Society for Pediatric Pathology

SPP Newsletter

March 1, 2016

President's Letter to the Society & IPC Report

President’s Letter to the Society for Pediatric Pathology, February 2016

Dear Colleagues:

2015, the 50th anniversary year of the Society for Pediatric Pathology, has come to a close, and we have many successes to celebrate for our first half-century. A recent report on the Society for Pediatric Pathology for 2015, which was written for the Intersociety Pathology Council (IPC), is included below for your interest.

2016 has started well, with a number of notable events and accomplishments for the SPP and its members.

  • Spring 2016. The spring meeting is all set for March 11-13 in Seattle. In addition to abstracts, a symposium, and 6 workshops, including 2 new workshops on pediatric renal biopsies and on the pediatric autopsy, Ona Marie Faye-Petersen, M.D. will become the next SPP President.
  • Fall 2016. The fall meeting will be October 5-9 in Honolulu, hosted by Karen Thompson. An October 5 cultural event will precede the regular meeting on October 6-9.
  • Pediatric and Developmental Pathology will change publishers from Allen Press to SAGE in January 2017. Plans are under way to search for a new Editor-in-Chief, who will assume responsibility after the transition to SAGE. A Letter to the Editor on Zika virus and the importance of placental examination authored by Cynthia Kaplan, Michael Covinsky, and Debra Heller has been published online in PDP ( The SPP Comment on Proposed Changes to Regulations on Research to Human Tissues, authored by Gino Somers, Sara Vargas, and Cheryl Coffin, was submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and will soon be published online in PDP.
  • Pediatric Pathology List-Serve. A new platform is being tested with collaboration from the SPP, for better future archiving and search capacities.
  • Education. Over the past few months, the SPP Education Committee and members of the Executive Committee have worked with Martha Jones and her staff to develop CME planning documents and procedures for the SPP. ACCME accreditation requires a CME director. Currently Ona Faye-Petersen serves in that role; Raj Kapur will serve for one year beginning March 13, 2016. In spring 2017, the SPP will appoint a new CME Director. Please consider volunteering for this role, which will be supported by the SPP administrative and management team.
  • Strategic Plan. As a result of the transition to a new association management group, an executive retreat on August 20, 2015, and ongoing efforts, the SPP has a new strategic plan. A synopsis is at The plan provides a foundation for planning, programs and decision-making.
  • SPP Management. The SPP association management administrative team is led by SPP Executive Director Martha Jones (, her assistant James Brannigan (, and other professionals with expertise in meeting planning, CME and accreditation, website and informatics support, and other services. Committee chairs will work closely with Martha for administrative and management support.

As my year as President of the SPP concludes, I want to express a heartfelt thanks to all the SPP members and staff who make this such a vibrant, collegial and constructive organization. It is wonderful to have seen the SPP grow and evolve over the past several decades. The future looks bright indeed, and I wish you all the very best.



Cheryl M. Coffin, M.D.

President, Society for Pediatric Pathology,

Professor Emerita, Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, Vanderbilt University

2016 Report to Intersociety Pathology Council

Cheryl M. Coffin, M.D., President, Society for Pediatric Pathology

February 25, 2016


The Society for Pediatric Pathology (SPP) is an organization of more than 600 members who are pediatric pathologists or have an interest in pediatric pathology education, practice, or research. Most are from the United States and Canada, although members come from all over the world.

The mission and purposes of the SPP are:

  • To promote expertise, effective teaching and productive research in the practice of pediatric pathology.
  • To assist and promote the development and recognition of resident/fellow training programs in pediatric pathology and, through the American Board of Pathology, establish and maintain a means by which pathologists may be certified as having special competency in pediatric pathology.
  • To sponsor and promote the education of physicians and others in healthcare related to pediatric pathology.
  • To establish and maintain appropriate relationships with other societies and groups of physicians, and other scientists who share professional interests with the Society.

To accomplish its mission, the SPP has a website (, holds two scientific meetings each year, offers a separate course in perinatal pathology every several years, holds a joint meeting every 5 years with the European Paediatric Pathology Society (PPS), is a constituent member of the International Paediatric Pathology Association (IPPA), publishes the journal Pediatric and Developmental Pathology, and gives awards in recognition of medical, scientific and professional achievements. The SPP Executive Director at The Kellen Company provides management. 2015 SPP accomplishments are summarized below.


The SPP is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission on Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through 2018 and is approved by the American Board of Pathology to offer Self Assessment Modules (SAMs) for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) in pathology. Regular educational programs are offered twice yearly in spring and fall for pediatric and other types of pathologists whose practices include pediatric material. Both meetings include peer-reviewed abstracts as poster or platform presentations and a major symposium. Spring meeting workshops are repeated in a three-year cycle to maximize opportunities for attendance

The 2015 spring meeting was held in Boston, Massachusetts. The symposium topic was “Advances in Non-Rhabdomyosarcoma Soft Tissue Sarcomas in the Young”. 54 abstracts were presented. Workshop topics included pediatric lung biopsy, peripheral nerve sheath tumor pathology, pediatric hematopathology, cytopathology of head and neck masses, frozen section diagnosis, and histiocytic disorders. An evening slide seminar was given in conjunction with the U.S. and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP). The Farber-Landing lecture by Don Singer, M.D., was entitled “Little Babies, Big Babies, and the Pancreatic Beta-Cell”.

