1. What is your name?
David Meredith, MD, PhD.
2. What is your professional title?
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School; Associate Pathologist, Brigham and Women's Hospital; Associate Director, Neuropathology Fellowship, Brigham and Women's Hospital/Boston Children's Hospital
3. How did you decide to enter the field/What (or who) brought you into the field?
I was interested early on in a scientific research career and had never really considered medicine as a career. My college advisor introduced me to the intriguing opportunity of a medical scientist training program, which resonated with my interest in translational science. While in medical school, I most enjoyed the diagnostic aspect of medicine, and pathology was a natural fit from that perspective and as the best way to synergize clinical and research careers. For my PhD, I studied developmental neuroscience in the lab of Dr. Jane Johnson, where I learned a wide range of techniques from microscopy to molecular biology and even bioinformatics once we began to delve into the new world of NGS-based assays, so the transition to being a molecular neuropathologist seemed inevitable!
Dr. Dennis Burns, a neuropathologist at UTSW, was an incredibly engaging lecturer and mentor, and he instilled in me a strong passion for neuropathology when I had the opportunity to do a 4th year clinical rotation on his service.
4. What do you do? How would you describe your role?
My clinical responsibilities are split between surgical neuropathology, molecular neuropathology, and bone and soft tissue pathology. My research activities include uncovering novel molecular signatures and biomarkers in various tumors of the CNS, including lymphomas and sarcomas. I am also involved in several clinical trials for glioblastoma at Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and serve as the lead pathologist for the recently created CNS lymphoma center at DF/HCC, where we are creating clinical trials around several uniquely targetable pathways and generating patient-derived xenograft models for further discovery of novel therapeutics.
5. What degree(s) and/or training did you receive to achieve your position?
6. What is the greatest challenge you face in your work?
Having time to do it all! I would love to have more time for research as there is no shortage of ideas that comes from working in such a high-volume center. With my full clinical load, it becomes very challenging to invest the necessary energy into developing and completing larger studies, especially without dedicated research staff.
7. What is the best part of your work as you see it? (most interesting, fun…)
My favorite part is easily being able to participate in all of the varied clinical and research opportunities I have. It’s also incredibly gratifying to apply the skills in molecular biology and bioinformatics I learned in the laboratory into routine clinical practice. The combination of strong clinical expertise and pervasive research opportunities and support at BWH means we are consistently at the forefront of clinical innovation and discovery; it’s an extremely inspirational atmosphere in which to practice.
8. What is your interest in AMP as an organization?
I see AMP as an important organization for advocacy and education. As someone who has benefited from practicing in both anatomic pathology subspecialties and molecular diagnostics, I hope to use my experience and expertise to shape best practices and bridge the gap between these fields in pathology. I think neuropathology is an excellent example of the need to integrate multiple data sources to arrive at accurate diagnoses and personalized treatment, but continued advocacy and education, from individual to federal levels is needed to ensure that the best care is available to the most patients.
9. What do you do for fun?
I enjoy playing the viola when I can and spending time with family – my 9-month-old son is endlessly entertaining! I also enjoy cooking and homebrewing when time permits.
11. Anything else we should know?
- I also work on germline analysis of tumors as part of my involvement with the ALLELE trial.
- I'm involved with the AP and Neuropathology training programs at BWH.
- I enjoy being able to do cool stuff in my current position!
- Strengths: being able to adapt to new circumstances, pushing myself to be better and enjoying it and enjoying responsibility
- Improvements: striving to attain more humility, being ok with imperfections, being more satisfied with accomplishments