Emory Eye Center's L. F. Montgomery Lab, its pathology facility, passed a monumental milestone recently. In the past 15 years of service (from 1989-2004), the lab's staff has evaluated some 30,000 specimens -- an impressive volume, since from its inception in 1941 to 1989 (48 years) it saw 15,000 cases.
This milestone places the Montgomery Lab as a top pathology lab as to number of specimens evaluated. Virtually no other eye pathology lab has done more evaluations with only one pathologist on staff. In fact, only a few other eye pathology laboratories process more specimens, but they generally have two to three pathologists on staff, while Emory has only one, Hans Grossniklaus, MD.
"We are pleased to be the site of collaboration with researchers and clinicians from around the world, though most of our work is based in the Southeast," says Dr. Grossniklaus. "Our talented team of technicians and technologists, research assistants, residents and fellows, combined with the strong support and guidance of our Eye Center Director, Thomas M. Aaberg, Sr., MD, have made this lab efficient and sought-after as the point of final evaluation," he says.
"The Montgomery Lab not only provides these important evaluations but is also known as a teaching and research program, with an Internet-based teaching course (Internet Based Eye Pathology Teaching Initiative) that is self-sufficient," says Dr. Aaberg. "The Montgomery Lab also is the inter-disciplinary, collaborative site for research grants that study such important diseases as melanoma and age-related macular degeneration," he adds.
The Montgomery Lab also has the distinction of being the only eye pathology lab to train three people to become certified histo-technologists through a collaboration with Indiana University. A telephone conferencing program facilitated the joint program, and now two of the three people trained at Emory have remained at the Eye Center.
"It is important to remember that we are one part of the big picture at Emory Eye Center, and without the support and input from other departments we would not be so successful in our efforts," says Dr. Grossniklaus. "We now serve as a resource for other people doing clinical and basic science investigations and collaborate on a number of research grants, allowing other departments at Emory the added resource that helps them obtain their grant support," he concludes.
Dr. Grossniklaus earned his BA from Miami University and the MD from Ohio State University. He completed residencies in ophthalmology and anatomic pathology at Case Western Reserve University and fellowships in ophthalmic pathology at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. He is board certified in both ophthalmology and anatomic pathology.