The 2015 fall meeting was held in Toronto, Canada. 39 abstracts were presented. The symposium topic was “The Clinicopathologic Evolution of Cystic Fibrosis”. The program also included a perinatal pathology symposium on arthrogryposis, a perinatal slide seminar, and an update on the World Health Organization Classification of brain tumors and its impact on the Children's Oncology Group.

A special course on Perinatal Pathology held April 17-19, 2015, in Chicago, Illinois, had 12 faculty members and 133 participants and received excellent evaluations.

The SPP Slide Survey, in which the clinical history and glass and/or digital slides for provided 18 challenging cases to subscribers for CME credit.


The SPP and PPS jointly publish Pediatric and Developmental Pathology (PDP). Perspectives in Pediatric Pathology, formerly an independent publication of the SPP, is now a peer-reviewed supplement to PDP. Subscription is included with membership in the SPP and PPS. In 2015, the editorial boards for PDP and Perspectives were reconfigured and merged. Drs. Manuel Nistal and Miguel Reyes-Mugica edited the current volume of Perspectives on testicular pathology.

In 2015, the SPP submitted a comment to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding proposed changes to regulations on research on human tissues.

Grants, Awards and Other Honors

Recruitment of new talent, ongoing professional development in pediatric pathology and recognition and support of academic work and research are important for the SPP members and pediatric pathology trainees. The SPP discounts meeting registration and fees for trainees. Grants, awards and other honors are listed below for 2015 and at

The Young Investigator Research Grant provides up to $15,000 to establish scientific research in pediatric pathology. The 2015 recipient was Jeff Terry, M.D., British Columbia Women’s and Children’s Hospital, for a study on identification of bacteria by in situ molecular visualization in pediatric Crohn's disease.

Residents in the U.S. and Canada who are considering a career in pediatric pathology are eligible for the Pediatric Pathology Resident Recruitment Award, which is based on a written critique of a recent publication in pediatric pathology. Recent awardees included Anna Pikorski, M.D., of Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, and Ameet Thaker, M.D., of the University of Washington.

Several awards recognize outstanding presentations at SPP meetings. The 2015 Gordon F. Vawter Pathologist-in-Training Awardees were Archana Shenoy, M.D., of Washington University School of Medicine, and Lea F. Surrey, M.D., of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The 2015 Harry B. Neustein Awardees were Gino Somers, M.D., of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and Seth C. Lummus, D.O., M.S. The 2015 Perinatal Pathology Awardee was W. Tony Parks, M.D., of the Magee Women’s Hospital, University of Pittsburgh.

The A. James McAdams Short-Term Study Stipend provides up to $5000 for expenses related to receiving extramural training in pediatric pathology. The 2015 recipient was Juan Putra, M.D., of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

The Lotte Strauss Prize recognizes an outstanding publication in pediatric pathology by an early career (<40 years old) pathologist or basic scientist. The 2015 awardee was Erin Rudzinski, M.D., of Seattle Children’s Hospital.

The SPP has funded attendance at the International Paediatric Pathology Association (IPPA) Advanced Course in Paediatric Pathology through 2019 for a pathologist from an underserved area who could not participate otherwise.

The 2015 recipients of the Presidential Distinguished Colleague Awards were Megan Dishop. M.D., Sharon Geaghan, M.D., and Sara Szabo, M.D.

Boston Children’s Hospital offers a Pediatric Pathology Visiting Scholar Award for additional training in pediatric pathology for a visiting trainee or pathologist.


The SPP is a constituent member of IPPA, the worldwide umbrella organization for pediatric pathology. The SPP practices international educational outreach with IPPA, the International Academy of Pathology (IAP), the College of American Pathologists, the USCAP, the Latin American Society of Pediatric Pathology (SLAPPE), the Paediatric Pathology Society (PPS), the Australia/New Zealand Pediatric Pathology Group (ANZPPG), and other locally or individually organized courses and educational programs. SPP members serve regularly on the IPPA Council and as tutors for IPPA courses. The 2015 SPP President, Cheryl M. Coffin, M.D., is a former IPPA President and is resident tutor for the IPPA Course through 2016.

Final Comments

2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the SPP, which began in 1965 as the Pediatric Pathology Club and has since matured into a larger, more complex organization. A special issue of Pediatric and Developmental Pathology (Volume 18, Number 6, November/December, 2015) celebrated the half-century mark. In 2015, the SPP began a new association management agreement intended to support the SPP mission and to relieve SPP members of administrative and managerial burdens. Throughout this growth and change, a spirit of warm collegiality and a primary focus on the well being of children continues through the focus on practice, education and research in pediatric pathology. The passion shared by the SPP members for our field fosters professional bonds that span the globe.

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