct measurements of proteins and peptides does not exist yet. Here we present a draft map of the human proteome using high-resolution Fourier-transform mass spectrometry. In-depth proteomic profiling of 30 histologically normal human samples, including 17 adult tissues, 7 fetal tissues and 6 purified primary haematopoietic cells, resulted in identification of proteins encoded by 17,294 genes accounting for approximately 84% of the total annotated protein-coding genes in humans. A unique and comprehensive strategy for proteogenomic analysis enabled us to discover a number of novel protein-coding regions, which includes translated pseudogenes, non-coding RNAs and upstream open reading frames. This large human proteome catalogue (available as an interactive web-based resource at will complement available human genome and transcriptome data to accelerate biomedical research in health and disease.
    Nature 01/2014; 509:575-81. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Large-magnitude numerical distinctions (>10-fold) among drug responses of genetically contrasting cancers were crucial for guiding the development of some targeted therapies. Similar strategies brought epidemiological clues and prevention goals for genetic diseases. Such numerical guides, however, were incomplete or low magnitude for Fanconi anemia pathway (FANC) gene mutations relevant to cancer in FANC-mutation carriers (heterozygotes). We generated a four-gene FANC-null cancer panel, including the engineering of new PALB2/FANCN-null cancer cells by homologous recombination. A characteristic matching of FANCC-null, FANCG-null, BRCA2/FANCD1-null, and PALB2/FANCN-null phenotypes was confirmed by uniform tumor regression on single-dose cross-linker therapy in mice and by shared chemical hypersensitivities to various inter-strand cross-linking agents and γ-radiation in vitro. Some compounds, however, had contrasting magnitudes of sensitivity; a strikingly high (19- to 22-fold) hypersensitivity was seen among PALB2-null and BRCA2-null cells for the ethanol metabolite, acetaldehyde, associated with widespread chromosomal breakage at a concentration not producing breaks in parental cells. Because FANC-defective cancer cells can share or differ in their chemical sensitivities, patterns of selective hypersensitivity hold implications for the evolutionary understanding of this pathway. Clinical decisions for cancer-relevant prevention and management of FANC-mutation carriers could be modified by expanded studies of high-magnitude sensitivities.
    American Journal Of Pathology 11/2013; · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 11/2013; 87(3):458-9. · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths and there currently is no reliable modality for the early detection of this disease. Here we identify cancer-specific promoter DNA methylation of BNC1 and ADAMTS1 as a promising biomarker detection strategy meriting investigation in pancreatic cancer. We used a genome-wide pharmacologic transcriptome approach to identify novel cancer-specific DNA methylation alterations in pancreatic cancer cell lines. Of 8 promising genes, we focused our studies on BNC1 and ADAMTS1 for further downstream analysis including methylation and expression. We used a nanoparticle-enabled MOB (Methylation On Beads) technology to detect early stage pancreatic cancers by analyzing DNA methylation in patient serum. We identified 2 novel genes, BNC1 (92%) and ADAMTS1, (68%) that showed a high frequency of methylation in pancreas cancers (n=143), up to 100% in PanIN-3 and 97% in Stage I invasive cancers. Using the nanoparticle-enabled MOB technology, these alterations could be detected in serum samples (n=42) from pancreas cancer patients, with a sensitivity for BNC1 of 79% (95%CI:66-91%) and for ADAMTS1 of 48% (95%CI:33-63%), while specificity was 89% for BNC1 (95%CI:76-100%) and 92% for ADAMTS1 (95%CI:82-100%). Overall sensitivity using both markers is 81% (95%CI:69-93%) and specificity is 85% (95%CI:71-99%). Promoter DNA methylation of BNC1 and ADAMTS1 are potential biomarkers to detect early stage pancreatic cancers. Assaying the promoter methylation status of these genes in circulating DNA from serum is a promising strategy for early-detection of pancreatic cancer and has the potential to improve mortality from this disease.
