Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Pathology


The faculty who specialize in cytogenetics within the Department of Pathology study chromosome abnormalities and genetic makers in hematological neoplasm and certain solid tumors, and provide cytogenetics and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) training to residents and fellows of the department of pathology and clinical hematology fellows, and to students of a cytogenetic technology program. The cytogenetics laboratory conducts cytogenetics and FISH analysis and genomic microarray studies on the mechanisms of leukemiogenesis, and alsoprovide support for several research projects within the department and cross the campus. As a reference testing laboratory, the division of cytogenetics actively involves in cytogenetics and FISH review and tests on various leukemia clinical trials on the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG).


The cytogenetics team provides a one month combined cytogenetics and molecular genetics training to residents and fellows of the resident training program and the hematopathology fellowship. During the rotation in cytogenetics, the residents and fellow observe and learn conventional cytogenetic and FISH tests, make an appropriate order of cytogenetics and or FISH tests in various leukemia and lymphomas, read and learn interpretation of cytogenetics and FISH results, and their prognostic and therapeutic significance, and correlate the cytogenetic results with the findings of morphology observation, flow cytometry results, molecular genetics informations, and clinical features.


Through the cytogenetics lab, our faculty conduct research activities on genomic abnormalities in the formation of recurring chromosome translocations in leukemia, and the transformation of chronic myeloid neoplasm to acute leukemia. The laboratory serves as a reference testing site for FISH studies of various ECOG clinical trials, and provides central review and approval of cytogenetics tests and reports for leukemia patients enrolled in ECOG leukemia-related clinical trials.

Patient Care

The cytogenetics team works with care providers at Feinberg-affiliated hospitals and care sites to provide precise and prompt cytogenetic and FISH tests for patients with acute and chronic leukemia and lymphoma, as well as perform certain FISH tests on formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissue sections (FFPE) of solid tumors (i.e., breast cancer, brain tumor, lung cancer, and lymphoma). The detection of chromosome abnormalities provides significant important information for making a precise diagnosis, supporting prognosis and risk stratification, and determining an appropriate treatment protocol.

Cytogenetics Faculty

Cytogenetics director

Xinyan Lu, MD
Technical Director, Cytogenetics