About the program

A two-year fellowship in neuropathology (one position every other year) is offered by the Division of Neuropathology. Based in a 734-bed tertiary care university hospital, the program provides advanced training and responsibility in all areas of neuropathology including diagnostic surgical neuropathology, neuromuscular, ophthalmic, and autopsy pathology.

The laboratory examines approximately 900 neurosurgical specimens with 200 intraoperative consultations per year. The University of Iowa is a national referral center for neuromuscular disease providing an advanced educational experience with examination of approximately 300 muscle and 30 nerve biopsies per year. The University of Iowa has an NIH-funded Senator Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Specialized Research Center (MDSRC; https://medicine.uiowa.edu/mdsrc/ ) that studies a form of muscular dystrophy termed dystroglycanopathy.  Dr. Steven Moore is Co-Director of the MDSRC.

Approximately 250 autopsy brains are examined per year, including approximately 100 forensic cases. The Iowa NeuroBank (brain bank) is a core facility funded by the Iowa Neuroscience Institute and the Roy J. Carver Foundation. It acts as the primary tissue repository for clinical studies on Parkinson/Lewy Body disease, Huntington Disease, and sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), among others, and also has a large collection of controls obtained through the University of Iowa autopsy service. Dr. Marco Hefti is co-director and neuropathologist for the core facility. Fellows will be involved in neurodegenerative disease workups for the brain bank as part of brain cutting, and have the option of dedicated brain bank and/or research rotations, if desired.

In addition, the Division of Neuropathology provides outreach services through the University of Iowa Diagnostic Laboratory (https://medicine.uiowa.edu/uidl/faculty-services/neuropathology), through which a variety of neurosurgical, neuromuscular, and autopsy brain specimens are received. This provides an opportunity to interact with pathologists and clinicians at multiple outside institutions and community practices.

Fellows will participate in a variety of teaching and educational activities including a weekly neuro-oncology tumor board, quality assurance conferences, and a neuromuscular multidisciplinary conference. Fellows are expected to be involved with house staff didactics and provide a seminar for Pathology Grand rounds annually. Additionally, there are opportunities to be involved with medical student teaching. Opportunities for participation in both basic science and clinical/translational research are available and encouraged.


The Neuropathology fellowship is ACGME-accredited, program #3151830001.

Fellows Life


All rotations are done at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. The first year of fellowship will predominantly be dedicated to the diagnostic neuropathology services, including neurosurgical pathology, autopsy pathology, and neuromuscular pathology (11 months) in addition to a rotation in Molecular Pathology (1 month). The second year of fellowship will include a rotation in ophthalmic pathology (1 month), as well as a junior attending rotation (1 month). The remaining rotations will be tailored to fit the fellow’s interests. Elective time can be utilized for research, as well as rotations in other sub-disciplines (e.g. molecular pathology, cytology), or on various neuropathology services.


There are 15 working days of vacation per year and can be taken at any time.

Please note that any leave taken, whether vacation, meetings, exams, or job interviews, must be officially requested by submitting an electronic form in MedHub. Leave requests should include the following details: name of faculty or attending supervisor who has approved the leave; if applicable, name of other resident(s), fellow(s) and/or faculty you have arranged to cover in your absence. All leave requests are subject to approval by your Fellowship Director. Leave should be requested as far in advance as practical for you (especially leave requests that span more than 1-2 days). This requirement is for informational, coverage, legal and insurance purposes.



The fellows are required to attend and periodically staff the weekly neuro-oncology tumor board conference, as well as participate in the weekly neuropathology quality assurance conference and neuromuscular multidisciplinary conference.

Fellows will also present a seminar at Pathology Grand Rounds and didactic lectures to house staff on a variety of neuropathology related topics. They are encouraged to participate in the daily conference schedule as their clinical assignments permit, with some of these activities representing didactic type presentations given by faculty for house staff.

Time Conference
Tuesday 7:00 – 8:00 am Neuro-Oncology Tumor Board
Wednesday 9 am (optional) Iowa Neuroscience Institute Works in Progress
Thursday 7:30 – 8:30 am Neuropathology Quality Assurance Conference
Thursday 7:30 – 8:30 am, monthly Forensic Neuropathology Quality Assurance Conference
Thursday 1:30 pm Brain cutting
Friday 7:30 – 8:30 am Multidisciplinary Neuromuscular Conference
First Friday, Monthly Neuromuscular Journal Club
Quarterly State Medical Examiner Case Review Conference
Annual Wellstone Neuromuscular Conference

Research Opportunities

The opportunity to participate in research is provided within the structure of the program and is encouraged. In addition, the fellow may elect to spend any elective time pursuing research projects.

Frequently asked Questions

What Pathology fellowships are available at Iowa?

There are fellowships available in neuropathology, surgical pathology, cytopathology, hematopathology, microbiology, blood/bank transfusion medicine, and molecular pathology.

How is vacation time handled?

Fellows have 15 weekday vacation days a year. Professional leave for meetings is negotiated on an individual basis. Leave is granted for National Board exams and American Board of Pathology exams, but not for board preparation courses. For job interviews or board preparation courses, each house staff member will be allowed five working days of leave. Additional days, beyond those five, taken for job interviews or board preparation courses will count as vacation.

What about fringe benefits such as book/travel funds?

Each fellow is given $1500/year for books/journals, meetings or memberships. Travel to national conferences is paid for by the department for fellows presenting abstracts.