College of American Pathologists

  Press Release


Published on September 11, 2012

Contact: Julie Monzo
Phone: 800-323-4040, ext. 7538


Northfield, IL. – The College of American Pathologists (CAP) Michael Laposata, MD, PhD, FCAP, from Nashville, Tenn., the CAP Excellence in Teaching Award at a special ceremony held on September 9, 2012, in San Diego, Calif., at the College’s annual meeting, CAP ’12 — THE Pathologists’ Meeting™.

The College established the CAP Excellence in Teaching Award to individuals who contribute outstanding contributions as faculty for one or more education activities resulting in exceptional professional development opportunities for pathologists. Dr. Laposata was recognized for his expertise in coagulation and his effectiveness as faculty for the CAP annual meeting during the past several years.

“It is my sincere honor to be a recipient of the CAP Excellence in Teaching Award.” said Dr. Laposata “I was lucky enough to be mentored as an educator from the first day I was born, as my older brother, Sam, was a college professor for his entire career. It is humbling to be recognized for work that I enjoy doing every day.”

Dr. Laposata is the Edward and Nancy Fody professor of pathology and professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn. He is the executive vice chairman for the school’s Department of Pathology, pathologist-in-chief at Vanderbilt University Hospital, and director of clinical laboratories. Dr. Laposata has served as a member and vice chair of the CAP Coagulation Resource Committee.

Dr. Laposata accepted his first faculty position at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia in 1985, where he was an assistant professor and director of the hospital's coagulation laboratory. In 1989, he became director of clinical laboratories at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and was appointed to the faculty in pathology at Harvard Medical School, also in Boston, where he became a tenured full professor of pathology.

His research program, with more than 160 peer-reviewed publications, has focused on fatty acids and their metabolites. His research group is currently focused on the study of fatty acid alterations in cystic fibrosis.

Dr. Laposata's clinical expertise is in the field of blood coagulation, with a special expertise in the diagnosis of hypercoagulable states. He implemented a system, whereby a physician with expertise in the area systematically interprets and generates a patient-specific narrative paragraph on the clinical laboratory data in coagulation and other areas of laboratory medicine. This service is essentially identical to the service provided by physicians in radiology and anatomic pathology, except that it involves clinical laboratory test results. In 2005, Dr. Laposata was recognized by the Institute of Quality in Laboratory Medicine of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for this innovation.

Dr. Laposata is the recipient of 14 major teaching awards at Harvard, the Massachusetts General Hospital, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. His recognitions include the 1989 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, a teaching prize with competition across the entire University of Pennsylvania system; the 1998 A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award from Harvard Medical School; election to the Harvard Academy of Scholars in 2002 and to the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Academy for Excellence in Teaching in 2009; and the highest award (by vote of the graduating class) for teaching in years 1 and 2 at Harvard Medical School in 1999, 2000, and 2005.

He received his MD and PhD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD., and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship and residency in laboratory medicine (clinical pathology) at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO.

The College of American Pathologists (CAP), celebrating 50 years as the gold standard in laboratory accreditation, is a medical society serving more than 18,000 physician members and the global laboratory community. It is the world’s largest association composed exclusively of board-certified pathologists and is the worldwide leader in laboratory quality assurance. The College advocates accountable, high-quality, and cost-effective patient care.