    Clinical Cancer Research 10/2013; · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Like the p16, SMAD4, and RB1 genes, FAM190A lies at a consensus site of homogeneous genomic deletions in human cancer. FAM190A transcripts in 40% of cancers also contain in-frame deletions of evolutionarily conserved exons. Its gene function was unknown. We found an internal deletion of the FAM190A gene in a pancreatic cancer having prominent focal multinuclearity. The experimental knockdown of FAM190A expression by shRNA caused focal cytokinesis defects, multipolar mitosis, and multinuclearity as observed in time-lapse microscopy. FAM190A was localized to the γ-tubulin ring complex of early mitosis and to the midbody in late cytokinesis by immunofluorescence assay and was present in the nuclear fraction of unsynchronized cells by immunoblot. FAM190A interacted with EXOC1 and Ndel1, which function in cytoskeletal organization and the cell division cycle. Levels of FAM190A protein peaked 12 hours after release from thymidine block, corresponding to M-phase. Slower-migrating phosphorylated forms accumulated toward M-phase and disappeared after release from a mitotic block and before cytokinesis. Studies of FAM190A alterations may provide mechanistic insights into mitotic dysregulation and multinuclearity in cancer. We propose that FAM190A is a regulator or structural component required for normal mitosis and that both the rare truncating mutations and common in-frame deletion alteration of FAM190A may contribute to the chromosomal instability of cancer.
    American Journal Of Pathology 05/2013; · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    Alvin Makohon-Moore, Jacqueline A Brosnan, Christine A Iacobuzio-Donahue
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic cancer is a highly lethal tumor type for which there are few viable therapeutic options. It is also caused by the accumulation of mutations in a variety of genes. These genetic alterations can be grouped into those that accumulate during pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (precursor lesions) and thus are present in all cells of the infiltrating carcinoma, and those that accumulate specifically within the infiltrating carcinoma during subclonal evolution, resulting in genetic heterogeneity. Despite this heterogeneity there are nonetheless commonly altered cellular functions, such as pathways controlling the cell cycle, DNA damage repair, intracellular signaling and development, which could provide for a variety of drug targets. This review aims to summarize current knowledge of the genetics and genomics of pancreatic cancer from its inception to metastatic colonization, and to provide examples of how this information can be translated into the clinical setting for therapeutic benefit and personalized medicine.
    Genome Medicine 03/2013; 5(3):26. · 4.94 Impact Factor
  • S Yachida, C A Iacobuzio-Donahue
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    ABSTRACT: Efficient metastasis is believed as the result of multiple genetic, epigenetic and/or post-translational events in the lifetime of a carcinoma. At the genetic level, these events may be categorized into those that occur during carcinogenesis, and those that occur during subclonal evolution. This review summarizes current knowledge of the genetics of pancreatic cancer from its initiation within a normal cell until the time that is has disseminated to distant organs, many features of which can be extrapolated to other solid tumor types. The implications of these findings to personalize genome analyses of an individual patient's tumor are also discussed.Oncogene advance online publication, 18 February 2013; doi:10.1038/onc.2013.29.
    Oncogene 02/2013; · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cathepsin K is consistently and diffusely expressed in alveolar soft part sarcoma (ASPS) and a subset of translocation renal cell carcinomas (RCCs). However, cathepsin K expression in human neoplasms has not been systematically analyzed. We constructed tissue microarrays (TMA) from a wide variety of human neoplasms, and performed cathepsin K immunohistochemistry (IHC). Only 2.7% of 1,140 carcinomas from various sites exhibited cathepsin K labeling, thus suggesting that among carcinomas, cathepsin K labeling is highly specific for translocation RCC. In contrast to carcinomas, cathepsin K labeling was relatively common (54.6%) in the 414 mesenchymal lesions studied, including granular cell tumor, melanoma, and histiocytic lesions, but not paraganglioma, all of which are in the morphologic differential diagnosis of ASPS. Cathepsin K IHC can be helpful in distinguishing ASPS and translocation RCC from some but not all of the lesions in their differential diagnosis.
    American Journal of Clinical Pathology 02/2013; 139(2):151-9. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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Publication Stats

11k Citations
1,522.19 Total Impact Points


  • 2014
    • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2003–2014
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences
      • • Department of Surgery
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2000–2014
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • Department of Pathology
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2012
    • Dongnam Inst. of Radiological & Medical Sciences
      Ryōzan, South Gyeongsang, South Korea
    • Third Military Medical University
      Ch’ung-ch’ing-shih, Chongqing Shi, China
  • 2011
    • Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2009
    • Northwestern University
      • Department of Radiology
      Evanston, IL, United States
    • Cambridge Institute for Medical Research
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2007
    • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
      • Department of Biostatistics
      Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 2005–2006
    • Sapienza University of Rome
      Roma, Latium, Italy
    • University of Michigan
      • Department of Pathology
      Ann Arbor, MI, United States