Chair's Message

Sarah Dry, MD
Sarah M. Dry, MD - Chair, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

February 2024 - Advanced Molecular Diagnostics Service Updates

The Advanced Molecular Diagnostics Service (AMDS) has been continuously working on upgrading and streamlining our current clinical genomic and cancer genomic offerings to support integrated clinical care for the UCLA Health System, and to identify, support, and advance UCLA translational research into clinical use and technology transfer.


The new BRAF V600 mutation assessment Idylla test platform has completed validation and will be launched in Q1 of 2024.

  • Fully automated real-time PCR based molecular testing
  • Simplified workflow with < 10 min hands on set up time
  • Rapid turnaround time (1 day from sample receiving)
  • Flexible sample type (FFPE slides or extracted DNA)
  • Effective on limited tissue amount (as low as 1-2 FFPE slides)
  • As low as 0.5-1% limit of detection variant frequency


The improved workflow will be streamlined for sample preparation and data analysis. The new workflow will be launched in Q1 2024.

  • Improved turnaround time by 3 days
  • Significant improvement in accuracy for complex variants and insertions/deletions
  • Improved sensitivity for SNP variants
  • More robust variant interpretation
  • Increased exome coverage uniformity
  • Reduced cost to achieve minimal sequencing depth
All in One Solution


  • Optimized workflow that when the Idylla single gene test is ordered with the Pan-Cancer Panel test, no additional tissue slides are needed
  • Lowered the number of tissue slides needed for the Solid Tumor Fusion Panel test from 10 to 5 slides
  • Improved the overall turnaround time
  • Low QNS rate: 3.1% for Fusion Panel Test and 5.7% for Pan-Cancer Panel Test


Thank you to our outgoing Chief Residents (left to right), Dr. Tara Narasimhalu, Dr. Precious Fortes, Dr. Arash Roohani, and Dr. Irene Riahi. We appreciate all your hard work, advocacy for your fellow Trainees, and dedication to patient care!
We also welcome our incoming Chief Residents Dr. Josh Pierce (Ombuds), Dr. Erica Fermon (Scheduling), Dr. Rosa Valencia (Conference), and Dr. Rak Tyagi (Technical). We look forward to working with you in your new roles!
Pathology Chief Residents 2023-2024


As part of the inaugural Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service | I Have a Dream in STEM Conference, hosted in partnership with the DGSOM JEDI Office and the Department of Medicine’s Community Engagement Office, our Department hosted a Mini Pathologist's Playlab (MPP) workshop for elementary-aged learners from the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) and I Have A Dream Foundation. The MPP consisted of six interactive stations spanning anatomic and clinical pathology, allowing learners to interact with Microscopes and slides, Organ Blocks, Agar Plates, Parasites, replica Blood and Plasma, and even a replica Urine Station!

Thank you to our dedicated volunteers who arranged this event on limited notice! Your altruism and commitment to education and our community are evident in the event's great success! A special thank you to Dr. Chana Sachs, Dr. Weibo Yu, Dr. Mario Pulido, Dr. Erica Fermon, Dr. Chao Chen, Dr. Danny Rodriguez, Dr. Yuna Kang, Dr. David Lu, Dr. Dawn Ward, Toshi Ching, Monique Trinh, Jessica Martinez, and the Pathology Facilities team!

MLK Day of Service Mini Pathologist's Play Lab Group Photo

Sarah M. Dry, MD
Professor & Chair, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine