The Mount Sinai Department of Pathology dates back to 1893, when Dr. Henry N. Heineman was appointed its first Pathologist. In 1902 the first chemistry department in any New York hospital and one of the first in the country was started and headed by Samuel Bookman. In 1906, the year the Department became separate from the administrative departments, the staff included Frederick S. Mandlebaum, Pathologist; Emanuel Libman, Assistant Pathologist, who first described Libman-Sachs endocarditis along with Benjamin Sachs in 1924; a laboratory assistant, an intern in pathology, and a physiological chemist and assistant. In 1907 there were 15 more staff members besides Mandlebaum and Libman, and that year was also the first in which the Department displayed a scientific exhibit at a major medical meeting. According to the president's report for 1908, the Department's routine functions included "bacteriological examinations of tumors and other tissues to aid in the work of the surgeon...large numbers of throat cultures to prevent diptheria epidemics in the hospital; and examination of the blood in suspected cases of typhoid fever, aggregating at least 2,000 tests a year....During the past year, new and valuable methods have been introduced to facilitate the early diagnosis of diptheria and typhoid fever...."
In 1926 Dr. Paul Klemperer became Chairman of the Department of Pathology. Most of his training and experience had emphasized the importance of "pathological anatomy" as the keystone of medical investigation. That same emphasis prevailed at Mount Sinai with autopsy rates approaching a now unheard of 80 percent by the end of the 1920s. Dr. Klemperer's personal research had emphasized the diseases of connective tissue, and especially how it is affected by lupus erythematosus.
When Dr. Klemperer came to Mount Sinai, he took immediate steps to have his loyal colleague Dr. Sadao Otani join him. His excellence in surgical pathology was rooted in his lifelong study of human autopsies. One of his most important works was the clarification of the distinctions between eosinophillic granuloma of bone, Letterer-Siwe disease, and Schuller-Christian disease.
Another pathologist of note from Mount Sinai was Dr. Jacob Churg. He has produced more than 300 publications, including more than 15 books in the fields of pathology dealing primarily with vascular, renal, pulmonary, and neoplastic diseases. In order to study the intricate structural alterations of the diseased glomerulus, Dr. Churg introduced thin sectioning and special stains, such as chromotrope-aniline blue in 1956. He applied and developed new techniques for the preparation and examination of renal biopsy tissue for electron microscopy when it first became available. In addition, he has published classical studies in the area of asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma and lung cancer. Perhaps he is best known for his work with Dr. Lotte Strauss; in 1951 they published their work on "allergic granulomatosis" or "Churg-Strauss Disease." Today at 90 years of age he still continues to contribute to the field of pathology.
In 1957 Mount Sinai named a new Chairman of Pathology, Dr. Hans Popper. A moving force behind the creation of Icahn School of Medicine, he was most importantly known as the father of modern hepatology. He was founder of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the International Association for the Study of the Liver (IASL). His contributions to pathology were numerous and included authoring almost 800 articles and authoring or editing 28 books. The medical school was established in 1968 with the construction of the Annenberg Building. Dr. Popper also served joint posts as Dean of Icahn School of Medicine and president of The Mount Sinai Health System from 1972-1973.
Emanuel Rubin succeeded Dr. Popper as Chair of Pathology in 1973. Dr. Rubin continued the tradition of providing excellent patient care and training of resident physicians. From 1978 to 1986, Jerome Kleinerman became the Chairman of the Department. He was internationally recognized for his accomplishments in the pathology of environmental lung disease.
In 1988, Allen Schiller was appointed as the third Irene Heinz Given and John LaPorte Professor of Pathology and Chair of the Department. World renowned for his work in bone pathology and his expertise in the effects of space and weightlessness on bone structure, Dr. Schiller has served on the Space Science Board of the Committee on Space Biology and Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and as a member of the Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications Advisory Committee of NASA. He was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute. Under his leadership, the Department has acquired probably has the largest volume of surgical pathology specimens anywhere is the world. In addition, he has assembled a group of internationally acclaimed faculty who continue to tradition of excellence in patient care, resident education, and research.